Friday, April 10, 2020


An emergency Order in Council was made  under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in Ontario this week so that we lawyers can now have Wills and Powers of Attorneys signed and witnessed by video conferencing.


After taking instructions, preparing the documents and forwarding the finished documents by email (see my previous blog), I intend to provide myself and my isolation partner as virtual witnesses to the execution of Wills and Powers of Attorney for Personal Care and Property.  The client will sign the documents in his/her home while with us on a video conference and will then forward the signed documents to me by some sort of courier.  Once I have received the documents, the other witness and I will then sign the document(s), again, on  a video conference with the client.  I will then prepare the Affidavit(s) of Execution and either keep the documents or return them to the client.  

For clients who can not make use of video conferencing, the advise in my previous blog still applies.

If you would like to discuss any of this with me, please call 613 749-7698 or email

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


The proliferation of DIY Will kit ads

I don't know if it's a Facebook matrix but my feed seems to be full of DIY Will kit advertising. Please, please, please beware. A DIY kit will result in a printed Will. In Canada such a will is only valid if the signing is witnessed by two people who see the signing at the same time. 

What to Do (and Not Do) as a Carlsbad LandlordBecause of the state imposed Covid-19 isolation mandate, getting together to sign a Will would be inconsistent with advice provided by Health Canada.  So unless you have two adults in your isolation circle, you will have trouble getting the DIY Will validly executed (ie. properly signed and witnessed). Bear in mind that those two adults can not be your spouse, nor anyone named in your Will or their spouse, nor your children.

But can I meet with a Lawyer?

Well, yes. 

Lawyers are considered essential services  in Ontario so we are expected to continue to provide client services.  However we are also expected to physically isolate and work from home as much as possible.  So, I am not receiving clients in my office nor am I willing to go to their homes (which is part of my usual practice). I am physically isolating as we all should be and I am encouraging my clients to do so as well. While I am aware that lawyers continue to physically visit with clients, I believe this behavior is irresponsible no matter how careful they think they are being.   For the foreseeable future, I will only assist clients by telephone and video conferencing (Zoom, Skype, MSTeams, FaceTime, Google Duo, Messenger Video and the like).

But virtually only.  Video Conferencing: It's Just a Meeting

Typically, a preliminary meeting where I get all the information I require will take about an hour and can be performed by video conference, ideally, or by telephone if necessary. Thereafter, I would prepare documents and email them for further discussion and eventual approval.

For clients who can arrange the necessary witnesses, I will provide detailed instructions as to the exact procedure to be followed to sign the documents. Although it is not necessary, I would be happy to oversee the signing by video conference. After the signing, I will ensure that one of the witnesses swears out the Affidavit of Service, which can be done by video conference and does not have to be done simultaneously with the signing. 

Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures -- Holographic Wills

For clients who can not arrange the necessary witnesses, my advise is to make a holographic Will. This is not nearly as interesting as it sounds; it is NOT a video recording or the like. A holographic Will is a Will completely written by hand by you and signed by you. It does not need to be witnessed. You can use one of the DIY kits as a guide and write it out yourself or I can provide you with a bare bones Will to write out. When we are given the all clear to resume physical interaction, a formal Will could be produced, signed and witnessed to replace the holographic Will.

I hope you find this helpful. 

 If you would like to discuss any of this with me, please call me on 613 749-7698 or email I charge $367.50 per Will.

Stay home and stay safe!

Friday, August 3, 2018


Canada's new Trademarks Act is expected to be in place in February 2019

 In June of 2014 the Canadian Government signed into law legislation overhauling the Canadian Trademarks Act. The changes to the Act pave the way for Canada joining the Madrid Protocol and Nice Classification system. In addition “use” as a prerequisite to registration in Canada has been eliminated. In the intervening years, the Trademarks Office has been working on the critical regulatory and system changes needed for implementation and the new law is now expected to be in place in February 2019.  Below are the most interesting changes and some suggestions for action going forward.

The Elimination of the “Use” Requirement

Under the changes to Canada’s trademark laws, registration is available whether or not the mark has been used in Canada or elsewhere. The requirement to declare a specific filing base for applications has been eliminated; applications will include a standard statement that the applicant has used or intends to use the mark in Canada.

Declarations of Use will no longer be required and there are no maintenance requirements based on use.  Nevertheless, use will remain a crucial element for protection and enforcement of marks. Indeed CIPO has stated that without use no action for enforcement is available within the first three years after registration.

Adoption of the Nice Classification System

Additional fees will be charged for each class over one at both filing and renewal.

The combined filing and registration fee will be CDN $330 for the first class and CDN $100 for each additional class.   Since the application fees will be higher after the new Act comes into force (CIF), applicants who are planning to apply for a trademark claiming more than two classes of goods or services should consider filing the application before the CIF date to take advantage of the lower fees. Such applications will not be subject to the current use requirements (so long as CIF is not significantly delayed).

The Renewal fee will be CDN $400 for the first class, and CDN $125 for each additional class. Since the renewal fees will be higher after the new Act comes into force, it is possible that trademark owners may save money by renewing a registration early if the registration covers multiple classes of goods or services. CIPO has provided inconsistent information as to whether owners completing renewals before the CIF date will be required to pay the difference in the renewal fee if the renewal fee is greater under the new tariff of fees.

Shortened Renewal Period

Registration and Renewal terms have been shortened to 10 years.  Since the renewal period will be shortened from 15 to 10 years after the new Act comes into force, it is possible that trademark owners can obtain the longer renewal period by renewing a registration before CIF. CIPO has provided inconsistent information as to whether owners completing renewals before the CIF date will be accorded the longer renewal period. 

Adherence to the Madrid Protocol 

Foreign applicants will now be able to secure protection in Canada under the Madrid Protocol. 

Introduction of Letters of Protest.

Third parties will be able correspond with an Examiner to raise registrability concerns about others' application at any point from filing to publication. 

Division of Applications.

Goods and services in an application may be divided into two or more applications during examination and opposition. 

Associated Marks

Transferring ownership of associated marks will now be permitted.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Celebrating  Canada's 150th birthday


Looking for something different to do this summer to commemorate Canada's 150th birthday? How about walking the beaches of Les Ìles de la Madeleine? 


The tiny archipelago in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, northeast of Prince Edward Island but a part of the province of Quebec, comprises seven islands and is accessed only by sea or by air. It's main road extends only 85km but the Madeleine's boast more than 300km of beaches.  For more details go here Iles de la Madeleine

Last summer, we walked the circumference of the archipelago. As the crow flies it is about 170km – about 150km on beaches. Add detours and meandering and we walked well over 200km. We were camping so we had to carry a tent, mats, sleeping bags, a stove, gas, pot and dishes, clothes, WATER, food ...  Here is all our stuff scattered about and then all packed up in two manageable backpacks.


After parking our car at the Dockside Bed & Breakfast ($5/night parking fee) in Souris, Prince Edward Island, we boarded the ferry for the 5 hour trip to Les Ìles. It was a pleasant ride and there is lots to do;  ferry details here. We arrived in Cap-Aux-Meules at 7pm and stopped in at the Tourism office where we got a big and quite detailed map of the islands. An easy 5km walk down main street, along the Coastal Trail and then along Chemin du Gros-Cap got us to the Gros-Cap Campground where we set up our tent just before a nasty storm blew in. 


Our first morning on Les Ìles was raining and blustery. A work emergency kept us at the campsite using their internet café facilities until 11am by which time the worst of the bad weather had passed. As we walked the De la Martinique and Du Cap Beaches the weather cleared up and by late afternoon the sun and blue skies brought out plenty of kite surfers at the Du Cap end of the beach. We had a delicious supper at Chez Elmer in the tiny village of La Grave, Havre Aubert. I had their specialty clam chowder in a bread bowl which Mike drooled enviously over while he ate his fish and chips. The little artisan shops and the Musée de la Mer were closed so we never did get to visit them. The restaurant let us fill up our water bottles and we crossed the island via Chemin du Sable and accessed Du Havre Beach where we set up our tent and promptly fell asleep. We had walked about 25km.















We had our breakfast of instant oatmeal and coffee on the beach. A lady camping in a van at the beach access parking lot replenished our water supply. We decided not to do the Sandy Hook Beach detour to make it a short hiking day.  Our next destination, Camping Belle Plage, was about an 8km stroll along the beach. There is gap in the beach at Le Bassin bay opening which we were able to ford quite easily; water was about waist high. The campground is really just a field but it has nice showers and a
laundromat, no free WIFI. There is a restaurant about a kilometre down the road.


The better part of day 3 was spent walking along Chemin du Bassin. Just after the grocery store where we got water (4 litres!), baguette and local goat cheese for lunch and tuna and rice for supper, there is a coastal path around the lighthouse which is quite lovely. We ate our lunch at the tower overlooking the beach at Ance á la Cabane.

Plage de L'Ouest stretches almost 4km to a high tide gap; it was all sand by the time we got there. After crossing the gap, we set up camp in between two tall dunes, ate our supper at the top of one and watched the sun set over a fishing trawler. We had walked about 25km.




An animal visited us in the night, we saw by its tracks in the sand in the morning.  Dune de L'Ouest aka Plage du Corfu Island (the remains of this ship are on the beach) takes us back to the main island. There is a small gap which we walked through, barefoot. Then we had to clamber around a point, thigh deep water and the rocks are slick with algae. It was a holiday Monday and the kitesurfers were out in full force; they were quite distracting but we made it around without falling into the surf.

The seaside shops at Site de la Côte (L'Etang du-Nord) were closed but the facilities were available and the Art Gallery had a pot of coffee brewing. We watched a seniors lawn bowling tournament as we sipped our coffee.

Across the street the dairy bar opened so we had sundaes for lunch to fortify us for the overland next part of our journey; a trail which hugs the coastline and leads right into Camping Barachois. The campround has showers, a laundry room and a common room but no free WIFI. For supper we walked into Fatima and ate at Decker Boy. We had walked about 20km. 


Day 5 marks the start of some serious beach walking. Mike left me and the bags at the Plage de la Hôpital entrance facility to get groceries in Fatima. There is a Creperie and a bar, both closed for the season but a large building with washrooms, tables and chairs and an outdoor deck with benches is open. Inside hanging from the ceiling is the skeleton of a whale. A lady has biked all the way from the main town just to see it. There is also an outdoor shower and lots of picnic tables scattered around. 

The Plage de la Hôpital becomes Plage de la Dune du Nord. The sand was soft and walking became an exercise in trying to find the hardest sand. Mike chose to walk just above the surf line at an angle. I meandered around in the flat areas looking for solid footing. This is a buggy beach with, much to our amazement, traffic directional signs. Tired of the beach walking, we jumped onto the highway about 2km outside of Pointe-Aux-Loups. This tiny village was closed for the season but a very kind gentleman supplied us with water and told us to come back for more. We accessed Plage de la Pointe aux Loups and set up the tent. We were treated to another beautiful sunset as we ate our salad. We had walked about 21km; I was miserable and exhausted.


Day 6 started out cold and blustery. Having to go back to town for a water fill up, we decided to walk the highway but as it soon got boring we hopped back onto the Plage de la Pointe aux Loups. Again it was tough walking in the soft sand. If yesterday was my breaking point day, today was Mike's.  Pods of seals swimming along the coast amused me while Mike fixed on the salt mine silo far away in the distance. We got off the beach and found the Seleine Mine salt mine interpretation centre (info here). It had bathrooms and seats. We changed into our sandals, leaving our stinky runners outside to air in the sun, and learned about the underwater salt mountains which built the islands. The only thing missing was actually going into the mine (preferably in a cart). After spending as much time as possible here, we loaded back up and walked over the bridge to Grosse- Ìle for a fish and chips supper at B&J Casse Croute. Neither their WIFI nor my cell access was strong enough to run the tablet so getting some work done was not an option. Nevertheless we spent a long time there and filled up our water bottles. At the local convenience store Mike found desserts which we enjoyed after we made our way to Plage de la Pointe de l'Est and set up our tent. We had walked about 19km.


Another blustery day. A storm was coming and we needed to make it back to civilization. The Dune de l'Est goes to the eastern most point on the islands where it becomes the Plage de la Grande Echouerie (aka Old Harry Beach) and heads back south west. Old Harry Beach access is a pay-parking lot located on Chemin Head with a little store (not open) which sells beach paraphernalia. It is also the access to the East Point National Wildlife Reserve. Up the road is the Little Red Schoolhouse, now a museum displaying artifacts and old photos of the one-room school it used to be. Of interest to us though is the cafe in the basement. The custodian brewed us a pot of coffee and we devoured slices of pound cake and half of a pie. A few more kilometres walking and we arrived at La Salicorne resort. We had walked about 23km. 

At the resort reception we dropped our bags on the floor and started inquiring about rooms. The proprietor was intrigued by our adventure and more than a little impressed. We had been talking about quitting all day but his interest perked us up. Instead of getting a room, we decided to camp and spend the money saved on food and activities at the Resort. For supper we had La Grande-Entrée; the Ìles sampler of seal sausage, fish mousse, lobster bisque and smoked mackerel. The resort offers its campers free WIFI, laundromat, showers and a common room with a kitchen, chairs, tables, sofa and tv. We were snug in our tent when the storm blew through.


Having decided not to quit, day 8 was our rest day. Mike spent the morning working while I puttered about. In the afternoon we went on a caving excursion. The cave bashing excursion (details here) is like a whirlpool on steroids; basically being thrown into and against surface caves by the ocean's waves. A wetsuit and a life jacket keep you buoyant and a helmet protects your head. It was tremendous fun and better than any massage for our weary bodies. 


Our little tent survived the 100kph winds overnight. We packed up and walked to the harbour stopping for groceries along the way. Our transportation guy, arranged by the resort manager, was waiting for us. It is maybe a 5 minute boat ride across the Havre de la Grande Entree but he gave us a little tour so we saw the seals basking in the sun. He dropped us off at the eastern end of the Dune du Sud.

We found a message in a bottle washed up on the beach and added our details to it and threw it back into the waves. We actually saw another couple who were geared up for camping on the beach. They didn't talk to us. We thought that was weird and a bit suspicious. At dusk, we pitched the tent across from a big rock out in the ocean. It made a pretty picture and I posted it online, just in case.  It had been a lovely day; warm and a big blue sky. We walked about 16km.


DAY 10

Our last day of beach walking was cold, cloudy and blustery. Walking into the wind was tough but the sand was solid from the previous rains. The entire walk we could see way off in the distance where we going. We arrived at Camping Sillons fairly early – it was only about 8km. Camping Sillons has coffee, snacks and WIFI in the main lounge and showers and a laundromat. For supper we walked up the road for fish and chips and also found a Creperie at the beachhead for a sweet snack.




DAY 11

Our last full day on Les Iles was warm and sunny. We walked the hills and dales of Havre-Aux-Maisons along Chemin de Pointe-Basse. We stopped in at the  Fumoir d'Antan an Economuseum® herring smokehouse and at the Fromagerie du Pied-de-Vent. Late in the afternoon we stopped for lunch at Restaurant Le Sablier. We used their WIFI to get some work done. Then it was a quick stroll across the causeway back to the main island and the ferry dock. About 13 km and we had made it full circle right back to the Tourism office. The woman in there told us that the bar, Les Pas Perdus, across the street might have rooms for rent upstairs. It turned out it did and I was pretty stoked to sleep above a saloon!  Upstairs has large rooms, 2 shared bathrooms, a sitting room with TV and laundromat.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Update: Amendments to Canada's Trade-Mark Act

Accepting goods and services classed with the Nice Classification

I can't believe this has been going on since 2014.  Anyway, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office posted this on its website on January 3, 2017.

It is also with great pleasure that we announce Canada’s display of acceptable Nice 11th Edition goods and services to be reflected in WIPO’s Goods and Services Manager.

Accepting goods and services classed with the Nice Classification is part of our commitment to align our practices with international standards helping to attract foreign investment in Canada and support Canadian businesses, innovators and inventors to compete with the best in the world. 

Don't get too excited! This doesn't mean that those “non specific” Nice classifications will all be acceptable. But the Manager does tell you what is or isn't acceptable 😉

Like this, except in blue

Happy 150th birthday Canada

On another note, Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. In recognition of this, Trade-Mark Registration Certificates now feature the 150 birthday logo instead of the three autumn maple leafs.

There are other, much more interesting, things going on too.   Ottawa 2017

This might just be a good year to make that long postponed trip to Ottawa.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I love d Movies

My view kind of looked like this
When I was in University I had a part time job as a projectionist. I got the gig from my brother who got it from my other brother. I rarely did in-class movies; it was too stressful. But I had two nights a week where I ran the projectors in the booth (safe from the jeers of the audience if things went wrong with the projectors – which they often did). There were two projectors and most movies were three reels, the change over had to be specifically timed. You set up reels one and two before the show and could make sure everything was perfect. (Do you remember those big circles in the upper right corner of the screen? That's what they are for.) The third (or more) reel got set up in the dark and was always a crapshoot. I got paid (a hefty wage, actually) to watch a movie. It was glorious (except for when things went badly).

Going to the movies and just setting back and watching is one of my favourite things. I'm pretty indiscriminate; I don't judge, I just enjoy. I am always more than willing to suspend my disbelief.

The home movie industry (video, DVD, streaming) is a mixed blessing for me. I love that I can watch a movie whenever I want; I hate that other people can pause it whenever they want. That's why I still go to the theatre. Well, that and the big screen. My new 55” OLED 4K is great but it can't compare to the big screen. 

I remember reading that movie makers would have to improve the cinema going experience rather than fight a losing battle against the pirating of movies. Well, let me tell you, they have done it!

Last night I went to Rogue One in Dbox 3D. Dbox is an “immersive cinematic motion experience, which is in sync with the action on the screen, immersing viewers in the movie to the point where they literally feel part of it. ...each and every movement of the D-BOX enabled cinema seats reflects the actions and emotions portrayed in the movie.”(click here for more info) 

WOW! Once I got over the giggles of being jiggled around, it was amazing.

I really recommend this. Just remember it is not a simulator or an amusement park ride so don't go in with that expectation.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Update: Amendments to Canada's Trade-Mark Act

Yesterday the Canadian Intellectual Property Office posted a proposed new fee structure.  You can view it here: Proposed adjustments to the trademark and patent fees 
This is the long awaited first step towards implementation of the changes to our Trade-Mark Act.  The consultation period extends to July 5.




Application & Registration

There will be only one fee associated with the registration of a trademark.  At filing an applicant will pay $C330 ($C430 if not filed online).  This replaces the current application and registration fees ($C450).  
The basic filing fee will cover one Nice Class.  Each additional class will incur a further fee of $C100 per class.


The renewal fee will be $C400 ($C500 if not filed online).

The renewal fee will cover one Nice Class.  Each additional class will incur a further fee of $C125 per class.


The consultation paper affirms that there will no longer be a requirement for use of a trademark to obtain registration in Canada.  The paper acknowledges that with the abolishing of the requirement for a declaration of use, there will be many proposed use applications that "can now" be registered.

Furthermore, the paper clearly states that applications filed prior to the coming into force of the new regulations will be subject to the $200 registration fee (but presumably not the per class fee).  

Coming into Force

CIPO is now stating that the regulations implementing the new law will come into force in early 2018 and the paper confirms this in its revenues and costs estimations which start in fiscal year 2018‒19.