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Thursday, May 04, 2017 @ 12:32 PM

Richardson joins Cassels Brock as tax partner

Cassels Brock announces the arrival of Doug Richardson as partner in the taxation group, based in the firm’s Calgary office. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 @ 08:48 AM

How Trump’s 'Buy American, Hire American' impacts cross-border companies

The presidential executive order on “Buy American and Hire American” immediately impacts Canada-U.S. trade potentially more than any action or tweet issued by U.S. President Donald Trump during the first 100 days of his administration. Contrary to various media reports, the executive order is more than just an internal study of government procurement policies (“Buy American”), or limited to highly skilled foreign workers (“Hire American”). ... [read more]

Monday, May 01, 2017 @ 08:58 AM

Softwood lumber duties seen as Trump’s opening salvo on NAFTA Softwood lumber

On April 24, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced preliminary countervailing duties (CVDs) on Canadian lumber imports. Among the investigation respondents, West Fraser received the highest rate of 24.12 per cent, followed by Canfor at 20.26 per cent, Tolko at 19.5 per cent, Resolute at 12.82 per cent and J.D. Irving at only 3.02 per cent. All other producers in Canada will be subject to the “all others rate” of 19.88 per cent, which is a weighted average of the CVDs levied on the respondents. The commerce department noted in its release that imports of softwood lumber from Canada were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion in 2016. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 @ 09:52 AM

AGRICULTURE - Farms - Financing

Appeal by the Skyline Agriculture companies from a Queen's Bench judgment affirming a decision by the Farm Land Security Board. In 2014, farmers approached investors seeking alternative financing arrangements for young farmers who sought to acquire farmland. A proposed financing structure divided farm ownership between a parent company, a management company, and an operating company. The financing involved a series of instruments and transactions which included a traditional mortgage and swap and derivative agreements held by additional entities. The farming entities were Canadian-owned. The balance of the structure was held by offshore entities, the appellants. In a test case ruling, the Board determined that the arrangement contravened s. 77 of the Saskatchewan Farm Security Act, as the non-resident appellants had acquired a land holding within the meaning of the Act. Skyline appealed to the Court of Queen's Bench. The Court determined that the Board's decision was reasonable. Skyline appealed to the Court of Appeal. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ 11:45 AM

Mahar joins Miller Thomson partnership

Kyla Mahar is the newest partner in Miller Thomson’s Toronto office. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 13, 2017 @ 09:59 AM

Corporate veil shouldn’t prevent moral responsibility | Julius Melnitzer

Instead of rambling on about globalization and its impact on jurisprudence, it’s time for courts to get real about our archaic notions of corporate liability and take the hard measures to ensure that their ramblings benefit everyone — not just big business. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 08:41 AM

MINES AND MINERALS - Subsurface mineral rights - Contracts - Proprietary estoppel

Appeal by two couples who sought a declaration that they were entitled to a quitclaim of subsurface mineral rights involving the building in which they resided for many years. The claim was made on the basis of proprietary estoppel and arose when a previous owner, Westmin Resources, held the mineral rights. One of the couples moved on to the property in 1975 and the other moved on to the property in 1995-1996. Both couples had spent time and money maintaining the buildings on the property. Both couples had paid modest rent to live on the property. In 2003, sales agreements for the couples to purchase the buildings were prepared, but the agreements were never executed. The rights were currently held by the respondent, Dave Weinrauch and Sons Trucking (Weinrauch). Weinrauch was not aware of the appellants’ attempts to acquire the properties when it purchased the mineral rights in 2008. When Weinrauch was unsuccessful in its attempts to evict the appellants, Weinrauch filed a petition seeking a declaration that it owned the buildings. The appellants then commenced the action, claiming that the previous mineral rights holders assured the appellants that the buildings would belong to them, and that it would be unconscionable for Weinrauch to not honour those assurances. The Weinrauch petition had been stayed. Despite finding she could assume the predecessor gave representations required for a proprietary estoppel claim, the trial judge dismissed the appellants’ claim on the basis that there was no evidence fixing Weinrauch with knowledge of the appellant’s equitable claim. The couples appealed. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 08:36 AM

AGRICULTURE - Agricultural products - Protection of animal livestock

Application by Maple Lodge Farms (MLF) for an order quashing the decision of the Canadian Agricultural Review Tribunal that it transported or caused to be transported spent hens in circumstances where undue suffering was likely caused to the animals by reason of exposure to the weather. On a cold January day, an egg farmer in New York transported spent hens to MLF in Brampton, Ontario for meat processing. At the farm, the hens spent hours in the extreme cold, as it took time to catch and load them and there were mechanical problems with the trailer tailgate. The trip to Brampton took 12 hours. Upon arrival at MLF’s facility, the trailer was taken to an unheated barn. The driver reported that there were 100 dead hens, although MFL’s staff noticed only 12 dead. 12 hours later, when the trailer was finally unloaded, 863 hens, roughly 12 per cent of the load, were found dead. Upon receiving MLF’s report, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a notice of violation against MLF for a violation of s. 143(1)(d) of the Regulations and assessed a penalty of $7,800. MLF requested a review. The Tribunal concluded that the spent hens likely had been subjected to suffering as a result of undue exposure to the weather during the stationary period following loading, and that their compromised state could not have improved to a state of no undue suffering during the course of transport or during the period of lairage at MLF. It concluded that the load should not have been transported, given the four hours of stationary exposure in sub-zero weather. ... [read more]

Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 10:50 AM

ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION - Approvals, licences and orders - Renewable Energy Approval

Appeal by the Association for the Protection of Amherst Island from a decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal. The Tribunal dismissed the appellant's challenge to a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) issued in favour of the respondent, Windlectric, for a proposed wind facility on Amherst Island. The proposed project involved 26 wind turbine generators over a 10,000 square metre area. Each generator was 156 metres tall with 55-metre blades. The Island was 66 square kilometres. It had 400 year-round residents and approximately 1,000 summertime residents. The appellant challenged the issuance of the REA on the basis the project would cause serious harm to human health, and serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment. The Tribunal confirmed the Director's decision to issue the REA. The Association appealed. ... [read more]

Friday, April 07, 2017 @ 02:06 PM

BLG adds three new associates

Borden Ladner Gervais has added two associates to its Calgary office, Xiaodi Jin and Patrick Mah, while Mario Pedro is joining the Toronto office. ... [read more]