Blogs list

Susan Wright - The Hillbrooke Group - Susan Wright

The Pitch Gets Harder - 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 relations goals…

Photo : Susan Wright June 27, 2016

Craig Adams - Titus-Craig Adams

My “Man Drawer” and Me - Sponsored Content We all have one… that place in the house or garage that becomes the container of last refuge (or even refuse) for those items we should file in the right place, but we haven’t quite gotten around to doing that yet. It could contain an old credit card, some bits of string, important mementoes or other innumerable items that you just don’t know what to do with but somehow can’t throw away. For me, it’s my ‘Man Drawer’—my little haven in the kitchen that much to my wife’s annoyance I don’t allow her to touch, let alone clean-up! I’m not quite sure what’s in it, what’s valuable, what I really should throw away or what I should put in a safer location. It just sits there as the place I stuff things into, and the first place I look when I can’t find something I need. In my experience, legacy data at most medium and large organizations is very much like my Man Drawer. The CIO knows that his team manages a lot of information, both structured and unstructured, which is spread across the organization’s storage infrastructure in different repositories such as file stores, email, and applications. It may even be stored up in the Cloud. But there is no way, other than a manual audit by the business, to discover and understand what the data is, what should be kept, what’s junk, and most importantly, what should be protected because it’s critical for compliance, audit, or operational reasons. But there is a…

Photo : Craig Adams June 06, 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