Who Gets the Pet?

Pet_Custody_Case

Most pet owners consider their pet to be a member of their family and not just another piece of property.

Normally when separating from your spouse pets are considered property and are therefore subject to be divided within the overall division of property in your family law case. A pet, therefore, would be subject to the property law principles in the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act.

This means that in British Columbia the courts consider the following when answering the question of, “who gets the pet?”

  1. Who purchased the pet?
  2. Was the pet a gift to one of the parties?
  3. Who has paid for the majority of the expenses related to the pet?
  4. Is one of the parties the registered owner of the pet?
  5. Who has had possession of and/or cared for the pet since the parties’ separation?
  6. Who was principally involved in the pet’s early training?
  7. Who was principally involved in the pet’s day-to-day care?

Additionally, courts have expressly stated that:

(a)  Pets will not be treated in a manner such as children;

(b)  Courts are unlikely to consider interim applications for pet possession;

(c)  Canadian Courts are unlikely to find that joint sharing or some form of constructive trust remedy is apt;

(d)  that pets are a variant of personal property;

As you can see, when a court considers the question of “who gets the pet” the question is more related to who the true owner is and not what arrangement is best for you and the pet. If you and your former partner both want to remain involved in your pet’s life, then it might be preferable to settle your pet custody dispute by consent in the form of a Consent Order or a Separation Agreement. This is because Judge’s tend to want to ensure some kind of finality for the parties while minimizing the likelihood for future conflict. Since, in the eyes of the law, pets are considered property, it is highly unlikely a judge would order some form of shared or joint custody of your pet.

Recent decisions, however, have challenged the status quo. The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador case, Baker v. Harmina 2018 NLCA 15, involves a Bernese-poodle mix, Mya, who was “treated as a family member”. The couple had moved in together a short time after purchasing the dog, but when the couple separated a legal battle began over who got to keep her. Although In the end, the majority of the court considered the status quo property argument, Justice Lois Hoegg dissented in part, describing the issue of who owns Mya as being more complex than simply who bought her. Justice Lois Hoegg considered questions like:

  • Was the animal acquired during the relationship?

 

  • Who bore the burden of the care and comfort of the animal?

 

  • Who paid for the animal’s upkeep?

 

  • Who cared for it?

 

This could set the tone for future cases.

In conclusion, Velletta & Company can certainly help you in establishing an adequate way of dealing with the issue, or alternatively, moving forward in establishing your court case. Contact us today!

About the Author:

Jade Fraser grew up in Shawnigan Lake and is very proud to call Victoria her home. Before pursuing her education in law, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia obtaining a Bachelor of Science. After living in places such as Saudi Arabia and France, Jade gained a unique set of experiences which contributed to her decision to travel abroad in pursuit of her legal education. Find out more about Jade by clicking HERE

Our Newest Lawyer: Natalia M. Velletta

Velletta & Company officially welcomes Natalia M. Velletta as the newest lawyer to our firm.

Natalia joined Velletta & Company in May, 2016 and has since successfully completed one year of Articles and called to the Bar on December 1, 2017, as a practicing lawyer in British Columbia. Natalia completed her formal induction in front of the Supreme Court of British Columbia at the Victoria Courthouse on March 15, 2018.

 

Natalia Velletta Natalia obtained her Juris Doctorate from Bond University in Queensland, Australia. Bond University’s Juris Doctorate is an accelerated program that provided Natalia with experience in both Canadian and Australian Law. Receiving an advanced education at a prestigious, international law school has provided Natalia with a unique, global perspective, which gives her greater insight into all types of commercial transactions.

 

During her time at Velletta & Company Natalia has established a diverse Solicitor’s practice and focuses primarily on the areas of:

 

  • Corporate and Commercial transactions;
  • Wills and Estates;
  • Real Estate transactions; and
  • Personal Injury including motor vehicle accidents.

 

With a specialty in Corporate and Commercial transactions, Natalia specifically enjoys mergers and acquisitions, having successfully bought and sold many companies and businesses for her clients. Natalia also has a passion for representing plaintiffs in motor vehicle accidents and frequently negotiates with ICBC to achieve fair and justified compensation for her clients.

 

At Velletta & Company, Natalia wishes to develop her Solicitor’s practice and to continuingly broaden her scope of experience. Natalia is determined, hard-working, and prides herself on offering the very best service for each and every client.  She is friendly and approachable and is always keen to take on new clients.

Outside the practice of law, Natalia enjoys staying active by exploring beautiful British Columbia and exotic locations around the world. She has many accomplishments including ballet, scuba diving and multiple, week-long hikes over the rugged West Coast Trail. She has a passion for photography, cooking, and camping.

How to contact individuals online without being considered SPAM

CASL Guidelines

Individuals promoting their business or company online are now subject to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (“CASL”). CASL deals with how businesses can contact people and what must be included in the content of online messages. One important question relating to this legislation is “how can I contact people online in order to promote my business and attempt to gain clientele without breaching this legislation.” This blog post attempts to answer that question.

 

Firstly, CASL only applies to commercial messages. Messages you send are commercial where the purpose of the messages are to encourage participation in a website. The three requirements that CASL has when sending commercial messages are:

 

  1. Having consent from the recipient in order to message them further;
  2. Identifying yourself in the message and including contact information of the sender; and
  3. Having an unsubscribe function so the recipient can choose when to opt out of your messages.

 

Please note that liability applies to anyone who sends, causes, or permits a commercial message to be sent, and whether or not the sender is in Canada. If the message is accessed from a computer in Canada then CASL applies and the sender can be liable.

 

  1. Having consent from the recipient in order to message them further

 

The first time you contact a potential customer you must ask their consent in order to contact them again. Exceptions to this requirement are where you have a personal or family relationship with the recipient or you are responding to an inquiry about your site. If the message falls within one of these categories, you do not need the above three requirements in order to communicate with them. This applies whether or not the message is commercial in nature.

 

Other exceptions exist where the message is sent solely for the purposes of providing a quote to a potential customer or contacting someone with whom you have a prior business relationship with.  In either of these scenarios, when responding it is recommended that you ask their consent in your response. An example would be “click here if you would like to receive further correspondence about upcoming and new developments from our site.” Otherwise, without consent, you cannot contact them with a commercial message.

 

If you are contacting an unknown person for the first time then consent is required and must be obtained before contacting the same unknown person a second time. Once you obtain consent you do not need to ask for consent again. An example of obtaining consent would be something like:

 

We are requesting your consent to provide you messages from our site. These messages will allow us, along with other members, to contact you about our services. By clicking below you are agreeing that you consent to receive these messages and therefore participating in our site.

 

If you would like to contact the manager of our site, or having any questions, please email us at…

 

After you have received consent any further correspondence in a message to the same address will require the two elements below:

 

  1. Identifying yourself in the message and include contact information of the sender

 

When sending a message you must identify yourself. This can be done by including the logo of Jobsdone.ca at the bottom of your messages.  Unless the message is sent to a recipient with whom the sender has a personal or family relationship with.

 

  1. Having an unsubscribe function so the recipient can choose when to opt out of your messages

 

Every message sent for a commercial purpose must have an unsubscribe function at the bottom of the message. Unless the message is sent to a recipient with whom the sender has a personal or family relationship with.

 

In conclusion, you can certainly contact people on the web and elicit customers to join your website. The recipients cannot be added to a send list, email list, or messaged the second time until you have received their consent in contacting them. Velletta & Company can certainly help you in establishing an adequate way of doing this, or alternatively, moving forward in establishing your website. Contact one of our associates today to get started-we would be happy to help.

 

Additional sources: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-1.6/page-1.html

 

About the Author, Jade Fraser

Before pursuing her education in law, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia obtaining a Bachelor of Science. After living in places such as Saudi Arabia and France, Jade gained a unique set of experiences which contributed to her decision to travel abroad in pursuit of her legal education. Jade is excited to be commencing her articles with Velletta & Company in August of 2017. Although her interests reside in family law, Velletta & Company offers a broad range of experience in many different areas of law which Jade will actively engage.

 

 

 

Challenging a Will in British Columbia

Challenge_wills

In British Columbia, the Last Will and Testament of a deceased may be challenged if there are doubts about its validity or fairness. Inheritance is a subject fraught with emotion for will makers and beneficiaries, especially when it comes to the allocation of assets. Sometimes feelings of unfair treatment can trigger disputes over the validity and fairness of a will. The Wills Estates and Succession Act (WESA) sets up ways in which a will may be challenged, and anyone thinking about changing or challenging a will in B.C. would do well to speak with legal counsel on the following:

 

Validity

Contesting a will for its validity is open to the executor and any person interested in obtaining a declaration as to the validity of the will. There are four primary ways that validity of a will can be contested in B.C., each of which relates to “suspicious circumstances.”

The first of these suspicious circumstances has to do with the formalities surrounding the preparation and execution of a will. Previously, failure to meet certain formalities was fatal to a will, now however, defective wills may be saved under WESA.

The second circumstance is where the will maker lacked the testamentary capacity to understand what was going on when they signed their will. This can be a complicated matter. Advanced age is often associated with diminished cognitive function, but there are varying degrees of mental capacity and there is no standard of perfection when it comes to determining what a person understands. Testamentary capacity requires that a will maker understand the nature and quality of the act in which he or she was engaged when they made their will, but this does not mean that a will maker must meet a stringent standard to be of sound and disposing mind and memory. In essence, what is required is an awareness of the effect of the will, and freedom from mental disorder.

The third way in which the validity of a will may be challenged is if the will maker did not know or approve of its contents.

Lastly, and perhaps the most contentious circumstance, is “undue influence”. The elderly can be vulnerable to coercion and fraud, particularly in situations of dominance and dependence. Traditionally, the burden of proving undue influence rested with the party challenging the will, and it was that party who had to prove coercion. Now however, under WESA, the party challenging a will must only establish that the alleged person of influence was in a position where there was potential for dependence or domination over the will maker and the onus of proof now shifts to the party being accused to prove that there was no undue influence.

 

Fairness

If a will is found to be valid, another way in which it may be challenged is on fairness. Unlike contesting the validity of a will, a claim to vary a will, due to fairness, is only open to the deceased’s spouse and children. Third parties and other family members do not possess the ability to make a claim to vary the will of a deceased.

The definition of “spouse” in WESA includes individuals who are legally married, or who have cohabitated for more than two years in a marriage-like relationship. It is important to note however that the definition of spouse is always changing, and courts will examine a variety of different factors to determine who qualifies. A recent B.C. Court of Appeal case affirmed a spousal relationship that existed between two partners late-in-life. Even though the couple had maintained separate residences, had kept separate finances, and demonstrated their intention to benefit their respective adult children from earlier marriages and not each other, the court upheld the decision to vary the deceased’s will in favour of his partner of 20-plus years. Conversely, a married individual can lose their entitlement to vary where the parties are separated, but not formally divorced. This is because the loss of status as a spouse happens upon separation, regardless of the duration of the marriage.

While WESA defines “spouse,” “children” are not formally defined, but the term does apply to both biological and adopted children. Neither grandchildren, stepchildren who have not been adopted, nor the will maker’s biological children who have been subsequently adopted have standing to challenge a will under WESA.

If the deceased’s spouse or children believe they have been unfairly provided for under the will then they may apply to have the will varied. Although a will maker is free to decide how he or she wishes to see their estate distributed and they have a right to how their wishes are carried out, will makers also have a legal obligation to make “adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support” of their spouse and children.

A question often asked is what can a will maker do if they are legally obligated to bequeath their estate to an estranged, abusive, or incorrigible spouse or child? In such cases, will makers can try to protect their will by including a supporting memorandum that explains their rationale for disinheritance. Such documents, however, are still reviewable, and although courts are generally reluctant to vary allocations where they fall within an acceptable range, they are still empowered to exercise their discretion if they think it is necessary to do what is just and equitable in the circumstances.

To avoid depleting the assets of an estate in order to fund litigation, will makers should be very clear about the content of their will. Individuals should consult an accountant and a lawyer about how to structure their estate to maximize the likelihood that their assets will pass as intended. It is also important that will makers are clear about where their will is located and what document or documents make up their will.

 

Natalia M. Velletta is an Articled Student at Velletta & Company. Before pursuing her passion for law, Natalia attended the University of Victoria where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Education. Natalia also worked for the Government of British Columbia under the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.

What is the meaning of a Common Law Spouse?

Common_Law_Spouse

Many people in Canada and British Columbia live together before becoming legally married. Some people live together while never having the intention of becoming married. It is important, however, for people in all of these circumstances to understand when their relationship is considered ‘marriage-like’ pursuant to the laws of British Columbia. This is because, if a relationship breaks down the definition of ‘marriage- like’ becomes important in determining what is, and what is not, considered family property.

 

Under the provincial legislation of British Columbia, the Family Law Act (FLA), a person is considered a spouse of another person if those two people have lived in a ‘marriage-like relationship’ for a continuous period of two years or, if they have a child together.  If you are a common-law spouse or a legally married spouse and the relationship breaks down, the date the relationship became ‘marriage-like’ is the date all acquired property is family property.[i]

 

This seems as though it is fairly straightforward, however modern times are changing and certain indicators of what a ‘marriage like relationship’ is are evolving.  For example, the courts of British Columbia have found couples are becoming more and more independent of each other by having separate finances and sometimes separate homes. It is important that both parties understand when their relationship is “marriage-like” so that they can undergo steps, if they wish, to protect their interest in the event of seperation.

 

The following are highlighted characteristics from the courts as to whether or not a couple will be considered in a “marriage like” relationship:

  • How do the parties intend to portray themselves in society?
    • Did they intend to get married?
    • Did friends believe they intended to be together forever?
  • Did they have a healthy intimate life?
    • If they weren’t intimate, were they affectionate to each other in other ways?
  • Did they partake in social activities together?
  • Did the parties live under the same roof?
  • What were the sleeping arrangements?
  • Did anyone else occupy or share the available accommodation?
  • What was the conduct and habit of the parties in relation to:
    • Preparation of meals,
    • Washing and mending clothes,
    • Shopping,
    • Household maintenance,
    • Any other domestic services?
  • Did they participate together or separately in neighbourhood and community activities?
  • What was the relationship and conduct of each of them towards members of their respective families and how did such families behave towards the parties?
  • What was the attitude and conduct of the community towards each of them and as a couple?
  • What were the financial arrangements between the parties regarding the provision of or contribution towards the necessaries of life (food, clothing, shelter, recreation, etc.)?
  • What were the arrangements concerning the acquisition and ownership of property?
  • Was there any special financial arrangement between them which both agreed would be determinant of their overall relationship?
  • What was the attitude and conduct of the parties concerning children?

 

 

For example, in the case of Weber v. Leclerc, 2015 BCCA 492 the appellant sought a declaration that the parties were not spouses for the purposes of the Family Law Act, on the basis that they had not lived in a “marriage-like relationship”. After evaluating the evidence before her, the judge concluded that the relationship was “marriage-like”, notwithstanding that the couple separated their finances throughout their relationship. The appellant appealed, arguing that the judge misapplied the legal test for a marriage-like relationship, and failed to give proper weight to the appellant’s assertions that she did not intend to live in such a relationship. Held: Appeal dismissed. The judge applied the correct legal test, and her findings are entitled to deference. In light of the objective evidence and the proper inferences drawn by the trial judge, she made no error in finding that the couple were in a marriage-like relationship.

 

Further, in the case of S.L.M.W. v. M.R.G.W., 2016 BCSC 272 the applicant and respondent owned and maintained two residences. As a matter of law, it is established that parties can maintain two residences and still be in a marriage-like relationship. In this case, the respondent maintained a separate residence for work purposes and this fact did not negate the court finding them to be in a marriage-like relationship.

 

As you can see understanding when a relationship becomes ‘marriage-like’ may not be straight forward. Velletta and company is a full service law firm and if you need assistance in this area, or wish to form a cohabitation or marriage agreement, please contact us.

[i] This is subject to some exceptions known as excluded property. Please note that if the parties married before they were living in a ‘marriage-like’ relationship then that is the date acquired property becomes family property.

 

Jade Fraser grew up in Shawnigan Lake and is very proud to call Victoria her home. Before pursuing her education in law, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia obtaining a Bachelor of Science. After living in places such as Saudi Arabia and France, Jade gained a unique set of experiences which contributed to her decision to travel abroad in pursuit of her legal education.

Beneficiaries entitlement to financial information of an Estate

Estate_Planning_Beneficiaries

In most cases, when a person passes away they leave behind assets that form their estate. Usually, a personal representative (either an executor or trustee) is appointed to manage and distribute this estate. When receiving this role, the personal representative obtains a number of duties that they are legally required to follow. To acknowledge these duties they must swear in an affidavit that they will legally administer the deceased’s estate and be subject to these duties. This article will focus on the personal representative’s duty to account.

To account for an estate means providing information relating to two different stages, firstly about the status of the estate, and secondly about how the estate was administered and any work that was done. This information should include payments made by the estate and also any expenses and executor’s fees charged. A personal representative is required to retain detailed and accurate information of all transactions throughout their management of the contents of the estate. In some instances failing to keep accurate records can lead to the personal representative being held personally responsible for a transaction.

Specifically, there is a legal requirement that a personal representative must have their accounts approved by all beneficiaries or before a court every two years, unless it is otherwise agreed or ordered. The information that must be contained is:

  • a statement of the assets and liabilities of the estate;

 

  • a description of capital transactions, listed in chronological order;

 

  • a description of income transactions, listed in chronological order;

 

  • a statement showing the proposed fees that the executor or administrator is claiming for their work with respect to the estate; and

 

  • a statement setting out any past and proposed distributions of the estate.

Additionally, there is a common law duty to be ready at all times to provide information about the progress of the administration of the estate. Although the amount of detail under the common law duty varies based on a person’s interest in an estate, the amount of disclosure owed to a beneficiary is at the highest level. A beneficiary is permitted to inspect accounts, and other documents relating to the estate, at any point in time. Additionally, failing to account to a beneficiary after being requested to do so may result in the personal representative being ordered to pay costs of the beneficiary when the accounts are passed.

 

As you can see the duty to account is an important duty for beneficiaries and others to be aware of in the event that they are confused as to the estates financial management or its distribution. If you are a beneficiary and the personal representative is not providing you with an accounting or adequate information, it is important to consult with an estates lawyer. One of our experienced associates would be happy to provide you with the necessary advice and information to make the financial management or distribution process one that is stress-free and easy for you; all you have to do is contact us to book your first consultation.

 

 

Jade_Velletta_Company Jade grew up in Shawnigan Lake and is very proud to call Victoria her home. Before pursuing her education in law, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia obtaining a Bachelor of Science. After living in places such as Saudi Arabia and France, Jade gained a unique set of experiences which contributed to her decision to travel abroad in pursuit of her legal education. Jade is excited to be commencing her articles with Velletta & Company in August of 2017. Although her interests reside in family law, Velletta & Company offers a broad range of experience in many different areas of law which Jade will actively engage.

The British Columbia Franchises Act

Franchise_Act

For the first time in British Columbia franchises are now subject to legislation with the enactment of the new Franchises Act (the “Act”) which took effect as of February 1, 2017.

 

With the enactment of the Act, British Columbia is the sixth Canadian province with franchise legislation, joining Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

 

The B.C. Government recognizes that franchise purchasers are making a significant investment, however they can sometimes be at a disadvantage when solely relying on the information provided by the company offering the franchise, due to a lack of knowledge, experience, and access to expert advice. The Act helps to rectify this imbalance and support the expansion of franchises by standardizing regulatory requirements, while at the same time encouraging investment in B.C. Franchisors selling franchises in B.C. must now deliver a compliant disclosure document to prospective franchisees at least 14 days before the execution of a franchise agreement or the payment of any consideration in relation to the franchise. This disclosure includes (but in not limited to) a description of the business opportunity itself, a list of all fees and costs a franchisee must pay to acquire and operate the franchised business, details of any litigation involving the franchisor or its affiliates, a description of any territory granted, and a list of existing and former franchisees for prospects to contact for more information. Audited or reviewed financial statements must also be a part of the disclosure package, together with copies of all contracts the prospective franchisee is required to execute.

In addition, the Act imposes retroactive application for certain claims, including damage claims relating to breaches of the duty of fair dealing and the right to associate. This means, as of February 1, 2017, franchisees and franchisors are able to make claims for breaches of the duty of good faith and fair dealing in the performance and enforcement of franchise agreements entered into prior to February 1, 2017.

Below is a brief summary of the main provisions of the Act.

The Act:

Application – the Act applies to any franchise agreement entered into and to any renewal or extension of a franchise agreement that was entered into before, on or after the Act comes into force.

Fair Dealing – a duty of fair dealing, which includes acting in good faith and with reasonable commercial standards, is imposed on both the franchisor and the franchisee in the performance and enactment of a franchise agreement.

Right to Associate – a franchisee may associate with other franchisees and may form or join an organization of franchisees.

A franchisor and a franchisor’s associate must not, directly or indirectly, penalize, attempt to penalize or threaten to penalize a franchisee for associating with other franchisees, or for forming or joining an organization of franchisees.

Disclosure – a franchisor must provide a prospective franchisee with a disclosure document including financial and other relevant information about the franchise at least 14 days before the signing of the franchise agreement and the payment of any consideration.

Right of Rescission – conditions are set for the franchisee to rescind a franchise agreement upon a franchisor’s failure to provide satisfactory disclosure.

Damages – if the franchisee suffers a loss because of a misrepresentation in a disclosure document or in a statement of a material change, or as a result of a franchisor’s failure to comply with the provisions of the Act dealing with disclosure requirements in respect of material change, then the franchisee has a right of action against the franchisor, the franchisor’s broker, the franchisor’s associate and everyone who signed the disclosure document.

Attempt to Affect Jurisdiction Void – provides that a provision in the franchise agreement to restrict the application of the law of the province is void with respect to claims arising under a franchise document to which this Act will apply, including in respect of arbitration.

In conclusion, the Act is intended to benefit franchisors by continuing to establish uniform regulatory regimes across Canada and standardize franchise practices already followed by more sophisticated franchisors. Likewise, the Act will provide appropriate and needed legal protection to B.C. franchisees who are typically small business operators.

View the full text of the British Columbia Franch1ises Act.

 

Natalia M. Velletta is an Articled Student at Velletta & Company. Before pursuing her passion for law, Natalia attended the University of Victoria where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Education. Natalia also worked for the Government of British Columbia under the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.

ICBC Claims

ICBC claims advice, Velletta & Company

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia must be notified of every auto accident injury in BC. Notify ICBC of accidents which happen outside of BC if they involve an ICBC insured vehicle or driver. ICBC claims can quickly become complex and technical.

If at all possible, get legal advice before you notify ICBC. We offer free legal advice to accident victims in Victoria, Vancouver, Nanaimo and throughout BC. Other lawyers may do so as well.

Read moreICBC Claims

Why you should hire a lawyer when you are injured in a motor vehicle accident

We often have people ask us why so many people hire a lawyer to represent them when they are injured in a motor vehicle accident. There are several reasons for this. The first reason is that after an accident people that have been injured have enough to focus on with medical treatment, therapies, appointments, and healing their bodies. Also having to deal with ICBC on top of this can be overwhelming. Lawyers provide a shield between you and ICBC so that you can focus on healing rather than fighting your case.

Read moreWhy you should hire a lawyer when you are injured in a motor vehicle accident

What Can You Expect in a Lawsuit?

Velletta & Company, litigation lawyers

The timing of a lawsuit is difficult to predict. It depends on many things, including actions the Defendant takes, court schedules, and decisions the Plaintiff makes. In a personal injury lawsuit, the length of time recovery or medical treatment takes will change the length of time that a lawsuit takes. A lawsuit can take up to two years or longer to settle or go to trial.

Read moreWhat Can You Expect in a Lawsuit?

Traveling Abroad With Your Children

Legal advice from Velletta & Company

People frequently ask whether there are different rules for divorced or separated parents when it comes to taking their children out of the country. Generally the answer is no. Unless a court order specifically says you cannot take the child from the country, the rules are the same. In a nutshell, whenever you as a parent take a child into or out of Canada, you must always be prepared to show proof that you have the other parent’s permission, or that such permission is not necessary.

Read moreTraveling Abroad With Your Children

Have You Lost Your Permanent Resident Status?

People who immigrate to Canada and become Permanent Residents are required to meet residency requirements and must comply with conditions imposed under the regulations or risk losing their permanent resident status.

The rules regarding retention and loss of permanent residence status can be complex. We encourage you to contact Velletta & Company if you have concerns regarding your permanent resident status in Canada.

At Velletta & Company we provide you with the professional, cost effective advice you need to decide what options are best for you.

To arrange a consultation, please contact us.

Termination of Employment and The Duty to Mitigate

Employment lawyers Victoria BC

If an employee in British Columbia is not unionized, his or her employer can terminate that employee for reasons that range from legally justifiable to vaguely outrageous. A critical determination is whether the reasons for termination are “just cause” for dismissal. If a dismissal is for just cause, the employee is not entitled to notice or severance; if a dismissal is “without cause”, the employer has an obligation to provide reasonable notice or severance to the employee.

Read moreTermination of Employment and The Duty to Mitigate

Immigration Glossary

Immigration lawyers Victoria BC, Velletta & Company

Disclaimer

Work Permit:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/index.asp

A work permit is a government issued document that allows foreign nationals to work in Canada. There are some jobs in Canada that do not require work permits. Click here to view a list of these jobs.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) was developed in 1994. It is a federal government body responsible for dealing with citizenship and immigration issues in Canada.

Entrepreneur Program:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/entrepreneurs/index.asp

The Entrepreneur Program was created to attract experienced business persons who own and actively manage businesses in Canada that will contribute to Canada’s economy and create jobs.

Federal Immigrant Investor Program:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/investors/index.asp

The Immigrant Investor Program is a process designed for experienced business people to invest into Canada’s economy and ultimately become permanent residents.

Self-Employed Persons Program:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/self-employed/index.asp

The Self-Employed Persons Program was created to for applicants who wish to immigrate to Canada and who have the intention and ability to become self-employed in Canada.

Temporary Resident Visa:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp

Depending on your citizenship, you may require a temporary resident visa (TRV) to travel to Canada. A TRV is a government issued document that allows foreign nationals to visit Canada. A TRV does not permit you to work or study in Canada. In order to work or study in Canada you must obtain a Work Permit or Study Permit, respectively. (link to work permit and study permit above).

Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC):

http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), formerly Human Resources and Social Development Canada, is a department of the Government of Canada which is responsible for developing, managing and delivering a variety of social programs and services. In immigration, this includes filling labour shortages by hiring foreign workers.

Labour Market Opinion (LMO):

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/employers/lmo-basics.asp

Labour Market Opinions (LMOs), which are issued by HRSDC (link to HRSDC above), must be obtained by employers seeking to hire foreign nationals. LMOs show that there is a need for the foreign worker to fill the job you offer and that there is no Canadian worker available to do the job.

Sponsorship:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/sponsor/index.asp

Canadian citizens or a permanent residents of Canada can sponsor their spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, dependent children (including adopted children) or other eligible relatives (such as a parents or grandparents) to become a permanent residents.

Skilled Worker:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/index.asp

Skilled Workers, for the purposes of Canada immigration, are people who they have the education, work experience, language skills, etc. to help them become economically established in Canada.

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada:

http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/eng/pages/index.aspx

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada is an independent administrative tribunal responsible for making decisions on immigration and refugee matters in accordance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act:

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/I-2.5/FullText.html

An Act respecting immigration to Canada and the granting of refugee protection to persons who are displaced, persecuted or in danger.

Post Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP):

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work-postgrad.asp

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to gain Canadian work experience.

Study Permit:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/index.asp

A study permit is a government issued document that allows foreign nationals to study in Canada.

Canadian Experience Class:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/cec/index.asp

Depending on your type of work experience, temporary foreign workers or foreign students who graduated in Canada often have obtained the qualities it takes to help them successfully transition from temporary residents to permanent residents. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is a program designed to provide these individuals with the opportunity to gain permanent residency through these qualities.

Provincial Nominee Program:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/provincial/index.asp

The Provincial Nominee Program was created for people to immigrate to Canada who have skills, education and work experience that will make them an immediate contribution to Canada’s economy. Each province has its own regulations within this program. Until the individual is ready to establish themselves successfully as a permanent resident they are sponsored by their province of residence as Provincial Nominees.

Has Someone Interfered With My Human Rights?

Human rights lawyer Victoria, BC

Everyone has an intuitive sense of what their human rights are, but it’s often difficult to determine if one’s human rights have been interfered with in a way that would be punishable or compensable. When an incident occurs, people often do not have the information they need to determine what they can or should do. This article is intended as a general introduction to the human rights complaint process in British Columbia.

Read moreHas Someone Interfered With My Human Rights?

Guardianship

Disclaimer

The new Family Law Act does not use the words custody or access. It uses “guardianship”, “parenting arrangements”, and “contact” instead.

A guardian is a person who is responsible for caring for and making decisions for a child. All parents who live together after their child’s birth are both guardians of the child. If the parents separate, they both remain guardians of the child unless they agree or a court orders otherwise.

If a parent never lived with the child, he or she is not a guardian of the child unless:

  • He or she regularly cares for the child, or
  • Has been named guardian by a court order or agreement.

Guardians have parental responsibilities. Parental responsibilities include decisions about:

  • Daily care of the child
  • Health care
  • Religious upbringing
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Where the child lives.

Parental responsibilities can be shared between guardians, or assigned to a single guardian. If guardians share parental responsibilities, they are supposed to consult each other when making decisions.

Temporary Resident Visa

Disclaimer

Depending on your citizenship, you may require a temporary resident visa (TRV) to travel to Canada. You can apply for a single entry or multiple entry visa. There are various requirements which you must meet in order to qualify. An immigration officer must be satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay. You may require a medical examination and a letter of invitation from someone living in Canada.

Importantly, Study and Work permits do not authorize re-entry. If you require a TRV in order to travel to Canada, you will require a TRV if you wish to re-enter Canada during your period of work or study, despite having a valid work or study permit.

If you require a visa to visit Canada, we would be pleased to assist you. Please feel free to contact us to arrange a consultation.

Family-based Immigration

Disclaimer

If you are a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident in the United States, you can sponsor a relative (spouse, parents, children, brothers and sisters) to become a permanent resident. A permanent resident is commonly known as a “Green Card Holder”.

In order to sponsor a relative, you yourself must be a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, and you must be able to provide documentation proving your status. You must also prove that you can support your relative at 125% above the mandated poverty line.

If you are a US Citizen, you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the United States:

  • Husband or wife;
  • Son or daughter of any age;
  • Brother or sister if you are at least 21 years old; or
  • Parent if you are at least 21 years old.

If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the United States:

  • Husband or wife
  • Unmarried son or daughter of any age