Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2021

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

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Page 2 of 43 1 EDITOR'S DESK Both our use of technology and understanding of mental health's importance underwent massive changes during the pandemic. Let's not go back to normal M ost Canadians agree that the end of physical distancing, mask-wearing and endless Zoom meetings is good news as we move out of the pandemic. Other changes brought about by the pandemic are here to stay though, and in many ways, that is good news. Jennifer Suess, general counsel at RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, antici- pates sectors such as apparel, movie theatres and gyms will come back with a vengeance as restrictions lift (p. 36). For Suess, however, it is essential to recognize the need to incorporate e-commerce with the brick-and-mortar shopping experi- ence to maximize the customer and tenant's benefit. "I don't think we've seen the end of retail carnage due to COVID yet," says Paul Morassutti, partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. "COVID accelerated greatly what was already happening gradually." In other words, while retail is back, the pandemic surge in e-commerce is not going away, so companies must continue to invest in e-commerce. Those who do will be better able to maintain the pandemic's e-commerce momentum and genuinely succeed in the new economy. Employee well-being is another area where short-term pandemic changes may also mean long-term improvements. For example, NB Power saw firsthand the effects of COVID fatigue and mental burnout and stress on its employees, says chief legal officer James Petrie (p. 18). So, it set up an online mental health and wellness hub, created an in-house employee helpline, introduced a forum for employees to discuss mental health issues, and retained an employee and family assistance program provider. NB Power is not alone in identifying mental health as a critical priority. Many companies ramped up investments in mental health support during the pandemic because of the extreme strain that employees were experiencing. However, like technological investments, these companies need to stay the course to keep their employees productive and happy. Both our use of technology and understanding of mental health's importance underwent massive changes during the pandemic. But businesses cannot now assume we are going back to normal as we move out of the pandemic. The lessons we learned are now a model for how we can truly move forward. Tim Wilbur, Editor-in-Chief EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilbur Lead Writer Lucy Saddleton Production Editor Patricia Cancilla Writer Elizabeth Raymer Writer Zena Olijnyk Writer Aidan Macnab Writer Bernise Carolino CONTRIBUTOR Ken Fredeen ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Marla Morelos Customer Success Managers Reena Quimosing, Michelle San Juan Global Production Manager Alicia Chin (on leave) Production Co-ordinators Kat Guzman, Loiza Razon SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT VP, Media & Client Strategy Dane Taylor Senior Business Development Manager Steffanie Munroe Business Development Manager Lynda Fenton National Account Executive Abhiram Prabhu CORPORATE President Tim Duce Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Global CEO Mike Shipley Global COO George Walmsley EDITORIAL INQUIRIES SUBSCRIPTIONS CO-ORDINATOR Donnabel Reyes tel: 647 374 4536 ext. 243 ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Canadian Lawyer InHouse is published 6 times a year by Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. KEY MEDIA and the KEY MEDIA logo are trademarks of Key Media IP Limited, and used under licence by Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. CANADIAN LAWYER INHOUSE is a trademark of Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. Information presented is compiled from sources believed to be accurate, however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Canadian Lawyer InHouse disclaims any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect of the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. Publications Mail Agreement #41261516 ISSN 0703-2129 ©2021 GST/HST Registration #799898465 RC-0001 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESS TO: CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 317 Adelaide Street West, Suite 910, Toronto, ON M5V 1P9 Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd 317 Adelaide Street West, Suite 910 Toronto, ON M5V 1P9 tel: +1 416 644 8740 ISSUE 16.04 | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2021

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