Canadian Lawyer

August 2019

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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UPFRONT 6 www.canadianlawyermag.com WEST UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS Trans Mountain Pipeline approved by federal government The NDP government of B.C. had passed amendments to the province's Environmental Management Act, which would require bitumen being shipped through the province to port from Alberta be given a hazardous substance permit at the discretion of a director under the act. The court found the amendments would restrict an interprovincial undertaking and were unrelated to the relevant subjects of exclusive provincial legislation. The "disappointing" ruling bucks a near-three- decade trend in co-operative federalism, says Greg McDade, counsel for the City of Burnaby, an intervenor in the case. B.C.'s real estate owner requirements a huge burden for clients, say lawyers Complying with British Columbia's new real estate owner reporting requirements will create a lot of legal work and raise the price of real estate transactions, lawyers say. The Land Owner Transparency Act is intended to end hidden ownership of real estate in B.C. and increase tax revenue from the sector by creating a public registry. Much of B.C.'s highly priced land is owned by mysterious numbered companies, offshore entities and trusts, which are used to hide wealth, evade the tax man and wash dirty money, said a government press release. Alberta labour law reform proposes cuts to overtime pay Under the Employment Standards Code, employees and management can make an overtime agreement whereby the former is given paid time off instead of overtime pay. The UCP's changes would calculate the paid time off at one hour for every hour of overtime worked, whereas, currently, employers must shell out one-and-a-half hours worth of pay for every hour worked of overtime. The bill's other changes include restoring a mandatory secret ballot for union certification votes, eliminating holiday pay if the holiday lands on an off day and lowering the minimum wage for workers between 13 and 17 years old. Saskatchewan increasing domestic violence leave The Saskatchewan Employment (Support for Victims of Domestic Violence) Amendment Act will give a victim of domestic violence who has been employed for a minimum of 90 days up to 10 days off — which an employee can take all at once or intermittently — or leave of up to 17 weeks taken all at once. The act also allows for up to five days of paid leave. According to Statistics Canada, after the territories, Saskatchewan has the highest rate of violence against young women and girls. And as a province known for its agriculture, rates of violence against women and girls is higher in rural areas, says Statistics Canada. Winnipeg law firm leads downtown revitalization Last year, Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP moved out of the offices they'd inhabited for 30 years and into the three top floors of True North Square, a real-estate development by True North Sports and Entertainment, owners of the Winnipeg Jets. Bell MTS Place – where the Jets play – is right down the street. Keith LaBossiere, CEO and Managing Partner of the firm, says the move takes place as Winnipeg's downtown is on the upswing. "There are cranes in all directions," he says. The annual Canadian Lawyer Corporate Counsel Survey ATTENTION IN-HOUSE COUNSEL! Weigh in on relationships with external law firms. Survey is open from August 8 – 26 canadianlawyermag.com/surveys

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