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Archive for March, 2009

New Minimum Wage in Alberta

As of April 1, 2009, Alberta’s minimum wage will increase to $8.80 per hour from the current $8.40.

What about the rest of the country? The Alberta government news release backgrounder gives all the details, including where provinces fall in the minimum wage comparison after July 1, 2009.

Alberta’s minimum wage as of April 1, 2009

1st Ontario* $9.50
2nd Alberta** $8.80
3rd(tied) Saskatchewan $8.60
3rd(tied) Nova Scotia** $8.60
5th (tied) Newfoundland and Labrador $8.50
5th (tied) Quebec $8.50
5th (tied) Manitoba $8.50
8th (tied) British Columbia $8.00
8th (tied) Prince Edward Island $8.00
10th New Brunswick $7.75

Alberta’s minimum . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Legal IT 3.0 – April 20 & 21, 2009

Legal IT 3.0 is coming up on April 20 & 21 in Montreal. Dominic Jaar is once again heading up the organizing committee and has put the program together along with Xavier Beauchamp-Tremblay.

It is the largest and the most important event of the year in Canada on information technology for law. Dozens of experts from Canada and internationally (United States, France and Australia), including the keynote speaker Ronald J. Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab, will be there. You will also see some Slaw folk speaking including Simon Chester, Steve Matthews, me, and of . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

Canada Declines in International ICT Ranking

A few weeks ago Simon Fodden wrote about the “Ontario in the Creative Age” report that basically says we need to turn more to creative work to be successful economically. That builds on the creative class theory that says communities with a higher % of the creative class tend to do better economically.

Especially in light of that, its dissapointing to see that an ITU report that measures the use of information and communications technologies in more than 150 countries dropped Canada from 9th in 2002 to 19th in 2007.

Michael Geist comments that:

No country in the top 50 . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Dominic Jaar Named New CEO of the Canadian Centre for Court Technology

Congratulation to Slaw’s own Dominic Jaar, who has just been named CEO of the Canadian Centre for Court Technology. From the press release:

The mandate for the CCCT is:

1) Bringing the justice sector stakeholders together, including deputy ministers, lawyers, senior court administrators, judges and representatives of the public, to create an atmosphere favourable to technological innovation and excellence in our court systems to enhance access to justice.
2) Supporting the effective transfer and sharing of information between courts and other elements of the justice system.
3) Providing the tools and activities needed to exchange information and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

Final Issue of Canadian Lawyer Associates

Looks like CLB Media is pulling the plug on their Canadian Lawyer Associates magazine. This from an email I received yesterday:

“The Spring edition of Canadian Lawyer Associates magazine, now in circulation and available digitally at, will be the last printed version of the publication. Market conditions have prevented this very well-received publication from gaining the advertising traction it needed to sustain its publishing schedule.

We wish to thank all those in the legal community who supported the publication through advertising and by supplying story ideas and editorial content which allowed us to publish and distribute five excellent issues

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Increase Your Technology and Law Practice Management Knowledge at ABA TECHSHOW

ABA TECHSHOW 2009 is quickly approaching – April 2-4 in Chicago – and as the earlybird registration was just extended to March 6, you have a few more days to save up to $400 on registration fees.

After several years on the organizing committee, and as Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2007, it could easily be claimed that I am a tad biased about this conference. I won’t deny that – but I think this conference speaks for itself.

ABA TECHSHOW, now in its 23rd year, is the world’s premier legal technology CLE conference and expo. The conference offers more than . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law, Technology

Overnight Bank Rate Dropped to 0.5%

The Bank of Canada has just announced it has dropped its target for the overnight rate by 50 basis points to 0.5%. You may recall back in December that we started on this descent into unprecedented lows known as the “race to zero”. The goal is to help the Canadian economy recover from the current recession. According to Bank of Canada’s news release: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Global Legal Platforms and the Canadian Legal Market

The vogue for several years in the major commercial legal publishing houses has been to offer data through “global platforms” that give the customer a single point of access to all of their proprietary and licensed content. A global platform enables the publisher to “leverage” its proprietary content from one country by selling it in another. In addition to expanding the scope of the product offering, a global platform offers an opportunity for online revenue growth by transactional and subscription sales of international content in the various domestic markets.

It all sounds like a great idea, especially in the boardrooms . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

Mobile Phones – Key to Global Development

The ITU today released a major survey on global access to information, comparing developments in information and communication technologies.

A lot of food for thought.

Based on ITU estimates, 23 out of 100 inhabitants globally used the Internet at the end of 2008. But penetration levels in the developing countries remain low. Africa with 5 per cent penetration is lagging behind.

The global trend shows significant growth in mobiles: Six in 10 people across the globe now use mobile phones, particularly in developing countries. By the end of 2008, there were an estimated 4.1 billion subscribers globally. In . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology Rebuilds and Rebrands

While I suspect that most Slaw readers have Google as their home page or their default search engine, young lawyers need to be reminded that every search engine has its limits, and that different engines will generate different results. The page you really need may be invisible.

While over the years I’ve migrated engines – anyone remember hotbot or Northernlight ? – my current alternate tends to be Microsoft’s It’s a trailing third behind Google and Yahoo.

News today of major changes:

a Best Match feature resulting from a souped-up algorithm

– for more analysis see an excellent . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology