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Media Coverage Jan 15, 2019

Droit-inc interviews two of our lawyers about 2019’s hottest legal topics

Droit-Inc sounded out a number of lawyers, including our business law partner, Dominique Babin, and our business immigration partner, Julie Lessard, for their opinions as to what issues will be in the legal spotlight this year.

Implementation of CUSMA

This year will see the implementation of the new Canada-United States-Mexico-Agreement (CUSMA), which was signed on November 30, 2018.

According to Dominique Babin, the newly minted NAFTA will involve numerous legislative changes that will have an impact on Canadian companies.

The agreement will have to be debated in Parliament for 21 days in order to adopt the appropriate legislative measures for its implementation. In particular, these measures will impact customs procedures and intellectual property, as well as the agricultural and automotive sectors.

Ms. Babin explains that “our team will be following this issue closely and will be there to help companies quickly adapt to the changes.”

Labour shortage

According to Julie Lessard, the lead partner of BCF’s Global Mobility group:

The labour shortage is a hot topic, and targeted immigration – notably through the use of various work permit programs offered by Canada – is one of the solutions. According to a recent study, 37% of Quebec entrepreneurs are having trouble filling their vacant positions.

Hiring foreign workers does, however, entail additional procedures and responsibilities for employers. Traditional human resources management and labour law skills are no longer suitable, according to Ms. Lessard. Companies need to develop and implement immigration strategies that meet their needs while satisfying the compliance requirements of the immigration authorities.

“This is where our team can step in,” she explains. “We help companies to develop appropriate strategies and steer them through all the steps necessary to obtain work permits and other immigration documents, not just for foreign workers, but for their family members as well.

Integration of the family is often key to retaining talent recruited abroad. With targeted immigration, not only can shortages be filled, our companies can remain competitive by having access to the best talent, managers, specialists, experts, and professionals who will generate innovation and growth,” concludes Alexandra L. Klein, a business immigration and global employee mobility lawyer with BCF.