Addressing Newfoundland Nurses

On December 15, 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada (“Supreme Court“) issues its decision in Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses’ Union v. Newfoundland and Labrador (Treasury Board), 2011 SCC 62, [2011] 3 SCR 708 (“Newfounland Nurses“).

In Newfoundland Nurses, the Supreme Court essentially abolished “adequacy of reasons” as a stand-alone ground for judicial review.  Rather, the Supreme Court stated that an officer’s reasons must be read together with the outcome and serve the purpose of showing whether the result falls within a range of possible outcomes.  The Supreme Court further stated that (citations removed for ease of reading):

Reasons may not include all the arguments, statutory provisions, jurisprudence or other details the reviewing judge would have preferred, but that does not impugn the validity of either the reasons or the result under a reasonableness analysis. A decision-maker is not required to make an explicit finding on each constituent element, however subordinate, leading to its final conclusion. In other words, if the reasons allow the reviewing court to understand why the tribunal made its decision and permit it to determine whether the conclusion is within the range of acceptable outcomes, the Dunsmuir criteria are met.

The fact that there may be an alternative interpretation of the agreement to that provided by the arbitrator does not inevitably lead to the conclusion that the arbitrator’s decision should be set aside if the decision itself is in the realm of reasonable outcomes. Reviewing judges should pay “respectful attention” to the decision-maker’s reasons, and be cautious about substituting their own view of the proper outcome by designating certain omissions in the reasons to be fateful.

As one immigration lawyer put it, the Department of Justice (the “DOJ“) has since argued that under the Newfoundland Nurses reasonableness standard the Federal Court must uphold a tribunal’s decision as long as it falls within the most extremely close to unreasonable range of possibilities that the most extreme officer dictates.  In one case of mine, the DOJ even argued that there could basically be no reasons so long as the Federal Court thought that the decision was a possibly correct one that the tribunal could reach.  But is this really the case?

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Introducing the Start-Up Business Class

On March 28, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) revealed the details of the Start-Up Business Class, and announced that it will begin accepting applications on April 1, 2013.  The Start-Up Business Class is a new federal economic immigration program, and joins the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Canadian Experience Class, the Provincial Nominee Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Class.  The Start-Up Business Class will be open until March 31, 2018.

Program Requirements

A foreign national will be eligible to apply to the Start-Up Business Class if they meet all of the following requirements:

  1. The foreign national has obtained a commitment from a Designated Angel Investor Group of at least $75,000 in a “qualifying business” or two or more Designated Angel Investor Groups that together will be investing a total of at least $75,000 in a business.  Alternatively, a foreign national will meet this first criteria if he/she obtains a commitment from a Designated Venture Capital Fund of at least $200,000 or two or more designated venture capital funds that together will be investing a total of at least $200,000 in the qualifying business.
  2. The foreign national has taken an English or French language test and obtained a minimum of Canadian Benchmark Level 5 in Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.
  3. The foreign national has completed at least one year of post-secondary education.  Completion of a credential is not required.
  4. The foreign national has in the form of transferable and available funds, unencumbered by debt and other obligations, an amount that is equal to one half of the Statistics Canada low-income cut off.

Up to five foreign nationals can apply under the same business.  A qualifying business will generally be a corporation that is carrying on business in Canada in which each applicant (up to that maximum of 5) holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares, and no  person other than a visa applicant holds 50% or more of the total voting shares of the corporation.  (An unincorporated business can still qualify if its incorporation is conditional on the issuance of a permanent resident visa to one or more applicants in respect of the business.)

People considering applying with other foreign nationals in one business should be aware that if CIC refuses a permanent resident visa to one applicant in a business, then all other applicants in the business will also be refused visas.

List of Designated Angel Investor Groups and Designated Venture Capital Funds

CIC has released the list of Designated Angel Investor Groups and Designated Venture Capital Funds.  They are:

Designated Angel Investor Groups

Angel One Network Inc.
First Angel Network Association
Golden Triangle Angel Network

Designated Venture Capital Funds

Advantage Growth (No.2) L.P.
BDC Venture Capital
Blackberry Partners Fund II LP (d.b.a. Relay Ventures Fund II)
Celtic House Venture Partners Fund III L.P.
Celtic House Venture Partners Fund IV LP
DRI Capital Inc.
Golden Opportunities Fund Inc.
New Brunswick Innovation Foundation Inc.
Northwater Intellectual Property Fund
OMERS Ventures Management Inc.
Ontario SME Capital Corporation
Panagea Ventures Fund III, LP
PRIVEQ III Limited Partnership
PRIVEQ IV Limited Partnership
Quorum Investment Pool Limited Partnership
Quorum Secured Equity Trust
Rho Canada Ventures
Summerhill Venture Partners Management Inc.
Tandem Expansion Management Inc.
Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership
Version One Ventures
Wellington Financial LP
Westcap Mgt. Ltd.
Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.

More information about the Start-Up Business Class can be found here: