Osler Updates

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OECD Considers Availability of Tax Treaty Benefits for Investment Funds, Pension Funds and Private Equity Funds

On November 21, 2014, the OECD released a discussion draft that considers when tax treaty benefits should be granted to various investment funds, including collective investment vehicles, private equity funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. The discussion draft expands on the OECD’s prior work on preventing treaty abuse as part of its Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). Canada, together with other G20 countries, has committed to completing work on the BEPS project in 2015. Comments on the latest discussion draft may be provided by January 9, 2015. 

Nov 24, 2014

Antitrust Advisory: Cartels

The cornerstone of Canada’s Competition Act, the cartel offence is the top priority of the Competition Bureau. In this Antitrust Advisory, we take a closer look at cartel activity in Canada as well as the global enforcement effort, providing practical information to help you manage your risk. 

Nov 20, 2014

Countdown to CASL 2.0 – Computer Program Provisions Come into Force January 2015

On November 10, 2014, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission released guidance on the installation of computer programs under Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL). Notably, the guidance sets out when the Act applies to the installation of computer programs and states that "self-installed software is not covered under CASL."

Nov 14, 2014

Landmark Decision Establishing New Duty to Act Honestly in Performing Contracts

In a landmark decision in Bhasin v. Hrynew, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized a new duty on parties to perform contractual obligations honestly. In the Court’s words: “This means simply that parties must not lie or otherwise knowingly mislead each other about matters directly linked to the performance of the contract.” This Osler Update looks at the Court’s decision and examines its practical implications. 

Nov 13, 2014

Antitrust Advisory: What You Need to Know about Canada’s Bid-Rigging Offence

Bid-rigging is a criminal offence and enforcement action against companies and individuals is a top priority of the Canadian Competition Bureau. 

Nov 13, 2014

Landmark Health Canada Study Finds No Definitive Link Between Wind Turbines and Human Health

Health Canada has released its long-anticipated findings in the Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study – the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind in the world. This Update summarizes the key preliminary findings from the study – which found no association between exposure to wind turbine noise and illness, chronic disease, stress and sleep quality for those individuals who live near wind turbines – and examines their legal significance.

Nov 10, 2014

Gender Diversity on Boards and in Senior Management

The under-representation of women in leadership roles has long been a concern. Canadian securities regulators have taken notice, and effective December 31, 2014, there will be new disclosure rules regarding the representation of women on boards and in senior management roles of public companies.  

Nov 6, 2014

Preparing for Ebola: Important Lessons Hospital Directors Can Learn from SARS

In preparing for Ebola, it is important that hospital directors understand the key lessons learned from SARS regarding the very specific and potentially competing duties of care owed by hospital boards of directors to staff and patients during an infectious disease outbreak. In this Update, we identify the requisite standard of care directors must meet to discharge their statutory duties and how, in contrast, governments have no private duty of care to hospital staff or patients when issuing guidelines or directives. 

Oct 31, 2014

NEB Rules Federal Legislation Permits Trans Mountain Access to City of Burnaby Lands

Last week the National Energy Board issued its first order against a municipality in the context of a dispute regarding a pipeline company’s access to municipal lands in order to complete NEB-mandated studies. The NEB’s ruling provides greater certainty regarding the powers of federally regulated pipeline companies in circumstances where federal laws conflict with municipal bylaws and dual compliance is impossible. 

Oct 27, 2014

British Columbia Proposes Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act

On October 20, 2014, British Columbia Environment Minister Mary Polak tabled the province’s first bill targeting industrial greenhouse gas emissions, in keeping with B.C.’s political commitment to develop the liquefied natural gas industry only if it can be done with safe development standards and satisfactory environmental protection protocols.

Oct 22, 2014