The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Kim Covert

CBA Influence

Once more unto the breach regulations

By Kim Covert October 26, 2017 26 October 2017

The news of a data security breach can send a chill through your bones. Anyone who’s ever shared sensitive information online is vulnerable, and these days that’s more and more of us – think of the three billion people affected by the breach at Yahoo! this summer.

The federal government is drafting regulations under PIPEDA on how and when to notify people whose information may have been caught up in a breach. They published those draft regulations in the Canada Gazette in September.

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CBA influence

Billed-basis accounting and access to justice: CBA submission

By Kim Covert October 25, 2017 25 October 2017


When the Finance Department released draft legislation in September to limit the use of billed-basis accounting, the CBA was happy to see that the government had acted to address one of the Association’s major concerns with the changes.

When the government announced as part of the 2017 budget that it planned to change billed-basis accounting and the way work in progress is taxed, the CBA said the proposed two-year implementation was far too short, given the amounts of WIP that may be subject to an unanticipated and accelerated tax consequence. The draft legislation will change that implementation period to five years.

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CBA Influence

Privacy at the border: Is a smartphone more like a letter or a briefcase?

By Kim Covert October 19, 2017 19 October 2017

The post-9/11 emphasis on the need for security has exacerbated the difficulty of balancing the individual right of privacy with the state’s right to know, especially at border crossings. And more and more the fulcrum those two balance upon is the personal electronic device, be it a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone.

The credit card used to be the thing we wouldn’t leave home without, these days it’s our electronic devices, particularly smartphones. They have become indispensable when travelling, especially now that travel providers have made tickets and boarding passes available electronically.

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CBA Influence

Something’s gotta give when resources don’t grow with workload

By Kim Covert October 18, 2017 18 October 2017

Canada has opened its doors and its arms and its borders to refugees.

Now it needs to open its wallet.

British Columbia has gone from receiving 725 refugee claims in 2016 to 110 a month in 2016. In Ontario, if the current rate of refugee claimants continues, there could be nearly 5200 by the end of the year, almost double the number in 2015. Across the country, the Immigration and Refugee Board predicts 40,000 new claims by the end of the year.

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CBA influence

Cannabis conundrum: If it’s legal, why treat it like the demon weed?

By Kim Covert October 17, 2017 17 October 2017


The CBA has been a vocal supporter of changing the way the law treats cannabis for nearly 40 years – in our first resolution on the subject, in 1978, the Association urged the government to stop criminalizing simple possession, and also advocated moving marijuana from the Narcotic Control Act to the Food and Drug Act.

While it applauds the intent behind Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, the Criminal Justice Section notes that marijuana use would be far from normalized under the proposed law. In comments on a 2016 discussion paper, the Section noted that the government’s approach might be better described as a step toward “decriminalization” but could not be accurately referred to as “legalization” given its heavy reliance on criminal law.

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