Blogs list

Fernand Proulx - Canada Science and Technology Museum

Celebrate Canada’s most innovative young minds - in steampunk style! - On May 17th, Ottawa’s business and technology leaders will have an opportunity to meet some of Canada’s brightest young minds at the presentation of the first ever STEAM Horizon Awards at the National Science and Innovation Gala. Funded by the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation Foundation and six founding partners, the awards celebrate the important contributions of Canada’s youth in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). Seven high-school students will each be awarded a $25,000 prize to go towards their post-secondary education. Recipients are leaders, achievers and innovators with determination to make a positive impact in their communities. More than 200 young people applied. To mark the occasion, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum will be transformed into a steampunk laboratory for the National Science and Innovation Gala. Taking us back to Confederation during the 19th century Victorian steam era there will be a mashup of Victorian era fashion, steam powered technology and futuristic innovation. At stations throughout the museum, guests will be able to see and test technological creations by teams of students from Algonquin College, the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. There will be six virtual reality zones to delve into experiences such as flying a steampunk plane. Guests will be able to test drive autonomous vehicles, enter a drone race or drive a rover developed to withstand the rigors of Mars. Chef Michael Blackie - of nextfood.com, Celebrity Chefs of Canada and the Food Network’s Chef- off! - will be on hand offering food and beverages while you dance…

Photo : Fernand Proulx March 20, 2017

Stephanie Lalonde - Brazeau Seller LLP - Stephanie Lalonde

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act - If you haven’t already, it is time to take note of the Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act (the “Act”). The Act’s purpose is to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises by 2025. To achieve this goal, all organizations in Ontario with one or more employees are required to comply with the Act. The requirements that your organization must meet—and the deadline they must meet them by—will depend on the size and type of your organization. Why should you be taking note of the Act now? Notably, all private sector and non-profit organizations with 20 or more employees are required to file an “Accessibility Compliance Report” in 2017. The Accessibility Compliance Report will require these organizations to confirm that they have met all of their obligations under the Act. Further, while such organizations with less than 20 employees do not need to file these Accessibility Compliance Reports, they still must comply with the Act. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario has been conducting spot checks of organizations that are not required to file Accessibility Compliance Reports to confirm that they are, nevertheless, complying with the Act. In short, if you haven’t done so already, it is time to confirm what your obligations are under the Act and take the steps necessary to comply with them. Some examples of obligations under the Act that apply to most private sector and non-profit organizations with between 1 and 49 employees are as follows: Accessible Customer Service –…

Photo : Stephanie Lalonde February 27, 2017

Alessia Petricone Westwood - Nelligan O'Brien Payne

Enforcing Forum Selection Clauses - How to avoid litigating where you litigate - Many commercial contracts contain a “forum selection clause”. This sets out the court and country that will have jurisdiction over any litigation that may result from a contractual dispute. If a party commences a legal proceeding in a different forum than the one set out in the contract, the other party may attempt to stay the proceedings and enforce the forum selection clause. The Supreme Court of Canada set out the proper test for a stay of proceedings in Z.I. Pompey Industrie v ECU-Line N.V. A party seeking to avoid the forum selection clause must demonstrate that there is “strong cause” to litigate in another forum. The Supreme Court found that parties should be held to their bargain, and the party seeking to set aside a forum selection clause bears the burden of demonstrating that it would not be reasonable or just in the circumstances to require that party to litigate in the agreed forum.The Ontario courts have embraced this standard. Parties to a commercial contract who wish to set aside a forum selection clause must meet a high bar. The Ontario Court of Appeal in Expedition Helicopters Inc v Honeywell Inc., found that the law favours the enforcement of forum selection clauses. A departure from this presumption is only justified in “exceptional circumstances.” The Court of Appeal listed the following non-exhaustive factors that may justify overturning the choice of the parties:1) Fraud or improper inducement;2) The contract is otherwise unenforceable;3) The court of the selected forum declines jurisdiction or is otherwise unable to deal…

Photo : Alessia Petricone Westwood November 13, 2016

Michael Peggs - Marccx Media

Five Ways To Obtain Business Funding In Ottawa - To get off the ground, many small businesses need funding options beyond what they can invest from their own pockets. If you’re starting a business and looking for assistance, Ottawa is the place to be according to Immigration Ottawa. With an estimated $3 billion it total public and private research and development funding spent per year, the city of Ottawa encourages new business in a number of sectors, including wireless, photonics, defense and security, clean technology, life sciences and film, along with digital media and television production. So whether you’re an Ottawa native, or just relocated here, you might be wondering where to begin your funding search. Well the good news is pretty much anywhere you can access internet providers in Canada, or globally for that matter, you can start your search online for opportunities. Here are five convenient avenues to uncover the business financing you’re looking for. Ottawa Chamber of Commerce – Helping small and large businesses for over 150 years, the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce works directly with key influencers, decision-makers, political leaders and government officials. By adding your business to their registry you’re allowing the chamber to promote your business to potential investors, while gaining the ability to work with other chamber members. Keep track of their featured events list for more networking opportunities, and utilize the member affinity programs to save on business expenses such as merchant services, insurance, cyber security, and much more. Invest Ottawa – In addition to providing business seminars, workshops, live networking and mentorship and business advice, Invest Ottawa offers  acceleration and…

Photo : Michael Peggs October 24, 2016

Craig OBrien - Nelligan O'Brien Payne

To Arbitrate or Litigate, that is the Question - Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of commercial disputes before the Ontario courts. The courts’ capacity to resolve these disputes in a timely manner has declined. Therefore, many potential commercial litigants have been looking for a more efficient system through which to resolve disputes. For better or worse, arbitration clauses have become the go-to mechanism of conflict resolution adopted in many commercial agreements. There are a number of reasons why the speed of litigation has slowed.  Ontarians have been increasingly litigious. Disputes seem to involve more parties. The volume of evidence involved has figuratively exploded as emails have replaced phone calls during contract negotiation, leading to unwieldly  evidentiary obligations. In Eastern Ontario, we are blessed with a highly competent judiciary, and also some truly fantastic arbitrators. From a company’s perspective, the main difference between the two is that the courts control their own process, while the parties are meant to control the arbitration process. Arbitrations thus offer an enviable alternative to litigation. Theoretically, parties control the process by agreeing in advance as to the venue, the applicable laws, the scope of disputes to be handled through arbitration, confidentiality, and the selection of the arbitrator. Disputes can thus either be litigated for years or arbitrated for months. Commercial certainty is thus efficiently maintained, allowing the businesses to disagree, obtain a decision, and move on. Except when they don’t, because sometimes they won’t. The vast majority of arbitration clauses are drafted when the sun is out and the grass is…

Photo : Craig OBrien October 17, 2016