Focus On



Friday, December 20, 2019 @ 10:41 AM

Standard of review post-Dunsmuir: Reasonable or incorrect? | Heather MacIvor

In spring 2018 the Supreme Court of Canada signalled a seismic change in its jurisprudence on administrative law. It granted leave to hear three appeals — two of which were later merged into one — and invited submissions on the standard of review. The appeals were heard in December 2018, and the decisions finally issued on Dec. 19, 2019, (Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov 2019 SCC 65, and Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General) 2019 SCC 66). ... [read more]

Friday, December 20, 2019 @ 10:07 AM

Nice gig, if you can get the work permit gig_economy_sm

The labour market may be shifting from one characterized by stable, permanent employment to a “gig economy” where temporary or contracted employment, freelancing, contingent work and remote work is the new norm. "Work" in a gig economy includes any job, especially one of short or uncertain duration such as temporary contract work or freelance work. It can also include a side job or informal activity for pay. In the gig economy, independent workers may be paid by the “gig” rather than receive a salary or wage for their services. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 19, 2019 @ 2:37 PM - Last Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019 @ 11:06 AM

SCC rewrites standard of review framework for administrative law in landmark trilogy Aubin Calvert

In a bid to enhance clarity, predictability and access to justice in a muddled area of law that impacts many Canadians, seven of nine judges of the Supreme Court of Canada have collaborated to devise a new standard of review framework which emphasizes that courts should presumptively exercise deference when overseeing administrative decision makers, while also retaining “limited” scope for correctness review. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 19, 2019 @ 11:17 AM

Big week for tax and the Constitution | James Alvarez

Canadian tax law has few day-to-day interactions with the Constitution. Most tax matters do not engage prescribed rights and while taxpayers occasionally attempt to overturn rules, the courts rarely intervene. However, the Federal Court and Supreme Court released two very different decisions this week at the intersection of tax and constitutional law. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 19, 2019 @ 9:53 AM

Liens on municipal lands: Exempt lands, projects Constructionsite_sm.jpg

The Alberta Builders’ Lien Act creates a charge on land as security for payment for services rendered or materials furnished to construction projects. Alberta municipalities are subject to the requirements of the Act, even though interests in land held by the provincial and federal governments are exempt. Although municipal projects do not benefit from a general exemption, there are certain exemptions that are highly relevant to municipalities. There are statutory and judge-made exemptions for public highways, bridges, municipal reserve lands and, in limited circumstances, other projects based on “public policy” reasons. ... [read more]

Friday, December 13, 2019 @ 1:33 PM

GOODS AND SERVICES TAX (GST) - Constitutional validity - Supply - Supply by government and municipalities

Appeal and cross-appeal from a judgment of the British Columbia Court of Appeal affirming a decision that the Excise Tax Act (ETA) did not apply to the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) and that BCI was subject to the obligations set out in the intergovernmental agreements. ... [read more]

Friday, December 13, 2019 @ 12:36 PM - Last Updated: Friday, December 13, 2019 @ 1:29 PM

SCC upholds lower court decision on Crown corporation’s immunity from federal tax Andromache KARAKATSANIS sm

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has ruled in a 6-1 decision released Dec. 13, that the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI or bcIMC), a Crown corporation that manages and invests pensions and other money for several public-sector organizations, is immune from federal tax under the Excise Tax Act (ETA). However, it held that BCI is still bound by provisions in the Reciprocal Taxation Agreement (RTA) and the Comprehensive Integrated Tax Coordination Agreement (CITCA). ... [read more]

Thursday, December 12, 2019 @ 6:30 AM

CORPORATIONS - Dividends - Rectification of records - Powers of the court

Appeal by Canada from an order rectifying a directors’ resolution declaring a dividend from the capital dividend account of respondent corporation. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 @ 2:17 PM

Dying in Canada when owning a U.S. individual retirement account U.S. dollar nest eggs

A large number of Canadians who used to work in the United States retire owning a U.S. individual retirement account (IRA). But what if they pass away with an IRA? ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 @ 1:10 PM

Beer decision shows it isn’t ‘anything goes’ on regulating interprovincial trade: legal scholar Eric Adams, University of Alberta

The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled against the provincial government in its attempts to overturn a lower court ruling declaring measures to protect Alberta craft brewers unconstitutional, but added it did not have to pay restitution to the beer companies bringing the case because the previous ruling did not interpret a test on recovering money correctly. ... [read more]