The Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is one of the best retirement fund schemes available to the citizens of Canada that entitles its applicants disability benefit if, over a period of time, during your years of contribution, you develop a physical or mental disability that prevents you from earning any livelihood. If such a situation is likely to continue over a prolonged period of time, you could be eligible for a monthly pension till retirement age, after which Old Age Security becomes effective.

In order to collect CPP Disability Benefits, you must contribute a prescribed amount based on your income, for at least 4 out of the last 6 years. If you have contributed for an overall 25 years to the plan, then the criterion is that contribution should be made for 3 out of the last 6 years. The plan does not cover health care benefits.

There are situations when people don’t apply on time for the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits due to various reasons. Some are not even aware of CPP disability benefits. Such cases can apply under a late application; but, the retroactive lump sum amount would be calculated from 15 months prior to date of application, not from the date you stopped working.

If you have a physical or mental disability or both, stopping you from doing any kind of work and you have contributed to the Plan for the right number of years, you might be eligible to apply for Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits.

Most of the applications received to claim disability benefits are rejected because of lack of appropriate evidence. It is obligatory on your part to produce the correct documentation to show that you have sustained a permanent significant disability as described above.

It is in situations such as these that your CPP lawyers come into the picture! You need expert guidance in order to claim your CPP disability benefits because often there are huge lapses in the therapeutic treatments and proofs of disability within the correct timeframe. Your CPP lawyer/ legal representative knows how to apply and what are the right procedures for a successful application.

If your disability claims are not entertained by the Service Canada, then you have the right to appeal this decision, but it has to be done in a timely fashion and your rationale for your appeal should be convincing. A delay in filing an appeal could mean less or no chance of success. Remember, there is a very strict timeline involved in the procedure. Besides, the entire procedure is quite complex and overwhelming to those who are not familiar with the legal aspects. Your experienced CPP lawyer/ legal representative can and will represent and help you to successfully claim disability benefits that you are eligible for.

The future is a closed book, which no one knows; we only wish that nothing happens to you for the years to come; but if you sustain an injury or develop a severe disability, consider getting dedicated and well-informed professional legal help from us, your CPP Disability experts.

Canada Employment Immigration

Both the birth and death rates in Canada are on the decline. As a result, the young and skilled population is in short supply. To offset this situation, the government of Canada has loosened its immigration policy to allow immigrants from other countries to settle in Canada and work for its growth and prosperity. The Canadian government encourages skilled and self-employed persons, investors, businessmen, entrepreneurs and farmers to permanently settle in Canada to boost its economy.

Among the categories of immigrants who are welcome to seek employment in Canada, the skilled workers with good qualifications and plenty of experience are the most welcome. Several types of programs are available for skilled persons.

The Canadian government has laid down six criteria for which you or your spouse must earn sufficient points in order to be considered eligible for immigration. Skilled and educated persons should have knowledge of English or French. They should have work experience of at least 10 years, including one year’s worth of full-time paid work in their field. The Canadian National Occupational Classification has set up certain Skill Types and Skill Levels to classify skilled workers. To qualify for immigration, the applicant must be in Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B.

Besides the skills, you should also possess sufficient funds to settle and manage your business. You should also be able to transfer your skills to others and at the same time generate jobs. The government of Canada is ready to offer employment chances to about 116,000 in various categories of skilled persons, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons in the year 2005-2006.

Besides the employment immigration offered by the government of Canada, the provincial government of Quebec also offers immigration for employment under its Quebec Immigration Service, which it shares with the government of Canada. A person with the right qualifications and experience with no health and security problems may be considered for employment.

In addition to the above categories, there is a Federal Self-Employed Program in cultural activities and athletics, which offers employment immigration to world-class athletes and participants in cultural programs. Farmers with sufficient funds and experience in farm management are also eligible in this category.

Insights Into The Canada Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Canada temporary foreign worker program has been scrutinized quite a bit in the country in the recent times. There are polarized opinions. One lobby suggests that the program is too lax. Another segment suggests that the program is too rigid. The employer groups, which are keen to bring skilled foreign workforce, are obviously pushing for relaxation of rules. On the other hand, the labor unions which are more concerned about internal politics and the interests of domestic labors, and so want it to be more rigid. There is growing unrest against some of the policies, especially related to Canadians, losing their IT jobs to temporary workers from abroad.

Labor economists feel that the program is outrageous, allowing employers to import foreign workers with the excuse that there is a scarcity of qualified Canadians for many of the jobs. Interestingly, the salaries paid to Canadian nationals have become a talking point as well, with some demanding a higher paycheck to attract eligible Canadians. There are several categories under which employers can hire or import skilled foreign workers. The Canada temporary foreign worker program, allows employers to import skilled agricultural workers, live-in caregivers and workers for lower-skilled and higher-skilled occupations.

As per the program, employers can go for online applications, as that reduces a major part of the burden of paperwork for lower and higher skilled Applicants. The program deals with TFW or temporary foreign workers who have taken a major chunk of new jobs in the recent years in Canada. Interestingly, two parallel streams of thoughts are engaging First Nations and Métis people, and allowing TFW to enter the mainstream immigration system. One of the figures doing rounds is the number of TFW, which is 25% over and above the economic immigrants that Canada usually accepts. Although worker shortage is a problem, a lot of politicians are demanding for better infrastructure to train Canadians instead of going for a short term solution.

Both, the CIC and the HRSDC are in charge of the program. As per the guidelines, employers need to get LMO or Labor Market Opinion from HRSDC. This will be given only when it has been proved that the employer is importing foreign workers only after genuinely trying to find Canadian employees to fill the same position. Sectors that come under international trade agreement, though, are exempted from this requirement. A worker at the same time is required to send an application to CIC to get a work permit to work in Canada.

There is a separate unit called the CIC Temporary Foreign Worker Unit that helps employers find out if they need an LMO to import foreign workers for specific jobs. From the workers’ point of view, it is possible to convert their temporary permit into permanent residence, provided they satisfy certain stringent criteria. There is a Provincial Nominee Program in place as well, for foreign nationals interested in taking up permanent residence in Canada. At the core though, the program has been designed only to address temporary shortage in skilled workforce, for specific positions.

The Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Canada

Our planet is really a global village thanks to the Internet and technology and the fact that people and goods traverse the globe as never before in human history. This reality has recently affected even the area of the enforcement of foreign judgments.

For a better understanding of the of the state of Canadian and international law at the present time, we have to cast our minds back a little on history from the last millennium. Twenty years ago, some Toronto business people were involved in a complex litigation matter involving a real estate project in the Antilles. To advance their strategy, they and their Toronto lawyers decided to commence an action in the court of one of the islands. To help them advance their case, they with a local lawyer to explain the situation and to retain him to start the action against the opposing parties. After having commenced the action and served the defendant, the Toronto businessmen and their lawyers returned to Toronto, where they had to defend a lawsuit by the same party commenced in Ontario. The case went on for quite some time. Meanwhile, the

Caribbean lawyer was, it seems, getting ready for, as he put it, one of the most important trials that his small island had ever known. Unfortunately for him, one fine day, the whole dispute was settled.

The Toronto entrepreneurs’ problems had just begun. The island lawyer was not only disappointed that there would not be a trial but he also demanded an unbelievable amount for his legal fees and for the time two other local lawyers whom he retained to assist him, including the “dean” of the local bar. He did not want to hear of settling his account. He wanted nothing less than a figure the Torontonians considered outrageous.

Some time later, the entrepreneurs and their Toronto lawyer found themselves as defendants in a lawsuit of the supreme court of this small island. And to make matters worse, one of the plaintiffs was the dean of the local bar.

The best advice at that time was a defense strategy which today and from now on would be legally troublesome. The defendants decided to do nothing at all. Because they had no personal connection and no assets in the Caribbean island, (and had not been served with the claim on the island), they simply let case go by default and waited for the Caribbean lawyers to claim to enforce their judgment in the courts of Ontario. Their decision was based on the jurisprudence of the day which held that a foreign court had no jurisdiction over a foreign individual unless the claim had been served within the territory of the court or if the defendant attorned voluntarily to the jurisdiction of the court. If the foreign court had no jurisdiction over the Ontario defendant, when the judgment is sought to be enforced in Ontario, the defendant will be entitled to defend the claim on the merits in Ontario.

All of this was turned on its ear by the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) in Morguard v. de Savoye (1990) SCC 1077, where the SCC held that the Morguard case altered the old common law rules for the recognition and enforcement of interprovincial judgments. These rules, based on territoriality, sovereignty, independence and attornment, were held to be outmoded.

The Morguard case established that to determine whether a court has correctly exercised its jurisdiction over the defendant, two factors have to be considered. The first is the need for “order and equity” and the second is the existence of a “real and substantial connection” with the subject-matter of the action or with the defendant. The SCC decided that the existence of a real and substantial connection with the subject-matter of the action satisfies the criteria even if such a connection with the defendant does not exist.

The law did not change for 13 ½ years until the determination of the decision of the SCC in Beals v. Saldanha. In December 2003. Beals v. Saldanha extends the “real and substantial connection” principle to foreign judgments not only from one Canadian province to another but also to judgments from other countries. The facts in Beals are significant because they show far the principle has been extended.

The appellants in the Beals case were residents. They were involved in litigation in Florida but faied to defend the claim. When they were served with a notice about a court hearing for assessment of damages by the jury, they chose not to participate. The Florida Court awarded $210,000 against them plus $500,000 punitive damages and 12% per annum interest. When they got the judgment, their Ontario lawyer told them that they couldn’t have a Florida judgment against them because they did not submit to the jurisdiction of the Florida Court. They took no steps to set the Florida judgment aside on any basis, They didn’t appeal in Florida.

The Florida plaintiffs sued in Ontario on their judment about a year later. By this time, the amount owing including interest had grown to more than $800,000. The trial judge dismissed the action for enforcement on the ground that there had been fraud in relation to the assessment of damages and for the additional reason of public policy. The Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the trial and allowed the appeal.

To enforce a foreign judgment, an Ontario court must be satisfied that certain conditions exist:

a. Whether the foreign court had a real and substantial connection with the subject-matter or the defendant;

b. Whether the defendant has submitted to the jurisdiction of the foreign court by agreement of the parties or the consent of the defendant. In the case of a judgment of a foreign court having a real and substantial with the defendant, the defendant may, nevertheless, defend the claim in the Ontario court by raising defenses of fraud, breach of public policy or denial of natural justice.

The Supreme Court of Canada, in upholding the validity and enforceability of the Florida judgment drew a distinction between “intrinsic fraud” and “extrinsic fraud”. Extrinsic fraud which goes to the jurisdiction of the original court will be enough to refuse to enforce a foreign judgment on public policy grounds. Intrinsic fraud deals with the merits of the case. That kind of fraud must be defended in the place having the closest connection with the subject-matter of the dispute.

This is also a good place to mention some other examples of the subjects which international lawyers involved in the enforcement of foreign judgments deal with and appropriate links to the Internet:

o The Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in civil and commercial matters (which does not apply in Canada)

o Enforcement of Judgments Conventions Act, 1999 (also doesn’t apply in Canada)

o Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act, 2002

o Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (provinces du Canada);

o Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments (U.K.) Act

I close by repeating this important word of advice – if your client tells you a story about a claim they have to defend in a court in another country, don’t disregard it. At the same time, it does not necessarily follow that you should send your client to retain a lawyer in the foreign jurisdiction. It may be that the foreign court will not accept jurisdiction over your client. The American principle to which I refer only briefly, seeks to determine whether there are minimum contacts between the defendant, served outside the court in question, so that it has an interest in deciding the case. So, it’s the lawyer not the client who should retain counsel in the foreign state.

Immigration Lawyer – What You Need To Consider Before Hiring Legal Counsel

Websites with information on immigration lawyer Canada are as numerous as the diversity of people hoping to settle.

One site advertised over 60 options for Canadian immigration including a free assessment to help you determine the right option.

While it is not a requirement to hire a lawyer, the tangle of paperwork and requirements is overwhelming.

The Canadian government treats all immigration applications the same whether the applicant retains a lawyer or not. Your application does not receive special consideration or faster processing because you hired the services of a lawyer.

There are things that an immigration lawyer’s experience, expertise and empathy provide that attempting to maneuver through the process on your own, does not. Laws constantly change and immigration agencies assist with providing information but they cannot provide legal advice.

Too often individuals asking questions at a bureaucratic agency receive wrong or incorrect information. The customer service agents are trained to give standardized-not specific-information. A customer service agent cannot assess your case over the phone and lineups at information offices are long.

Some are not adequately trained or do not know the latest developments. They have no responsibility or liability for the information. Most are not invested in your welfare.

There are two types of immigration representatives who can assist you: paid and unpaid.

Only three types of representatives may charge a fee to advise you on immigration and refugee matters: 1) lawyers in good standing who are members of a law society; 2) immigration consultants who are members of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants and; 3) notaries of the Chambre des notaries du Quebec. The Canadian government does not acknowledge non-authorized representatives.

A person or organization who does not charge a fee such as a family member or friend or a member of a non-governmental or religious organization is an acceptable unpaid immigration representatives.

Perhaps the best way is to ask people you trust to recommend a lawyer. When you speak to the lawyer ascertain what services they provide and the fee. Get the information in writing. Make sure you understand the contract.

One final question to ask an immigration lawyer Canada goes beyond the landing process to consider life in Canada. Immigration websites tout the opportunities and economic benefits of settling in Canada with its affordable education, renowned health care, abundance of land and safe cities. All too often individuals do not ask the “Now What” questions of “How do I earn a livelihood?” “What is the cost of living?” or “What if I have a medical issue or a special need?”

A reputable immigration lawyer Canada should assist you in answering some of these questions or steer you to the resources to help you find the answers.