December is upon us and 2017 is right around the corner. We are all probably asking the same question, “Where did the year go"? Looking back at 2016, I will say that it was another rewarding and productive year at ILCO.
We were delighted to have had several members join various ILCO committees. It is wonderful to have such keen and enthusiastic members participating and assisting the Board of Directors and the ILCO staff to continue to offer events and educational programs.
This year’s members only events were the Spring Social at the CN Tower and the Fall Family Event at Chudleigh’s. Both events were well attended and gave members an excellent opportunity to network and socialize with their fellow law clerks. Our members also enjoyed events organized by sponsors. We are most grateful to our sponsors for providing our members additional opportunities to relax, have a bit of fun and, of course, to network.
It was yet another successful education year. Along with ILCO’s core courses, we offered e-Discovery, Estates Accounting and Intellectual Property as Fellowship courses along with several CLE programs covering topics requested by our members.
2016 saw the inaugural version of the Law Clerks’ online newsletter. 2017 will bring enhancements to the ILCO website making it being easier to navigate and use on mobile devices. This transformation is part of ILCO’s commitment to provide our members with easy access to information to assist in their careers.
On behalf of our Board and Staff, I wish everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season and Best Wishes for 2017.
COMING THIS WINTER!
Advanced Family Law - January 25, 2017
Advanced Real Estate - March 29, 2017
Continuing Legal Education Committee
Lisa Matchim and Rupi Ahuja (Co-Chairs)
Russell Connelly, Shahayda Babb, Rana Mirdawi
Peuly Rahman, Cecilia Sequeira and Anne Marie MacIntosh
2016 was a great year for our CLE committee! We held many very well-received programs. If you were not able to attend, you can now order program materials from our 2016 CLE programs by following this link: http://ilco.on.ca/education/ilco-cle-programs/ilco-cle-programs-archives and clicking on the order form.
Do not forget to join us for the Real Estate CLE Program on March 29, 2017. We also are excited to announce that on June 14 the first ever Personal Injury CLE will be held! Details to follow.
Thinking ahead to the Fall -- yes, we know Spring has barely arrived -- planning is already underway for the Corporate and Litigation CLE Programs. If there is a speaker you would like to hear, or a topic you are interested in, please let us know.
We are always eager to hear you so if you have any suggestions or questions please contact us at email@example.com.
Russell Connelly and Natasha Khan, Co-Chairs
Lisa Matchim, Rana Mirdawi, Shay Babb,
Peuly Rahman, Rupi Ahuja and Anne Marie MacIntosh
Continuing Legal Education Committee
ILCO's 27th Annual Conference will be held May 17 to May 20, 2017
at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
We hope you will join us!
The Law Clerks’ Review is an excellent resource for timely articles of interest to law clerks as well as notices to keep up to date with ILCO’s initiatives like CLE programs, new memberships, conferences and social events. This newsletter is published quarterly and emailed to all members, in addition to being posted on ILCO’s website. We are always pleased to receive and consider your articles for publication.
To submit an article for consideration, please send the article to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To advertise, please contact Karen Daly, Office Administrator, at 416-214-6252.
Rana Mirdawi and Anna Traer (Co-Chairs),
Clint Savary, Shaneen Laity and Karen Daly
JOIN AN ILCO COMMITTEE
ILCO committees are always in need of members. Consider joining any one of the committees - Education, CLE, Certification, Newsletter and Public Relations. It is a great way to tap your resources and network. Contact Karen Daly, Office Administrator, at 416-214-6252 or at Karen_Daly@ilco.on.ca for further information.
We are hard at work planning CLE programs and we want to hear from you! Do you have a topic you would like to see covered? Let us know! Submit your requests to: CLE@ilco.on.ca
ILCO attended the TLOMA Conference Trade Show as an Exhibitor on September 29 in Ottawa. The Public Relations Committee welcomed a steady flow of traffic and the attendees were very happy to visit the booth for some swag and to learn about ILCO. Great feedback was received from the law office managers using the ILCO Job Hotline. It was also encouraging to hear how they send their law clerks to our CLE programs and conferences.
Photo above left to right: Monique Jacob (ILCO) and Ian Curry (ILCO).
There was a draw for ILCO suitcases as prizes for 3 Lucky Attendees.
Photo above, left to right: Jean McClenaghan, Stockwoods LLP, Monique Jacob, ILCO,
Ian Curry, ILCO, Bernard Quilty, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP,
and Roy Bernhard, Hummingbird Lawyers LLP.
We are very pleased to be involved with this event, as it affords us the opportunity to mingle with our conference business partners and meet new potential exhibitors. Next year the TLOMA Conference will be held at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville. Perhaps we’ll see you there!
Mother Nature’s combination of sun, cloud and some “liquid sunshine” to start off the day didn’t stop 69 ILCO members and their guests from attending ILCO’s 2nd Annual Fall Social at Chudleigh’s Farm in Milton, Ontario held on Sunday October 2, 2016. This was the best turnout for an ILCO Family Event with 267 people total!
Upon arrival at Chudleigh’s and registration, attendees enjoyed themselves in the children’s play area and with various farm events including tractor-drawn wagon rides.
Attendees were given the opportunity to go apple-picking courtesy of Stewart Title. Everyone enjoyed a delicious BBQ lunch of sausages or veggies dogs and roasted corn-on-the-cob in the private corporate tent courtesy of Do Process Software.
At the end of the day, attendees were invited to take home a pumpkin courtesy of ILCO.
It was a great event, with members in attendance giving very positive feedback. If you couldn’t make it out, we hope to see you next year!
All work and no play is certainly not the motto of Cox & Palmer, a leading Atlantic, full service law firm. The third annual Cox & Palmer, “SOCIABLE”, event was further evidence of Cox & Palmer’s commitment to networking, professional development and having fun.
Wednesday, October 12th was, indeed, an eventful day for The Institute of Law Clerks Of Ontario. A Corporate Law Continuing Legal Education Programme featuring topics such as Perfecting Security Interests in Corporate Financing, Governance and Compliance, Ontario’s New Cap and Trade Regime, and many more, was held at the ILCO Education Centre and was attended by a full house with another 50 attendees by webinar.
Following a day of due diligence and tales from the trenches, ILCO Members were hosted by Cox & Palmer at FOUR, a Bay Street venue known for its intimate atmosphere, tasty hors d’oeuvres and inviting cocktail hour. Adam King, Gina Lohnes, Kayla Payne and Caroline Richard all made the trip from various Cox & Palmer offices including the offices in Frederiction, Halifax, Charlottetown and Moncton to mingle and make merry with ILCO Members.
Just as we were leaving, a scrumptious goody was waiting for us to take home to remind us all the next day of the warm hospitality of our Cox & Palmer hosts. We will certainly remember both the good times and the good people from the SOCIABLE.
What a fabulous breakfast event event hosted by ESC Corporate Services at the Best Western Plus Ottawa Downtown Suites with special guest, Chicago Title! ILCO was thrilled to attend!
Our thanks to Jennifer Watton and Claire Fishwick of ESC for hosting this informative event and Marie Kaczmarek of Chicago Title for partnering with ESC as a co-host at this lovely breakfast .
Photo below center left to right: Marie Kaczmarek (Chicago Title),
Suzanne VanSligtenhorst (ILCO) and Jennifer Watton (ESC).
ON Registries - Court Fee Changes Effective From November 6, 2016
The fee changes are specific to:
To access the updated fee table click here or for more information please click on the below link.
The increasing role of online evidence in family court has made social media skills a necessity at the province's family law boutiques, according to lawyers in the field.
With almost three decades in the business, Cheryl Goldhart admits she's no digital native, but the principal at Toronto firm Goldhart & Associates prides herself on staying up to date on the latest developments in social media on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
"Things are different from when I started, but I think lawyers have to understand that people communicate in a very different way than we did 30 years ago," Goldhart says. "You have to be able to have a conversation and properly advise clients of the potential dangers of putting all kinds of information out there."
At London, Ont. firm McKenzie Lake Lawyers, family law partner Carolyn Lloyd says her social media warning comes almost immediately in her first meeting with clients.
"In a perfect world, our clients would deactivate all accounts until their case is resolved, but I don't think that's realistic the way the world works now," Lloyd says. "Some will use social media as a support system, but I tell them it's something to be very careful about. If they try to rally friends to their side, it can sometimes reflect poorly on them. I think it's good to spell out some clear parameters over their use, and to emphasize that nothing they say should reference their family law case."
If they insist on continuing to use their accounts, Lloyd advises clients to boost their privacy settings as far as possible. After deactivating her own Facebook account for a time, she learned from personal experience that certain information reverts to becoming publicly available when accounts are reactivated.
"They change the privacy settings so frequently; you have to keep checking so you know who can see what you're posting," Lloyd says.
At Goldhart & Associates, the firm's extensive retainer letter specifically refers to guidance around electronic communications.
"Traditionally, our courts dealt with he-said, she-said disputes. Now it's he-wrote, she-wrote. People are writing away, and it's all becoming evidence. We tell clients to think twice before they say something in anger without thinking of the consequences, because it could end up in front of a judge," Goldhart says. "That stuff is there forever. It doesn't die, even when you die."
"People sometimes think saying something to a friend on Facebook is the same as if you're out with them having a coffee, but it's not. When you're out for a coffee, it doesn't have a permanent record," says Andrew Feldstein, a Markham, Ont. lawyer who hands clients a list of social media dos and don'ts when they hire his firm, the Feldstein Family Law Group. "Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or whatever, it's all fair game. If you say something negative, it could be used against you."
Feldstein instructs clients to remove former spouses from their social media profiles, but he says they still need to take care when posting, since the chances are high that information will get back to them via shared networks of friends and end up on court files.
For example, in the 2015 case of Tran v. Tran, Ontario Superior Court Justice Frances Kitely ordered a trial on the issue of child support after the mother used Instagram and Facebook posts to bolster her claim that the father was employed and had bought a sports car rather than pay support.
Lloyd says courts may even place greater weight on social media posts where the evidence conflicts with information presented directly in court, pointing to the 2011 case of B.V. v. P.V. In that case, Ontario Superior Court Justice William Hourigan relied on the evidence of a mother's Twitter feed over her testimony in court when it came to the issue of how heavily she drank.
"Based upon the respondent's Twitter postings, it is clear that she engages in a pattern of excessive consumption of alcohol." The Twitter postings reference her making inappropriate phone calls while intoxicated and being hung over," Hourigan wrote.
Feldstein says clients are often proactive about seeking information on former spouses online, but he warns they could do more damage than good to their case by hacking into accounts or duping other parties into believing they are someone else.
And online evidence doesn't always have to make it to court in order to have an effect, he says. Feldstein once negotiated a favourable settlement out of a husband on the opposing side of a file after an extensive search turned up an online boast about how many customers he had served over a 20-year period. Since his business offered a fixed-rate service, Feldstein was able to make a rough calculation of his total revenue over the period, revealing a "significant amount of unreported income," he says.
This article was published in Law Times, Volume 27, No. 27, September 5, 2016. ILCO wishes to thank Michael McKiernan and Law Times for permitting ILCO to reprint the article.
Ontario is improving the criminal justice system by speeding up the resolution of criminal cases. The plan will also include measures to help ensure bail decisions are faster and fairer, while balancing the need to protect the safety of the public and victims.
Ontario's plan will deliver new courtroom resources - including more judges, Crown attorneys, duty counsel and court staff - to focus on early case resolution and increase capacity in the system. It will also introduce innovative new programs to speed up decision-making at the bail stage and ensure low-risk vulnerable individuals have safe options for release in appropriate cases.
While keeping public safety a priority, Ontario is taking the following steps to help create a better-performing criminal justice system:
Faster Resolution of Criminal Cases
Hiring more assistant Crown attorneys and appointing more judges
Ontario is committed to ensuring that everyone's right to be tried within a reasonable time is respected and upheld. This is one of the hallmarks of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The plan will help ensure that trials are resolved faster by having 32 more assistant Crown attorneys and 16 more duty counsel working on cases and appointing 13 more judges to hear them. They will be supported by an additional 26 court staff. This will ensure faster justice for the accused, as well as for families and for victims who want to see cases resolved.
More Effective and Faster Bail Decision-Making
More bail vettor Crowns and new duty counsel bail coordinators
A bail vettor is an experienced Crown attorney who takes an active role in the efficient operation of bail courts to facilitate faster bail decisions and resolutions in the appropriate cases, while maintaining public safety. Dedicated bail vettors are able to provide the accused's counsel with more timely and informed bail positions.
Following the success of this program at a number of court sites, Ontario is investing new funds to ensure there are dedicated bail vettors in high-volume bail court locations across the province.
The province will also fund Legal Aid Ontario to provide experienced duty counsel bail coordinators to work in the same high-volume bail court locations as the bail vettor Crowns.
Duty counsel are defence lawyers from Legal Aid Ontario that provide short-term legal representation early in the process to accused people charged with a criminal offence.
These new duty counsel bail coordinators will work with Crowns to expedite the bail process and ensure meaningful bail decisions are made, while protecting public safety and victims of crime.
Embedded Crown counsel
Poverty, homelessness, mental illness and addictions lead many people into conflict with the law. In some cases where vulnerable individuals are charged with minor offences, community-based solutions can be an effective alternative to the criminal justice system. When individuals are connected with appropriate resources and supports, they are more likely to achieve stability in the community, and less likely to commit further criminal offences.
Beginning in January 2017, the province is launching a program that will embed Crown attorneys at two police stations where they will provide real-time advice and support on bail decisions to police upon request. The embedded Crowns will also work with police and community-based health and social service agencies on meaningful alternatives to criminal charges for vulnerable, low-risk accused who do not belong in the criminal justice system.
The first embedded Crown will be on-site at Toronto Police Services' 51 Division, beginning in January 2017.
Early access to duty counsel in correctional facilities
Working in partnership with Legal Aid Ontario and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, duty counsel will be available in six correctional facilities serving high-volume courthouses, starting in 2017. This will allow duty counsel to more immediately and effectively address bail matters by providing legal advice, facilitating quicker applications for legal aid certificates and preparing an accused person for their bail hearings.
Modernizing Crown policies and procedures on bail
Former chief justice Brian Lennox, former deputy attorney general Murray Segal, and deputy Crown attorney Lori Montague have been appointed to provide advice on opportunities to modernize Crown policies and procedures in the area of bail.
These experts will consider a number of subjects related to effective and timely bail decision-making, including the use of sureties and bail conditions, the consideration of Gladue principles and specialized responses to domestic violence cases. Their advice will support the ministry's development of a new Crown policy on bail that will be released within six months.
Federal government Criminal Code changes
Over the coming months, Ontario will work with the federal government on Criminal Code reforms, including ways to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal court process, streamlining the criminal justice system and bail.
This work will include participation on the Federal Attorney General Wilson-Raybould's criminal justice roundtable.
More Bail Supervision and Support in the Community for Low-Risk Vulnerable Ontarians
Expanded and enhanced bail supervision
The Bail Verification and Supervision Program provides supervision and support to low-risk accused who do not have the finances or social ties to be released safely into the community on bail pending trial. The program ensures they are supervised while in the community, attend court dates, meet their bail conditions and helps them navigate the criminal court process. By expanding the supports and services for people suffering from mental illness and struggling with poverty, homelessness and addictions, the program will make it possible for more vulnerable accused, in appropriate cases, to be safely released in the community.
Beginning in early 2017, Ontario will:
Specialized Bail Verification and Supervision Program staff will provide vulnerable populations, including those with mental illness and Indigenous people, with improved access to housing, medical services, treatment, and supervision in the community. The program will also be extended to serve a number of weekend court locations across the province.
Bail bed program
Homelessness or lack of stable housing is a significant factor keeping many vulnerable people in custody who may have otherwise been granted bail.
The Bail Beds program will provide safe, supportive and supervised housing for vulnerable accused persons who require enhanced supervision in the community.
The program, which will be provided by community-based agencies, will be launched in up to five locations across the province, beginning with a 20-bed facility in December 2016 in Thunder Bay.
Bail and remand program for Indigenous people
As part of Ontario's commitment towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, a new Indigenous bail and remand program is being developed. Indigenous communities, organizations and service providers are being engaged in its development and will facilitate the program.
The plan will also provide more services for Indigenous people by incorporating distinct policies, training and staff positions, so that they can remain in their communities while awaiting trial.
The Indigenous bail and remand program will launch in early 2017.
More openness and transparency in the criminal justice system
The province has been working together with the Ontario Court of Justice on improving public reporting on all criminal justice matters.
This collaboration has resulted in creating "dashboards", a statistical report that provides criminal court information on the progress of all cases from the bail phase to completion of trial in the Ontario Court of Justice at the provincial and local levels.
Dashboards will be available on the Ontario Court of Justice's website, starting in December 2016, and will be updated quarterly.
For more information visit: https://news.ontario.ca/mag/en/2016/12/about-ontarios-plan-for-faster-fairer-criminal-justice.html
This article is protected by Crown copyright held by the © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2009-2016.
As emerging technologies, globalization, and the Internet are changing the legal profession, lawyers are divided over what the future of the field in Canada should look like.
Five lawyers recently debated the opportunities and challenges presented by those issues at an event put on by the Young Advocates’ Standing Committee on June 6.
Among the handful of topics the lawyers tackled was whether non-lawyers should be allowed to own law firms in alternative business structures.
Last year, the Law Society of Upper Canada's working group tasked with looking at ABS models shelved its examination of the issue.
Gary Luftspring, a managing partner of Ricketts Harris LLP, said the field needs more entrepreneurs who are willing to innovate and less regulation holding them back. He pointed to ABS models that were being used in the United Kingdom and Australia as examples.
My view of regulation is you regulate those things that are problems and you don't regulate where you don't have to because you invariably cause problems," he told a room full of young lawyers.
Lee Akazaki, a partner of Gilbertson Davis LLP, said adopting non-lawyer ownership structures could, however, make lawyers loyal to "shareholders values."
“That's what control of law firms by non-lawyers means,” he said. "That means you have to give up the values that you have as advocates, as fiduciaries to a level that scrapes the bottom, the minimum requirements of the law, [and] the minimum requirements of the rules of professional conduct so you don't end up in lawyer jail."
Under an ABS model, Akazaki said that if someone is in a car accident, the insurance company handling the claim will be able to give the client's name to the law firm the insurance company owns to ensure the client will not make more money from them than they consider reasonable.
“This is the biggest form of ABS in the United Kingdom right now,” he said.
Luftspring argued the notion that lawyers could not be regulated within the ABS model is "nonsensical" and that entity regulation would solve possible problems of conflicts of interest.
“You shouldn't be hamstrung in the organization you put forward,” he said.
Panellists also discussed whether litigation funding is unethical.
Patrick Lamb, a partner and founder of Valorem Law Group, said he can understand why some feel uneasy about litigation funding, but he said there is not anything unusual or unfair about it.
“It provides access to people who otherwise might not have it," he said. "It allows people early on to understand the merits of their case. If you have a bad case, you cannot get funding. It's just that simple."
"It equalizes the playing field so that if you're fighting against an enormously deep pocket, you have the ability to do so," he added.
Lamb used the lawsuit brought by American wrestler Hulk Hogan against Gawker Media as an example. Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who found himself the subject of a Gawker story, funded the case. Lamb said.
“The lawsuit would not have happened without the financing from the Silicon Valley billionaire,” he said.
From litigation funding, the panellists turned to whether law firms should insource litigation support, including new technology.
Anne Glover, a practice group leader of an e-discovery and document management team with Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, trumpeted the value of keeping litigation support insourced.
Glover said that as the discovery stage of litigation gets larger, it is important to have control of the entire process.
"Without control of the entire process, that stage can completely get out of control and you can lose sight of it,” she said.
The absence of that control can result in some cases never going forward because discovery would cost so much, she said.
When clients have concerns over who is seeing their documents, confidentiality can also become an issue when document review is outsourced, she said.
She said vendors can also often go overbroad or over-collect, making them expensive.
“Sometimes, you don't know what you're being charged for,” she said.
“Bringing it in-house allows you to control those costs and then you don't see those monthly bills from a vendor," she added.
Lamb said he believes document review and other process work can be done less expensively by other entities than a law firm.
The quality of control provided by [and] the quality of work provided by the third-party entities is substantially superior, demonstrably superior to that provided by law firms, with exceptions," he said. Lamb said law firms do not meet security standards, but vendors do.
“They're attuned to that problem. So you've got vendors who have NSA-level security and technology being used to reduce the size of piles of documents that need to be reviewed and law firms I don't think can keep up with that, nor do I think they should.”
Glover said that while there are vendors who are cheaper, they are not necessarily very reliable at document review.
“We are more expensive, but we add value,” she said,
“We use contract lawyers from vendors all the time, and we double check, and triple check, and always check their work and we find errors.”
Allison Speigel, a commercial litigator at Speigel Nichols Fox LLP, said document review and the general state of developing technology in-house in law firms should not be lumped together.
She said that while big projects such as document review could be shopped out to vendors, all law firms should be doing more to enhance their in-house technology, such as getting rid of fax machines.
“That to me is crazy. Fax machines are a relic of the past and law firms and the rules of civil procedure need to move forward into the present day.”
Rounding out the discussion was a debate over whether lawyers should offer flat fees to clients in complex litigation matters.
Lee encouraged lawyers to stay away from offering a flat fee for complex litigation, as one never knows how long it may take.
“Let's face it. Commercial litigation is full of motions. You don't know what's going to happen next," he said. "So if you're going to take a case on for a block fee, then you've got to be out of your mind."
Lee added that lawyers have a responsibility to tell their clients if a case is not going to be straightforward.
Speigel said litigation is not more unpredictable than many other things that people have figured out for which to set a fixed price.
“There are construction projects that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars that are set at a price, despite the fact that construction is plagued with uncertainty,” she said.
"The insurance industry exists to price uncertainty, so it can't be impossible to price. I think it's more correct to say lawyers don't know how to price."
Lamb, who is considered a thought leader on alternative fees in litigation, has been offering flat fees to clients since founding his firm in 2008.
“It's not even a debatable issue anymore, frankly,” he said.
Lamb said the issue is not whether lawyers can do it but whether they will survive if they do not. Year by year, more clients are being attracted to fixed fees, he said.
“Clients need to know exactly how much something is going to cost in litigation,” Lamb said.
“If you are not pricing that way, then the clients are going to take business from you and give it to people who are.”
Alexandra Sadvari and Benjamin Ojoleck, Gowling WLG
In June, we prepared a guide to Ontario’s new cap and trade program. Since then, the 2016 registration period has closed, and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (the “MOECC”) has provided more information regarding the first Ontario cap and trade auction and released two proposals for regulatory amendments to the program. The first proposal clarifies policy, technical and administrative requirements, and the second proposal provides a framework for carbon offset credits.
The First Ontario Cap and Trade Auction
The deadline for Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (“CITSS”) registration was Nov. 30, 2016. Only participants registered under CITTS will be able to participate in the first Ontario cap and trade auction, which will be held in March 2017. The MOECC has not yet released the auction date, but it will post a notice on the MOECC website at least 60 days in advance that will include the following:
The MOECC has announced that there will be a practice auction in January 2017 to assist participants in preparing for the real auction. The MOECC is also offering two training webinars leading up to the practice auction on Dec. 6 and 8, 2016. There are a number of technical requirements that participants should be aware of leading up to the auction, including: auction platform registration timing; rules surrounding bidding; bid guarantee requirements; purchase limits; a prohibition on sharing information related to auction participation; and allowance holding limits. All of this information is available, or will be available, on the MOECC website.
Regarding auction bidding strategy, it is important to note that the price a participant bids is not the price it will actually pay. Instead, every participant will pay the same price for each allowance: the lowest successful bidding price during that auction for that vintage (year) of allowance, or the “Settlement Price”. No bids will be accepted below the “Reserve Price”, which is the minimum price set for the sale of one carbon allowance at the auction as set out in the auction notice and calculated using the higher of the most recently published California or Quebec Annual Auction Reserves Prices after applying the auction exchange rate. The Settlement Price will therefore necessarily be the same or higher than the Reserve Price.
Allowances will only be sold at auction in lots of 1000. For the first compliance period, a participant can use 2017 to 2010 vintage allowances to fulfill its compliance obligations. Emission allowances do not expire, so unused allowances from one compliance period can be carried over into any subsequent compliance period. However, a participant cannot use future vintage allowances from the subsequent compliance period to satisfy an obligation from the current compliance period, i.e., a 2021 vintage allowance cannot be used to satisfy an 2017 - 2020 compliance period obligation. Note that in each auction the MOECC will only offer current vintage allowances and allowances from three years in the future, so in 2017 auctions, the MOECC will offer only 2017 and 2020 vintage allowances.
The MOECC has advised that it designed the cap and trade program to avoid some of the problems that have arisen in other jurisdictions. For example, in California, auction participants were coordinating bids, and only about 10% of the available credits were sold in the May 2016 auction (fortunately, the most recent auction in November was much better: click here for a summary of Settlement Prices and auction results in California).
It will be interesting to see whether the Ontario auction Settlement Price changes significantly over the course of a compliance period. One would expect the Settlement Price to start low and then rise at auctions closer to the end of the compliance period as participants find themselves falling short of their required allowances. However, for the first compliance period, most industrial emitters will be given a sufficient number of free allowances to ensure compliance, so we may have to wait until the second compliance period to see accurate market trends.
General Regulatory Amendments
On Nov. 4, 2016, the MOECC released Proposed Amendments to Cap and Trade Program Regulations (“Proposed Amendments”) for public comment on the Environmental Registry. The MOECC is accepting comments on the Proposed Amendments until Dec. 4, 2016, and expects to finalize the amendments in early 2017.
The Proposed Amendments are intended to clarify policy, technical and administrative requirements and support the future linking of Ontario’s cap and trade market with Québec and California. The Proposed Amendments include changes to The Cap and Trade Regulation (O. Reg. 144/16) and The Quantification, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulation (O. Reg. 143/16), as well as to the incorporated Methodology for the Distribution of Ontario Emission Allowances Free of Charge (the “Methodology”) and Guideline for Quantification, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas (the “Guideline”). The Environmental Registry proposal links to revised drafts of the Methodology and Guideline with the proposed changes, but the MOECC has not yet provided the wording of the proposed changes to the regulations.
The Proposed Amendments include:
Carbon Offset Credits
On Nov. 15, 2016, the MOECC released the Compliance Offset Credits Regulatory Proposal (the “Offset Proposal”) for public comment on the Environmental Registry. The Offset Proposal sets out the framework for offset protocols and credits in Ontario. It will be implemented through amendments to the Cap and Trade Regulation (O. Reg. 144/16), which are expected by the end of the year. The MOECC is accepting comments on the Offset Proposal until December 30, 2016.
What are carbon offset credits?
Carbon offset credits are actual, measured reductions in greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Each offset credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent that is either reduced, avoided or removed from the atmosphere.1
An Offset Initiative Operator undertakes activities to account for reductions in emissions, and is granted permission to sell an equivalent amount of offset credits to companies or individuals desiring to reduce their overall GHG emissions. The Offset Proposal states that all offset credits are required to be real, additional, enforceable, verifiable and permanent (to a standard of 100 years).2
Offsets may be categorized as sequestration or non-sequestration credits. Sequestration offset credits generally involve capturing GHGs from the atmosphere and storing them for long periods. A simple example involves planting trees that sequester carbon as they grow, and allowing these trees to remain unharvested.
Non-sequestration offset credits typically involve reductions in the production of GHG as opposed to capturing and storing existing GHG. This could involve emissions reduction from livestock, or N2O reductions from fertilizer management in agricultural activities.
Each offset credit must come from outside a sector subject to a GHG emissions cap. Interestingly, the Offset Proposal states that the province will consider offset initiatives undertaken anywhere in Canada.3 However, any Offset Initiative Sponsor must be either a resident or an entity with a presence in Ontario.4
Why do carbon offset credits matter?
For companies that produce more than their emissions allowances under the cap and trade program, offset credits provide an alternative method of complying with requirements under the legislation and regulations. Greenhouse gas emitters may use offset credits to account for up to 8% of their obligations under the cap-and-trade program, granting them an extra level of flexibility and choice in how they meet their reductions targets.5
What types of projects are eligible for carbon offset credits?
As outlined in the Offset Proposal, the MOECC may only award offset credits to a narrow range of initiatives that fit within the scope of offset protocols. Only initiatives that began on or after Jan. 1, 2007 will be eligible to create offset credits.
The MOECC is in the process of developing protocols to guide certain classes of carbon offset initiatives. The 2015 Cap and Trade Design Options paper suggests that the initial three protocols will involve:
These first three proposed protocols are based on existing protocols in Québec, and are expected to be fast-tracked for operation by early 2017.6
The remaining ten suggested protocols are largely directed at the agriculture and forestry industries, and they are expected to be in place by 2018:7
The MOECC has advised that these thirteen Ontario offset protocols will be developed for use in both Ontario and Québec.8
The proposed protocols are currently quite narrow in scope. Future protocols may be developed either by the Minister, or submitted by another entity for consideration.9 It remains to be seen what other types of protocols will be developed in the future, and whether they will be available for novel technologies.
How are offset credits issued and tracked?
As part of the offset credit verification process, the MOECC will require in-depth information on the initiative. In order to be eligible for offset credits, each initiative must fit the requirements of an established protocol. The Offset Initiative Sponsor is a person designated to register an initiative and provide annual reports to the MOECC to ensure consistency and relevance of the particular project and any credits issued.
The Offset Initiative Sponsor will be responsible for providing specific and detailed information on the initiative, including the nature and estimated duration of the initiative, and the expected amount of GHG equivalent emissions reductions over the lifetime of the initiative. Once registered, the Offset Initiative Sponsor may apply for offset credits.
The quality of the offset credits will be continually monitored by requiring each Offset Initiative Sponsor to submit annual Initiative Data Reports to the MOECC. These reports will include information on all facets of the specific initiative, and will be independently verified by an accredited organization.
To add a further layer of accountability, the MOECC plans to create a publicly accessible Offsets Registry.10 The Offsets Registry will also allow those who purchase offset credits to make informed decisions about the source of their purchases.
Accounting for Greenhouse Gas “Leakage” and “Reversal”
Two interesting concepts addressed in the Offset Proposal are “leakage” and “reversal.”
“Leakage” is described as a reduction in emissions by an offset initiative in one jurisdiction resulting in an equivalent increase in emissions in another jurisdiction. For example, the conservation or protection of forests as carbon sinks in one area may result in additional deforestation in another area. Any potential leakage must be measured or estimated quantitatively where possible in order to provide an accurate representation of offset emissions.11
The Offset Proposal also addresses the risk of “reversal”, in which the effects of carbon offsets are reversed, either intentionally or unintentionally. For example, if an offset initiative is based around the preservation of tracts of forest, with carbon sequestered in living trees, a forest fire might result in a significant amount of this sequestered carbon being released back into the atmosphere.
The risk of reversals for initiatives are accounted for by creating a Buffer Account.12 If an Ontario Offset Protocol identifies a risk of reversal associated with a particular form of carbon offset, the regulation and protocol will require a corresponding amount of credits to be placed into the Buffer Account as a form of insurance policy against this reversal. The Buffer Account will also include 3% of all non-sequestration credits in order to address the risk of intentionally reversed credits, or credits created fraudulently or in error.13
Looking Ahead: Key Cap and Trade Program Dates
Dec. 6 & 8, 2016
MOECC hosting cap and trade auction training webinars
Jan. 1, 2017
First compliance period begins
Practice cap and trade auction
Finalization of general regulatory and offset credit amendments
Proposal for administrative penalties regulation
First Ontario cap and trade auction (there will be 4 auctions per year and up to 4 sales per year)
Dec. 31, 2020
First compliance period ends
Nov. 1, 2021
Deadline for submitting allowances equal to attributed emissions for compliance period
Obligation to submit 3 allowances for every allowance not submitted on time
1 See Ontario’s Compliance Offset Credits Regulatory Proposal at p.4, online.
2 Ibid at p.8.
3 Ibid at p.4.
4 Ibid at p.6.
5 Ibid at p.4.
7 See Ontario’s Cap and Trade Program Design Options paper at p.31, online.
8 Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Cap and trade: offset credits and protocols, available online.
9 Ibid at p.25.
10 See Ontario’s Compliance Offset Credits Regulatory Proposal at p.7, online.
11 Ibid at p.11.
12 Ibid at p.20.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Information made available on this website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action based upon this information. Never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. Gowling WLG professionals will be pleased to discuss resolutions to specific legal concerns you may have.
This article was published on December 6, 2017 on the Gowling WLG website: https://gowlingwlg.com/en/canada/insights-resources/upcoming-ontario-cap-and-trade-auction-and-proposed-regulatory-amendments. ILCO wishes to thank Alexandra Sadvari, and Benjamin Ojoleck and Gowling WLG for permitting ILCO to reprint the article.
1. Workstation Layout – Computer Ergonomics
This section describes postures that seek to minimize postural demands. However, it should be noted that any one posture becomes fatiguing after a while, and that changes in posture are important. Thus the posture described and illustrated in Figure 1, is a guideline as to general suitability of posture, and is not the only recommended posture.
As noted in the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) guideline movement is important to minimize postural fatigue and discomfort. Movement may include slightly adjusting the positioning of the head, shoulders, arms, back, hips, and legs. For example, hip angle changes as a person reclines in their chair. Leg and hip angles change as a person stretches their legs out in front. Shoulder and arm angles can be changed by moving the chair forward or back slightly.
When working at a keyboard, the operator should be sitting with the upper arms hanging naturally from the shoulders. The elbows should be bent at roughly a 90-degree angle when the fingers are in typing position on the home row of the keyboard. This posture allows the arms and wrists to be held in a natural and relaxed position that puts the least amount of physical stress on muscles and joints.
If work surfaces are too high, users must raise their arms and shoulders. This requires continuous muscular effort, called "static effort" or "static loading". This static effort in the arms and shoulders may be fatiguing, and it may also hinder blood flow, adding to discomfort and even to the risk of injury. In addition, the wrist may be flexed (bent forward) to reach the keys, placing stress on forearm muscles and wrist tissues.
If the work surfaces are too low, the worker must lean forward, placing stresses on the arms and back. As well, the wrists will tend to be bent back, also stressing the muscles and tissues.
A desk height that is too high or too low for writing can result in the same kinds of problems.
Note: This diagram is just an example. Workstation set ups will vary according to the particular desk style, monitor, tray mount or other accessories used.
Input devices such as computer mouses, trackballs and digitizing tablets are used to perform a variety of types of computer work ranging from word processing to computer aided design (CAD). There are a number of types and styles of devices. For example, some mouses now have scroll buttons. Mouse settings can also be adjusted for left handed users and to change the speed and distance of mouse travel and clicking actions required. It is important that users, and purchasers of computers are aware of the range of devices and settings available, to determine which are most appropriate for their application and use.
Even with the appropriate device, poor positioning can lead to problems. Users may hold the arm they use to control the device in a fixed, raised or outstretched position. This results in static loading of the shoulder and in bent wrist postures that contribute to discomfort and risk of injury.
A mouse or a tablet should be placed as close to the worker's side as possible at a height that allows the upper arm to hang relaxed from the shoulder with a "neutral" wrist position, with the hand in line with forearm. This position causes the least physical stress. The mouse should be also placed so the cord and items on the desk do not limit movement.
If a keyboard/mouse platform is used, take care that it allows the mouse to be placed as close to the keyboard as possible (at the same height and in the same plane), and that it provides a stable surface of sufficient size.
At CAD and other workstations where work is done with one arm for long periods, the forearm should be supported by a desk surface to the side of the operator or by adjustable armrests on the desk or the chair (see Figure 2). This support is necessary to reduce static loading.
The mouse or other hand-held input device should not contribute to cramped hand postures. This may require consideration of different-sized devices for different hand sizes. The device should be shaped so as to minimize bent wrist postures, or, failing that, the forearm should be supported on a raised smooth surface to allow a comfortable wrist posture.
The mouse buttons should be located so as to avoid awkward finger and hand postures. The activation force (the force needed to make a button click) should not be so great as to cause fatigue. But it should not be so little that buttons can be clicked inadvertently since users will then tend to hold their fingers up away from the buttons, causing static loading of the muscles.
Users should be encouraged to hold the mouse in a relaxed way, not to grip it tightly, and to move it from the shoulder rather than just the wrist. This better distributes muscular demands and reduces wrist movements and static loading.
As noted in the CSA guideline, keyboards are usually the main input device, and they should be properly designed and placed. Placement of the keyboard has already been discussed.
The keyboard selected should be suitable to the task and user. There are alternative keyboards available, which vary from the standard design. These should be tested prior to implementation to ensure that they are suitable for the individual and task. The CSA guideline provides more detail in this regard.
Note: This diagram is just an example. Workstation set ups will vary according to the particular desk style, monitor, tray mount or other accessories used
Monitors should be placed so that the top of the screen is at the operator's eye level, though there are exceptions as noted in the next section on bifocals. The viewing distance between the operator's eyes and the screen should be in the range of 40 to 74 centimetres. The size of the monitor often dictates viewing distance. If the monitor is large the workstation should be large enough to accommodate it. The increasing use of flat screen monitors is allowing for better space use and more flexibility in screen position.
If the screen is too low or too high, the muscles of the neck must work continuously to hold the head in a viewing position, which may result in fatigue and discomfort. If the screen is viewed continuously or frequently it should be directly in front of the worker to avoid having to keep the head turned to one side. Improper viewing distances or positions may result in fatiguing head positions and in visual fatigue caused by the effort needed to focus.
A computer operator who wears bifocals may tilt the head back to view the monitor through the bottom, close-vision, part of the glasses. If bifocals cause discomfort or awkward head positions, several approaches can be taken. The screen should be lowered such that the head is in a neutral position when viewing the top line of text or other material.
Alternatively, one could wear single-focus glasses designed specifically for computer work, with the focal distance chosen for the viewing distance between the worker and the screen. In this case, it is important that a document holder is also used, to position documents at the same viewing distance.
Other options are graduated bifocals, which have no sharp line between the two parts of the lens, trifocals, or the use of reverse bifocal lenses, where the computer screen prescription is in the upper part of the lens.
Computer users should have their eyes checked regularly and discuss their computer use with their optometrists.
A height-adjustable chair can help in placing the operator at a proper height for typing and viewing the monitor, especially when height-adjustable tables are not available. The height of the chair should allow the feet to rest flat on the floor with the thighs roughly parallel to the floor. To place some shorter workers at a comfortable typing height, the chair must be raised. If a worker's feet then cannot reach the floor, the front edge of the chair may press into the underside of the worker's thighs, which may impair circulation and cause discomfort. These problems can be avoided by using a footrest.
The size of the worker is an important consideration in buying a chair. Many newer models of chairs come in different sizes to accommodate the variation in user sizes
An office chair should have:
Footrests, where they are necessary, should have a stable surface and be large enough to accommodate both feet easily. The footrest angle could be adjustable, though a fixed footrest is suitable if it allows for comfortable ankle angles (roughly 90° between foot and leg). Generally fixed footrest angles are in the range of 0 - 30°.
Make sure that workers are aware of the importance of adjusting their chairs correctly and know how to make adjustments themselves. Chairs should be readjusted when workers change the height they will be working at for any length of time: for example, from keyboarding to writing.
The best way to provide the proper screen and keyboard heights for all operators is to use split-level tables or desks that allow each height to be adjusted independently. This allows for proper work postures for a range of user sizes. However, a fixed desk of suitable height, the correct use of an adjustable chair, and a footrest and/ or monitor stand where necessary, will also allow for suitable postures.
The CSA guideline promotes adjustable worksurfaces but also gives a recommendation for a fixed desk height of 73 cm +/- 2.5 cm.
Any table, desk or stand used for computer work must be deep enough for both the keyboard and the monitor to be in front of the worker. The CSA guideline recommends a minimum of 76 centimetres. In cases where space is limited, the use of flat screens is one option for freeing up space.
There should be sufficient leg-room. The CSA guideline calls for 43 centimetres of horizontal knee space and 60 centimetres of "toe space", the total horizontal space for leg and foot. The vertical clearance at the front edge of the work surface should be at least 68 cm. The width of the leg space should be at least 50 cm.
Computer work often involves entering information from source documents. These should be located beside the screen and in the same plane. This reduces the size and amount of head and eye movements between the document and the screen and decreases the likelihood of muscular and visual fatigue. The best way to position documents correctly is to use an adjustable document holder. These are usually mounted on a flexible arm that is fixed to a base or clamps to the edge of the desk. The clamping type is preferable if desk space is limited. Before purchasing a holder, consider the size and thickness of the documents to be used and choose a holder that will accommodate them. A slant board is one option for supporting larger document.
Increasingly, workers are required to use a keyboard while on the telephone. This often results in awkward head, neck and back postures with the receiver cradled between the shoulder and head to leave both hands free. Workers required to use a computer while on the telephone for long periods tend to experience discomfort, particularly in the head and back. In such cases, headsets should be used. Hands-free phones are also an option, where the office space and task are appropriate. A spacer or cradle that mounts to the handset is not a preferred option. Although it improves the head position, a static effort is still needed to hold the handset in place.
For more information visit: https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/comp_erg/gl_comp_erg_2.php
This article is protected by Crown copyright held by the © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2016.
ILCO is pleased to welcome the following upgrades (UG), retired and new members as of December 6, 2016.
Amanda S. Amirault
Susan J. Atkins
Alan J. Bass
Céline V. Blakeley
Julie M. Brazeau
Karen L. Cahill
Amanda M. Carr
Lauren L. Carroll
Taylor N. Combdon
Katharine M. A. Crawford
Ashley D. Csanadi
Samantha E. Da Rocha
Brittany C. Dagistanli
Nekeisha N. Danvers
Laura C. Di Giulio
Jennifer A. Dieplinger
Audree M. Forrest
Natiliee N. Fountain
Chelsea A. Godinho
Victoria D. L. Hinds
Julia C. Holliwell
Stella Huevelmans Kanyogonya
Samantha A. Hugli
Tamar A. Jackson
Timothy A. J. Jacobs
Laura C. Kelley
Lexanne E. Kemp-Palmer
Melissa C. Kuz
Nicole R. Laurie
Tearrin E. Lewis
Martine P. Lucier
Scott K. Lyons
Kathleen R. MacLellan
Kayla N. J. Margach
Robert D. McEachern
Kathryn E. Morrison
Melanie R. Morrison
Allycia V. Mulligan
Ann-Marie D. Peart
Victoria M. Robinson
Carly N. Sanders
Schevon S. Sandy-Mitchell
Pritha P. Sarkar
Dylan L. Stone
Brooke L. Taylor
Jami A. D. Vandette
Katie I. Vickerson
Brianna L. Williams
Rebecca N. Wilson
Jennifer A. Wrench
Michelle N. Alexander (UG)
Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP
Cassandra L. Bourassa
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (Ottawa)
Nicole D. Cameron
Francis & Francis LLP
Daniela N. Campos
O'Donnell, Robertson & Sanfilippo
Laura S. Carnochan
Russell Wm. Palin Professional Corporation
Jessica A. Carvalho
O'Donnell, Robertson & Sanfilippo
Mélyssa L. Chénier
Simard & Associates
Joyce Chiu (UG)
ESC Corporate Services Ltd.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Keisha C. De Coteau-Nedd
O'Donnell, Robertson & Sanfilippo
Brock Medical Malpractice Law PC
Katherine L. Emberley
Marie G. Michaels & Associates Professional Corporation
Carly E. Ferrier
EY Law LLP
Sarah J. Glass
Greenspan Humphrey Lavine
Torkin Manes LLP
Caitlin A. Johnson
Northleaf Capital Partners
Rogers Partners LLP
Mary L. Kavanagh
Benson Percival Brown LLP
Hope M. Kilburn
Vincent Dagenais Gibson LLP/s.r.l.
Kelly Latimer (UG)
Boulman Family Law
Christine A. Le Dressay
Chelsea Little (UG)
CC Corporate Counsel Professional Corporation
ESC Corporate Services Ltd.
Nicole V. R. Loraas
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
Amanda J. M. Lusty
O'Donnell, Robertson & Sanfilippo
Melanie MacFarlane (UG)
CACEIS (Canada) Limited
Jessica J. Mah
Impart Law Professional Corporation
Mari-Lynne J. McNeil (UG)
The Bank of Nova Scotia
Yi Mei (UG)
Zhao Law Professional Corporation
Piersanti & Company Professional Corporation
Loopstra Nixon LLP
Michaela C. Nolan
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
Tanya M. O'Connell
Loukidelis Professional Corporation
Schultz Frost LLP
Katelynn A. Paul
Atlas Law Group
Lori M. Pealow
Amanda H. Persaud
Reisler Franklin LLP
Megan E. Phillips
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
Amanda N. Pierce
Volkswagen Group Canada Inc.
Oxford Properties Group
Jennifer G. Priess
Barnable Law P.C.
Schultz Frost LLP
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (Toronto)
Michael A. Ritter
James Wilson Barristers
Strype Barristers LLP
Angela Rudd (UG)
David T. Star
Tanya M. Russell
David Zeldin, Barrister & Solicitor
ESC Corporate Services Ltd.
Lauren A. Scott
Jones Litigation Counsel LLP
Kaili M. Scott
Owens Wright LLP
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Hua (Stephanie) Song
Minken Employment Lawyers
Rebekah C. Souliere
Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP
Katerine S. Stewart
Christopher G. Harrison, Barrister & Solicitor
O'Donnell, Robertson & Sanfilippo
Milot Law Professional Corporation
Sherry L. Thomson
Nadine N. Torrents
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
Cierra M. Turner-Bailey
ESC Corporate Services Ltd.
Sarah D. Wilson
O'Donnell, Robertson & Sanfilippo
Olga Yureva (UG)
Kostyniuk & Greenside Lawyers
Robin C. Andrews (UG)
PepsiCo Foods Canada
Patricia A. Bell
Aitken Klee LLP
Melissa M. Boone
Fogler, Rubinoff LLP
Baker & McKenzie LLP
EY Law LLP
Stephanie L. Flaherty
The Source (Bell) Electronics Inc.
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
Gabriela Henriquez (UG)
Owens Wright LLP
Michele A. Libertus
Plaxton & Mann
Po Wai Lin
CI Investments Inc.
Michelle M. Shikatani (UG)
Shulman Law Firm Professional Corporation
Maureen L. Smith
Lockyer + Hein LLP
Brenda D. Varallo (UG)
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Jacqueline Cummins (UG)
Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Virginia M. Fletcher (UG)
Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Meredith M. Francis (UG)
Rochon Genova LLP
Ann P. W. Lattanzio (UG)
Charlene Lewin (UG)
Deanna K. Watters (UG)
Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Shannon M. Lewis
Torys LLP (Calgary)
Mei Hong Guo
Romeo T. Villanueva
ILCO is pleased to welcome the following new ILCO Certified Experts in their area of law as of December 6, 2016.
Michelle Armitage (Corporate Law)
MD Financial Management Inc.
Christina Boodhan (Family Law)
Beard Winter LLP
Nancy Cohen (Securities Law)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Ana Flemmings (Corporate Law)
SimpsonWigle LAW LLP
Elizabeth Lewis (Family Law)
Lavinia Yingwen Qian (Litigation)
Zurich Legal Services
See www.ilco.on.ca for further details. Dates may be subject to change.
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