Property Taxes in HRM: What you need to know

Property Taxes in HRM: What you need to know

There has been some recent discussion in the Halifax Council of the idea of removing the provincial assessment cap for annual property taxes. As a result I thought now would be the perfect time to review the cap, and some other details about property taxes in HRM that you should know, if you own, or are looking to buy a home in the area.

 

Read More

Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease – The Rent Increase Control Clause

Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease <em>– The Rent Increase Control Clause</em>

I recently came across a story in the news highlighting the unfortunately common situation where a small business owner is facing financial disaster as a result of terms in their commercial lease they didn’t fully understand when they signed.  Cash flow challenges are reality for most small business, particularly those in the start up phase.  As a result, many view spending money to have a lawyer review what appears to be a standard lease is a luxury they can’t afford.

Read More

Severance Pay: What am I entitled to after being let go from my job?

Severance Pay: What am I entitled to after being let go from my job?

An unfortunate reality of today’s corporate world is restructuring, outsourcing and downsizing.  For many hard-working employees, the result is lay-offs.  One day you go to the job you’ve devoted yourself to for years and the next you find yourself unemployed with a standardized letter letting you go, along with a request to sign a ‘Release’ in exchange for a severance package.  You are reeling and have no idea if the package they are offering you is what you are entitled to.  This is where an employment lawyer comes in.  Many lawyers, including myself, are happy to meet with people in your shoes to review your situation and give some basic advice as to whether or not the severance package offered is within the acceptable range.

Read More

The End of the Road: Understanding Employment Termination

The End of the Road: Understanding Employment Termination

George Costanza, on an episode of Seinfeld, dramatically quit his job during a meeting. Regretting his impulsive decision, he decides to act like it never happened and simply shows up to work the next day. As was often the case, things went badly for George and he did not get his job back.

Employment disputes can be very tricky to deal with because our work is a fundamental part of our identity. Not to mention that jobs are how we put food on the table and a roof over our head. To make matters worse, there are plenty of myths, out of context advice, and some just plain wrong information floating around out there.

Read More

Speeding in school zones: What does "When children are present" even mean?

Speeding in school zones: What does "When children are present" even mean?

Ever drive by a school zone sign and wonder what counts as ‘When Children Are Present’?  It’s even more important to know now that the speed limit in a school zone changed to only 30 km/hr where the speed limit is normally 50 km/hr.  The definition of ‘When Children Are Present’ hasn’t changed.  The School Area Regulations made under the Motor Vehicle Act states that a child is deemed ‘present’ if the child is ‘on land’ within 30 meters of the center line.  There is no time limit to this definition.  If a child is present, the reduced speed limit is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Therefore, if a child is walking along the side of the road in a school zone at 10:00 pm at night in the middle of August, the school zone reduced speed limits still apply.  The logic is, regardless of the time of year, a school is an area where children congregate, whether it’s for academic learning or other pursuits that make use of the school facilities (sports leagues, drama camp etc.).

Read More

Be King of the CASL

Be King of the CASL

Canada has some of the strongest anti-SPAM legislation in the world. Starting on July 1, 2017, it is going to get even tougher. In 2014 the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL pronounced “castle”) became law in Canada. The purpose of the law is to protect people from getting commercial messages they do not want. 

Read More

Navigating the Unchartered Waters of Modern Families

Navigating the Unchartered Waters of Modern Families

 

A couple of recent news stories have highlighted the way that science, society, and the legal system are changing the definition of what it means to be a family. Just ask Natasha Bakht and Lynda Collins. Ms. Bakht and gave birth to her son, Elaan, seven years ago after using a sperm donor to get pregnant. From the moment Elaan was born, Ms. Collins was there for the family, eating meals, attending appointments, even joining them on holidays. Both women felt Ms. Collins had become a second momma to Elaan. But since they were not a romantic couple, it was not easy to for Ms. Collins to become Elaan’s adoptive parent.

Read More

Having Problems Collecting From Clients?

Having Problems Collecting From Clients?

One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is managing cash flow. Running a business is expensive, and while none of your creditors want to wait to be paid, sometimes collecting from your customers can be a real challenge. So what can a business owner do when they are having a problem collecting the money owed by their clients?

Read More

What you Wish You Knew About Overtime Wages.

What you Wish You Knew About Overtime Wages.

With school now officially out for the summer, seasonal jobs are in full swing.  For many, particularly in the hospitality/tourism industry this means lots of overtime.  Everyone understands the concept of overtime – working more than the standard 40 hours a week, or is it 35 hours, or does it depend on the job?  The NS Labour Standards Code outlines the rules that pertain to overtime and holiday wages for most hourly employees.

Read More