February 2015 Section Updates

  • February 01, 2015

Keep Current A review of provincial Section meetings

Social Justice

Meeting in Review: November 26, 2014
Speakers: Mary Childs, Partner, Ethos Law Group LLP and Seth Klein, Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC Office
Topic: Recent Legal Challenges to Social Justice Organizations

Social JusticeOn November 26, 2014, the Social Justice Section hosted a meeting highlighting challenges to social justice organizations posed by recent government actions. Guest speaker Mary Childs spoke on proposed changes to the BC Society Act, as set out in the BC government’s White Paper released in August 2014. In particular, she described the serious implications of a new remedy set out in s.99 of the draft legislation. If enacted without change, s.99 could have a real chilling effect on the activities of social justice organizations. Seth Klein then presented on the BC Branch of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (the “CCPA-BC”) and its public policy analysis work. Seth also discussed recent audits by the Canadian Revenue Agency, which has been auditing a number of social justice and environmental charities. Seth observed that these audits seem to differ starkly from audits that CCPA-BC has experienced in the past.

Insolvency Law

Meeting in Review: December 1, 2014
Speaker: Kimberley Robertson, Lawson Lundell LLP
Topic: Cross-Country Case Law Update

InsolvencyOn December 1, 2014, Kimberley Robertson of Lawson Lundell LLP presented to the Insolvency Law Section. She provided an overview of some notable cases to come out of insolvency proceedings from across the country over the last year or so. Many of the cases involved some aspect of professional development, such as preparation of court materials, practice points, cost of proceedings and professional costs and client management. These issues formed the basis of the discussion led by Ms. Robertson who highlighted many of the “take away” practice points to come from these decisions. A copy of Ms. Robertson’s paper “2014 Cross Country Recap” can be found online with the meeting minutes.

Public Sector Lawyers

Meeting in Review: December 3, 2014
Speakers: David J. Bilinsky, Practice Management Advisor, Law Society of BC; Kyle Friesen, Legal Advisory Section, RCMP Pacific Region, DOJ Canada; and Ron Usher, The Society of Notaries Public of BC
Topic: Freemen on the Land: Tips for dealing with organized anti-government litigants

On December 3, 2014, the Public Sector Lawyers Section hosted a meeting in Vancouver broadcasting to members of their Section in Victoria and across the province on the topic “Freeman on the Land.” The speakers explained their experience and understanding of the Freemen on the Land movement and some sources for the movement in Canada. Some of the pseudo-legal concepts and methods used by this group of litigants were identified and steps to take in response outlined. The Meads case, where Associate Chief Justice Rooke of the Alberta Queen’s Bench coined the collective term “Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument” (OPCA) litigants to distinguish them from the more usual types of vexatious litigants, was referenced and practice advice was given on how lawyers can identify documents and arguments that are connected with this movement and the steps to take when faced with these types of litigants. The connections to mental health, access to justice, the Internet and other issues were discussed. The webinar recording is available online.

Taxation Law

Meeting in Review: December 10, 2014
Speakers: Stanley C. Ruchelman and Kenneth Lobo, Ruchelman P.L.L.C
Topic: The Life of an Outbound Investment from the U.S. into Canada—U.S. Tax Issues Commonly Encountered

TaxationThe Tax Section welcomed very special guests from New York and Toronto on December 10, 2014. Stanley Ruchelman and Kenneth Lobo of Ruchelman P.L.L.C. presented on the Life of an Outbound Investment from the U.S. into Canada. Attendees were treated to an entertaining synopsis of the U.S. tax principles underlying basic planning strategies commonly encountered in cross-border transactions. The fundamentals of entity classification, asset transfer and phantom income taxation, access to treaty benefits and preservation of losses were addressed and applied to common scenarios. The presentation was geared specifically to Canadian tax practitioners unfamiliar with the Internal Revenue Code, with a view to fostering more effective collaboration between Canadian counsel and their U.S. counterparts.

Upcoming Section Meetings

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