No unscheduled visits or deliveries are permitted.
Client meetings and discussions will ONLY occur by phone or video-conferencing and must be scheduled in advance.
In-person meetings are ONLY for signing of documents - no discussions other than normal greetings exchanged.
Individuals attending the office MUST remain in the main floor meeting room and page or call upstairs to announce their arrival. Only 1 client at a time is permitted in the main floor meeting room to ensure physical distancing.
Clients are advised to bring their own pen otherwise a sanitized pen will be provided.
Do NOT come to the office if:
you have travelled or live with someone who has recently travelled outside of Canada;
in the past 2 weeks, you have exhibited or come into contact with anyone exhibiting flu or fever like symptons;
in the past 2 weeks, you have participated in any group or social activity;
in the past 2 weeks, you have been in contact with anyone that is suspected or tested positive for COVID 19.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this trying time.
GGS LAW values the health and safety of everyone as its #1 priority.
Scotch Fridays formed its roots many years ago when our law firm shared office space with Nancy, a brilliant friend of mine. The Scotch Friday tradition evolved in those long ago days when Nancy would saunter over to my office on Fridays, just before the end of the day, and stand at my door and we would share stories about our week. They were more like rants but we enjoyed those afternoons tremendously, and sharing a little scotch was a bonus.
However, my love for story telling goes back to my childhood with my very large extended family and my elders sharing stories about the past. I always liked to listen and ask questions and know more of the details as if I was there with them experiencing it for the first time.
My love of storytelling continued to grow while working with my father in the grocery store in Burlington. "Ontario Variety", as it was known then and now, was a gathering point, a nucleus for the community, before Sunday shopping and the proliferation of grocery stores and 24 hour shopping. It was during simpler times when everyone knew each other and trusted to send their children with notes to go to the local grocer. My dad had the pulse on the community and if you wanted to know anything about what was going on, all you had to do was ask "Norm", my dad. I grew into the same role as my father, the ability to speak with people with ease, to know them and to know their story. Did I mention my dad loved Scotch?
I simply took my love of Scotch and love of Friday rants with Nancy and "voila" - Scotch Friday podcast it is.
I do this because I enjoy speaking with people. I have been criticized for asking too many questions. It's true. I do like to ask a lot of questions, and sometimes, I think "why not?" Let's get to know the person behind their enterprise, behind their title, behind their status, and behind their public persona and let's know their story of how they got to where they're at now and their views on the things that matter to us.
My love for conversation tells me that we are all part of the same fabric. And, I like to think of myself as finding the pattern and the stitch that connects us all. That's Scotch Fridays!
Tune in every Friday afternoon to scotchfridays.ca and listen to stories that matter and entertain you. It’s a great way to start your weekend.
As of Monday, March 30, government of Ontario introduced a temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers – here are the details:
The federal government’s temporary wage subsidy for employers has been evolving. Now, many small and medium-sized law firms will be eligible.
The initial announcement offered a subsidy of up to 10% and limited eligible employers to non-profit organizations, registered charities, and Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPCs) whose taxable capital employed in Canada for the preceding taxation year was less than $15 million.
Bill C-13, adopted in Parliament on March 25, expanded the definition of eligible employers to include individuals (other than trusts) and partnerships:
a person or partnership that
employs one or more eligible employees;
has, on March 18, 2020, a business number in respect of which the person or partnership is registered with the Minister to make remittances required under this section; and
is any of
a Canadian-controlled private corporation for the purposes of section 125 that
would have a business limit for its last taxation year that ended before the start of the eligible period greater than nil, if the amount determined for paragraph 125(5.1)(b) were deemed to be nil, or
if the corporation does not have a taxation year that ended before the start of the eligible period, would meet the condition in clause (A) if its taxation year ended immediately before the start of the eligible period,
an individual (other than a trust),
a partnership, all of the members of which are described in subparagraphs (i) to (iii) or (v),
a person exempt from tax under Part I because of paragraph 149(1)(l), and
a registered charity.
The government announced on March 27 that the wage subsidy will be up to 75% for qualifying businesses, for up to three months, retroactive to March 15. More details on eligibility criteria will be available soon and will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales.
This is a message to our friends, family and clients on what we – the staff and lawyers – at GREEN GERMANN SAKRAN / GGS LAW are doing in response to the COVID–19 pandemic.
GGS clients and employees are always our top priority. Rest assured that we are taking all necessary precautions and closely monitoring the (COVID-19) situation with Public Health Announcements so that we conduct business with peace of mind.
Safety and hygiene are cornerstones of GGS values and how we operate our office. Given the acute concerns with containing the spread of COVID-19, we recognize the importance of being vigilant to clean and disinfect. We are taking proactive and preventative measures to protect against the exposure to the virus in our office.
As early as last Monday, March 9 – all staff and lawyers met to discuss and brainstorm ideas on what we need to do to ensure the continued health and safety of each and every one of our staff, lawyers and clients.
We immediately drafted and implemented office policy and procedures that have evolved as the situation evolved.
Here is an up-to-date account of what we are doing:
We have discontinued handshaking or any form of touching and mindful of not touching our face or each other;
We are respectful of each other’s personal space – ensuring to maintain a meter distance apart – and not violating the other person`s work station area by not touching their equipment or areas;
We routinely sanitize our personal work space – mouse, keyboard, monitor, phone handset, desk, countertops, and routinely clean and sanitize all areas of our office;
We have placed sanitization products (such as lotions and wipes) throughout the office (front desk, offices and waiting areas) and provided staff and lawyers with latex gloves;
We are disinfecting and sanitizing all usable surfaces (ie. tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, pens and debit machines);
We routinely discuss and review our health and safety procedures to ensure we are doing everything necessary to ensure the health and safety of each other and our clients;
We are informing our clients of those measures and procedures;
We are not sharing pens;
We are conducting ALL client meetings and consultations via ZOOM or SKYPE video conferencing and providing clients with an email link to download either of these video conferencing platforms:
In the event a client does not have access to such video technology – the old fashion telephone is used;
Where “in-office” attendances are necessary:
We are screening clients to ensure they do not attend if they are sick or experiencing a fever or flu-like symptoms;
We are restricting client attendances to our one (1) main floor meeting room which is sanitized before and after each meeting;
We wear a fresh pair of latex gloves during in-person client meetings;
We provide the client with a sanitized pen to use;
Client attendances are intentionally kept as brief as possible and restricted to the signature of documents only (IN/OUT is the idea);
The conversational aspects of reviewing, explaining and amending documents are conducted in advance of client attendances by video and/or telephone conferencing;
Where there are multiple clients – such as spouses/business partners/co-executors – we are staggering their entry to the meeting room;
By restricting client attendances to one office on the main floor, it is allowing us to better control the health and safety of that area for clients – and ensuring that the larger upstairs work area of staff and lawyers remains safe;
We are constantly and frequently washing and sanitizing our hands and everything we touch. As much as possible, we are conscious of not touching our mouth and nose;
We are regularly discussing and assessing if we need to modify what we are doing and if we need to add or modify our procedures;
We are not forcing staff or lawyers to work – and yet, the consensus is we WANT to be here – and that is primarily because we feel safe in all that we are doing;
We are mindful of everyone and their personal space and our shared responsibility to remain vigilant in all that we do and how we conduct business.
At GGS LAW, we value the health and safety of every individual.
We are and will continue to do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of all concerned.
And if you have any questions, simply call me at 905-639-1222 or email me at email@example.com or send me a meeting invite via ZOOM or SKYPE.
Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding – we are a caring and thoughtful society – I know we will get through this together.
The other day, I heard a report on CBC that housing sales are down an overall 3%, primarily due to the B.C. housing market. Although this is a very busy time for real estate deals, the number of deals our office is handling is leveling off compared to same time last year.
In my unqualified opinion, housing prices are not declining. Instead, they are stabilizing which means that the gross competition and bidding wars experienced in recent past is now tailing off. As an aside, two months ago, I was successful in having CMHC reverse a refusal to extend coverage by presenting them with a 3rd party valuation substantiating the fair market value at $80,000 over list. This saved the deal and ensured that the client did not lose their $10,000 deposit.
The new reality is that the recent boom and fierce competition has helped many, who held onto their home, to increase their equity intended for retirement. Good for you and good for the many that got into the housing market before the boom.
Interest rates? Again, in my unqualified opinion, I don’t see a large shift over the next 24 months. Interest rates are tied to multiple economic factors but the simplest I see is that our economy is still transitioning to the new reality of high tech – we are not entirely there yet. In fact, I have a lot to say about this growth area but that is for politicians and economists to solve. I enjoy leaving this for “nice” dinner conversation.
If you have had a car accident, even if you don’t think you have been injured, there are certain things you need to do to protect your own rights and to protect yourself from claims from other people involved in the accident.
Always call the police even if it is just a “fender bender”. A police report is essential to making any sort of insurance claim yourself for damage to your vehicle or for accident benefits which are available regardless of fault to all insured motorists. A police report is also essential if you want your insurance company to defend you against a claim from another person involved in the accident.
Your next call, after the police investigation is completed, should be to your insurance agent if you have one or to your insurance company directly.
Late reporting of an accident may allow your insurance company to deny you coverage if you are sue d as a result of a car accident or create scepticism if you are making an accident benefits claim.
If there is even a hint of you being injured and you haven’t gone to the hospital from the scene, go and see your family doctor for assessment and appropriate treatment as soon as you can. If you can’t get an appointment right away, go to a walk-in clinic for initial treatment. Car accident injuries, such as whiplash injuries, can take days or weeks to develop and documenting the initial complaint as soon as possible after the accident creates a good foundation for a damages claim.
Then, feel free to call Earl Taylor at Green Germann Sakran at 905-639-1222 x245 for a free consultation about your rights after an accident. There are no upfront legal fees and no legal fees at all unless you recover a settlement or judgment.
Why Incorporate – a lawyer can discuss the benefits with you
My father was a grocer and he was always a sole proprietor. He did very well and it worked for him. He never bothered to consider the benefits of incorporating. Even when he bought a grocery store for my brother and revenues doubled, there was never any discussion around our home on whether we should incorporate.
Times have changed and I now believe that my father should have considered incorporating for a variety of reasons, like:
The lifetime capital gains exemption on sale of an active business (up to $800,000 per individual shareholder);
Protecting personal assets from creditors and personal injury claims;
Getting the benefit of lower corporate tax rate, income splitting, dividends and retained earnings;
Estate & Succession planning – ie. a trust to own holdco – holdco to own the realty and opco.
Easy to say, however there are many things to consider on whether or not to incorporate. For example, if you own a rental property that is considered “passive income” and therefore incorporating does not entitle you to a lifetime capital gains exemption. Only “ongoing concerns” are entitled, like retail or sales business, manufacturing – something that involves doing something to earn money rather than sitting back and waiting for it to collect in your bank. Of course, I am using a simplistic analogy. However, if you had at least 5 employees in a rental property business, then all of a sudden, it is no longer considered “passive income” and you would be qualified for a lifetime capital gains exemption in the event of sale of shares of the corporation.