Law Times

February 23, 2009

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

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TitlePLUS title insurance and you, together we have all the tools TitlePLUS title insurance and you, together we have all the tools. McKELLAR STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS INC. www.mckellar.com 1-800-265-8381 www.mckellar.com $3.55 • Vol. 20, No. 6 ckellar_LT_Jan14_08.indd 1 1/8/08 3:03:02 PM Inside This Issue 5 Raise Internet Profile 7 The Hill 9 Focus On International/ Cross-Border Law Quote of the week "My feeling is that there's more consistency across the board in this country, and that Canadian lawyers tend to conduct themselves similarly because our courts' expectation of conduct varies less than it does in the U.S." –– Jeffrey Leon, partner, Bennett Jones LLP See Wide, page 11 Covering Ontario's Legal Scene titleplus.ca February 23, 2009 tlePlus_LT_Jan26_09.indd 1 Changes risk increased costs for Canadian business be a risk for Canadian business and should be debated as stand-alone legislation, says the Canadian Bar Association. John Bodrug, chairman of the CBA's na- tional competition law section, has sent a pair of letters to the government to raise concerns about proposed Competition Act changes. The first letter was sent Feb. 3, three days be- fore the amendments were cited as Part 12 of bill C-10, the budget implementation act. The latest letter was sent on Feb. 13, one day after a second reading of bill C-10. The second letter acknowledged the CBA's sup- port for elements of the act changes, but said that the legislation should be severed and debated on its own merit. "The proposed amendments in Part 12 are so far-reaching and technically complex that amendments to the Competition Act should be decoupled from bill C-10 and given separate and careful consideration as a stand-alone bill," Bodrug wrote in the let- ter to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Industry Minister Tony Clement. "This is necessary to avoid the risk of unintended consequences, including the imposition of significant and unnecessary costs on Canadi- an businesses of all sizes. Consumers will not benefit from the imposition of unnecessary costs and uncertainties on Canadian business." Despite the letter, it is unlikely the government would be willing to parse the Competition Act CBA urges Competition Act debate C BY KELLY HARRIS Law Times ompetition Act changes introduced as part of the federal government's budget implementation bill could part of the budget act, will not be amended. "Those recommendations encourage in- vestment in Canada while protecting con- sumers and safeguarding Canada's national interests as it reads in the budget," Store- shaw says. "So the fact that these recom- mendations are being put forth in a budget implementation act, given that they were explicitly referenced in the budget, isn't un- usual in any way." One such amendment that has raised the ire of several competition lawyers is the proposed U.S.-style two-stage merger review process. Canada presently employs a merger review system that can take a maximum of 42 days –– absent court orders or agreements. The competition commis- sioner can go to the Competition Tribu- nal to seek a continuance if she can show that she needs more time to conduct an inquiry into the merger. Under the new two-stage, or second re- John Bodrug, chairman of the CBA's national competi- tion law section, sent two letters to Ottawa raising concerns over proposed Competition Act changes. sections from the bill. Mike Storeshaw, director of communications for Finance Minister Flaherty, says the amendments were part of the Competition Policy Review Panel headed by Red Wilson and, as quest process, the initial review will take 30 days and give the commissioner of compe- tition the power to require a second period that lasts for an additional 30 days after full compliance of a request for documents. This would mean that the commissioner of competition could delay the closing of any transaction and that there would be no judicial oversight. The two-stage merger review system prompted the first letter sent to Ron Park- er, senior assistant deputy minister of the policy sector with Industry Canada, on Feb. 3, asking for a full consultation process to look at See Debate, page 2 Feds reject all recommendations on judicial compensation BY TIM NAUMETZ For Law Times OTTAWA – The Harper govern- ment has not only rejected an inde- pendent commission's call for judicial salary hikes, but also turned down all other changes the panel recom- mended, Law Times has learned. The unexpected development has surprised members of the legal and academic community, who were expecting Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to table legislation that would reveal details of the gov- ernment's belated response to the Judicial Compensation and Ben- efits Commission's May report. A statement Nicholson issued nearly two weeks ago referred only to the salary aspects of the quadrennial commission's recommendations, suggesting federally appointed judges might be getting the same level of wage increases public servants were awarded in the January budget. No mention was made of 14 other recommendations, at least four of which would require a bill amending the Judges Act. Those issues included new sal- ary differentials for puisne judges appointed to provincial courts of appeal and to the Federal Court of Appeal; retirement changes for supernumerary judges in the ter- ritorial courts; retirement annui- ties for judges who serve on appeal courts but return to trial courts; and salary parity for the senior family law judge in Ontario. As of last week, judges were still not sure of the details of the government's position, and ex- pected them to be fleshed out in the normal bill that accompanies the government's response to the commission recommendations. But the Justice Department, in response to a Law Times question about the expected legislation, said no bill will be tabled. "Legislation is not required be- cause the government is not imple- menting any changes to judicial salaries," Carole Saindon, a senior communications officer in the department, said in an e-mail. "The statutory indexing cur- rently provided for by the Judges Act will continue," she wrote. "During this period of global economic uncertainty, it is vital the government keeps its sight fixed on sound fiscal management," the e-mail said. "In light of the eco- nomic situation, the government has concluded that it would be unreasonable to implement the in- creases to judges' base salary recom- mended by the commission." The surprise news is that the government is ignoring all 15 recom- mendations from the commission, chaired by Sheila Block, a prominent lawyer with Torys LLP in Toronto. Adam Dodek, a University of Ottawa associate law professor and columnist for Law Times, says the government position is puzzling. "It's not clear what the grounds are for rejecting all these other rec- ommendations," he says. Puisne judges in federally ap- pointed courts are now earning $260,000 annually, and will receive an automatic increase on April 1 this year based on an industrial aggregate compiled by Statistics Canada. The Block commission recom- mended the salary for puisne judges should be set at $264,300, effective April 1, 2008, which includes the statutory indexing that would have taken effect that date. See Politics, page 2 WHICH DIRECTION IS BEST FOR YOU? RainMaker Group 110 Yonge Street, Suite 1101 Toronto, Ontario M5C 1T4 Untitled-7 1 Tel: 416-863-9543 Fax: 416-863-9757 www.rainmakergroup.ca www.lawtimesnews.com 5/29/08 1:05:49 PM 1/20/09 12:14:52 PM

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