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British Columbia Employers Announces Temporary Ability to Extend COVID-19 Related Layoffs
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

On May 4, 2020, the B.C. government passed an Order in Council to add a new provision to the BC Employment Standards Regulation (the “Regulation”) during the current provincial state of emergency. Temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 can now last up to 16 weeks in a 20 consecutive week period without triggering termination of employment. This is the second change to B.C. employment standards legislation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic...

Potential Liabilities for Directors in Insolvency: Considerations for Directors of Companies Facing COVID-19 Induced Insolvency
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

The global pandemic of the disease caused by a novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused unprecedented disruption to global supply chains and consumer demand and resulted in government-mandated restrictions to almost all businesses. Many companies, small and large, are facing insolvency and forced to make rapid decisions about what steps that they should take. Directors of companies have certain obligations under both common law and the laws of Canada and the provinces...

New Employment Standards Leaves for COVID-19 & Their Impact on Pension & Benefit Plans
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

In response to COVID-19, the federal government and the provinces have introduced various measures to mitigate the financial impact across the country. One of these measures is the introduction of a new type of type of unpaid, job-protected leave related to COVID-19. As of the date of this bulletin, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and the federal government have introduced these new leaves...

WorkSafeBC Moves to Make it Easier for Workers to Receive Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19 Illness Claims
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

On April 30, 2020, WorkSafeBC announced it is moving forward with adding COVID-19 to the list of diseases for which there is a presumption of it being work-related. Employers will now have to rebut the presumption that a worker caught COVID-19 at work to have the claim denied. Addition to the list typically takes between 18-24 months, but WorkSafeBC is hoping to expedite and complete the process in 6 months...

On Whose Authority? Alberta’s Provincial Powers to Respond to a Health Emergency
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments across Canada have put measures in place to slow the spread, but which have also had a significant impact on business. The purpose of this post is to provide an overview of the powers available to the Government of Alberta to respond to the pandemic, and most notably, those available under the Alberta Emergency Management Act and Alberta Public Health Act...

Commercial Leases & COVID-19: Key Considerations of a Rent Relief Agreement
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of businesses are seeking some form of rent relief from their landlords. When negotiating a rent relief agreement, there is a balance to be struck between providing meaningful relief to a tenant so that its business has a better chance of long term survival, while still allowing the landlord to meet its ongoing obligations, which may include mortgage payments on the property, and other costs which it may not be able to defer...

British Columbia Allows Electronic Attendance at Corporate Meetings
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

On April 21, 2020, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia issued a Ministerial Order (the “Order”) permitting electronic attendance at meetings (collectively referred to as “Corporate Meetings”) held pursuant to the Business Corporations Act, the Cooperative Association Act and the Societies Act (collectively, the “Statutes”)...

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: Helping Employers Keep Employees
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

Who is an Eligible Employer? “Eligible entities” include employers that are taxable corporations, individuals (such as sole proprietors), non-profit organizations, registered charities, and partnerships (all of the members of which are partnerships or one of the aforementioned entities) who had an existing business number and payroll program account with the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) on March 15, 2020. Public institutions are not eligible (e.g...

Responses to Gaps in Government Programs for Growth Stage Innovation Companies
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

After the federal government’s initial rollout of its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to provide economic measures to stabilize the economy (previously described in our blog post here), a number of voices from Canada’s business community have warned of program eligibility gaps and, in particular, that early and growth stage technology and innovation businesses have fallen through the cracks...

Canadian Privacy Commissioners' Guidance During COVID-19
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

Provincial health orders, guidance and physical distancing measures in response to COVID-19 have changed the way Canadians are working and studying. Organizations are suddenly more reliant on technical tools and approaches to doing business which have not all been fully vetted for privacy and security...

It Might Be Negligent, But is it Gross Negligence?
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

Many commercial contracts limit claims between parties, particularly for consequential losses, to instances of gross negligence. Many statutes circumscribe claims against government authorities to the same circumstances. The Police Act, for example, prohibits claims against the police except where the police have been “guilty of dishonesty, gross negligence or malicious or wilful misconduct”...

Alberta Pauses Residential Evictions for Non-Payment and Prohibits Rent Increases and Late Payment Penalties During COVID-19 Pandemic
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2020

 On March 27, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced new measures to address residential tenancy issues arising during and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Max Carroll and Jeffrey Hernaez of our Vancouver office wrote yesterday about similar measures put in place in British Columbia...

COVID-19 and Global Issues: A Contrarian's Solution to Construction Contracts?
Lawson Lundell LLP, March 2020

For consideration by owners, contractors, suppliers, and project teams towards solutions on current and/or future projects. Global pandemic.  Oil trade war. Volatile FX Markets.  Market collapse?  East African locusts.  All of these global issues, and potentially others, will impact existing and new construction projects in Canada and the world over the coming months. However, a delay to a project does not always mean the project will inevitably cost more...

CSA to Provide Blanket Relief for Market Participants Due to COVID-19
Lawson Lundell LLP, March 2020

  In light of the rapidly evolving developments relating to COVID-19, and recognizing that issuers have an urgent need to focus on critical business decisions, the Canadian Securities Administrators (the “CSA”) have announced that they will grant temporary, blanket relief from the filing of certain documents required to be filed on or before June 1, 2020...

Keeping Cool: An Employer's Guide to COVID-19 in the Workplace
Lawson Lundell LLP, March 2020

COVID-19 has now been characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Although the number of reported cases in Canada is currently low in comparison to some other countries, public health authorities have cautioned that this situation may change rapidly. As part of this quickly changing situation, employers need to be prepared to address related workplace issues. The following summary addresses general issues for workplaces related to COVID-19...



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