Blogs list

Anne McNulty - BrazeauSeller.LLP - Anne McNulty

The Right Way to Start a Business - Sponsored Article When you are in the early stages of a new business venture – creating a website, lining up important customers and suppliers, making a marketing plan – it can be hard to devote resources to items that seem less pressing or exciting, like having a shareholders’ agreement drafted.  Choosing where to spend money when starting a business is challenging, but taking steps to define and protect the legal rights of the parties involved, at the outset, is worth the cost and effort. Let’s look at an example.  Wipebook, a company that produces erasable notebooks, successfully raised $420,000 through a Kickstarter campaign in 2013, which led to a spot on Dragons’ Den in 2015.  For those who are unfamiliar with Dragons’ Den, it’s a television show that allows entrepreneurs to pitch their businesses to venture capitalists, who are then invited to invest.  It provides invaluable opportunities to entrepreneurs, not only to raise capital, but also to gain notoriety from the show’s broadcast.  The founders of Wipebook made an impressive presentation, and were offered $300,000 by one of the venture capitalists (Arlene Dickinson) in exchange for a 25% stake in their business. Unfortunately, when the show aired the founders were in the midst of a legal dispute.  They hadn’t signed a shareholders’ agreement, and as one of the founders told the CBC: [w]e didn't really have a clear understanding of what were the expectations between the co-founders, what everybody was going to get if we were going to pursue as a team, what was going…

Photo : Anne  McNulty September 02, 2016

Matthew Jeffery - Nova Solutions Corporation - Matthew Jeffery

New ETA requirement to impose stricter travel rules on Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and foreign nationals - Sponsored Article On September 30, 2016, the new Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will become mandatory. The eTA has been set up by the government to act as a security screen for foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries. Foreigners from many countries do not need to obtain a visa to enter Canada and can travel to Canada using their passport only. Previously these foreigners were not subject to any screening until they arrived at the airport in Canada. These foreigners will now have to obtain an eTA in their passport before they can get on a plane and travel to Canada. The eTA costs $7 to apply for, is valid for up to five years, and can be completed in minutes provided that there are no concerns the applicant may be inadmissible to Canada. Grounds for inadmissibility may include prior criminal convictions, a serious medical condition, past immigration refusals, or other potential security concerns. There are concerns that the implementation of the eTA will catch many foreign nationals by surprise and result in the disruption of many travellers’ plans to visit Canada. Only when they reach the airport will people who formerly could travel with their passport only suddenly be informed that they need an eTA to be able to board the airplane. Foreign travellers are not the only ones likely to be caught out by the implementation of the eTA. One of the effects of the eTA is that Canadian citizens who hold dual citizenship with another country will need to have a Canadian passport in…

Photo : Matthew  Jeffery September 02, 2016

Lara Bender - Titus - Lara Bender

Does My Organization Really Need a Separate Data Classification Solution? - Sponsored Article Last month, I attended the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit, where data classification was covered in many of the Gartner and vendor-led presentations. A key change over the last few years is that classification is now being discussed as part of an overall data security strategy, rather than as a separate project suitable for only certain use cases or industries. As data classification has become more mainstream, we’ve seen an increasing number of security and cloud vendors adding classification to their product portfolios. This is good news for those of us who believe in the importance of data classification as a foundation for data security.  So if classification is built into so many solutions, why do organizations continue to look at separate data classification solutions for their organization? Here’s why: Industry focus: Organizations are looking for solutions and services that meet the more tailored requirements of their industry. This covers everything from truly understanding the organization’s business challenges to being able to customize the solution to the organization’s use cases and environment. Customer experience: Data classification is a highly visible and impactful technology that requires careful planning for success. Many organizations want focused expertise from an organization that can offer such things as classification schema and policy development assistance, a detailed deployment methodology, and classification-focused support resources. This kind of assistance is more difficult to obtain when classification is just a small feature in a larger solution bundle. Breadth of coverage: Organizations need to identify and protect data wherever it resides –…

Photo : Lara Bender August 05, 2016

Bergen Wilde - Titus - Bergen Wilde

Classification as the Foundation for Information Lifecycle Management - Sponsored Article I was first introduced to information lifecycle management about 15 years ago when I was a sales rep for an SAP consulting company. Because SAP generates huge volumes of data that eventually clogs up the system, we helped companies archive the old data into offline document management systems for easy location and retrieval if/when needed. As I learned more about document management systems, I expanded my focus from just archiving solutions to complete content management solutions that would control the lifecycle of corporate documents – from creation, through revisions, approvals, archiving and eventual destruction. Document management solutions were meant to simplify this process – and they do – but they have never been able to capture all the unstructured data being shared both around the office and between organizations. As the cloud and mobile work world explodes, ensuring that all corporate records are input into the content repository becomes a greater challenge. Good information governance requires that all corporate records are properly managed, especially those that reside outside the content management solution (if only temporarily). Given that, another solution is needed. Data classification provides many of the tools necessary to properly govern information wherever it resides. Identification of data should begin immediately when the file is created to ensure the identity is not lost when the file is shared or moved. Identifying attributes, such as the classification, can be applied as persistent classification metadata. By embedding the identity as persistent metadata, users, security policies, and records management systems will have instructions on how…

Photo : Bergen Wilde July 11, 2016

Susan Wright - The Hillbrooke Group - Susan Wright

The Pitch Gets Harder - Sponsored Article You may think that your business or organization has a blockbuster story to tell, but try getting past the assignment editor of most Canadian media outlets these days. In the ‘good old days’, most of us in the communications business set aside time and resources to pitch stories to media about breaking stories, big events and milestones. Today, you’ll be lucky to find an editor or producer at their desk and they will be hard pressed to find someone to assign the story to. Newsrooms across the country have been gutted and countless papers have stopped publishing their print editions. Corporate mergers meant to ease the financial strain have, in fact, just added organizational chaos to the mix. Pay walls discourage open readership. Advertisers are less convinced that they are reaching their audiences. And there is nary a beat reporter to be found. Many of Canada’s most respected journalists took a buy-out when it was offered, probably because they could see the writing on the wall. The world they operated in has changed irrevocably. Fewer Canadians start their day with a broadsheet and coffee anymore. More and more readers access their news from news-aggregation sites such as Google News that draws together sources – wire services, video, infographics and social media links – from around the world. And they get it instantaneously on smart phones and tablets at home and at the office. Canadian businesses and organizations have hit the pause button and are considering what all this means for their own media…

Photo : Susan Wright June 27, 2016

Craig Adams - Titus-Craig Adams

The People, Process & Technology Triangle – Squared with Data - Sponsored Article When I joined the IT industry 20 years ago, the theme ‘du jour’ was the People-Process-Technology triangle. It’s a powerful concept that enables organisations to assess and improve their operational efficiency and capability. But the triangle was a child of 90’s and at the dawn of the Information Age. Twenty years on we are in a new digital age, where existing industries are being transformed overnight through revolutionary business models, such as cloud sync and share and mobile-enabled services. To reflect this new reality, the triangle needs to be updated to a square in order to include the currency of our age: data. Regardless of sector, data underpins the business strategy set by an organisation’s leadership team. It informs and affects day-to-day operations and enables – even demands – rapid decisions to reflect changes to external factors, be that consumer buying patterns, competitive pressure, or the legislative or regulatory environment. Data provides evidence of what is and is not going well so that management can make informed decisions. And as with any currency, data is only as good as its relative value. A large proportion of an organisation’s data isn’t valuable at all, but lots of the data an organisation holds is critical for future success. Regulated data, such as technical data defined under the terms of the U.S. export control regulations, or personally identifiable information (PII) derives its value from external parties, such as the regulator (with their ability to issue punitive fines) or by criminals (who use the information for fraud).…

Photo : Craig Adams September 30, 2016

Kyle Stout - Nelligan O'Brien Payne - Kyle Stout

When Is Late Too Late? Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies Limits on Courts’ Jurisdiction to Backdate Orders - Sponsored Article On December 4, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its highly anticipated decision in a trilogy of shareholder class actions under the secondary market liability provisions of the Ontario Securities Act – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v Green (“Green”), Silver v Imax Corporation (“Imax”), and Trustees of the Millwright Regional Council of Ontario Pension Trust Fund v Celestica Inc. (“Celestica”) – reported as Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v Green (“CIBC v Green”). At issue in each of the trilogy cases was whether the limitation period for commencing a statutory claim for secondary market misrepresentation under the Ontario Securities Act (the “OSA”) is suspended: (a) once the representative plaintiff files a statement of claim pleading an intention to seek leave to commence the statutory claim; or (b) only once leave has been granted.  The Supreme Court’s finding that the clock did not stop running on the limitation period under Section 138.14 of the OSA until leave was actually granted, is unlikely to have any major impact on future securities class actions cases in Ontario, given the 2014 amendments to the OSA, which provide that the limitation period is suspended when a motion for leave to commence the statutory claim is filed with the court.  More interesting, for those law or Latin geeks among the OBJ readership, are the Court’s findings regarding the courts’ jurisdiction to issue orders nunc pro tunc. Limits on the Nunc Pro Tunc Doctrine Nunc pro tunc, the Latin phrase “now for then” refers to the power of…

Photo : Kyle Stout May 16, 2016

Doug Snow - Titus - Doug Snow

When Did You Last Upgrade Your Data? - Sponsored Article What kind of month would it be if there was not another news story about a data breach? This time it is the “Panama Papers” – the leaked documents from the law firm Mossack Fonseca. In an article posted to TechRepublic, James Sanders reviews how the outdated Fonseca IT infrastructure likely contributed significantly to the hack. With a 2009 version of Microsoft Exchange, a client portal (Dupral) from 2013 running on Apache from 2010, and finally a homepage built using a 2014 version of WordPress, the Fonseca infrastructure was enormously vulnerable to attack. Clearly, the Mossack Fonseca perimeter defenses were vulnerable.  But was it just the perimeter defenses that were behind the times? What about their data? Was their data up to date? The defense of data ultimately has to start with the data itself. Without knowing what the data is and how damaging it would be to your organization if lost, it is not possible to organize a strategic defense. Limited IT resources may mean it is not possible to ensure that all of your systems are immediately updated with the latest security patches. But even with limitless IT resources (oh, to dream!), it makes sense to focus data protection efforts on the most important information you own. So how do you upgrade your data? With identifying metadata. By adding additional details about the information to the file’s metadata, such as the classification, information lifecycle details, and applicable regulatory codes, it becomes possible to focus data protection efforts where they are needed…

Photo : Doug  Snow May 02, 2016

Jeff Harrison - MNP LLP - Jeff Harrison

Real Property – Too Good to be True? - Sponsored Article First - What is Real Property? Real property is any property attached directly to land, as well as the land itself. This can include not only buildings and other structures, but also rights and interests. Remember the old adage “if something appears too good to be true it probably is”? We see time and again, people and businesses find themselves in a difficult spot having bought or sold real property. It usually followed by the comment of ‘they were told’ GST did not apply. More often than not, these large transactions tend to move quickly. Reading the fine print or getting proper advice isn’t always top of mind. Being under pressure to make the deal leads to short cuts, only to find out they simply took the tax obligation away from the seller or the seller having to come back and ask for tax they forgot to collect. This can create difficult circumstances at the best of times, let alone receiving a large assessment from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). Two general rules to always be aware of: First – real property is always taxable when sold until an exemption can be supported. Second – the seller has the obligation to collect the GST / HST unless the legislation puts the obligation in the hands of the purchaser in a taxable sale. It may also be the purchaser bought it exempt but, through a change in use, has triggered a self-assessment. Exemptions for real property tend to be tied to sales of used…

Photo : Jeff Harrison April 26, 2016

Janet Weichel McKenzie - The Hillbrooke Group - Janet Weichel McKenzie

Reap the Value of Face-to-Face Communications - It’s fair to say that we all love our technology tools and the way they make communication easy. Email, text, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Skype, webinars and virtual conferences allow us to quickly reach many people with our ideas and information. And that’s great news when geography and/or time is a factor. But let’s not forget the powerful impact of face-to-face conversations. Meeting someone in person reveals important information that can only be achieved through face-to-face interaction. It allows you to pick up body language and gestures, and helps to confirm whether the person actually understands what you are saying. It gives you the opportunity to restate your message or reinforce key information and ideas, all of which helps you effectively communicate with them. It also provides an opportunity to show that you are listening. Since the holiday season is just around the corner, it is a good time to consider how you can ramp up your face-to-face communications. Yes, people are busy, but the evidence is in – people like to see each other in person and share their experiences and ideas. We are social beings, after all. You could start with a face-to-face activity that focuses on building and maintaining relationships with your internal community – your colleagues and staff. Consider organizing a volunteer activity. Find a cause that gets everyone excited about working together to benefit your local community. The Ottawa Mission’s Group Volunteer program helps collaborate with teams to create a volunteer opportunity and so does Volunteer Ottawa. Volunteer activities can…

Photo : Janet  Weichel McKenzie November 28, 2016