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Additional Measures for Entrepreneurs and Businesses Disproportionately Affected by COVID-19
Lawson Lundell LLP, June 2020

Since the start of the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, the federal and provincial governments have announced various programs and subsidies to help Canadian businesses survive in light of the challenges posed by necessary social distancing measures, as discussed in our previous blog post here...

Alberta Pauses Residential Evictions for Non-Payment and Prohibits Rent Increases and Late Payment Penalties During COVID-19 Pandemic
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

 On March 27, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced new measures to address residential tenancy issues arising during and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Max Carroll and Jeffrey Hernaez of our Vancouver office wrote yesterday about similar measures put in place in British Columbia...

B.C.'s Economic Recovery Plan: New Employer Tax Credit
Lawson Lundell LLP, October 2020

On September 17, 2020, the British Columbia government released its economic recovery plan for the province, Stronger BC for Everyone: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The plan details various new support measures for B.C. businesses, including a new refundable tax credit for employers. The B.C...

British Columbia Allows Electronic Attendance at Corporate Meetings
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

On April 21, 2020, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia issued a Ministerial Order (the “Order”) permitting electronic attendance at meetings (collectively referred to as “Corporate Meetings”) held pursuant to the Business Corporations Act, the Cooperative Association Act and the Societies Act (collectively, the “Statutes”)...

British Columbia Employers Announces Temporary Ability to Extend COVID-19 Related Layoffs
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

On May 4, 2020, the B.C. government passed an Order in Council to add a new provision to the BC Employment Standards Regulation (the “Regulation”) during the current provincial state of emergency. Temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 can now last up to 16 weeks in a 20 consecutive week period without triggering termination of employment. This is the second change to B.C. employment standards legislation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic...

Can B.C. Businesses Force Employees and Customers to Wear Masks?
Lawson Lundell LLP, December 2020

On November 24, 2020, British Columbia issued a Public Health Order requiring the use of masks in all public indoor spaces in the province (the “Order”). In this blog post, we answer some frequently asked questions posed by business owners and employers about the Order. Mandatory Masking in Public Indoor Spaces Masks are now mandatory in all “indoor public spaces” in B.C...

Canadian Privacy Commissioners' Guidance During COVID-19
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

Provincial health orders, guidance and physical distancing measures in response to COVID-19 have changed the way Canadians are working and studying. Organizations are suddenly more reliant on technical tools and approaches to doing business which have not all been fully vetted for privacy and security...

Commercial Leases & COVID-19: Key Considerations of a Rent Relief Agreement
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of businesses are seeking some form of rent relief from their landlords. When negotiating a rent relief agreement, there is a balance to be struck between providing meaningful relief to a tenant so that its business has a better chance of long term survival, while still allowing the landlord to meet its ongoing obligations, which may include mortgage payments on the property, and other costs which it may not be able to defer...

COVID-19 and Global Issues: A Contrarian's Solution to Construction Contracts?
Lawson Lundell LLP, March 2020

For consideration by owners, contractors, suppliers, and project teams towards solutions on current and/or future projects. Global pandemic.  Oil trade war. Volatile FX Markets.  Market collapse?  East African locusts.  All of these global issues, and potentially others, will impact existing and new construction projects in Canada and the world over the coming months. However, a delay to a project does not always mean the project will inevitably cost more...

CSA to Provide Blanket Relief for Market Participants Due to COVID-19
Lawson Lundell LLP, March 2020

  In light of the rapidly evolving developments relating to COVID-19, and recognizing that issuers have an urgent need to focus on critical business decisions, the Canadian Securities Administrators (the “CSA”) have announced that they will grant temporary, blanket relief from the filing of certain documents required to be filed on or before June 1, 2020...

Do You Have a Cough? What Can I Ask Customers and How Do I Protect Their Privacy?
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

As businesses begin to reopen, many organizations will examine ways to protect their workers and attract returning customers. Various mechanisms to screen customers for COVID-19 risks will become more common. Examples include providing customers with questionnaires regarding their travel history, exposure to others, and symptoms, or temperature scanning before entry. Organizations will be permitted to screen individuals in a reasonable manner, depending on the circumstances...

Does COVID-19 Signal the End of the Civil Jury Trial?
Lawson Lundell LLP, September 2020

As courts cautiously resume in-person hearings across the country, there is looming uncertainty about when—or if—civil jury trials will ever resume. For instance, B.C. and some regions in Ontario have announced that civil jury trials are suspended until at least 2021—and Ontario is considering whether to abolish them altogether...

Foreign Investment Review - A Warning in the Time of COVID-19
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

The Canadian government, concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on corporate valuations, has issued guidance that it will pay particular attention to foreign direct investments of any value (meaning, even investments that are not subject to review under the Investment Canada Act (the “ICA”)).  The government’s announcement does not amend the ICA, nor any thresholds for review...

Further Extension of Temporary Layoff Period for Federally Regulated Employers
Lawson Lundell LLP, November 2020

On November 9, 2020, the federal government announced a further temporary extension to permitted layoff periods for federally regulated private-sector employees. Background In June of 2020, the federal government extended the time periods for layoffs under the Canada Labour Standards Regulations to allow federally regulated private-sector employers more time to recall laid-off employees...

It Might Be Negligent, But is it Gross Negligence?
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

Many commercial contracts limit claims between parties, particularly for consequential losses, to instances of gross negligence. Many statutes circumscribe claims against government authorities to the same circumstances. The Police Act, for example, prohibits claims against the police except where the police have been “guilty of dishonesty, gross negligence or malicious or wilful misconduct”...

Keeping Cool: An Employer's Guide to COVID-19 in the Workplace
Lawson Lundell LLP, March 2020

COVID-19 has now been characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Although the number of reported cases in Canada is currently low in comparison to some other countries, public health authorities have cautioned that this situation may change rapidly. As part of this quickly changing situation, employers need to be prepared to address related workplace issues. The following summary addresses general issues for workplaces related to COVID-19...

Managing Employees’ Return to the Workplace
Lawson Lundell LLP, June 2020

In our earlier two blog posts, Returning the Workplace to Safe Operation: Part 1, Part 2, we addressed the occupational health and safety issues surrounding returning the workplace to safe operation. This blog post addresses the employment issues related to managing the return of employees to the workplace from temporary layoff or working from home...

Managing Employees’ Return to the Workplace
Lawson Lundell LLP, June 2020

In our earlier two blog posts, Returning the Workplace to Safe Operation: Part 1, Part 2, we addressed the occupational health and safety issues surrounding returning the workplace to safe operation. This blog post addresses the employment issues related to managing the return of employees to the workplace from temporary layoff or working from home...

New Employment Standards Leaves for COVID-19 & Their Impact on Pension & Benefit Plans
Lawson Lundell LLP, September 2020

In response to COVID-19, the federal government and the provinces have introduced various measures to mitigate the financial impact across the country. One of these measures is the introduction of a new type of type of unpaid, job-protected leave related to COVID-19. As of the date of this bulletin, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and the federal government have introduced these new leaves...

New Employment Standards Leaves for COVID-19 & Their Impact on Pension & Benefit Plans
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

In response to COVID-19, the federal government and the provinces have introduced various measures to mitigate the financial impact across the country. One of these measures is the introduction of a new type of type of unpaid, job-protected leave related to COVID-19. As of the date of this bulletin, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and the federal government have introduced these new leaves...

New Employment Standards Leaves for COVID-19 & Their Impact on Pension & Benefit Plans
Lawson Lundell LLP, November 2020

In response to COVID-19, the federal government and the provinces have introduced various measures to mitigate the financial impact across the country. One of these measures is the introduction of a new type of type of unpaid, job-protected leave related to COVID-19. As of the date of this bulletin, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and the federal government have introduced these new leaves...

On Whose Authority? Alberta’s Provincial Powers to Respond to a Health Emergency
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments across Canada have put measures in place to slow the spread, but which have also had a significant impact on business. The purpose of this post is to provide an overview of the powers available to the Government of Alberta to respond to the pandemic, and most notably, those available under the Alberta Emergency Management Act and Alberta Public Health Act...

Potential Liabilities for Directors in Insolvency: Considerations for Directors of Companies Facing COVID-19 Induced Insolvency
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

The global pandemic of the disease caused by a novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused unprecedented disruption to global supply chains and consumer demand and resulted in government-mandated restrictions to almost all businesses. Many companies, small and large, are facing insolvency and forced to make rapid decisions about what steps that they should take. Directors of companies have certain obligations under both common law and the laws of Canada and the provinces...

Responses to Gaps in Government Programs for Growth Stage Innovation Companies
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

After the federal government’s initial rollout of its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to provide economic measures to stabilize the economy (previously described in our blog post here), a number of voices from Canada’s business community have warned of program eligibility gaps and, in particular, that early and growth stage technology and innovation businesses have fallen through the cracks...

Returning the Workplace to Safe Operation
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

This is the first in a two part series on 'Returning the Workplace to Safe Operation. Part two will be posted on Tuesday, May 19.  Part 1: New occupational health and safety requirements to ensure your workplace is safe from the spread or introduction of COVID-19 Canadian provinces and territories are now beginning the gradual process of reopening the economy in the wake of COVID-19. In B.C., on May 6, 2020, the Provincial Government announced its four phase Restart Plan...

Terminating Employees – 15 Planning Questions an Employer Should Ask Itself
Lawson Lundell LLP, November 2020

Terminating the employment of an employee is never easy. There are many things to consider from both a practical and legal perspective. The more prepared you can be the better. While not exhaustive, set out below are some questions every employer should be asking themselves before they terminate the employment of any non-union employee on a “without cause” basis...

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: Helping Employers Keep Employees
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

Who is an Eligible Employer? “Eligible entities” include employers that are taxable corporations, individuals (such as sole proprietors), non-profit organizations, registered charities, and partnerships (all of the members of which are partnerships or one of the aforementioned entities) who had an existing business number and payroll program account with the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) on March 15, 2020. Public institutions are not eligible (e.g...

WorkSafeBC Moves to Make it Easier for Workers to Receive Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19 Illness Claims
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

On April 30, 2020, WorkSafeBC announced it is moving forward with adding COVID-19 to the list of diseases for which there is a presumption of it being work-related. Employers will now have to rebut the presumption that a worker caught COVID-19 at work to have the claim denied. Addition to the list typically takes between 18-24 months, but WorkSafeBC is hoping to expedite and complete the process in 6 months...

 

 

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