Recently, our law firm went through the process of performing individual employee reviews. While these did include a work-related performance component, the majority of the time was spent focusing on our staff’s motivations, life goals, concerns, and paths to fulfillment. We want our people to know that their well-being is paramount to anything else we pursue as a firm.
The Bell Let’s Talk initiative was started in 2010 with the goal of establishing a public dialogue about mental health issues and breaking down the inaccurate stigma that mental illness is a weakness and not the medical condition needing treatment that it is (Sick Not Weak). To date, Bell’s donations to mental health programs have totaled over $93.4 million and climbing.
The Carson Law team is excited and proud to announce that Erika Warren has successfully passed her bar exam and will officially be joining the firm as a full-fledged lawyer.
In 2017, the federal Liberal government sent shock waves rippling through Canada’s small business and corporation owners with the announcement of their intention to make certain changes to how passively held income within a private company is taxed. After their initial proposal faced some harsh feedback and criticism, the government took a period of time to closely examine their desired changes and refine the plan’s focus and scope. These changes will come into affect in 2019, so here is a brief summary of what private corporation owners should be expecting as well as some possible strategies to mitigate the impact.
On the twelfth day of giving, my law firm gave to me,
helping a hospice.
For our twelfth and final day of giving, we are proud to be donating to the Ian Anderson House, an in-resident cancer hospice located in Oakville.
We have made it to the end of our twelve days of giving initiative, and we want to thank all of those who have followed along with us to learn about some worthwhile charities as well as why they are important to our staff. Up to this point, we have heard about many great causes working to help save lives or make things better for the future. The Ian Anderson House is a little different, because families who end up there are unfortunately faced with the impending loss of a loved one. The Ian Anderson House has been selected by our Operations & Business Development Manager, Chad Blundy, as in January 2014 Chad and his family suffered a significant event when his father lost his battle with colon cancer. His final days were spent at IAH, and words cannot express the gratitude that Chad’s family has for the facility’s medical staff and volunteers. The compassion, care, respect, and dignity that was provided certainly helped ease what was a difficult and gut-wrenching experience. The fact that IAH provides its services completely free-of-charge to six patients at a time, and grants families full access to the entire house at all hours of the day is a tremendously selfless operation.
On the eleventh day of giving, my law firm gave to me,
Counsel and support.
On our eleventh day of giving, we are happy to announce that Halton Alcohol, Drug, and Gambling Assessment Prevention & Treatment Services (ADAPT) have been selected to receive our next donation.
ADAPT is a non-profit and community-based agency in the Halton Region that assesses and provides treatment for addiction on an outpatient basis. This charity has been selected by one of our administrative assistants, Jan Christmas, as she has been witness to both the horrors that come with addiction and abuse, as well as the redemption that can be brought with proper and effective intervention. In Jan's own words, "I have chosen this charity as this organization has made a significant impact in the life of someone very dear to me who has been going through some very dark times. The counselors at ADAPT are providing the tools to help this person make significant change in their life … giving them hope for a brighter future. I believe they likely have a made a huge impact in the lives of many members of our community, both youth and adult. I’m sure they would be very grateful for any donation received.”
On the tenth day of giving, my law firm gave to me,
For our Tenth day of Christmas, we are happy to be donating to The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, (CPAWS).
CPAWS considers itself a pretty unique charitable organization, and for good reason. For over 50 years, not only has the society been dedicated to protecting and preserving Canadian ecosystems, it has also been the only charity in the whole country to be solely focused on this specific endeavor. During this time, CPAWS has played an important role in protecting over half a million square kilometers of public land, water, and parks… equivalent to a space roughly larger than the Yukon Territory. Our receptionist and brand ambassador, Kayla Wagstaff, is very passionate about this cause and feels that the time to act is now, while the subject of climate change is a daily hot button issue in politics and the media. There needs to be a voice of strength and reason, and CPAWS has been volunteering to be that voice for over half a century.
On the ninth day of giving, my law firm gave to me,
places to stay.
On our Ninth day of giving, we are pleased to be donating to the Toronto Chapter of Ronald McDonald house Charities.
RMHC Toronto’s goal is to provide a warm and welcome place for sick children and their families to stay together while undergoing, often painful, treatment. Established in 1981, RMHC Toronto was the first Ronald McDonald House set up in Canada and is still the largest one in the country. It consists of a house large enough to accommodate 81 families and includes extensive facilities such as a state-of-the-art kitchen and laundry, both open 24 hours a day, a clubhouse/sports/activity area, family den, business centre, library, and media/movie room.
Today’s charity has been suggested by one of our lawyers, Spencer Cuddy. Spencer has been familiar with Ronald McDonald House Charities since his high school made it the focus of their fundraising efforts. Since then, he has been impressed with the work that they do and feels that their mission is an admirable and important one. We couldn’t agree more.
On the eighth day of giving, my law firm gave to me,
Food for the hungry.
On our eighth day of giving, the Wellington & District Foodbank Storehouse as been hand picked by the head of our Carson IP division, Jim Carson.
There have been plenty of charities on our list so far that have set their sights on the honourable, yet daunting, task of discovering a medical breakthrough that will cure some serious illnesses. Today’s selection may not have such grandiose aspirations as a national organization, but its presence is just as important and impact is just as large to those that it services.
Recently, Jim and his wife Joan acquired a home in Prince Edward County to give them an opportunity to escape the rigours of city life from time to time. They have enjoyed getting to know the ins and outs of the community, connecting with people, and making new friends. One way to build relationships in a new neighbourhood is to get involved in local causes, and that is what Jim is doing by supporting the Wellington & District Foodbank Storehouse.
On the seventh day of giving, my law firm gave to me,
For our seventh day of giving, we are very happy to be donating to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Established in 1978, the Alzheimer Society was actually the first organization of its kind in the entire world. With only $100 as an initial deposit in to the group’s bank account, forty-five people attended the inaugural meeting. Today, more than $53 million has been invested in research through society programs, and over 25,000 Canadians participated in the Walk for Alzheimer's fundraising event in 2017. Shannon Hussey, one of our administrative assistants, has identified this charity as the one she supports due to her family being intimately familiar with the effects of Alzheimer's. 1 in 5 Canadians have experienced or or currently responsible for caring for someone who is living with a form of dementia, and 87% of those caregivers wish that more people understood the realties of the responsibilities required to fill that role. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 Canadians admit that they would feel ashamed or embarassed if they were diagnosed with dementia. This stimga surrounding these types of diseases needs to change if there is to be any hope of getting proper help to those suffering.
On the sixth day of giving, my law firm gave to me,
Light for The Way.
On our sixth day of giving, United way Centraide has been chosen, and we are very pleased to be supporting them.
This charity has been recommended by one of our real estate clerks, Courtney Holland, as the United Way Centraide’s activities and services hold special meaning for her. She has volunteered for the United Way in the past and has witnessed first-hand how local organizations connect with people within their communities and tailor their programming. She has also seen the good that comes from those programs and the strength that is built when assistance is passed from one person to another. As each local organization is operated independently, Courtney has asked that our donation be directed towards the United Way’s Halton and Hamilton branch.
On the fifth day of giving, my law firm gave to me,
Help for Heart and Stroke.
On our Fifth day of giving, we are pleased to be donating to the Heart and Stroke foundation of Canada.
The Heart and Stroke's vision is a simple one... to see that Canadians live healthy lives, free of heart disease and stroke. As with our Day 4 pick, Heart and Stroke’s selection as our Day 5 charity has been made by two of our caring staff; our real estate manager, Julie Saliba, and our financial clerk, Joanne Stross. Like with some of our other staff and their choices, they both feel strongly about the work that Heart and Stroke is doing because each of their families have been directly impacted by heart disease. Since 1952, the foundation has invested $1.52 billion in research, the heart disease and stroke death rate has declined by 75%, and 800 researchers are currently being funded.
For a limited time, one time donations to the heart and stroke will be matched by an anonymous and generous donor, meaning that your kindness will be doubled.
On the fourth day of giving, my law firm gave to me,
Wishes for children.
This is an extra special selection for our fourth day of giving as two of our staff members have identified Make-a-Wish Canada as their charity of choice. Warren Gilmore, one of our real estate clerks, and Lisa Skipton, from our operations and business development department, both view the idea of making dreams a reality for a child who might need a reason to smile as a very worthwhile cause. In Lisa’s own words “I have seen first hand how bringing happiness to someone with a serious illness can inspire them to fight against their disease or condition. Make-a-Wish Canada has specifically helped a member of my family, and I am proud that the place where I work is willing to provide support to something I feel strongly about."
On the third day of giving, my law firm gave to me;
Support for Sick Kids.
On our third day of giving, we are pleased to be donating to to the SickKids foundation in support of the hospital for sick children.
While SickKids is leading the fight to save lives and provide world-class care, sometimes one’s best efforts are limited by the tools at their disposal. The building that the hospital occupies is 70 years old and in need of some serious upgrades, just to bring certain areas up to code. Erika Warren, our law student who has recently passed her licensing exam (more on that later), has made SickKids her choice for our giving initiative, and we couldn’t agree with her more. There have been other staff members who’s kids have had to take advantage of the great work the hospital is doing, so this selection hits close to home.
On the second day of giving, my law firm gave to me; Hope for the horses.
For our second day of giving, we are happy to be supporting the Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue, located in Hagersville, Ontario, and we thank Denise Crockford, one of our law clerks, for suggesting this charity. Anyone who knows Denise understands that her heart is as big as… well… a horse! She loves everything country and has been spending her weekends helping at WHHR. In her own words, "The eyes on those innocent beauties are very telling about how thankful they are to be in a safe place". Thank-you Denise.
On the first day of giving, my law firm gave to me, a donation to the Cancer Society.
There are many foundations working hard to battle this nondiscriminatory disease, but the Canadian Cancer Society has been recommended by one of our legal assistants, Lisa Esposto, as being one particular organization that has had an impact in her life. Lisa and her family have used the society’s support and services in the past, and we are happy to contribute to them on her behalf.
The Carson Law and Breen Law family is proud to announce an initiative that has been in the works since the two law firms decided to begin sharing office space in April of 2018. December 12 will mark the beginning of our 12 Days of Giving.
Staff members have been asked to select a charity that each of them feels strongly about. From this list, we will donate to one charity each day running from December 12 to December 24. During this time, we will post which charities are selected daily and why they are important to us.
Are you a healthcare professional who has contemplated whether becoming incorporated is the right strategic move for your business? Check out these pros & cons for your consideration.
Carson IP division leader, James W Carson, provides a basic summary about Patents to help people familiarize themselves with this important tool for protecting ideas and inventions, and developing a solid business strategy.
As part of the estate planning process, individuals will often consider establishing a joint account with one or more of their adult children or other family members. Sometimes, this is done as a tool for expediency so that a joint account holder can help to manage the account, or to make the assets immediately available to the surviving accountholder(s) upon the death of the first joint accountholder. In other cases, a joint account is a planning technique used as part of a strategy recommended by an individual’s legal and tax advisors to seek to minimize probate tax. Whatever the motivation behind the account, before you open a joint account, it is important to be aware of the different joint account types available.
A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is a flexible investment account that you can use to meet short and long-term goals. Assets held inside a TFSA can earn interest, dividends or capital gains, but this income is not taxed, even when amounts are withdrawn from the TFSA, unlike a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Therefore, a TFSA can be used for both retirement and pre-retirement goals.
Since your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) matures on December 31st of the year you turn 71, you will likely convert it to a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). A RRIF is funded by rolling your RRSP funds into the RRIF on a tax-deferred basis. You can then use the funds in your RRIF as an income source for retirement. You can see a RRIF as an extension of your RRSP. As with your RRSP, you can continue to manage the investments in your RRIF. Like an RRSP, the growth of investments held within a RRIF is tax-deferred.
Carson Law is actively searching for an Assistant Financial Clerk to assist with tasks associated with the financial responsibilities required to complete real estate transactions as well as daily operations. This is the perfect job for anyone looking to enter a rapidly growing firm or a recent graduate hoping to enter the workforce and continue building their knowledge base.
Carson Law is happy to introduce everyone to our friends at The Real Estate Investing Training & Education (REITE) Club. After taking a short break for the summer, their next event is scheduled for Wednesday Sept 5th at the Holiday Inn Burlington where Ryan, himself, will be a guest speaker and will be open to answering all of your burning questions.