It’s not the Oscars but award season is upon us in the business-to-business magazine industry as well. Canadian Lawyer has a long history of winning awards for our top-notch editorial and art direction. But this year, the magazine has added a new feather to our cap, winning an American Business Media Jesse H. Neal Award for best single article for “War of the words,” our March 2009 cover story by Lisa Gregoire that examined the battle over the right to free speech versus the outlawing of hate speech.
Commercial courts have been established in various business centres around the world and are common in developed countries. Factors leading to their establishment in other jurisdictions are very much present in Canada, namely, a judiciary lacking expertise in commercial matters, overwhelmed dockets, and complex commercial disputes requiring expeditious resolution. The results are overwhelmingly positive. Canada would benefit from instituting commercial courts in all of its major commercial centres.
As I write, Canada is in the grip of Olympic fever. Alexandre Bilodeau’s gold medal resulted in the roar of victory heard across the country; tremendous amounts of fist pumping; and spontaneous outbursts of O Canada on the streets. It was a beautiful thing.
It is a commonly held perception that Alberta is a business-friendly province. With little red tape, skinny regulations, modest taxes, a sizeable pool of entrepreneurs, a can-do attitude, near-absent unionization, political invariability, abundant resources, solid infrastructure, a reasonable cost of living, great skiing, private liquor stores, and a young, well-educated workforce, it is difficult to argue against this perception.
As I sit down to write, expectations are that British confectionary icon Cadbury PLC will be swallowed whole by Kraft Foods Inc. in an acquisition worth $19.3 billion despite Kraft’s top shareholder Warren Buffett calling the takeover a “bad deal.”
The weather outside may be frightful but everyone’s outlook seems to be a lot more delightful than it was at this time last year. Heading into the first quarter of 2010 there appears to be a lot less malaise, trepidation, worry, anxiety, fretting — you get the picture — than there was 12 months ago. At that time, not only were we hearing from law firms about their concerns over the economy, we also felt the tightening of belts as an organization that services the legal community.