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Law Clerks' Review

The Newsletter of the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario
August 2018
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Messages from ILCO

I can’t believe summer is coming to an end!  It has been a busy time for the ILCO staff and directors.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to celebrate our 50th Anniversary at The King Edward Hotel.  Not only were members and sponsors present but we were honored to have one of our past presidents, Sylvia Morris, join us. 

This year’s conference in Ottawa was another success.  Between our speakers, our attendees, our sponsors and exhibitors, everyone took away a lot of relevant information for their practice, as well as new contacts to reach out to in the future. 

The updated ILCO website was launched in May and we have received a lot of positive comments on the look and feel of it. 

Our membership renewal season has started and the feedback on renewing your membership through our new system has been positive.  Thanks to everyone for your patience with the ILCO staff through the transition to the new system. 

Best wishes to you and your family for a safe and healthy summer.


Lisa Matchim

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Programs are going paperless!

ILCO cares about the environment and our goal has been to reduce as much paper waste as possible. Encouraging our members to go paperless is part of an ongoing effort to be more environmentally conscious.

This will provide a quick and easy reference for attendees. On a going forward basis our CLE materials will be e-mailed to all attendees following each CLE program. 

Thanks for your continued support.

CLE Committee

Registration, date and time details to follow soon.  In the meantime if you have any questions please contact CLE at

Natasha Khan, Sharon D'Souza and Zadiha Iqbal, Co-Chairs
Lisa Matchim, Rana Mirdawi, Peuly Rahman, Christina Boodhan, 
Alexis Fitzjohn, Rachel Fischer and Anne Marie Jansen
Continuing Legal Education 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 into your resources and network. Contact the ILCO office at 416-214-6252 or 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:

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Education Awards


Getting involved in a new career or going back to school for further development is no easy task.  However, year after year ILCO has the pleasure of meeting its top students that accomplish just that.

Currently there are two levels of education offered by ILCO, Associate and Fellowship.

On an annual basis, ILCO acknowledges students who are members of ILCO from across the country that have attained the highest marks in each of ILCO’s Associate courses (Real Estate, Estates, Litigation and Corporate) and the ILCO Fellowship courses.  We also take the opportunity to recognize members through the academic year who achieved an honours standing of 80% or higher on each of the four Associate exams.

This year’s Annual Education Awards ceremony was held on March 3, 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto.  The ceremony focused on each student’s achievements in the 2016-2017 academic year.

The event was attended by an enthusiastic group of award recipients, family and friends who during the presentations reminded us of their commitment to move forward in their legal career through higher education. Our keynote speaker was Crystal O’Donnell, founder and CEO of Heuristica Discovery Counsel.

Following the presentations, the group dined in style to an amazing lunch generously sponsored by ESC, Heuristica Discovery Counsel and Cartel Inc.

As ILCO continues to commemorate the award recipients each year, we understand the importance of higher education and training. We recognize that each student registered in an ILCO course creates momentum for themselves, reaching one milestone cycles into fueling energy to reach another milestone, these milestones cycle to create an occasion to celebrate personal success!

On behalf of ILCO we applaud the 2016-2017 award recipients and wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

We would like to express our gratitude to our sponsors, ESC, Cartel Inc. and Heuristica Discovery Counsel, who contributed in making this event a success.

We look forward to commemorating next year’s event.


Kathryn Rizzi                                      Lisa Matchim

Co-chair Education                          Co-chair Education

Crystal O'Donnell, Heuristica Discovery Counsel

Photo - Awards - Crystal O'DonnellI was honoured to be asked to participate in this event and to say a few words as you celebrate your success and achievements.

To all of you who work within the legal system and the delivery of legal services, I hope you know and appreciate how valuable your skills are and the importance you have to legal profession and the entire legal system.

ILCO continues to play a critical role in supporting and providing professional education and development in your respective practice areas. Law clerks and legal support are the backbone of our profession – without you, quite frankly most of us lawyers would be lost and buried.

I am going to focus my comments today on the future of law, and the growing importance you can bring to the changes in our profession.

As with every field of practice, technology is fundamentally changing how we work and how we deliver services to clients. Unfortunately, albeit not surprisingly, the legal profession has been late to the adoption of technology and new business processes. My personal view is that this is due in part to the fact that our profession is trained to look backwards – we follow precedent and tradition more than many professions. And let’s face it – managing change in lawyers can be like herding cats.

Technology and the new business processes are causing transformations in the traditional delivery of legal services for the entire legal industry. I am of the view that this period of transformation provides tremendous opportunity for professional growth, innovation and the ability to take the lead in your own future.

My own career path included leaving a traditional litigation practice and to embrace technology. I was a civil litigator for 11 years. Then in 2009 I took a leap of faith and left that role to develop a career in eDiscovery. Many of my colleagues and friends thought I had lost my mind…. Seriously – there were even a few closed door meetings to make sure. Externally my response was that technology was the future of law and that I was choosing to be at the forefront and leading the charge. Internally, of course I was scared, it was a leap of faith only knowing that what I was about to do would lead to things I couldn’t even then imagine. Now, 8.5 years later, I am the founder and CEO of a national law firm that employs 15 full time and 20-25 contract personnel – lawyers and law clerks.

Because you are here today, you have demonstrated your commitment in your own education and professional development and to your future. Technology WILL impact your future. I encourage all of you to take control and take the necessary steps to ensure that it is a positive impact on your future – don’t get left behind.

All of us, as legal professionals, have a responsibility to think about ways we can improve our services – decrease costs and improve access to justice. Law clerks of tomorrow will need a wider range of skills and competencies to meet the demands of roles that are only starting to emerge. These include legal data analysis, technical litigation support, legal project management, legal process analysis.

The opportunities for growth and development are endless. Take advantage of the information and education available through ILCO and online, encourage adoption of the use of technology in your practices. While no one can confidently predict the impact over the next 5-10 years – the transformation will be pervasive.

I will borrow a line from Richard Susskind – “The most fruitful way to predict the future, as it has been said by others, is to invent it.”

Invent your futures.

Please join me in congratulating the award winners

Victor Award, Balfour Award and David Boakes Award Excellence in CORPORATE, REAL ESTATE LAW and ESTATES LAW

In 1971, James Bristow, founding member of ILCO, expressed an interest to donate an award for excellence in Corporate law in honour of his father Victor Bristow. The award is presented to an ILCO member who attains the highest mark on the corporate provincial exam.

In 1971, David Boakes (founding member of ILCO) expressed a wish to donate an award for excellence in Real Estate. In honour of David’s father Balfour Boakes, this award is presented to an ILCO member who attains the highest mark on the real estate provincial exam

Since 1995, ILCO has donated an award for excellence in Estates in commemoration of David Boakes (founding member of ILCO). This award is presented to an ILCO member who attains the highest mark on the estates provincial exam.

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Victor Award, Balfour Award and David Boakes Award
Yang Liu

James Bristow Award Excellence in LITIGATION ILCO has been donating an award for Excellence in Litigation since 1995 to recognize the hard work and dedication of James V. Bristow to ILCO. This award is presented to an ILCO member who attains the highest mark on the litigation provincial exam.
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James Bristow Award
Jennifer A. Dieplinger

Fellowship Award for Excellence Business Law The award is presented to a member of ILCO who attains the highest mark in a Fellowship course.
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Fellowship Award for Excellence
Stephanie Racine

Honors Certificates

ILCO has been presenting honour certificates to students that have taken the 4 provincial exams since 2002. These certificates are presented to the student members that achieve an honours standing (80%) or higher on each of the four (4) provincial examinations (Real Estate, Litigation, Estates and Corporate).

Yang Liu

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I was extremely thrilled when I learned that I am the recipient of the David Boakes Award in Estates, the Balfour Award in Real Estate, the Victor Award in Corporate and the ILCO Honours Certificate. Actually, it was a little overwhelming but nonetheless a great honour to receive such an encouraging recognition from the ILCO.

Completing four courses in ten months with a full-time job at a busy law firm was not easy. It consisted of countless evenings and weekends of studying both in the classroom and in front of my desk. To be honest, it was hard, sometimes even painful. However, now standing here looking back, I believe all the hard work paid off. What I acquired was not just a certificate and a few awards, but more importantly, I experienced a great journey where I gained more insights in law and met many wonderful people in my life. The materials I learned on this journey clarified various issues I had from work and now I am able to understand the purpose and meaning behind my files at work. I also established many close personal relationships with my classmates. I was thrilled to get the chance to meet many ILCO certified expert law clerks, whose experience inspired me greatly and became my career role models.

There are also several people that I would like to express my gratitude for. Firstly, my husband. He always provided me with endless and unconditional support and for that I am thankful. Also, I would like to thank the instructors at George Brown College, you are amazing. You are incredibly knowledgeable and have always patiently answered my bottomless questions. Additionally, I would like to thank my friends and colleagues who encouraged and supported me to persevere and to keep improving myself both in and out of work. Without all of these support and encouragement, I would not be here today.

Finally, thank you to ILCO for providing such a great program! I look forward to taking the knowledge, skills, mentors and friends I have received here and bringing them along with me to all future endeavors. Thank you and best wishes to each and every one here today!

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It is a great honour and privilege to be here today amongst yourselves and the other award recipients to receive the James Bristow Award for excellence in litigation. I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude and pride. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Institute for this incredible recognition and for hosting such a lovely event today.

To the Board of Directors, staff, instructors, families, friends, and employers – thank you! Those of you who have offered their encouragement and support in this quest – this is your moment too. Your positive impacts and influences have resulted in some remarkable achievements. I am grateful and indebted to a number of people who I wish to thank today, including:

  • My wonderful husband, Joel, who has always been incredibly supportive and patient. You are my beacon of light and solid foundation and I am truly blessed to have you in my life;
  • To my employer, Aird & Berlis LLP, and more specifically Chris Williams and Trish Foran, who have always encouraged and supported me in my various academic endeavours, even when they weren’t necessarily relevant! Your words of encouragement and flexibility in work schedule have made such a huge difference in my ability to excel and succeed. I am forever grateful to you both;
  • To my instructor, Colleen Broderick, who is the guru of litigation! You not only provide your students with the information to succeed but manage to take a personal and practical approach to teaching so that each student can understand the material in a way that is relevant and applicable to both the subject matter and their professional experiences; and
  • Finally, to ILCO for providing the tools and programs to our profession so that each of us can succeed and strive towards excellence.

I have been a legal assistant for over 20 years now and throughout my career, ILCO has always been an integral part of my development and growth. I started my career with a wonderful sole practitioner whose practice was focused primarily on family law. Feeling slightly overwhelmed and very inexperienced, I turned to ILCO for guidance and was soon enrolled in the Advanced Family Law program where I thrived and gained confidence. Years later, my journey brought me to an amazing downtown firm where I soon had the opportunity to join the municipal and land use planning department. I was thrilled – a new challenge and working with such a dynamic and accomplished group!  Having had no prior experience in municipal law (frankly, I didn’t even know what municipal law was), I once again reached out to ILCO and inquired whether they offered any courses in this area. I was informed that they did not but to feel free to check in from time to time. And so I did, on a regular basis. The staff at ILCO were always so gracious to respond to my emails and work with me in finding a solution. The solution being, if I could find someone who would be willing to teach a seminar on this topic, ILCO would host it. By September of that year, Chris was presenting the seminar: “Municipal Building Blocks: Understanding the Legal Framework of Municipal Law” which was very well received.

This is but one example of the Institute’s commitment to providing legal education and support to its members. By understanding the needs of its members and collaborating with them, the Institute reinforces its mission to provide and promote education, knowledge and advancement. I am incredibly grateful to ILCO for providing the tools and programs to our profession so that each of us can succeed and strive towards excellence. I am so proud to be a member of this association and feel humbled to receive this award today. It has reinforced my aspiration to complete the associate level courses and continue to succeed and grow in this field. Thank you.

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I am honoured to receive ILCO's 2017 Award for Excellence in Fellowship. I was shocked and delighted when I was notified that I was being recognized for my achievement. All of the studying and hard work paid off!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends and colleagues for their support. To my family, thank you for supporting me, and for allowing me to lock myself in our office for hours on end. To my friends and colleagues, thank you for your kind words of encouragement and congratulations. I am fortunate to work for Cunningham Swan, a law firm that invests in its staff and firmly believes in continuing education. They encouraged me to enroll in the Business Law Fellowship course, and without their support, I would not be standing here today.

I would like to also thank our course instructor, Murray Gottheil. Through your instruction, I have started to ask "why" more often in my daily work life. Finally, thank you to ILCO for organizing this event which allows each of us to stop for a moment and recognize that our hard work yielded wonderful achievements. Congratulations to the other recipients, and thank you for this recognition.

Commitment to Excellence 28th Annual Conference


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The ILCO Conference Committee is thrilled to share the success of its 28th Annual Conference, "Commitment to Excellence" which was held from May 2-5, 2018 at the Delta Ottawa City Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. 

The conference kicked off with Keynote Speaker Margaret Trudeau, who’s life story and underlying message were truly inspiring.  Margaret even stayed after her session to meet with delegates and sign copies of her book – we were very lucky to have this opportunity! 

On Friday, keynote speaker Karen Gordon gave a very informative and useful presentation on communication in the media, social media and in our day-to-day lives.  Her tips were very useful in today’s society, where communicating online or via email is no longer private.  

On Saturday, Gair Maxwell had delegates on their feet as they learned about the Knowing-Doing G.A.P.  We even discovered that one of our delegates plays a mean air guitar!

In addition to the engaging keynote speakers, there were 24 breakout sessions which provided attendees with a variety of legal topics in various practice areas. As always, our esteemed speakers were exceptional, and we thank them all for taking time from their busy schedules to join us.

There were a number of excellent social and networking events for our guests to enjoy. The conference kicked off on Wednesday night with a Pre-Conference Meet & Greet Reception, graciously hosted by Stewart Title, in the Panorama Room atop the hotel. Guests were provided with the opportunity to connect with fellow delegates, many of whom they had not seen since the prior ILCO conference in Halifax.

On Thursday evening a second cocktail reception, generously sponsored by Thomson Reuters, was also held on the penthouse level.  This event once again provided the opportunity for delegates to meet, mingle and relax. A great time was had by all!

Our main, Friday night event was sponsored by ILCO and Stewart McKelvey and was held in a truly unique venue – the Canadian War Museum.  Guests were treated to a cocktail reception and a tour of the museum with dinner to follow among the various tanks and war equipment.   After dinner, the tables were cleared and our attendees danced the night away!

The Annual ILCO Conference provides attendees with great learning and development opportunities and the chance to network with other professionals. The success of the conference is not possible without the support of our sponsors, exhibitors and attendees. We thank all of you for your continued support. Special thanks to our 2018 conference committee and ILCO office staff.

We hope to see you at next year’s conference from May in Québec City at the beautiful Château Frontenac from May 8 – May 11, 2019!

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This year’s 19th annual golf tournament held at The Marches Golf Club in Kanata kicked off this year's Conference. The Marshes Golf Club was unique in that it offered both a full 18 hole course (“Marshes”) as well as a 9 hole executive par three course (“Marchwood”).  It was a perfect sunny day and we had **** golfers at all levels who enjoyed this fun event.

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the title sponsor, put on another great tournament and was followed by a delicious **** served on the ****. Golfers had an excellent opportunity to network while enjoying refreshing drinks and delicious food. It remains a great way to relax and mingle with colleagues, sponsors and friends.

ILCO wishes to thank again Ricoh for supporting this golf tournament.

Congratulations to

Winning Team - Marches
Dillon Craig, Jackie Sievert, Dominic Cutri

Winning Team - Marchwood
Karen Ethier, Danielle Lepine, Bridget Forberg, Cory Lefebvre


Photos below (left to right):
Sponsors - Ricoh: Michael Greenhow, Steve Spagnolo
Winning Team Marshes: Dillon Craig, Jackie Sievert, Dominic Cutri
Registration DeskDanielle Lepine (seated), Liz McHugh, Cory Lefebvre, Bridget Forberg, Jeannette St-Denis, Karen Ethier
Winning Team Marchwood: Karen Ethier, Danielle Lepine, Bridget Forberg, Cory Lefebvre
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Original Publication Date: December 11, 2017 | Christina J. Wallis


On January 1, 2018, the section of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 dealing with public holiday pay is revised. The new method for calculating public holiday pay comes into effect. Are you ready to calculate public holiday pay for the January 1, 2018, public holiday?

Calculation of public holiday pay (also known as statutory pay) will not be the same for entitlements for the New Year’s Day public holiday pay as it was for the calculation of 2017 Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The amount an employee is entitled to be paid for the January 1, 2018, public holiday, is equal to:

Total amount of regular wages earned

in the pay period immediately before Jan. 1, 2018

÷ no. of days employee worked in that period

For example, if employee, John, earned $500 for the pay period December 24 to 30, 2017, and John worked 4 days during that period, he would be entitled to $125 in public holiday pay for January 1, 2018 ($500 ÷ 4 = $125).

OLD calculation:  John would have had to work on the last scheduled work day before January 1, 2018, and the next scheduled work day after January 1, 2018, to be entitled to public holiday pay. So, if John did not show up for work on the day before or after the public holiday, without reasonable cause for missing the day, he would not be entitled to public holiday pay. Also the calculation was different. The public holiday was calculated on the amount of earnings for the four weeks prior to the public holiday divided by 20.

What if the employee did not work during pay period before January 1, 2018?

If the employee was on vacation or on a leave under section 50 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, during the entire pay period immediately before the January 1, 2018, public holiday, then you calculate the public holiday pay on the pay period before the start of the leave or vacation.

What if you have a new employee that started work during the pay period that includes January 1, 2018?

If you have a new employee that was not employed during the pay period immediately before the January 1, 2018, public holiday, then you calculate that employee’s public holiday pay on his/her regular wages earned in the paid period that includes the public holiday divided by the number of days the employee worked in that period.

There are a number of additional changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 many of which are taking effect on January 1, 2018, such as vacation time increase, leaves of absence, and personal sick days. Are you ready?

Christina J. Wallis is a Partner lawyer practising civil litigation with a focus in Employment Law at Dale & Lessmann LLP, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a full service business law firm. To speak to Christina please call 416-369-7832 or send an email message to her at

May 17, 2018 | Emma Hamilton

Millennials are a loosely defined group of people (those born approximately between 1981 to 2001) who are now beginning to enter the workforce and acquire their own assets. With an aging population it is inevitable that there will be a significant wealth transfer between baby boomers and millennials over the next several decades. In order to plan for this, the younger generation should turn their mind to drawing up a Will, giving careful consideration to who they wish to benefit and take steps to protect family wealth and/or an inheritance. Not only is succession planning important, a Will clearly outlines their intentions and alleviates stress for families if an unexpected death occurs.

Why is it important to prepare a Will when young? A young person who has no dependants and only plans to leave their assets and personal effects to their parents may view the expense of a Will as unnecessary as their wishes can be addressed on intestacy under the Ontario Succession Law Reform Act. That being said, a Will safeguards against changing circumstances and as well is an important educational tool in increasing financial literacy. A millennial may not own significant property currently, but may expect to do so in the future, or decide to have children. In Ontario and many other jurisdictions, marriage revokes a prior Will, unless made in contemplation of marriage. Having Wills in place as a young couple will provide protection if either were to die unexpectedly. As well, if they are living common law, under Ontario legislation, unless they do so under their Will, a common law partner is not entitled to any share of the deceased partner's estate on an intestacy.

Not only is a Will a safeguard, a Will allows one to decide who to put in charge, how to allocate money, and to whom. What intestacy laws do not contemplate is carrying out particular wishes. This includes:

  • Legacies and bequests of a specific property to family, friends, and/or charities;
  • Multiple residual beneficiaries of their estate;
  • Funeral and burial wishes;
  • Executor and trustee appointments;
  • Insurance and TFSA/RRSP designations;
  • Trust provisions for children (ex: 1/2 at 25 and the remainder at 30) and a spouse (ex: a spouse and/or family trust); and
  • Guardians of minor children.

Another consideration for a tech-savvy generation is digital assets and accounts. For a social media obsessed generation, very few understand what happens to their accounts and assets on death. Some social media entities, such as Facebook, have privacy rules or terms of use that outline management of the account on death, whereas others are less specific. To ensure there are no issues with access and management, maintaining an accessible account and password list is helpful. It is also important to include a specific designation regarding digital assets and accounts in their power of attorney for property and Will to provide the attorney or executor with management power.

Incapacity planning is also key to the estate planning process. As a young healthy individual in their twenties, incapacity is not at the forefront of their mind, but accidents or unexpected illness do happen. Having the freedom to appoint their chosen attorney, but also make it easier on their family by preventing a costly guardianship application to the court, is important. Powers of attorney for property and personal care should not be overlooked. By the time they become necessary, it may be too late.

We encourage millennials to see postmortem planning as a long-term investment in their future and a preventative measure for unanticipated circumstances. Having this conversation early with the younger generation will only make this topic easier in the future and is an important stepping stone to taking control of one's future.

By Emma Hamilton of O'Sullivan Estate Lawyers LLP, posted in Estate Planning on Thursday, May 17, 2018.

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Kim Brown | Shulman Law Firm

We’ve reached a milestone in this country! 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Canada’s first federal Divorce Act, and a lot has changed in family law since it was passed.

The Divorce Act established a uniform divorce law across Canada. Before that, there were different laws relating to divorce in different provinces. This Act introduced the concept of permanent breakdown of marriage as grounds for divorce as well, making it much easier for couples, and women in particular, to part ways. Before the Act, a husband could petition for divorce on the grounds that his wife had committed adultery, but a wife could only petition for a divorce based on adultery combined with other offenses.

As our values, expectations and experiences change, so too do the laws that guide us. Below are three other significant changes that have improved the way in which Ontarians resolve divorce and family law issues.

Expansion of the Family Court

In Ontario, family law matters are heard in the Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Justice, or the Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice. The issue in dispute, and where parties are located within the province, will determine which court they attend.

The Superior Court of Justice is the general court for the entire province. It has jurisdiction over criminal, civil, and family cases. It cannot take cases relating to adoption and child-protection matters, except in limited circumstances.

The Ontario Court of Justice hears only those disputes that are governed by provincial law. It also deals with family and non-family matters. In the family realm, it will hear cases regarding child custody and access, child and spousal support matters, as well as child protection and adoption hearings. It does not deal with divorce or divorce-related issues.

The Family Court branch however, is unique in that it is authorized to hear all family law matters. Sometimes referred to as the Unified Family Court, it began as a pilot project in Hamilton in 1977. By 1999, the Family Court was a fully integrated component of the Superior Court of Justice, and 17 Family Court sites were in effect. All 17 sites remain active today.

Why This Change Matters

Unified Family Courts save Ontarians time, and promote access to justice by allowing parties to go to one court to fully resolve their legal issues. It can be very frustrating for individuals to have to switch back and forth between courts, not to mention costly and time-consuming.

Recommendations have been made to expand Unified Family Courts provincewide, but reaching that goal is not a one-step process.

Family Law Rules

The Family Law Rules are specialized rules of procedure for family law cases. They apply in all courts that deal with family cases. They were introduced in 1999 in Family Courts and the Ontario Courts of Justice, and were expanded to apply in all Superior Courts of Justice in 2004.

As a result, there is now one set of court rules for all family cases at the trial level across the province.

Why This Change Matters

Litigants can and should expect fairness and justice from Ontario family court judges, and the Family Law Rules ensure that fairness is woven into court processes.

Furthermore, these rules make it easier for self-represented parties to navigate the legal system. More and more Ontarians are having to represent themselves in court, and these rules make it easier for them to understand, on a step-by-step basis, how their case will be handled and resolved.

Child Support Guidelines

Child support is not determined arbitrarily. It is calculated based on a set of guidelines. The Federal Child Support Guidelines, which were passed in 1997, use various formulas that incorporate factors such as the income of each of the parents, and whether the child lives primarily with one of them.

It’s important to note that federal law applies to child support ordered in cases of divorce, while provincial law applies to child support ordered in all other cases, for example, when the parents are separated or were never married. Provincial law also applies to all child support agreements that are not part of a court order. To maintain consistency, Ontario adopted provincial guidelines under the Family Law Act that mirror the federal ones at the end of 1997.

The main objectives of the federal and provincial Guidelines are to establish a fair standard of support for children from both parents after separation, to reduce conflict and tension between parents by making the calculation of child support orders more objective, to improve the efficiency of the legal process by giving courts and spouses guidance in setting the levels of child support orders and encouraging settlement, and to ensure consistent treatment of spouses and children who are in similar circumstances.

Why This Change Matters

Since Ontario changed its Family Law Act, there is one consistent method of calculating child support for all Ontario families. It does not matter if parents are divorced, separated or never married. It also eliminates the element of surprise for parents. Finally, the Guidelines make it possible for parents to set up their own support agreement, provided it is fair to the child.

Change can be hard when we’re talking about a set of rules or a system designed to regulate an entire province, but it can also be very good, and who said good things come easy.   

Kim Brown, Shulman Law Firm
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Staff at Advocate Daily

While the approach may be out of date, the law still treats animals as property, Toronto family lawyer Jennifer Samara Shuber tells

Shuber, a lawyer with Beard Winter LLP, says a string of decisions from across the country confirming that pets are viewed no differently than furniture or personal belongings in divorce proceedings can be disturbing to animal lovers.

“There are people who believe that statutes need to reflect the new reality of how people view their pets, which is more like part of the family. It’s an ongoing debate, but for now, the law is the law and pets are treated as property,” she says. “It’s a bit of an outmoded view that whoever shelled out the money for the pet is the one who gets to keep it, but whether it’s a dog, a ring or a car, they’re all treated the same way.”

As a result, she says pet owners may wish to enter into contracts akin to prenuptial agreements, laying out what should happen to animals in the event of a separation.

“People are reluctant to do that because they’re worried it forecasts a breakup,” Shuber says.

Animal rights advocates have hailed a Newfoundland and Labrador decision as a step forward in the debate.

While the majority of the three judges on the province’s Court of Appeal reiterated the traditional legal approach by ruling that an ex-couple’s dog should go to the boyfriend because he had paid for it, a dissenting member of the panel said she would have awarded the girlfriend co-ownership after she argued she was the pet’s primary caregiver.

"Dogs are possessive of traits normally associated with people, like personality, affection, loyalty, intelligence, the ability to communicate and follow orders, and so on. As such, many people are bonded with their dogs and suffer great grief when they lose them," the dissent reads.

Shuber says advocates may also be boosted by existing distinctions drawn in family law disputes over items of property with sentimental value to one party.

“If a family heirloom on the wife’s side was gifted to the couple when they were married, a court will consider the emotional attachment she may have if there’s a fight over ownership,” she explains.

But Shuber says pet owners who go to court in the hopes of finding someone who will treat their pet like a child are still likely to receive short shrift from many judges. For example, in a 2016 Saskatchewan case , a woman asked the court to order that two dogs owned with her estranged husband should stay with her after their separation.

Labelling him a “cat person,” the woman conceded her ex should be granted “reasonable access” to the dogs for limited visits on agreed days, while the husband countered with an offer that they each keep one but that she could choose which dog she preferred.

However, Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Danyliuk used his decision to reject the “custody approach” to pets altogether.

“I say without reservation that the prospect of treating pets as children would be treated holds absolutely no attraction for me,” he wrote. “I say this cognizant that many dog owners, perhaps most of them, choose to treat the family dog not as property but as family. Certainly, that is what these parties did. But that choice does not alter the law that pets are property.

"My present task is not to act with emotion or to validate the personal perspective of pet owners within the legal context. Rather, it is to interpret and then apply the law. And for legal purposes, there can be no doubt: Dogs are property.”

The judge then went on to describe the whole dispute over the pets as “wasteful” of scarce judicial resources that should be discouraged.

“I urge both parties to attempt to resolve this matter prior to the necessity of a pre-trial conference and trial. Both parties should bear in mind that if the court cannot reach a decision on where the dogs go, it is open to the court under the legislation to order them sold and the proceeds split – something I am sure neither party wants,” Danyliuk added.

This article was originally published on

Originally Published on August 17, 2018 | Imran Ahmad, Katherine Barbacki, Alexia Magneron

On June 12, 2018, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (“OPC”[1] released its report [2] into Profile Technology Ltd.’s (“Profile Technology”) use of “publicly available” Facebook profiles. The OPC concluded that Profile Technology had not obtained the necessary consents from individuals whose Facebook profiles they were collecting for the purposes of establishing its own social networking website. The case is an important one since it sheds light on what limits may be imposed by Canadian privacy regulators on the use of personal information that may be available to the public from time-to-time on social networking platforms.


Profile Technology, a New Zealand-based company, had been retained by Facebook in 2007 to provide advanced search functions for its site. Specifically, it indexed the public parts of users’ profiles – in a manner that is similar to how Google and other search engines index information on the internet more broadly. To this end, Profile Technology claimed that it was provided unlimited access by Facebook to information that its users had consented to make public and accessible to search engines.

Profile Technology subsequently used the information that it had collected from Facebook to build its own social networking site, never seeking the consent – implied or express – of the users whose profiles were being migrated and incorporated into its site.

Subsequently, five Canadian individuals filed complaints with the OPC, alleging that Profile Technology had collected and used their personal information without their knowledge and consent. These complainants explained: (i) in certain circumstances, they were unable to have their personal information removed from the website; (ii) the personal information used by Profile Technology was not accurate; and (iii) Profile Technology had inadequate procedures in place to receive and respond to complaints and inquiries about its policies and practices relating to the handling of personal information.


Profile Technology Did Not Have Users’ Consent

The Canadian complainants indicated to the OPC that they learned that their information appeared on Profile Technology’s website after they conducted internet searches for their own names.

The complainants pointed out in their claims that Profile Technology never sought their consent for the collection and use of their personal information. Interestingly, Profile Technology argued that such information was “publicly available” and that it was not required to obtain consent of the users. Further, Profile Technology claimed that Facebook was responsible for obtaining permission to make the information public and available to search engines. It relied on Facebook’s privacy policies from 2009 and 2010 and Facebook’s blog post from 2007 to assert that notice had been given to users that their public information may be found by external search engines.

More specifically, Profile Technology claimed that publicly accessible Facebook profiles should be considered a “publication” under PIPEDA’s Regulations Specifying Publicly Available Information [3] (the “Regulations”). Subsection 1(e) of the Regulations refers to “personal information that appears in a publication, including a magazine, book or newspaper, in printed or electronic form, that is available to the public, where the individual has provided the information.” Profile Technology submitted that a person who places information on their Facebook profile “publishes” the information, making Facebook profile information a “publication” for the purposes of the Regulations.

The OPC flatly rejected Profile Technology’s assertion that profile information is “publicly available”, such that is exempt from the requirement to obtain consent. Even if the OPC accepted that Facebook users’ consent for its original collection of profile information for the purposes of offering search engine services, it did not have consent to subsequently use that information for purposes of creating and populating its own social networking website. [4]

Not All Public Information is “Publicly Available”

The OPC noted that PIPEDA recognizes that not all information in the public domain will be considered “publicly available”. In this regard, there is an acknowledgment that information that may be in the public domain is still worthy of privacy protection. Treating a Facebook profile as a publication would be counter to the intention of PIPEDA, undermining the control users otherwise maintain over their information at source.

The OPC concluded that the personal information at issue was not publicly available within the meaning of PIPEDA. [5] As such, the respondent was required to ensure individuals’ consent for its use of their personal information copied from Facebook and posted on its website.

OPC Recommendations

The OPC recommended that, among other things, Profile Technology remove from its website and delete from its records, all individual profiles and groups associated with any Canadian (or Canadians), including those associated with the complainants. Profile Technology did proceed with the bulk deletion of Canadian data.

Prior to issuance of the OPC report, Profile Technology had removed the profiles from its website. As of April 1, 2018, the website simply consisted of a notice page titled “Profile Engine has now been donated to the Internet Archive (31st March 2018)”. On April 9, 2018, the OPC observed that the files were becoming increasingly difficult to find via search engines (which had presumably de-indexed the links to the torrent files [6]) but the OPC was still able to find the torrents on the dark web.

Key Takeaways

The OPC’s decision in the Profile Technology case is important given that an increasing number of individuals regularly share their personal information with multiple social networking websites. As these websites become increasingly sophisticated and use third party vendors to get insights about their users (e.g., through the use of analytics), they provide vendors access to their users’ personal information. Implied consent in lengthy privacy policies that very few users read and understand is not sufficient from a Canadian privacy standpoint, as stated by the OPC in its recently released Guidelines for Obtaining Meaningful Consent[7] Accordingly, to the extent that a vendor is relying on the consent obtained by the entity collecting the personal information in the first instance, it should ensure that it has taken necessary steps to demonstrate – e.g., through contractual language – that the requisite consents were obtained for the purposes contemplated by the vendor.

Another key takeaway is that simply because a third party may be able to publicly access an individual’s personal information does not mean that it is “publicly available”, as defined in PIPEDA and the Regulations. In fact, information that may be in the public domain is still worthy of privacy protection and appropriate consents should nonetheless be obtained.

From a jurisdictional standpoint, Profile Technology was unsuccessful in arguing that the OPC had no jurisdiction on that basis of the company not having a physical presence in Canada. PIPEDA has extraterritorial scope if a real and substantial connection can be established. That said, in cases where the OPC’s jurisdiction may be established, enforcement is another matter, one which was not tested in this case. However, the extraterritorial scope issue is likely to be an important topic as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation [8] and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 [9] both have extraterritorial reach.

[1] The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is an agent of the Canadian Parliament responsible for the protection and promotion of privacy rights. It oversees compliance with the Privacy Act, which covers the personal information-handling practices of federal government departments and agencies, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), Canada’s federal private-sector privacy law.

[2] Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Complaints under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the “Act” or “PIPEDA”) against Profile Technology Ltd., PIPEDA Report of Findings #2018-002, June 12, 2018, available online.

[3] Regulations Specifying Publicly Available Information, SOR/2001-7.

[4] Supra note 3, para 86.

[5] Supra note 3, para 95.

[6] A “torrent” is a file that facilitates efficient dissemination of the file via peer-to-peer sharing, whereby any person who “replicates” (i.e., downloads) a file can then “seed” it (i.e., make it available for download by others).

[7] Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Guidelines for Obtaining Meaningful Consent, May 2018, available online.

[8] General Data Protection Regulation, (EU) 2016/79, available online.

[9] California Consumer Privacy Act 2018, Bill No. 375, Chapter 55, June 29, 2018, available online.

The blog sets out a variety of materials relating to the law to be used for educational and non-commercial purposes only; the author(s) of the blog do not intend the blog to be a source of legal advice. Please retain and seek the advice of a lawyer and use your own good judgement before choosing to act on any information included in the blog. If you choose to rely on the materials, you do so entirely at your own risk.

ILCO 50th Anniversary Celebration

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On April 26, 2018, ILCO celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a cocktail reception at The King Edward Hotel in the beautiful Sovereign Ballroom. We had 261 attendees who celebrated this milestone with us. The party was a huge success and we want thank our business partners Do Process, Heuristica, Dye and Durham, Stewart Title, Oncorp and Titleplus who generously sponsored the event.

Upcoming Events – SAVE THE DATE!

Fall Family Event - Chudleigh’s Farm – Sunday, September 16, 2018

Invitations will be sent out shortly, but please see the ILCO website for more information.

PR Co-Chairs

Zadiha Iqbal, Ian Curry and Suzanne VanSligtenhorst


A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:

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Certified Expert

ILCO is pleased to welcome the following new ILCO Certified Experts in their area of law as of April 18, 2018.




Veronica L. Clayton (Corporate)
Aird & Berlis LLP 

Lisa M. Matchim (Real Estate) 
Stikeman Elliott LLP

Maria Nosella (Family)
Kain & Ball Professional Corporation

Christine M. Rogers (Real Estate)
Vorvis, Anderson, Gray, Armstrong LLP

Michelle  Schiralli (Family)
Kain & Ball Professional Corporation

Laura A. Scott (Real Estate)
Creighton Law LLP 

Mary L. Tucker (Corporate)
Morguard Investments Limited

ILCO is pleased to welcome the following upgrades (UG) and new members as of May 27, 2018.


Tricia M. Carter-Rolfe  
Donna L. Crockett  
Klaudia Csukran  
Carmelina Di Piazza  
Alzena Efendov  
Candice E. Greenley  
Jayoung Kim  
Emily Kishtamma  
Kareen A. Morris  
Felicia J. Phillips-Saarinen  
Binar I. Rashid  
Oritta Reid-Laird  
Andrea M. Roadhouse  
Cintia N. Rocher-Montalto  
Marina Ryskin  
Tracy L. Sheppard  
Magdalena Singh  
Kelly A. Westlake  
Christina M. Whitaker  
Jun Ye  


Jodi K. Aliabadi 
Smart and Biggar

Michelle A. Bishop 
Minden Gross LLP

Marlene G. Bottner 
McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Katherine Dutka (UG) 
Torys LLP

Sandi Dwarka 
Shael Eisen Professional Corporation

Katherine Gorman 
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Melinda A. Harwood  
General Dynamics Mission Systems – Canada

Jeffrey Jew  
CanACRE Ltd.

Judy A. Jowett  
Vorvis, Anderson, Gray, Armstrong LLP

Nikki Kheiritash  
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Elizabeth King-McBain (UG) 
Anthony J. Di Silvestro, Barrister & Solicitor 

Marianna Longo  
McMillan LLP

Shakeera Luthra  
Bennett Jones LLP

Liana G. Marcian  
Aviva Insurance Company of Canada

Christine S. McDougall  
Vorvis, Anderson, Gray, Armstrong LLP

Amanda M. Melo  
Owens Wright LLP

Alison L. Mugridge  
Stewart Title Guaranty Company

Laurie A. Mulholland  
The Corporation of the City of Peterborough

Kristi Murphy  
Ryder-Burbidge Hurley Foster

Anthonia O. Njoku-Kalu  
Juris Litigators LLP

Sean C. O'Sullivan  
Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Brittany R.  Paradis  
Lash Condo Law

Anastasia Pasecinic (UG) 
Law Society of Upper Canada

Dayanys Perez  
Hazlo Law Professional Corporation

Lindsay A. Proctor  
Lee, Roche & Kerr

Erin Riley  
Riley + Aikins

Sabine Robinson  
Vandeputte Law Professional Corporation

Annabel J. Smith  
Vorvis, Anderson, Gray, Armstrong LLP

Leanna M. Villella  
Steven L. Nagy

Chamari Wijekoon  
Yunus Timol

Deborah E. Zufelt  
CanACRE Ltd.

Talea Zuk  
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP‎


Lana M. Papp  
City of Hamilton


Lisa M. Matchim (UG) 
Stikeman Elliott LLP


ILCO Board of Directors 2018/2019


  • Lisa Matchim
    President and Co-Chair Education
  • Margaret Tsetsakos
    Vice-President, Treasurer
    and Co-Chair Conference
  • Rose Kottis
    Registrar and Co-Chair Conference
  • Suzanne VanSligtenhorst
    Secretary and Co-Chair Public Relations
  • Christina Boodhan
    Chair Certification
    and Co-Chair Newsletter
  • Ian Curry
    Co-Chair Public Relations
  • Sharon D'Souza
    Co-Chair CLE
  •  Zadiha Iqbal
    Co-Chair Public Relations and Co-Chair CLE
  • Natasha Khan
    Co-Chair CLE
  • Rana Mirdawi
    Co-Chair Newsletter
  • Kathryn Rizzi
    Co-Chair Education







Job Hotline

Information on current employment opportunities is available at the ILCO website

For information on placing a job advertisement please contact ILCO at 416.214.6252 or by email to

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