Canadian Lawyer InHouse

June/July 2021

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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4 NEWS ROUNDUP REAL-TIME RAIL NEWS BRIEFS Preparing for new partnerships Legal leaders at Interac and Payments Canada navigate Real-Time Rail payments processing system Payments Canada selected Interac Corp. as the successful bidder to build the infra- structure for Real-Time Rail, allowing payments to be processed instantly. The system, scheduled to launch in 2022, will allow instant transfers and settlement of payments between individuals through financial institutions. "Interac is a great brand in the Canadian marketplace that is connected to over 300 of our financial institutions in Canada, so it's a really strong partner to bring that connectivity for Real-Time Rail," says Anne Butler, chief legal officer and vice president of research and policy at Payments Canada. Real-Time Rail will offer many benefits to Canadian consumers and businesses, including live, irrevocable instant payments 24/7, 365 days a year, Butler says. "It enables a kind of innovation on top of the payments system that we haven't had before here in Canada," says Butler. "Businesses will be able to build more products based on the trust of the system and the certainty of that payment moving quickly from financial institution to financial institution." As a 37-year-old network provider, Interac's experience with e-transfer qualifies it as the ideal partner in this project. The legal department at Interac played a significant role in informing negotiations with Payments Canada for the design and operation aspects of the contract between the two partners. As development begins, the legal team will continue to be closely involved in supporting the project. "There will certainly be shifting and adaptation for the legal department as we are in a new role as a vendor to such a critical client," says Tara Elliott, vice president, legal at Interac. "The legal department will play an integral role in the communications out to our organization to really support that understanding and our obligations to Payments Canada and to Canadians, and to really optimize that collective delivery and performance of our obligations." Once the system launches, Elliott and her team will continue to draw on their competitive advantages by supporting Canadians with their specialized knowledge of the new platform and Interac's collaborative corporate culture. "This culture has resulted in superior cross-functional fluency between the groups," says Elliott. "We can speak the tech, and they know how to raise legal issues with us. As we adapt to an overall agile delivery model, it won't be just our tech folks doing that in terms of the RTR exchange. It will also be the legal team." "This culture has resulted in superior cross-functional fluency between the groups." Tara Elliott, Interac Corp. Businesses face tax changes following federal budget The first federal budget in more than two years will see several significant income tax changes affecting Canadian businesses. These suggestions include new rules for interest deductibility, anti- hybrid structure rules, a new digital services tax, new CRA auditing powers and a new reporting regime. However, Peter Macdonald, a partner with Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Ottawa, notes that the government did not accompany many proposals with specific legislation. "Clients may be well served to keep tabs on, as they may want to provide submissions to ensure their voices are heard and increase the probability that their concerns are addressed," says Macdonald. FSRA updates title protection, agent standards The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario has updated the proposed title protection framework for financial planners and advisors and has provided information on its efforts to promote high standards for insurance agent conduct. The authority is proposing certain changes to the Financial Professionals Title Protection Rule and Application Guidance, which seek to shorten the transition period for current title users and to obligate approved credentialing bodies to give the authority the necessary information for the maintenance of a public registry. BLG acquires AUM Law Borden Ladner Gervais LLP says the recent acquisition of a Canadian law firm that offers

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