Law Times

October 15, 2018

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PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 29, No. 32 October 15, 2018 L AW TIMES C O V E R I N G O N T A R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W . L A W T I M E S N E W S . C O M Labour law changes to impact lawyers, clients Samantha Seabrook says some of the obligations in Bill 148 placed a financial burden on employers and required them to work hard to get their businesses in line. Photo: Robin Kuniski REAL ESTATE Closing date not essential: ruling P4 DRESS CODES Gendered expectations antiquated P7 FOCUS ON Intellectual Property Law P8 BY AIDAN MACNAB For Law Times L awyers say the Ontario gov- ernment's plan to review and possibly reverse the former Liberals' labour and employment reforms are caus- ing uncertainty with their clients, after implementing reforms that now may never come to pass. On Oct. 2, Premier Doug Ford told the Ontario legislature that his government would eliminate the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, also known as Bill 148. Later that day, the government said the act was still under review. On Sept. 26, Ford's govern- ment said that the minimum wage, which was supposed to be raised to $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2019, will be frozen at the current $14 an hour. Bill 148 had increased the min- imum wage to $14 from $11.60 at the beginning of this year. To keep it at $14, the provincial Progressive Conservatives will first have to pass legislation to that effect. Samantha Seabrook, founder of Seabrook Workplace Law, says the move will impact her clients, who are employers including munici- palities, school boards, technology companies, manufacturers and small business owners. "We don't have a clear signal from the government about what their intentions with Bill 148 are," she says. "[W]hat Ontario employers need right now is stability in la- bour and employment legislation." For those advising businesses on compliance with labour stan- dards, the government's path pulls the rug out from under those who have spent time and money imple- menting Bill 148 into their opera- tions, says Seabrook. "Ontario employers stepped up and they began preparing for the implementation of these changes and they've expended a lot of time and resources doing so and if there are going to be more changes, even a repeal, that requires more time and resources to be expended," she says. Jodi Gallagher Healy is a part- ner with Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP in London, Ont. She says her clients, who are exclusively employers, consider Bill 148 an overreach by the previ- ous Liberal government. "Labour law is often like a pen- See Wait, page 2 LawPRO misses out on $83-million exemption BY MICHAEL MCKIERNAN For Law Times L awPRO has missed out on an $83-million windfall af- ter a judge denied the legal indemnity insurer's claim for tax-exempt status. In Lawyers' Professional In- demnity Company v. The Queen, Tax Court of Canada Justice Ste- ven D'Arcy was asked to rule on whether LawPRO, as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Law Soci- ety of Ontario, was entitled to the exemption under paragraph 149 (1) (d.5) of the Income Tax Act for entities owned by a "public body performing a function of govern- ment in Canada." The judge found that the law society was indeed a "public body," but that it "does not perform a function of government in Can- ada" and, as a result, denied Law- PRO's entitlement to the exemp- tion. In its most recent annual re- port, LawPRO explained that it began filing as a tax-exempt or- ganization in 2014 following 2013 amendments to the Income Tax Act that extended the definition of the status in paragraph 149 (1) (d.5). Previously only available to certain municipally owned subsid- iaries, the changes made it possible for similar subsidiaries of "public bodies performing a function of government in Canada" to claim the exemption. "After completing a detailed and careful evaluation of the ap- plicability of the new provisions," LawPRO believed it was "probable that a refund claim would be suc- cessful," according to its annual report. The legislative changes were made retroactive to tax years after 2000, and LawPRO's report said it hoped not only to capitalize on ongoing future income tax sav- ings but also to take advantage of a full retrospective exemption. That could have meant a refund for the $83,624,761 the company paid in income tax between 2001 See Appeal, page 2 Follow Legal News at Your Fingertips Sign up for Canadian Legal Newswire today for free and enjoy great content. Visit newswire-subscribe ntitled-4 1 2018-09-12 11:32 AM David Rotfleisch says a recent Tax Court of Canada decision was a very technical one. FOUNDING PARTNER COCKTAIL SPONSOR BRONZE SPONSOR THE E B O L G AND MAIL MEDIA PARTNER Honouring Canada's Leading Lawyers Under 40 – from law firms and in-house. Thursday, November 8 th , 2018 | The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto KEYNOTE SPEAKER | Kathleen Taylor, Chair of the Board, RBC Untitled-3 1 2018-10-11 3:21 PM

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