The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Kim Covert

CBA influence

Past time to create a National Commissioner for Children and Youth

By Kim Covert June 22, 2018 22 June 2018

 

Canada is a great country, full of promise for this and future generations. What it lacks is an office to ensure that promise is kept, despite international treaty obligations that confer on it the responsibility to create one.

When Canada ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, among other things it accepted the obligation to establish the office of a National Commissioner for Children and Youth. Six years ago, in its Concluding Observations on Canada’s Third and Fourth Reports on the CRC, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child once again urged Canada to establish such an office.

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CBA influence

What the IRB needs: Transparent appointments, adequate training

By Kim Covert June 20, 2018 20 June 2018

 

The Immigration and Refugee Board is Canada’s largest federal administrative tribunal, and has an important role in the Canadian immigration law landscape.

As such, it’s imperative that IRB members be appointed through a transparent process and trained properly for the roles they have to play, says the CBA’s Immigration Law Section in its contribution to the Citizenship and Immigration Committee’s study of the IRB’s appointment, training and complaints process.

The CBA has called for transparent, accountable and impartial federal tribunals for decades, and recent problems have highlighted the need for improvements, the Section writes, with particular emphasis on enhancing transparency throughout the IRB process.

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CBA influence

A shorter deadline won’t make tax reports more accurate

By Kim Covert June 13, 2018 13 June 2018

 

Taxpayers with foreign affiliates currently have 15 months after the end of their taxation year to file information returns to show their compliance with Canadian taxation of foreign-based income. In the 2018 budget, the federal government announced its intention to shorten that filing deadline to six months beginning in 2019, to bring it in line with the corporate income tax return deadline.

In a submission to the Department of Finance, the Joint Committee on Taxation of the Canadian Bar Association and Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada lays out its argument against this proposed move.

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CBA influence

Abuse of dominance guidelines need work

By Kim Covert June 4, 2018 4 June 2018

 

It’s not always easy to distinguish aggressive-but-pro-competitive business practices from those that are anti-competitive. That’s why the CBA’s Competition Law Section welcomes the Competition Bureau’s draft Abuse of Dominance Enforcement Guidelines as an aid to decision-making in the business community.

That said, the Section says the guidelines could be improved to be more helpful.

“The guidelines sometimes take an inconsistent or expansive view of existing Canadian abuse of dominance jurisprudence,” the Section says.

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Trade law

Can we do business? Making trade deals work for you

By Kim Covert May 31, 2018 31 May 2018

Can we do business? Making trade deals work for you

 

International political arrangements, such as trade deals and sanctions on particular countries, can seem like mazes full of sharp corners and stumbling blocks to the unobservant, but to the savvy in-house lawyer they’re full of opportunities.

That was the main message from members of a panel discussion at this year’s CCCA Conference in Toronto on making the most of trade agreements. International trade lawyer Heather Innes, the former counsel at General Motors, along with LexSage founder Cyndee Todgham Cherniak and Elliot J. Burger, the Director of Global Compliance with ATS Atomation Tooling Systems Inc., covered both the obstacles that international agreements create, and the doors they open.

“You’re not just lawyers, you’re strategic business partners,” Innes told the audience. In-house counsel are uniquely placed to understand laws, policies and international relationships, how they can change, and how those changes can benefit the organization.

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