In view of the fast-developing COVID-19 pandemic, our office will be closed to the public until further notice. We remain available to assist clients via phone, email and video conference.
Gergely Hegedus, “SCC on Standards of Judicial Review” (February 2020) 10:1 Canadian Tax Focus, draws the following lessons from Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65, Bell Canada v Canada (Attorney General), 2019 SCC 66, and Canada Post Corp. v Canadian Union of Postal Workers, 2019 SCC 67:
- A reviewing court might be more likely not to remit a matter where the outcome is inevitable.
- The standard of review generally remains reasonableness.
- Decisions are presumed to be reasonable even when they depended on matters of statutory interpretation.
- The standard is not reasonableness where the relevant legislation says otherwise or “the rule of law requires the standard of correctness to apply.”
I have written a brief article on the new-ish OBCA requirement to keep a register of interests in real property.
I wrote here about the effect that ASPE could have on the retained earnings of a private corporation. An appraisal increment could render retained earnings a very poor indicator of safe income. The CRA is now saying that such an increment could also increase the capital of a corporation for the purposes of Part I.3 tax. See technical interpretation 2016-0663781E5.
The Bulk Sales Act has been repealed with effect from March 22, 2017, the date of Royal Assent for Bill 27, which was enacted as SO 2017, c 2.
Tonight I received the “Outstanding Contribution Award” from the Hamilton Law Association “in recognition of frequent and valued contributions to the bimonthly HLA Journal, Continuing Professional Development programming, and/or HLA practice committees”. My thanks to the Association for this honour.
Should you cc or bcc your client on an email to opposing counsel? It’s a trick question: you shouldn’t do either of these things. Instead, you should send the email to opposing counsel and then forward it to your client, perhaps after you have added a sentence or two to provide context. Lisa Needham, “Do Not BCC Your Client When Emailing Opposing Counsel“.
Carswell is making the Practitioner’s Income Tax Act (PITA) even more useful by switching to neutral citations for its case references. The neutral citation provides a sure-fire way to locate a case quickly and easily, regardless of the database you are using. I use Carswell’s online product anyway, but I usually prefer wrestling with the Act in its corporeal form, and so, even for a Carswell guy like me, neutral citations will facilitate finding cases.
The neutral citation is also more compact, which is pretty important to PITA’s editor as he tries to cram in more information about a statute that grows ever longer and more complicated every year. How much space could be saved? David Sherman reports that PITA likely contains about 7,500 case citations, and so the potential for saving space could be significant. For example, the reference to Guindon in the notes for 220(3.1) might change from “Guindon,  5 C.T.C. 1 (FCA), paras. 57-58 (aff’d without discussing this issue 2015 CarswellNat 3231 (SCC))”, which is 114 characters, to “Guindon, 2013 FCA 153, paras. 57-58 (aff’d without discussing this issue 2015 SCC 41)”, which is only 87 characters. (Query whether Carswell might try to save another four or five characters by using “¶ 57-58”, per the neutral citation standard, rather than “paras. 57-58”.)
Of course, the change won’t happen overnight. David estimates that if he converts 100 cases in each edition of PITA, it will take him 37 years to effect the conversion fully!
KPMG, in its TaxNewsFlash on the federal budget for 2015, writes the following about the budget promise to review the active business income rules:
The budget states that stakeholders have expressed concern about the application of these rules in cases such as self-storage facilities and campgrounds. The budget announces that the government will review the circumstances in which income from a business, the principal purpose of which is to earn income from property, should qualify as active business income and thus be eligible for the small business deduction. Stakeholders must submit comments by August 31, 2015.
CRA now construes “livestock” more narrowly than as stated in IT-427R, so that it considers that raising rodents qualifies as farming only if they are sold as food rather than as pets.
Duly noted. But what about rodents that are raised as food for pets? I am not kidding: many mice and rats end up being sold as food for snakes (a practice I find troubling, by the way, given that rats, at least, are as intelligent as many breeds of dogs). The CRA, in the technical interpretation, says the following:
Regarding your particular situation, the raising or breeding of rodents could be considered “farming” for purposes of the Act if the primary purpose for such activity is to supply a food source, whether that food source is for animal consumption or human consumption. However, the raising or breeding of rodents or other animals to be sold for use as pets would not be considered as farming.