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Legal Guide

The areas of federal and provincial jurisdiction are, by and large, intended to be mutually exclusive. In practice, however, many activities may be regulated to some degree. In the event of an operational conflict between valid federal and provincial legislation, the federal will prevail. The courts serve as referees of the division of powers through their authority to declare any law that is beyond the jurisdiction of the enacting body to be of no force and effect.

There are several subjects on which the federal Parliament may pass laws that are likely to impact business activities, namely:

  • The regulation of foreign investment
  • The incorporation of federal companies
  • Direct and indirect taxation
  • The regulation of interprovincial and international trade
  • Competition (anti-trust) law
  • Patents and copyright
  • Immigration
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency
  • Banking and bills of exchange
  • Interprovincial undertakings in the transportation and telecommunication fieldsInterprovincial undertakings in the transportation and telecommunication fields

The provinces may exercise control over certain business activities through their authority to make laws in relation to:

  • The incorporation of provincial companies
  • Direct taxation within the province
  • The regulation of trade and commerce within the province

Additional posts from the blog



Canada’s Anti-Spam Law – New Guidance on Offering Apps, Software

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CASL also prohibits installing a “computer program” – including an app, widget, software, or other executable data – on a computer system (e.g. computer, device) unless the program is installed with consent and complies with disclosure requirements. The provisions in CASL related to the installation of computer programs will come into force on January 15, 2015.



Environment Canada issues Hydrofluorocarbon reporting requirement

by Nalin Sahni

On April 7, 2014, the Minister of the Environment issued a Notice with respect to hydrofluorocarbons (the “Notice”), pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The Notice imposes reporting requirements on those who imported, exported, or manufactured certain hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”) from 2008 and 2012. A non-exhaustive list of HFCs subject to these reporting requirements can be found in Schedule 1 of the Notice.



“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

by Andy Pushalik

In an interesting decision, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that an employer is not liable for discriminatory and harassing texts sent by a rogue employee to another of its workers.

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