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Photo radar under the gun in Quebec

Photo radar tickets are under the gun in Quebec, following a series of decisions that have put thousands of tickets in jeopardy after the courts called into question the rules around the province’s use of […]

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Jordan applications keep on mounting

The numbers seem to be growing by the day. Ever since the Supreme Court of Canada issued its landmark Jordan ruling on July 2016, the pressure on the justice system seems to be growing. Not a day seems to go by without some horror story about some criminal being let off because of the new deadlines set by the nation's highest court.


Last July in R. v. Jordan 2016 SCC 27, the SCC criticized the country’s legal system for its “culture of complacency” and the ruling set out new rules for an accused’s right to be tried within a reasonable time frame. The Jordan decision laid down a ceiling of 30 months for matters before Superior Court cases to be completed. Provincial court trials should be completed within 18 months of charges being laid, but can be extended to 30 months if there is a preliminary inquiry.


The Quebec criminal justice is struggling to comply with the new rules, implicitly acknowledged the Quebec Minister of Justice Stéphanie Vallée when she announced the new investments last December.


Now there are hard figures to back up those concerns. The Quebec Director of criminal and penal prosecutions (DPCP) revealed this week that there are 684 Jordan applications as of March 23, 2017, a figure that has tripled in the space of three months. In November 2016, the number of Jordan applications stood at 222. A month later, just before Christmas, they numbered 368.


Federal budget will change how lawyers recognize income

It's not only smokers and drinkers who have been targeted by the federal budget. Sin taxes are to be expected, and are par for the course.


But professionals such as lawyers, doctors and accountants have been taken aback by the proposal in the federal budget to eliminate their ability to exclude the value of work in progress in computing their income for tax years that begin or after Budget Day.


Taxpayers are generally required to include the value of work in progress in computing their income for tax purposes. But some professionals used to have the option to exclude the value of work in progress in computing their income. That allowed them to defer recognition of income (compared to full accrual) while being able to deduct the related expenses in the year they are incurred.


But as a McCarthy Tétrault bulletin points out, the federal government is concerned that this "billed-basis accounting enables these taxpayers to defer tax by permitting the costs associated with work in progress to "be expensed without the matching inclusion of the associated revenues."