Access key materials to help you understand, prepare and respond quickly to the significant challenges posed by COVID-19 in Canada.
To visit our Global COVID-19 Resource Centre, please click here.
Ontario to Move to Next Phase of Reopening on February 17, 2022
February 15, 2022
On February 14, 2022, the Ontario government announced that the province will be moving to the next phase of reopening earlier than anticipated, with further restrictions being eased on February 17, 2022 at 12:01 AM.
Ontario Moves to a Modified Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen
February 4, 2022
On January 20, 2022 the Ontario government announced that the province will move to a modified Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen, pursuant to Ontario Regulation 25/22 Rules for Areas at Step 3 (the “Step 3 Regulation“).
On January 3rd, 2022, the Ontario government announced that, in response to the dangers of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, the province is temporarily moving back into a modified Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen. This is effective Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m., and will last for at least 21 days, subject to trends in public health and health system indicators.
On December 9, 2021, the Ontario Government filed a regulation that extended the COVID-19 Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (“Deemed IDEL“) and the temporary measures previously introduced by O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA“) until July 30, 2022. Further details of these measures were reported in our previous blog post from June 22, 2021.
On December 9, 2021, the Government also extended the temporary paid sick leave available for reasons related to COVID-19 until July 31, 2022. We reported further details on this leave in our blog post from April 30, 2021.
As companies call employees back to the physical workplace, more employers are electing to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies to keep employees safe. In turn, some employees are seeking accommodations for disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs that may prevent them from being vaccinated. What should Canadian employers keep top of mind when handling these requests?
In this In Focus video, our Labour and Employment lawyers share guidelines for Canadian employers to consider as they encounter requests for accommodations from mandatory vaccination policies.
On October 22nd, 2021, the Ontario government announced its plan to gradually lift all public health and workplace safety measures by March, 2022. The plan will be guided by public health indicators, including those tracking new COVID-19 variants, increases in hospitalizations, ICU occupancy and rapid increases in transmission.
As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination and photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. In response to the requirement, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “OHRC”) published a Policy Statement (“Policy”) clarifying the implications of vaccination mandates on human rights as it relates to the provincial mandate and generally for all organizations.
Remote Working from Outside of the Jurisdiction: The Pandemic and Beyond
September 21, 2021
In this Quick Chat video, Baker McKenzie’s Labour and Employment, Global Immigration and Mobility, and Tax lawyers review the wide variety of legal issues for Canadian employers to consider regarding a temporary or permanent remote work opportunity outside of the province of the employment agreement and provide tips on how employers can offer employees flexibility while remaining compliant with employment, immigration and tax requirements.
When world economies face challenges, employment litigation claims of all types arise. In this In Focus video, our Labour and Employment lawyers discuss the range of trending COVID-19 related employment claims and cases and share what Canadian employers can do to best position themselves to manage impending litigation.
Federal Government Announces Extension of COVID-19 Supports
August 11, 2021
On July 30, 2021, the Federal Government announced its proposal to extend certain COVID-19 support programs, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”), Canada Recovery Benefit (“CRB”), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit until October 23, 2021.
On June 29, 2021, the Federal Government passed Bill C-30, Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1, introducing a number of changes impacting federally regulated workplaces and extending existing COVID-19 related economic measures.
On July 9, 2021, the Ontario government announced that the province will enter Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16, 2021, five days earlier than expected.
On June 24, 2021, the Ontario government announced that the province will enter Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen two days earlier than expected, at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
On June 4, 2021, the Ontario Government announced that the “COVID-19 Period” and the temporary measures introduced by O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (the “Regulation”) under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) have been extended until September 25, 2021.
We are pleased to share with you the BNN Bloomberg interview, “Workers will be required to return to the office if their employer wants them to.” Kevin Coon discusses the realities of bringing people back into the workplace post the COVID-19 pandemic. He notes a hybrid model is likely to be put in place as most employers now see the benefits of flexible work practices.
On May 20, 2021, the government of British Columbia passed Bill 13, Employment Standards Amendment Act (No. 2), 2021, which amends the Employment Standards Act, 1996 to provide employees with three days of paid sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19, as well as a permanent paid sick leave for any illness or injury.
On May 20, 2021, the Ontario government announced a “Three-Step Roadmap to Safely Reopen the Province” which outlines its plan to gradually lift COVID-19 public health restrictions based on province-wide vaccination rates and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. The full announcement can be found here, which includes a link to the Roadmap.
As COVID-19 vaccines become more readily available across Canada, employers have questions about how this changes the return to the workplace. In this Quick Chat video, our Labour and Employment lawyers discuss the vaccine policies and procedures being adopted by companies operating in Canada, as well as the legal and practical considerations to address.
On May 13, 2021, the Ontario government announced that it will extend the province-wide Stay-at-Home Order (O. Reg. 265/21) by two weeks, until June 2, 2021. The government announced that all public health and workplace safety measures under the province-wide emergency brake will remain in effect during this time.
Following almost a year of uncertainty, the Ontario Superior Court finally clarified that temporary layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic can amount to constructive dismissal under the common-law. Ontario employers should take note of this important decision if they have or are considering temporary staffing cuts, including temporary reductions in hours.
On April 29, 2021, the Ontario government passed Bill 284, COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, 2021 amending the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) to require employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid leave if they miss work for reasons related to COVID-19. The entitlement is retroactive to April 19, 2021 and will end on September 25, 2021, with the possibility that it might be extended.
The Toronto class order made pursuant to Section 22 (5.0.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (“Toronto Order“), which can be found here, requires owners, operators or occupiers of a business to notify Toronto Public Health via the online COVID-19 Workplace Reporting Tool as soon as they become aware of 5 or more COVID infections in the workplace within a 14-calendar-day period. The Toronto Order grants discretion to the City to order a full or partial closure of the workplace, or shift/work area mass dismissal, when there has been 5 or more confirmed or probable COVID cases within a 14-calendar-day period.
On April 7, 2021, in response to a rise in COVID-19 infections, the Ontario government declared a third provincial emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and has issued a second Stay-at-Home-Order (“Order“), effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. The new Order is fundamentally the same as Ontario’s last Stay-at-Home Order, but comes on the heels of the province-wide “emergency brake” which came into effect on April 3, 2021.
Government benefits and guidance relating to COVID-19 are being introduced quickly and are rapidly evolving. Earlier this month, the Government of Canada amended existing legislation to extend access to certain recovery benefits and published accessibility guidelines to help employers remove barriers for persons with disabilities during the pandemic.
We are pleased to share with you the BNN Bloomberg interview, “Workers might need to give up some rights to privacy on being vaccinated.” Kevin Coon addresses vaccination issues in the workplace, including whether people will be able to work without getting vaccinated.
To ensure Ontario employers are up-to-date, we outline two new developments affecting businesses operating during the COVID-19 pandemic below, including:
- the implementation of enhanced COVID-19 outbreak protocols for workplaces in the City of Toronto; and
- revisions to the COVID-19 screening tool required for Ontario employees.
Ontario’s COVID-19 “Safety Plans” for Businesses
March 6, 2021
In November 2020, Ontario updated its regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, requiring businesses in certain designated public health zones to develop a “safety plan” in response to COVID-19. Since then, the Ontario government’s guidance has been updated, and safety plan requirements have been extended to businesses in all public health zones, including those in “Green-Prevent Zones” and “Lockdown Zones”.
This is an update to our recent blog post summarizing Ontario’s required COVID-19 workplace screening tool for businesses.
To recap, the Ontario Government requires most Ontario businesses and organizations to implement particular workplace screening questions, requiring workers and essential visitors to complete a medical questionnaire before entering the workplace each day. These requirements have been established under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
On January 12, 2021, the Government of Ontario declared a second state of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the government issued a province-wide Stay-at-Home Order and amended O. Reg. 82/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (“Stage 1 Rules”) to introduce stricter lockdown measures starting January 14, 2021.
Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2020
December 31, 2020
To ring in the New Year, we highlight the ten most significant developments in Canadian labour and employment law in 2020.
Last week, the Ontario Government amended O.Reg. 228/20 to extend deemed infectious disease emergency leave (“IDEL”) under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA“) from January 2, 2021 to July 3, 2021.
Last week, the Ontario government passed its latest budget bill, Bill 229: Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020 (“Bill 229”). Bill 229 implements initiatives contained in Ontario’s 2020 budget through amendments to existing statutes.
WEBINAR: Canadian Employer Update (2 Part Series)
December 15, 2020
2020 has posed unprecedented challenges for Canadian Employers. We know that in addition to keeping your employees safe and maintaining business continuity, it’s a challenge to keep track of all the changes to the employment law landscape in Canada.
These two, 60 minute virtual sessions are designed to help you stay abreast of what changed in 2020 and be prepared for what’s on the horizon in 2021.
Learn more and register.
In November 2020, Canada introduced new federal privacy legislation that, if adopted, will create one of the strictest data protection regimes in the world, accompanied by some of the most severe financial penalties, rivalling the standards in Europe and California. Companies with a connection to Canada will need to build the new federal law, and applicable provincial laws, into their global compliance strategy.
A recent decision from Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal held that official marks do not enjoy any special protections against claims that they infringe on regular trademarks, so long as those trademarks were registered before the relevant official marks. Despite the special status for official marks in Canadian law, holders of official marks may nevertheless be liable for damages for trademark infringement.
On 8 October 2020, the Government of Ontario tabled the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2020 (Bill 213) for its second reading. Bill 213 introduces red tape reduction and regulatory modernization efforts to make Ontario more competitive. Among the changes proposed are amendments to the Business Corporations Act (Ontario) (OBCA) which would eliminate director residency requirements for Ontario corporations, and permit written shareholder resolutions to be effective if signed by a majority of votes rather than a unanimity of shareholders.
On July 2, 2020, the Government of Canada released a much-anticipated discussion paper on the proposed Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System. The paper clarifies how protocols for carbon offset credits will be developed for eight shortlisted project types – advanced refrigeration systems, aerobic composting of organic waste, afforestation/restoration, anaerobic digestion, improved forest management, landfill methane management, livestock manure management, and soil organic carbon.
The Canadian government has temporarily extended three key time limits applicable under the national security provisions of the Investment Canada Act (ICA), potentially introducing more uncertainty for foreign investors and impacting deal timelines for transactions involving Canada. The extended time limits will apply to most transactions implemented or subject to a filing under the ICA between 31 July and 31 December 2020.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Extension
July 20, 2020
On July 17, 2020, the Canadian government announced the proposed extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until December 19, 2020, and provided details regarding proposed changes to the program for claim periods between July 5, 2020 and November 21, 2020 (periods 5 to 9). The proposed extension and changes have not yet been enacted into law, but are anticipated to be shortly.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the global economy, governments around the world have responded with a variety of measures designed to protect national interests and strengthen their ability to control foreign investment. Canada has been no exception. The Canadian government has taken measures to enhance its foreign investment review capabilities during the pandemic, and is currently contemplating a number of additional measures.
The purpose of this Update No. 4, and future updates as the COVID-19 situation evolves, is to provide affected parties with timely information about how COVID-19 is impacting Canadian intellectual property.
This Update No. 4 covers updated guidance from: the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO); the Federal Court of Appeal; and the Federal Court.
Baker McKenzie experts from Canada, US and Mexico deliver a 75-minute session to understand the impact of the agreement from a customs perspective in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists discuss the agreement’s most pressing issues in the customs landscape, including changes in rules of origin, documentation requirements, advance rulings and verification procedures.
To view a recording of the webinar, click here.
Join us on Friday, May 29 for our fourth COVID-19 webinar session as we discuss the challenges Canadian employers will face when bringing employees back into the workplace while maintaining appropriate safety.
This webinar will provide practical guidance that employers can draw upon and adapt for their specific workplaces. Our speakers will break down common employment-related issues employers should consider when: Planning a reopening playbook; Planning the return to work process; Implementing the return to work process; and Operating in a changed environment.
To view a recording of the webinar, click here.
Canada Revenue Agency has finally released some guidance on the Canadian income tax status of non-resident individuals who are present in Canada as a result of COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
In this last installment of The Canadian Employers’ Reopening Playbook, we identify common challenges employers faced at the onset of the pandemic and provide guidance on how employers can be better prepared to minimize the impact of our changed environment or a subsequent wave of COVID-19.
In this installment of The Canadian Employers’ Reopening Playbook we discuss complex legal and practical considerations to return workforces to “COVID-prepared” workplaces.
At the end of April, the Canadian federal government announced that rent relief was on the way for small business tenants impacted by COVID-19 closures in the form of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (“CECRA”) program. CECRA is a joint initiative between federal and provincial governments to provide small business tenants with rent relief for April, May and June, 2020.
This installment of The Canadian Employers’ Reopening Playbook will address key issues employers should consider when planning to reopen physical workspaces.
This series will break down common employment-related issues to consider when: Planning the return to work process; Implementing the return to work process; and Operating in a changed environment.
On May 20, 2020, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published additional measures that provide investment funds and non-investment fund issuers with temporary relief from certain regulatory filings and delivery obligations. These have been implemented across Canadian jurisdictions through harmonized local blanket orders (including Ontario Instrument 51-505 and Ontario Instrument 81-505).
Global Restructuring and Insolvency Guide
May 14, 2020
This Guide has been compiled by Baker McKenzie lawyers experienced in the practical aspects of restructuring and insolvency. It should provide you with a helpful reference tool to understand the numerous insolvency and restructuring regimes that may affect your business. In this edition, we also answer the questions we most frequently receive regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the insolvency landscape.
Click here to open the Canada section of the Guide.
The purpose of this Update #3, and future updates as the COVID-19 situation evolves, is to provide affected parties with timely information about how COVID-19 is impacting Canadian intellectual property. This Update covers updated guidance from: the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO); the Federal Court of Appeal; and the Federal Court.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented shock to the global economy, prompting, among other things, competition law enforcers to reassess how they approach competitor collaborations. In particular, many regulatory agencies have implemented policies aimed at assisting businesses in their efforts to mitigate supply chain disruptions and other effects while ensuring that essential goods and services are available to those who need them.
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced on May 1, 2020 that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are providing reporting issuers temporary blanket relief until December 31, 2020 from certain continuous disclosure obligations which are generally tied to the filing and sending of materials for annual general meetings (AGMs). These measures are in addition to prior changes to AGM requirements detailed in our Client Alert published on March 20, 2020 (available here)
As the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the world, various businesses and major economies are facing unprecedented obstacles, which often require resolution via litigation or arbitration. Courts around the country are essentially shut down. Given travel limitations and other restrictions that now preclude physical “face-to-face” meetings, is arbitration similarly affected?
Seasoned Baker McKenzie international arbitration practitioners address the key concepts that must be considered
As Ontario prepares to reopen the economy, the province is providing employers with safety guidelines to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19. The guidelines provide practical recommendations so that employers reopen in a safe and responsible way.
On April 25, 2020, the Ontario government announced that it is providing frontline staff with a temporary pandemic payment. The payment compensates frontline workers for dedication, long hours, and increased risk while working to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
The availability of business interruption insurance to cover losses sustained as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic will no doubt occupy the Courts in the period ahead. Business owners who cannot access or use their premises due to the Pandemic would be well advised to promptly have counsel consider the specific terms of any insurance policies in place.
The increase in legal and regulatory measures arising out of COVID-19 is truly proportional to the growth of the pandemic itself. Although the measures affect all industries, many of these have direct implications and relevance on the healthcare and life sciences sectors. While some industries and services are forced to shut down, companies in the healthcare and life sciences ambit are pushed to work even harder, innovate faster, collaborate and be resilient at an unprecedented pace.
Find Canada specific information starting on page 140 of the report. Learn more.
As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions continues to evolve, the Canadian government, consistent with other governments around the world, has announced an enhanced policy for the regulation of certain foreign investments.
Effective immediately, the policy applies to investments of any value related to public health or critical goods and services, or by state-owned enterprises or private investors subject to foreign government influence.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is providing temporary relief to market participants by waiving all late fees that accumulate between April 17, 2020 and June 1, 2020. This announcement follows the granting of blanket exemptive relief by the OSC, which is further described here. No late fees accrue for qualifying market participants availing themselves of such blanket relief by meeting the new extended filing deadlines.
On April 11, 2020, the federal government passed Bill C-14, amending the Income Tax Act to create the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. The subsidy provides financial support to eligible employers for wages paid to eligible employees for the period from March 15, 2020 to June 6, 2020.
Join our speakers Jeremy Hann, Stephanie Dewey and Jonathan Cocker as our Employment and Compensation and Tax Groups partner to explore some of the details of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and also answer some burning practical questions that have arisen along with the new legislation.
To view a recording of the webinar, click here.
Force Majeure Tracker
April 16, 2020
This guide has been prepared to address the substantial business and operational disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the unexpected nature of the outbreak, parties to commercial contracts may seek to invoke force majeure or similar legal concepts to excuse delay or non-performance. This guide gives a high-level comparative analysis of force majeure in 28 jurisdictions including Canada, together with alternative remedies that may apply depending on the governing law of the relevant contracts. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our practitioners listed throughout the document.
Update #2: COVID-19 and Canadian Intellectual Property
April 16, 2020
Last week, we released our first update, which can be found here.
The purpose of this update, and future updates as the COVID-19 situation evolves, is to provide affected parties with timely information about how COVID-19 is impacting Canadian intellectual property.
COVID-19: Government Intervention Schemes Guide
April 15, 2020
Countries around the globe are facing unprecedented and rapid change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government Intervention Schemes Guide provides a summary of key government intervention measures across jurisdictions around the globe.
Find Canada specific information starting on page 68 of the report. Learn more.
During these unprecedented times, most businesses are faced with tough decisions as to whether to temporarily stop operations (e.g., because a state of emergency has been declared and they do not qualify as essential), switch to different business models or, if they remain open, implement new procedures to keep employees and the general public safe. Staying connected with one’s customers and suppliers has now become even more important and most businesses have been providing frequent e-mail and text message updates regarding the state of their operations.
On March 13, 2020, the Government of Canada announced its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Among the various measures to support businesses laid out in the Economic Response Plan are two credit access programs to facilitate extraordinary lending measures to Canadian businesses: the Business Credit Availability Program and the Canada Emergency Business Account. Both programs are to be accessed through the Canadian financial institution that is the primary lender to the business. Additional details regarding these programs are expected to continue to be provided.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Oil & Gas Industry
April 14, 2020
Many participants in the oil and gas industry will have experienced déjà vu as oil prices have once again crashed, this time due to the demand destruction associated with COVID-19 and the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
What path lies ahead for the industry in the coming months and years? In this alert, we set out a few thoughts (and some questions) to help oil and gas companies navigate the current landscape.
The current COVID-19 market environment presents unique circumstances to companies and investors who may, as a result of the tumultuous markets and the financial and personal effects of COVID-19, have opportunities to acquire distressed businesses at potentially depressed prices. Particularly in this market environment, though, one or more of the following scenarios may apply.
Special Report: COVID-19: Impact on (the Other) TP
April 7, 2020
The impact of COVID-19 has been profound. Companies are facing disruptions to supply chains, customer demand, operations and output, and are being confronted with liquidity concerns. In many cases, governments across the world have announced tax provisions and other programs to dampen economic hardships and free much needed cash resources.
We invite you to read our Special Report, COVID-19: Impact on (the Other) TP, which Baker McKenzie has produced in partnership with Bloomberg Tax and Accounting. This report identifies the most critical transfer pricing issues companies should be analyzing now.
COVID-19 and Canadian Intellectual Property
April 6, 2020
The virus termed “COVID-19” by the World Health Organization (WHO) reached the shores of Canada in March, after sweeping through Asia and Europe.
Canada’s governments, federal and sub-national, are taking extraordinary measures to try to contain the spread of COVID-19, and, as a result, business is not as usually in Canada – including services from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and the Courts.
On April 1, 2020, the Canadian government provided further details about its plan to help Canadian employers by providing a 3-month, 75% wage subsidy, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
Parliament will likely soon be recalled to consider, debate, and pass legislation to create the wage subsidy program. For now, the preliminary plan for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is as follows.
Pricing Goods and Services in the Time of COVID-19: Canadian Government Measures Against Price-Gouging
April 3, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, in addition to responding to government closure orders, many retailers and their suppliers are grappling with the impact on supply chains, and corresponding implications for pricing of products and services to consumers. Given spikes in demand and some consumers’ willingness to pay any price for personal hygiene and safety products in particular, some retailers have taken advantage of the situation by drastically increasing the price of these and other products and services, leading to calls for government to take action to protect consumers.
COVID-19 Global Employer Guide
April 3, 2020
Our Global Employment and Compensation Team is pleased to provide you with this global guide to 11 key issues facing employers amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. This guide covers 42 jurisdictions across the globe and deals with some of the most pressing issues employers are currently faced with, including the latest country updates from the past couple of days.
For Canada-specific information, refer to the Canada section (p. 135-138). Learn more.
IIROC announces COVID-19 Related Exemptions from IIROC Rules
April 2, 2020
On March 31, 2020, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) approved exemptive relief relating to hardships dealer members are experiencing in complying with IIROC Dealer Member Rules (DMRs). The relief relates to client document approvals, timelines for reporting, audit procedures, pre-approval requirements and supervision requirements, among others.
WEBINAR – COVID-19: What Canadian Employers Need to Know (Session 2)
April 2, 2020
As news on COVID-19 develops minute-by-minute around the globe, Baker McKenzie’s Employment and Compensation practice remains at the forefront of employment legal guidance.
In this webinar series, our team will help you understand your obligations and provide practical advice on employment law and immigration issues. Join us for our next session where lawyers Kevin Coon, Mark Ellis, Jeremy Hann, Jennifer Bernardo and Claire-Marie Colantuoni will address the latest developments to help you navigate the global COVID-19 crisis.
To view a recording of the webinar, click here.
2020 Ontario Fiscal Update and Federal / Quebec Sales Tax Updates
March 30, 2020
The Province of Ontario announced a fiscal update on March 25, 2020. In addition to numerous personal relief measures and increased funding for health care resources, the following measures in response to COVID-19 in support of businesses are notable.
The Law of E-Signatures in the United States and Canada
March 30, 2020
The first modern electronic signature (or “e-signature”) laws are now 20 years old and in dire need of an upgrade. Nevertheless, in this article, we provide a high-level summary of the laws in place in the US and Canada that deal with electronic signatures (or “e-signatures”) and electronic records. This article accompanies another article titled “How to Execute Contracts Electronically While Working From Home” which provides practical guidelines for ensuring the transactions you conclude from home are valid and enforceable.
How to Execute Contracts Electronically While Working From Home
March 30, 2020
Nearly every large business in North America has implemented some form of “work-from-home” procedure in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Under current circumstances, where large swaths of the business world are adapting to a remote work environment, people negotiating deals from their home offices are faced with the question of how to make sure the contracts they sign electronically are legally binding.
WEBINAR – COVID-19: What Canadian Employers Need to Know
March 26, 2020
As news on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) develops minute-by-minute around the globe and the outbreak has been officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, Baker McKenzie’s Employment and Compensation practice remains at the forefront of employment legal guidance.
In this timely 1-hour webinar, our lawyers George Avraam, Andrew Shaw, Jennifer Bernardo, Claire-Marie Colantuoni and Stephanie MacIntosh will help you understand your obligations and provide practical advice on employment law and immigration issues, as we navigate the global COVID-19 crisis.
To view a recording of the webinar, click here.
Canadian Tax Measures in Response to COVID-19
March 25, 2020
The Canadian federal, provincial and municipal governments and courts have announced measures to provide relief to taxpayers in light of the impact of the restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Updates from the tax authorities include the extension of certain tax filing and payment deadlines, suspension of most audit activity, postponed budget announcements, and delayed implementation of some previously announced measures.
Keeping the Lights On During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Lessons from Around the Globe
March 24, 2020
COVID-19 and government responses to the growing pandemic are creating unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenges. In the coming days, businesses will need to adapt quickly to the shifting economic and regulatory landscape.
Here is checklist of considerations that business leaders should take into account as they grapple with the impacts of the pandemic.
Dealing with COVID-19: Canadian Public Companies Update
March 24, 2020
On March 23, 2020, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the TMX Group separately announced partial temporary blanket relief. These announcements are in addition to measures already put in place by Canadian financial regulators and stock exchanges as a result of COVID-19.
On March 18, 2020, the Canadian and US governments announced that the Canada-US border will be closing to all non-essential travel between Canada and the USA, such as travel for tourism or recreation. These border restrictions took effect on March 21, 2020, and will be in place for at least 30 days. Both governments have indicated that today’s announcement is not intended to restrict commerce and trade. Cross-border entry will continue to be permitted to maintain essential services and supply chain processes.
Further to the measures detailed in our Client Alert published earlier this week (available here), the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced on March 20, 2020 that they are providing reporting issuers additional flexibility to change the date, time or location of an in-person annual general meeting (AGM), or to hold virtual or hybrid AGMs.
Dealing with COVID-19: What Now for US and Canadian Public Companies?
March 19, 2020
In response to the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), US and Canadian securities regulators have taken actions and provided guidance to facilitate the public company annual shareholder meeting process and to provide limited relief for public companies unable to meet filing deadlines due to COVID-19.
Federal Government Restricts Border COVID-19 Update: Federal Government Restricts Border Crossings and Announces Measures to Assist Canadian Employers and Employees
March 19, 2020
Below is a summary of the employment-related measures that have been confirmed so far. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we anticipate further changes and clarifications in the coming days. We are monitoring the situation closely, and will continue to communicate updates as soon as they become available.
Update on COVID-19: Impact on the Workplace in Ontario
March 18, 2020
The Government of Ontario declared a province-wide state of emergency in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. This will impact employers and employees.
Employers are recommended to issue a temporary layoff to impacted employees, complete the Record of Employment and indicate the reason as “lack of work due to Emergency Decree and COVID 19”. This will allow employees to receive Employment Insurance.
For companies that are considering issuing a force majeure notice, or those anticipating that their contractual counterparties may do so, our team from the Litigation & Government Enforcement Practice Group provides answers to key questions on how these types of clauses are treated by Canadian courts (excluding Quebec).