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When the U.S. turns its back on Pacific trade

Par Yves Faguy mars 14 2017 14 mars 2017



    Adam Behsudi reports on the trade fallout from the U.S. dumping the TPP:

    Competitors say they have no choice but to take the money U.S. businesses would have earned otherwise.

    “We are not trying to take market share from the U.S. It’s more like you are putting money on the table and pushing it towards us,” said Carlo Dade, director of trade and investment policy for the Canada West Foundation, a Calgary-based think tank.

    Carlos Dade (featured in the video above) has an interesting primer where he ranks the possibilities for the other TPP prospects, including Canada:

    Without the TPP, Canada does better defensively in not having to worry about competitors gaining access to the U.S. market. But it does worse offensively in having the poorest access to Asian markets of any country on the Americas’ Pacific coast. This makes Canadian attempts to diversify away from its dependence on the U.S. market more difficult.

    Canada also appears to stand to gain the most from the TPP going ahead without the U.S. as its companies, but not American firms across the border, will have preferential access to the new bloc. This could create a powerful incentive for firm relocation. Mexico will receive a similar but potentially smaller boost as it lacks Canada’s English language operating environment for service firms.

    All of this could be viewed offensively, in both senses of the word, by the Trump administration.

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    Tout vient à point à qui sait attendre : les dispositions sur le droit privé d’action dans la loi an

    Par Kim Covert mars 3 2017 3 mars 2017


      Lorsque la législation canadienne anti-pourriel a été promulguée il y a presque trois ans, elle contenait des dispositions sur les droits privés d’action qui entrent en vigueur le 1er juillet 2017, ainsi qu’une exigence d’examen législatif qui devrait commencer à la même date.

      Dans une lettre (disponible uniquement en anglais) adressée à Innovation, Sciences et Développement économique Canada, l’ABC présente de solides arguments pour différer la mise en œuvre de ces dispositions jusqu’à l’achèvement de l’examen législatif.

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      Clarté et uniformité : Ce dont la prestation du service aux clients d’IRCC a besoin

      Par Kim Covert mars 1 2017 1 mars 2017

        En janvier, la Section du droit de l’immigration de l’ABC a indiqué, dans un mémoire adressé au Comité permanent de la citoyenneté et de l'immigration dans le cadre de l’étude sur la modernisation de la prestation du service à la clientèle, la manière dont le gouvernement peut améliorer la façon dont il traite les immigrants. Les députés souhaitent connaître les expériences vécues par les clients face aux ministères et recommander des pratiques exemplaires en vue d’y apporter des améliorations. Pourquoi? Parce que lorsque les choses se passent mal, c’est sur leur bureau que les plaintes atterrissent.

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        Les renseignements personnels en jeu en vertu de la LCISC

        Par Kim Covert février 27 2017 27 février 2017


          Lorsqu’il s’agit de partager des renseignements à des fins de sécurité nationale, tout est question d’équilibre : le gouvernement doit protéger ses citoyens contre des menaces extérieures sans pour autant les priver de leurs libertés civiques. Ces deux facteurs sont essentiels pour notre liberté.

          Selon l’ABC, certaines parties de la Loi sur la communication d’information ayant trait à la sécurité du Canada (LCISC) pourraient causer un déséquilibre en faveur de la sécurité nationale.

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          Loi sur la citoyenneté: C-6 modifié présenté au comité sénatorial

          Par Kim Covert février 24 2017 24 février 2017


            Le projet de loi C-6, qui contient des amendements à la Loi sur la citoyenneté, continue sa progression au travers des étapes parlementaires. La Section du droit de l’immigration de l’ABC a comparu en mai dernier devant un comité parlementaire pour la première fois afin d’appuyer son mémoire sur la législation proposée. En février, elle a présenté le même mémoire devant un comité sénatorial.

            En fait, presque le même mémoire. Après la comparution de l’ABC devant la Chambre des communes, le gouvernement a apporté quelques modifications au projet de loi en réponse aux recommandations faites par la Section du droit de l’immigration (et d’autres). Le mémoire a donc été mis à jour pour refléter ces changements.

            Selon son principal objectif, le projet de loi C-6 remettrait « le droit de la citoyenneté canadienne à son état antérieur aux modifications introduites par le projet de loi C-24 Loi renforçant la citoyenneté canadienne. En 2014, la Section de l’ABC s’est opposée en grande partie aux modifications introduites par le projet de loi C-24, de sorte que nous appuyons de façon générale l’annulation de ces modifications », affirme le mémoire.

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            Why searching phones at the border might violate privacy rights

            Par Yves Faguy février 23 2017 23 février 2017


              Steven Penney of the University of Alberta has a topical paper out in which he argues that customs searches, without suspicion, of digital data are unreasonable under section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Specifically, he pushes back against the notion, upheld by our courts, that seizing electronic devices at the border, and demanding to access them with passwords, to search their contents is justified by border security interests.

              It has become a cliché to say that the law struggles to keep up with technological change. Both police and privacy advocates claim that digitization has put them at a disadvantage. For the most part, however, courts have done a credible job in adapting criminal procedure doctrine both to account for the unique qualities of digital data and networks and to preserve consensus accommodations between privacy and law enforcement.

              Digital customs searches have so far been an exception to this. Reflexive adherence to precedent has led courts to discount the intrusiveness of digital searches and inflate the harms of digital contraband. At customs, searches of digital containers are much more intrusive than searches of physical ones. And they do almost nothing to stop, deter, or regulate the flow of harmful data into Canada. Instead they have become an adjunct to non-border criminal law enforcement, unjustifiably exempt from the civil liberties protections applying in that realm.


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              Re-regulating of the legal industry, Cont'd

              Par Yves Faguy février 23 2017 23 février 2017


                On the topic of re-regulation of the legal profession, Kenneth Grady writes that complaining about the slow pace of reform a "red herring":

                We have what we need to fix the lack of access to civil justice problem. Changing the regulations may make a few things easier and transaction costs could drop. But, the problems we need to solve are independent of the regulatory structure. The barrier to solving the problems is lawyer resistance to change. Fix that problem and changing the regulations will become a side show at best.

                Consider this one example. Solo practitioners argue they have a technological disadvantage. The cost of emerging software is beyond their grasp, either in time to implement or money. The professional responsibility rules prohibit law firms from having owners without law licenses. If we re-regulate, the argument goes, these firms can get access to money and resources through new owners. They can use those investments to bridge the technology gap. We already have a solution. Create a technology business (incorporation costs are trivial). Get investments in the second business which acts as a services business to the law firm. Spread the technology firm’s costs across several small firms. This model, or variations of it, exists.

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                Why traditional firms will want re-regulation of the legal industry

                Par Yves Faguy février 20 2017 20 février 2017


                  Last year, Malcolm Mercer wrote about the various regulatory challenges in the U.S. and Canada with respect to innovation in the provision of legal services. He describes how protectionist pressures have put the breaks on any efforts to involve law societies (and the ABA in the U.S.) in facilitating new ways of providing legal services.  Then, casting an eye to the future, Mercer guesses that, ultimately, regulators will be forced to face the music one way or the other:

                  It seems to me inevitable and proper that new ways of providing legal services will be allowed in unserved and underserved areas. Whether Canadian law societies are up to the challenge of allowing this is unclear. But if they don’t, someone else will.

                  If encouraging the evolution of the existing practice of law with new forms of capital and expertise is not in the cards, permitting new entrants is the alternative. The question then will be how new entrants should be regulated and by whom.

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                  How self-represented litigants view the justice system

                  Par Yves Faguy février 17 2017 17 février 2017


                    The National Self-Represented Litigants Project has released its report for 2015-16 tracking trends among the SRL population, including data about income:

                    We continue to see the majority of those representing themselves reporting lower income levels below $50,000 with the majority below $30,000. In the latest sampling, 51% state that their income is under $30,000 (in the 2013 Study this figure was 40%, and in the 2014-15 Intake Report it was 45%).

                    The next largest group (15%) report annual income of between $50,000- $75,000, followed closely by those reporting income of $30,000-$50,000 (1%). This also closely resembles the data reported in both the 2013 Study and the 2014-15 Intake Report.

                    Also consistent with earlier reporting, 8% of respondents (6% in both the 2013 Study and the 2014-15 Intake Report) report earning more than $100,000. As income rises, so does the likelihood that the respondent previously retained a lawyer for this matter. One respondent in this sample group reported having spent more than $100,000 on legal fees before becoming self-represented.

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                    Improving the Court Challenges Program

                    Par Yves Faguy février 16 2017 16 février 2017


                      Léonid Sirota sizes up the reinstated Court Challenges Program and reiterates his concern that “choosing to fund court litigation based on language and equality rights,” Parliament is in fact saying that it values those right over constitutionally protected rights.

                      Nicolas Hay acknowledges the argument, but writes that a well designed program still has merit. He cites the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal case upholding a discrimination complaint against the federal government by failing to provide an adequate level of child welfare on First Nations reserves, as the type of challenge that requires a financing program:

                      I wholeheartedly agree: privileging some rights over others can have serious implications for federalism, and a Program that treated all rights equally would be more appropriate.

                      The Program is undoubtedly worth saving if it were adjusted to include the changes I have outlined so far: a more accountable selection process; a more robust method of allocating subsidies; and an expansion to include all Charter rights...

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                      Élection au conseil d’administration de l’ABC

                      Par Mariane Gravelle février 9 2017 9 février 2017

                        Vous voudriez siéger au CA de l’ABC? Nous en serions ravis!

                        Tout membre ordinaire qui souhaite contribuer à l’évolution de l’Association à se présenter aux élections de son conseil d’administration avant le 17 février 2017

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                        Appeals court to weigh Trump executive order

                        Par Yves Faguy février 7 2017 7 février 2017


                          The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing the challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump’s ban today. He has received plenty lot of pushback for singling out a federal judge and slamming him as “a so-called judge” in a tweet for blocking Trump’s immigration order.

                          Will Baude considers the difference between executive official criticizing a court’s decision and it criticizing its authority:

                          If the court has authority, then the parties are legally required to follow its judgment: even if it is wrong; even if it is very wrong; even if the President does not like it. But if the court does not have authority, then perhaps it can be defied. So the charge of a lack of authority is a much more serious one. It is the possible set-up to a decision to defy the courts — a decision that is unconstitutional if the court does indeed have authority to decide the case.

                          Yves Boisvert addresses the independence of U.S. courts:

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