Law Times

July 27, 2015

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Lawyers welcome proposals to reform business laws By Tali Folkins Law Times utdated laws such as the Bulk Sales Act may soon be history if the Ontario government moves on a set of proposals to reform Ontario's business legislation that many law- yers say are long overdue. "Most of this stuff is catch-up and coming into the 21st century late to the party," says Dan Roth- berg of Basman Smith LLP of the report released earlier this month by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. "I wouldn't say it's making us more competitive; it's taking away some of the barriers that made us less competitive." The report originated from the 2015-16 provincial budget in which the government announced it would take another look at On- tario's business law statutes. Sev- eral members of the Ontario Bar Association took part in the panel that prepared the report. The paper conceded that "a comprehensive review of business legislation to ensure that Ontario is competitive hasn't been done for some time" while noting at the same time that the province "is fac- ing both opportunities and chal- lenges as the economy shifts" and that "a responsive legal framework is key to its ability to succeed." The province's business regula- tions lag those of other jurisdictions just as companies find themselves facing stiffer international compe- tition in North American markets, according to the report. The report's recommendations fall under five main themes: estab- lishing a process to keep corporate and commercial law current; mak- ing Ontario a jurisdiction of choice for business; supporting greater market certainty and confidence in market transactions; modernizing laws relating to secured lending and other commercial activity; and facil- itating market activity and promot- ing small-business growth through greater certainty, clarity, and effi- ciency in business legislation. Among the recommendations likely to have the most impact, law- yers say, are proposals to eliminate LEGAL OPINIONS WANTED! COMING SOON The annual Canadian Lawyer Corporate Counsel Survey. This is an opportunity for in-house counsel to weigh in on their relationships with external law firms, alternative fee arrangements and more. Watch for the survey online August 16. Deadline for completing the survey is September 14. | Untitled-1 1 2015-07-22 2:02 PM Assessing the Bill C-51 challenge Lawyers see some prospects for success in case launched last week By Tali Folkins Law Times he strongest element of a constitutional chal- lenge launched last week against Bill C-51 is its argument against the Canadian Security Intel- ligence Service's new special warrant system, says the chairman of the Ontario Bar Associa- tion's constitutional law section. By requiring CSIS to get the approval of a court whenever its proposed activities violate the Charter of Rights and Free- doms or Canadian law, the bill "proposes a radically new way of dealing with judicial authorization," says Ranjan Agarwal. The Supreme Court of Canada, where Agarwal believes the case filed last week will probably end up, is likely to oppose that amendment as it seems bound to burden the courts with Charter-limiting responsibilities traditionally held by Parliament, he suggests. "Our constitutional system allows Parliament to debate and decide to limit Charter rights, with the courts acting as umpire in judging whether those limits are reasonable," he says. "Here, the courts are being asked to pitch and bat rather than call balls and strikes. I think the McLachlin court, which has been very protective of its role and legitimacy in Canada's constitutional system, will balk at these new powers." The challenge, brought before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice by the Canadian Civil Liberties Associa- tion and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, specifi- cally addresses five components of Bill C-51: three sets of amendments to existing laws — the Canadian Security In- telligence Service Act, the Immigration and Refugee Pro- tection Act, and the Criminal Code — and two new pieces of legislation — the Secure Air Travel Act and the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act. The notice of application filed by the two organizations argues that the component of Bill C-51 that amends the CSIS Act "constitutes an extraordinary inversion of the traditional role of the judiciary and the principles of funda- mental justice by asking the judiciary, and not Parliament, to authorize limits on Charter rights as opposed to protecting EmpLoymEnt ContraCts Time to do away with mental gymnastics P6 FOCUS ON Entertainment/Gaming Law P8 'I think the bill will create a chilling effect on radical, aggressive speech, but I think the judicial answer will be to read the provisions narrowly based on the particular facts of any charge,' says Ranjan Agarwal. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Archaic, page 2 See Courts, page 2 Some of the proposed business law reforms should create work for lawyers, says Graham Erion. PM #40762529 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 24 July 27, 2015 Follow LAW TIMES on L AW TIMES T O UNpAid ArtiCliNg Job posting offers transit pass but no pay P5

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