The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Kim Covert

CBA influence

Manitoba pension review consultation

By Kim Covert April 12, 2018 12 April 2018

 

CBA’s National Pensions and Benefits Law Section took part in a recent consultation on the Pension Commission of Manitoba’s review of The Pension Benefits Act, responding to questions contained in a consultation paper issued in January.

In its submission to the commission, the Section noted that CBA members are not of one mind on the merits of defined-benefit pension plans vs. defined contribution, or shared risk plans, so it could not unequivocally recommend one or the other.

The consultation paper covered questions such as whether a regulatory framework should be developed for defined-benefit or shared-risk plan designs; buying annuities; entitlement to ancillary benefits; locking-in provisions; and whether the new plan should be limited to unionized workplaces.

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CBA influence

Eligible dependents: Share the support, share the tax credit

By Kim Covert April 9, 2018 9 April 2018

 

It’s time for tax law to join the 21st century when it comes to family breakdowns.

Gone are the days when separation and divorce automatically meant children stayed with one parent and might see the other on the weekends. These days more and more families choose to share custody, yet the CRA doesn’t see that as an option when it comes to applying the tax laws.

When a child lives mostly with one parent, the Family Law Section says in a submission to the Finance Minister, Federal Child Support Guidelines require only one parent to pay child support, and only the recipient of the support may claim the eligible dependent tax credit for the child.

When the child lives with both parents, the guidelines require both parents to pay support. For convenience, most families adopt an informal approach, where the higher-earning parent subtracts the lower amount of support payable from the higher amount, and pays only the difference, instead of both parents having to exchange the exact amounts of support payable.

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CBA influence

CBA: Why we need ADR training in all law schools

By Kim Covert April 4, 2018 4 April 2018

 

In a legal environment where most cases settle before they ever reach trial, being able to facilitate the reaching of those settlements is a valuable skill.

That’s why the CBA has called on law societies and law schools across the country to recognize the importance of mandatory training in alternative dispute resolution.

A 2016 CBA resolution says that since dispute resolution skills are a foundation of being an effective advocate, all graduating law students and bar admission students should be taught the spectrum of dispute resolution options.

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CBA influence

Income sprinkling, income splitting, and passive investments

By Kim Covert April 3, 2018 3 April 2018

 

No one is ever going to suggest that tax law is simple enough for average individuals to wrap their heads around. But the complexities in proposed changes to the “tax on split income” provisions of the Income Tax Act will go “beyond the capability of business owners and generalist advisors to comprehend and apply,” says a submission from the Joint Committee on Taxation of the Canadian Bar Association and Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

The Committee commends the Finance Department for the improvements made to the draft TOSI legislation introduced in July, 2017, but note that serious technical and practical issues remain.

Before enumerating a number of specific technical concerns with the proposals, the Committee noted a couple of areas where over-reach and complexity ran the risk of causing unintended consequences.

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CBA influence

CBA has serious concerns with proposed impaired driving bill

By Kim Covert March 28, 2018 28 March 2018

 

The CBA appeared before the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in late February to reiterate its concerns with a bill that it says will introduce uncertainty into the criminal law and carry serious repercussions for permanent residents and foreign nationals.

The CBA supports the overall aim of the bill, which contains amendments to better address both drug and alcohol impaired driving, but urges “careful consideration of our concerns and recommendations about Bill C-46.” 

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