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The Investment Canada Act

By Katya Hodge
November 21, 2014 at 16:42PM Le 21 November 2014 à 16:42PM

Omar Wakil, chair of the CBA National Competition Law Sections’ Foreign Investment Review Committee, appeared this week before the Commons and Senate industry, science and technology committees. He was voicing concerns on proposed amendments to the Investment Canada Act contained in the Omnibus Budget Bill C-43.

The ICA generally requires a non-Canadian investor that acquires direct control of a Canadian corporation doing business in the country to get approval first from Industry Canada if the total worldwide value of the assets of the target is over C$330 million.

The government is proposing a national security review process that has raised concerns among members in the CBA's National Competition Law Section. In the above video interview Wakil gives us a rundown.

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Careful before sharing, cont'd

By Yves Faguy
November 21, 2014 at 13:40PM Le 21 November 2014 à 13:40PM

The Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Wakeling has plenty in it for us to consider.  Léonid Sirota, for his part, tries to take the Court's pulse on privacy:

The 1-3-3 split in Wakeling, following similar multi-way splits in cases such as R v Tse, 2012 SCC 16, [2012] 1 SCR 531, and R. v. TELUS Communications Co., 2013 SCC 16, [2013] 2 SCR 3, seems to indicate that s. 8 and privacy rights more broadly remain an area on which the Supreme Court, so inclined towards consensus on most topics, still cannot agree. Yet it is worth noting that the splits do not involve consistent “camps” that would suggest irreconcilable differences of views. Indeed, in Wakeling, Justices Moldaver and Karakatsanis go out of their way to acknowledge each other’s concerns ― to an extent remarkable even by the Court’s usually polite standards.

This, to me, seems to suggest that we are in an area of reasonable disagreement between people debating in good faith. And that, in turn, might mean that Justice Moldaver’s and the Chief Justice’s appeals for deference to Parliament are especially appropriate.

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Hanging in the court of public opinion

By Kim Covert
November 20, 2014 at 14:13PM Le 20 November 2014 à 14:13PM

When we think of Julian Assange we tend to think WikiLeaks, and not the allegations of sexual misconduct and rape two women made against him four years ago in Sweden. The Swedish courts, however, have not forgotten.

A Swedish appeals court has upheld the arrest warrant issued against Assange in 2010. Assange has reportedly fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in London in an effort to avoid extradition.

When the allegations were first made against Assange it was at the height of the WikiLeaks scandal, and conspiracy theorists got busy suggesting that this timing was not a coincidence.

This is a familiar pattern. Rape allegations against Woody Allen surfaced when his last movie was released; Bill Cosby’s attempt at a career comeback has been derailed by a growing number of allegations that he drugs and rapes women.

Fans tend to react in disbelief at allegations of a beloved personality’s bad behaviour – because that’s not how they “know” the person in question. They also worry how their appreciation of work done by someone who turns out to be a rapist reflects on them. So when someone slyly notes that the accusers appear to be attention-seekers taking advantage of a critical mass of publicity, they seem to have something of a point.

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Careful before sharing

By Yves Faguy
November 19, 2014 at 13:32PM Le 19 November 2014 à 13:32PM

Last week, in Wakeling v. United States, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal of a man who had been the subject of a cross-border drug-trafficking investigation, and who later claimed his rights were violated when the RCMP handed over information obtained under wiretapping provisions of the Criminal Code (s. 193) to U.S. authorities. According to Craig Forcese, who notes that “intercept sharing” now triggers section 8 of the Charter (protection against searches and seizures), the case will complicate matters for Canada’s spy agencies when sharing intelligence with foreign counterparts.  Read the whole thing, but the following excerpts are particularly interesting:

First, everyone agrees the sharing of intercept information must be prescribed by law.  It was for the RCMP in Part VI, as noted.  Life is much murkier for CSIS and CSEC.  Neither of these agencies have statutes in which an intercept power is then matched with express language on cross-border intercept sharing.

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Millions working as modern-day slaves

By Kim Covert
November 18, 2014 at 11:51AM Le 18 November 2014 à 11:51AM

“Modern slavery is a hidden crime,” begins the 2014 Global Slavery Index produced by the human rights organization Walk Free. “It takes many forms, and is known by many names: slavery, forced labour, or human trafficking. All forms involve one person depriving another person of their freedom: their freedom to leave one job for another, their freedom to leave one workplace for another, their freedom to control their own body.”

The index estimates there are 35.8 million people living in some form of slavery globally – a higher number than in 2013, though the report says the increase can be attributed at least in part to more accurate measurements.

Ten countries account for 71 per cent of all global slavery, the report says: India, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Thailand.

But while Asia and Africa are the worst offenders, the Americas are not immune – Canada is ranked last out of the 27 countries in the region, with less than one per cent of the population in modern slavery, but Walk Free estimates there are some 4,600 modern slaves at work in Canada.

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