The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

CBA/ABC National

Climate change

Reactions to Ottawa’s national carbon pricing plan

By CBA/ABC National October 7, 2016 7 October 2016

Jason Kroft, Jonathan Drance and Luke Sinclair size up the federal government’s plan to put a price on carbon:

While Trudeau’s Plan emphasized consistency between the provinces and suggested using existing regimes, such as British Columbia’s carbon tax or Ontario’s cap-and-trade, as policy anchors, the Plan doesn't yet adequately account for the fundamental differences between the two methods. The Plan also doesn't yet connect the proposed pricing floor with Canada’s commitments under the Paris Agreement at least not in any tangible way. For example, Alberta’s carbon pricing proposal, embraced by Trudeau’s Plan, aims to keep emissions flat until 2030, a far cry from the required 30% reduction under the Paris Agreement.

Richard Corley, Daniel Gormley and Catherine Lyons explain some of the impracticalities of transitioning to a low-carbon economy in Canada:

The pre-existing provincial carbon pricing models, together with the dim prospects for federal/provincial unanimity on carbon pricing, seems to have tied the federal government’s hands and to have made both the unilateral federal announcement and the return of all carbon revenues to the provinces and territories, necessary elements of the federal model. As a result, further federal action on climate change will have to be regulatory in nature and/or be funded from revenues other than the price on carbon. As the recipients of the carbon revenues, the provinces and territories will have the financial resources, and responsibility, to continue to take on a central role in achieving Canada’s climate change commitments. Under this decentralized model, it may also be more difficult for the federal government to implement carbon border adjustments (for example, as were contemplated by the ill-fated U.S. national (Waxman-Markey) cap and trade bill) which could become a more significant concern as the price on carbon continues to rise.

 

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CBA influence

Let the children go: The detention of immigrants is hard on the kids

By CBA/ABC National October 4, 2016 4 October 2016

Children don’t belong in detention.

That’s the message the CBA along with nearly 400 other signatories sent to the government in an open Statement Against the Immigration Detention of Children, published on Tuesday.

The statement follows on the heels of a report out of the University of Toronto International Human Rights Program that “uncovers the deficient legal underpinnings and detrimental practical implications of child immigration detention in Canada.”

An estimated 242 children were detained in Canada each year between 2010 and 2014 – children who arrived in Canada alone, or with parents who might have been detained for immigration-related reasons.

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Technology

Fintech in Canada gets a boost

By CBA/ABC National October 4, 2016 4 October 2016

 

When we interviewed Christine Duhaime about fintech and the legal industry, she pointed to the UK and Singapore as countries that have shown more flair than others in creating an environment where fintech start-ups, in the early stages, could innovate without having to worry about heavy regulatory oversight. Now the Ontario Securities Commission has announced OSC Launchpad, and plans to open the way for fintech product experimentation with the introduction of a regulatory “sandbox”. OSC invested with a mandate to “tailor regulation and oversight to their unique business models, as long as investor protections are in place.” Making the announcement was OSC chair and CEO, Maureen Jensen:

“Some of the new fintech businesses and platforms don’t fit neatly into our regulatory framework. And some of our requirements may not make any sense in the context of their business,” said Jensen. “We recognize that we have to keep pace with the changes brought on by fintech and not prevent promising business models from coming to market. Our objectives of investor protection and fair and efficient markets are unchanged, but the approach we take needs to evolve.”

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The practice

The omega to the alpha: The key to effective project management

By CBA/ABC National October 3, 2016 3 October 2016

Psst! Hey, lawyers, wanna know the secret to project management? Here it is: The end is the beginning.

That’s not just some banal claptrap meant for Facebook memes featuring misty photos of summer meadows, it’s the way it works. There are no quick fixes, there’s no silver bullet, but it’s guaranteed that if you don’t know where you want to be at the end of the project, you won’t know how to start.

That’s the word from Melissa LaFlair – a lawyer, consultant and certified project management professional.

“You start by understanding what’s the objective, what’s the goal … and then mapping out ways to get there and understanding, particularly, the stakeholders’ objectives and risk tolerance and context, because sometimes the best legal approach isn’t practically what works best for the client’s needs,” says LaFlair, who is one of two people presenting an Oct. 4 Solutions Series webinar on project management.

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CBA Advocacy

CBA on changes to the Privacy Act

By CBA/ABC National September 29, 2016 29 September 2016

On September 27th, Gary Dickson appeared on behalf of the CBA in front of the standing committee on Access to information, privacy and ethics that is reviewing the Federal Privacy Act.  Specifically, the Committee is looking at 16 recommendations made by the Privacy Commissioner, and called for input from organizations and individuals across Canada. In the video, Dickson describes the need for changes in the Privacy Act and what CBA’s recommendations are.

You can read CBA's comments on the recommendations from the Privacy Commisioner for ammendments to the Privacy Act here.

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