Canada Internet

Ottawa finally proposes regulations on data breach notifications

Private sector organizations following federal privacy law will have to provide breach notifications to customers and the privacy commissioner where it is reasonable to believe that the breach creates a “real risk of significant harm,” under long-awaited proposed regulations to Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The draft regulations, if and when they come in force, are expected to provide Canadians with better protection while providing organizations with yet another compelling incentive to adopt better security practices to thwart a phenomenon that is occurring with alarming frequency, according to privacy experts.

Early this month, a security breach at credit-monitoring company Equifax Inc., one of three major credit bureaus in the United States, could affect up to 143 million Americans and an undisclosed number of Canadians. More recently still, the personal information of some one million users from the news and entertainment website Canoe.ca were exposed after some of its databases were hacked.…

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Canada Intellectual property

Canadian financial regulators provide guidance on cryptocurrency offerings

Canadian financial regulators, in lockstep with a growing number of jurisdictions, has put the cryptocurrency world on notice after confirming the potential applicability of Canadian securities laws to virtual currencies and related trading and marketplace operations.

Cryptocurrency offerings can provide new opportunities for business to raise capital and for investors to access a broader range of investments but they also raise investor protection concerns due to its volatility, lack of transparency, custody, liquidity and the use of cryptocurrency exchanges, notes the Canadian Securities Administrators in a recently published Staff Notice 46-307.

“Investors may (also) be harmed by unethical practices or illegal schemes, and may not understand the properties of the investment products that they are purchasing,” said the notice.…

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Crime Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

New murder trial ordered following judge’s inadequate instructions

The Quebec Court of Appeal ordered a new trial of a man convicted of killing three people because the trial judge provided inadequate instructions to the jury over the weight that should be given to post-offence conduct and because he failed to warn the jury that the testimony of the prosecution’s expert went beyond the bounds of his expertise.

The ruling, the second time in six years that the Quebec appeal court set aside a murder conviction and ordered a new trial because of testimony provided by psychiatrist Sylvain Faucher, highlights pervasive concerns about expert bias and examines the credence that should be given to post-offence conduct, according to criminal lawyers.…

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Legal business Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Total amount of legal fees not necessarily covered by solicitor-client privilege rules Quebec appeal court

The total amount of professional billings paid to lawyers working on a mandate for public bodies is not necessarily automatically protected by solicitor-client privilege ruled the Quebec Court of Appeal.

In what is described as a precedent-setting ruling, the Quebec appeal court decision provides much-needed guidance and strikes a delicate balance between professional secrecy and public access to documents, according to legal experts.

“The importance of this lies with the distinction the Quebec appeal court makes between professional secrecy and public access to documents regarding legal fees paid by public bodies to lawyers,” said Pierre Trudel, a former director of Université de Montréal’s Public Law Research Centre. “The decision provides helpful guidance over what should remain protected by professional secrecy and what should be accessible to ensure public access to documents.”…

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Aboriginal law Charter of Rights and Freedoms Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Ottawa given until Christmas to address sex-based discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act

The federal government dodged a potential crisis that would have halted Indian status registrations after the Quebec Court of Appeal begrudgingly gave Ottawa until Christmas to address sex-based discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act and complete a bill that has been held up by the Senate.

In a ruling that marks the first time a Canadian appellate court has been called upon to decide whether or not to extend yet again the suspension of a judicial declaration of constitutional invalidity of a legislative provision, the Quebec appeal court scolded the federal government for the “unacceptable delays” and the absence of administrative measures that would have mitigated the discrimination.

“There are limits as to how long suspensions of declarations of constitutional invalidity may last,” said Justice Robert Mainville in a 20-page ruling in AG Canada c. Descheneaux, 2017 QCCA 1238. Justices Marie-Josée Hogue and Patrick Healy concurred with the August 18th decision.…

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Public law Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Two Montreal protesters awarded $2,000 each in damages by Quebec appeal court

Two protesters that occupied a public square in downtown Montreal won a partial victory after the Quebec Court of Appeal awarded them $2,000 each for moral and material loss because the police no longer had reason to keep them handcuffed and detained in the back of a police car to drive them to another part of the city.

The ruling, which partially overturned a lower court ruling, provides guidance over the use of handcuffs while in custody, the duration of detention as well as the marking of hands and taking of pictures for identification purposes following arrest.

“This is very good news for all people who participate in peaceful protests because the question is not simply whether the protest was legal or not or did it become illegal at any time but also whether the police operation was legal throughout,” said Julius Grey, a Montreal human rights lawyer who successfully plead the case before the appellate court.…

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Class actions Quebec Superior Court Rulings

Retailer ordered to pay $1 million in punitive damages in class action

Canada’s largest discount furniture and appliance retailer was ordered to pay $2.36 million, including $1 million in punitive damages, to thousands of consumers after Quebec Superior Court found that it engaged in deceptive advertising and marketing with its popular “buy now, pay later” promotions.

The ruling, one of a handful of Quebec class actions that was decided on its merits, represents a convincing victory for consumer’s rights and serves as a cautionary tale for business that rely on false and misleading advertising pitches to lure customers, according to legal experts.…

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Legal business Quebec Quebec Superior Court Rulings

Quebec notaries and lawyers lose legal battle against title insurers

The governing bodies of the Quebec legal and notary professions lost a suit against American-based insurers after Quebec Superior Court held that they did not overstep their bounds in preparing, registering and discharging mortgages on real estate.

In an eagerly-awaited decision that highlights the growing impact of technology on the legal profession, Justice Chantal Chatelaine held that insurers that offer title insurance do not practice law, do not provide legal opinions, and do not prepare or draw up mortgages.

“The importance of the case has to do with the obstacles which can be put in the way of modernization and efficiency,” remarked Simon Potter, Ad. E., a Montreal lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault LLP who successfully plead the case on behalf of FCT Insurance and First Canadian Ltd, part of the global company FAF International.…

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Business Court of Quebec Quebec White-collar crimes

Montreal man ordered to pay largest fine ever issued for Quebec securities offences

A Montreal man was fined $11.2 million, the largest fine ever issued in Quebec for securities offences, and sentenced to a three-month jail sentence for fraudulent penny stock practices commonly referred to as “pump and dump” scheme.

Jean-François Amyot is among one of five people and two companies that plead guilty to charges laid against them by the Quebec financial watchdog, Autorité des marchés financiers, nearly three years ago during a trial earlier this year.…

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Business Internet Quebec

Quebec financial watchdog raids offices of man prohibited from promoting PlexCoin

The Quebec financial watchdog raided last week the offices of Dominic Lacroix, a Quebec City man who has been prohibited by a tribunal to promote and solicit investors for a new virtual currency called PlexCoin.

The raid turned up a list of people from around the world, including Quebec, the U.S., and Africa, who expressed an interest in investing in PlexCoin, said Sylvain Théberge, a spokesperson with the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the regulatory and oversight body for Quebec’s financial sector.…

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