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ORC 11-12-12


2012 Archives

Home improvement retailer CEO that fought off Lowe's takeover - Rona's most outspoken top executive resigns - Will talks open up with Lowe's again? The president of Canada's largest network of home-improvement retailers stepped down Friday as top executive at Rona Inc., amid tumbling net profit. Dutton's departure comes just months after the Canadian home improvement chain fended off a takeover attempt by U.S. rival Lowe's, which was rebuffed not only by the Rona board but also Quebec provincial politicians. One of Rona's largest shareholders said the board should reopen discussions with rival Lowe's following the sudden departure of its long-time chief executive. It currently has nearly 30,000 employees and 830 locations under its banner, giving Rona a bigger reach in Canada than Home Depot or Lowe's, the top home improvement retailers in the United States. This executive was also one of the most vocal retail leaders in Canada about the American invasion. (Source Associated Press)

Wireless cell phone industry moves to stop smartphone, tablet theft The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, an industry group representing carriers, announced a plan on Thursday to make it more difficult for criminals to reactivate stolen devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers. At the crux of that strategy is a push by carriers to "blacklist" stolen gadgets, a move that would reduce the incentive for theft. By Sept. 30, 2013, carriers will make it standard practice to verify whether a device's International Mobile Equipment Identity number is listed as stolen in Canada and internationally before it is cleared for activation. (Source

Do employers have a right to spy on workers in Canada? Despite the existence of privacy legislation, privacy-based regulatory bodies, privacy principles and even privacy-based torts (wrongful acts that lead to damages) there is still no clear "right" to privacy for many workers. It is generally not illegal in Canada to hire a private investigator to spy on an employee who says he or she is too sick to work. As a group of employees at a large Toronto law firm recently discovered, the absence of stronger privacy laws means there is no easy way to prevent their employer from installing machines that force them to swipe their fingers to get in and out of their workplace. Using cameras in the workplace: If there is a problem with theft or security and the camera is trained on a specific location, it is not illegal. Employers retain the right to monitor their staff in some situations, but only if this is done in good faith and where there is a reasonable belief that an offence is being committed. This past January, the Ontario Court of Appeal opened the door to privacy-based rights slightly by recognizing that individuals can sue one another – and by extension, their employer – for an invasion of privacy. The flip side of the Ontario court’s ruling is that spying or snooping on employees suspected of stealing, cheating, lying, defrauding or malingering is still legal – and this routinely occurs in many different ways at work. Although the rules are slowly changing, an employee’s personal privacy is still more of an expectation at work, rather than a right. (Source

Corporate espionage versus competitive intelligence The difference between competitive intelligence and corporate espionage would seem obvious: one is legally getting the information you need to run your business competitively while the other is creeping around and raking through your competitor’s garbage. But it turns out that neither competitive intelligence nor the ethics surrounding the topic are taught much at business schools, according to academics familiar with the topic. Only three Canadian business schools teaching courses in competitive intelligence, whereas competitive intelligence has been taught at U.S. universities since the 1990s. (Source

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