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Crowdfunding: Enhanced capital raising opportunities for startups
Equity crowdfunding will soon have a new framework in which to operate in Canada and this is excellent news for investors and startups alike. On November 5, 2015, the Canadian Securities Administrators announced that regulatory authorities in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia published the final version of Multilateral Instrument 45-108 - Crowdfunding (the “Equity Crowdfunding Prospectus Exemption”), which is expected to come into force on January 25, 2016. Crowdfunding will no longer be limited to advance purchases of goods and services in Canada, as the new Equity Crowdfunding Prospectus Exemption will allow startups to raise capital by issuing and selling securities to the public, using online funding portals, without having to file a prospectus. An offering document that meets regulatory requirements will nonetheless have to be prepared and published on the electronic funding portal. The document must contain certain particular information on the corporation, its officers, and the terms of the offering. ISSUER ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA Under the Equity Crowdfunding Prospectus Exemption, eligible issuers may raise a maximum of $1,500,000 per 12-month period. The main eligibility criteria for an issuer are namely that it be incorporated under Canadian laws and headquartered in Canada, that a majority of its directors reside in Canada, and that the issuer is not an investment fund. SUBSCRIPTION LIMITS FOR EACH INVESTOR Subscription limits for investors will vary depending on whether an investor is an accredited investor (as defined in the securities regulations) or not. In Ontario only, another category of investors, “permitted clients” (as defined in the securities regulations), is subject to its own specific investment limits. Investments by non-accredited investors will be limited to $2,500 per private placement (up to an annual maximum of $10,000, only in Ontario). Investments by accredited investors will also be limited, albeit to a greater amount of $25,000 per investment (up to an annual maximum of $50,000, only in Ontario). In Ontario, investors who are classified as permitted clients will not be limited in the amount of capital that they can invest. LEAD INVESTOR INCENTIVES It is no coincidence that accredited investors qualify for higher investment limits. The intention is to encourage them to act as lead investors who can set the pace for less experienced, non-accredited investors, by providing skills and expertise in management for the benefit of all investors. The emergence of lead investors is also encouraged by the fact that issuers will be able to distribute their securities under other prospectus exemptions during the crowdfunding distribution period with different prices, terms and conditions from those being distributed under the Equity Crowdfunding Prospectus Exemption. This type of model has already proven advantageous in the United States, where equity crowdfunding syndicates have been developed. Such syndicates, which are made up of angel investors and venture capital funds, allow small investors to invest their money in tandem with more experienced investors. CONTINUOUS DISCLOSURE Issuers who issue securities pursuant to the Equity Crowdfunding Prospectus Exemption will also be subject to certain continuous disclosure obligations, including the obligation provide the relevant securities commissions with financial statements and to make such financial statements available to investors within 120 days of their financial year end. The extent of such continuous disclosure obligations will vary in accordance with the total amount of funds raised by the issuer pursuant to one or more prospectus exemptions, from its date of formation to the end of its last financial year, based on the following thresholds: $249,999 or less: no requirement Between $250,000 and $749,999: financial statements accompanied by an examiner’s report or an auditor’s report $750,000 or more: financial statements accompanied by an auditor’s report In all cases, if the issuer is already a reporting issuer as defined by securities regulations, it will still be subject to any continuous disclosure obligations that already applied. CONCLUSION The Equity Crowdfunding Prospectus Exemption will open up markets to investors big and small, and allow them to build valuable relationships with startups early on. It will be interesting to see if the Equity Crowdfunding Prospectus Exemption will generate sufficient lead investors for equity crowdfunding syndicates to be put into place, as they have been in the United States.
Equity crowdfunding - The Autorité des marchés financiers adopts a new prospectus exemption for startups
The Lavery GO inc. Program team is happy to inform you that the Autorité des marchés financiers(AMF) announced yesterday the implementation of an equity crowdfunding exemption which allows startups to raise up to $500,000 in capital per year. Under this exemption, startups whose head office is located in Quebec may offer their shares to public investors through an online participative financing portal that is either relying on the exemption from the dealer registration requirement or is operated by a registered dealer and by using the pre-established offering documents which are available on this portal. The highlights of this crowdfunding exemption are as follows: The issuer may raise up to $250,000 per offering, subject to a limit of two offerings per calendar year. Investors may invest up to $1,500 per offering; however, there is no limit as to the number of offerings to which an investor may participate. The shares acquired under this exemption cannot be resold except under another prospectus exemption or a prospectus. The crowdfunding exemption will also be implemented in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This new exemption is excellent news for startups as it will allow them to access a new source of capital to support their development. It also sets up the tone for the much expected Regulation 45-108 respecting Crowdfunding, which is still under discussion among the Canadian Securities Administrators. For more information respecting this equity crowdfunding exemption, please contact Étienne Brassard or Guillaume Synnott. Étienne Brassard: 514 877-2904 | [email protected] Guillaume Synnott: 514 877-2911 | [email protected]
Legal newsletter for business entrepreneurs and executives, Number 21
CONTENT Overview of the Proposed Rules Respecting Equity Crowdfunding Trademarks in the English Language on Pubilc Signs and PostersOVERVIEW OF THE PROPOSED RULES RESPECTING EQUITY CROWDFUNDINGJosianne BeaudryIn 2013, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) launched a consultation on equity crowdfunding, as we already discussed it in this publication last fall. Following this consultation, the AMF and the securities regulators of Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Nova Scotia (the “Participating Jurisdictions”) published last March the Draft Regulation 45-108 respecting Crowdfunding (the “Draft Regulation”) and the Draft blanket order relating to the Start-up Crowdfunding Prospectus and Registration Exemption (the “Draft Exemption”). Some other Canadian jurisdictions published similar draft local notices.Currently, in Canada, crowdfunding respecting the issuance of securities is not allowed. The Canadian Securities Administrators are aware of the increasing development of Internet-based fundraising and the fundraising needs of start-ups and SMEs. Participant Jurisdictions define crowdfunding as a method of funding a project or venture through small amounts of money raised from a potentially large number of people over the Internet via an Internet portal.For the purpose of facilitating such fundraising, in the Draft Regulation and Draft Exemption, Participating Jurisdictions propose two offering schemes the first one, available to reporting issuers and non-reporting issuers and the second one, available to start-ups (which are necessarily non-reporting issuers). The rules governing crowdfunding by these two classes of issuers would be somewhat different. The rules applicable to start-ups will be less stringent than those applicable to reporting issuers and non-reporting issuers. The concept of start-up is not defined in the proposed rules.Furthermore, by adopting the Draft Regulation, Participating Jurisdictions wish to regulate the registration of funding portals. For instance, funding portals for offering to be conducted under the Draft Regulation would be required to register as exempt market dealers while funding portals for offering to be conducted under the Draft Exemption would not be subject to such requirements. By so distinguishing between the various types of issuers, Participating Jurisdictions are of the view that they facilitate fundraising at the various stages of the growth of enterprises.Many rules will apply to crowdfunding. The following table shows the most important of those: A streamlined disclosure document must be provided that includes basic information about the offering, the issuer and the portal. This document must also contain certain financial information. In the case of a start-up, it will rather be a standardized document (a form) without any obligation to provide financial statements. It must be noted that under Quebec securities regulations, such a document must be prepared either in French or in French and English, both for a Quebec issuer and an issuer from another jurisdiction which intends to distribute its securities to Quebec subscribers.Reporting issuers who complete this type of financing will remain subject to the continuous disclosure obligations under securities legislation while non-reporting issuers will henceforth be required to provide, among other things, annual financial statements (audited or reviewed under the circumstances provided for in the Draft Regulation). Start-ups that will have distributed their securities under the Draft Exemption will have no ongoing disclosure obligation than that provided under their corporate governance statutes.Funding portals which serve as intermediaries for the crowdfunding of non-reporting issuers and reporting issuers will be required to register as exempt market dealer. The funding portals of start-ups under the Draft Exemption will have no registration obligation but will be required to send to the Participating Jurisdictions information such as personal information on each of its promoters, directors, officers and each person participating in the control of the portal. A portal cannot provide specific recommendations or advice to investors about securities being offered on its platform. Portals will be required to ensure that the maximum investment thresholds per investor are complied with.Issuers will not be allowed to pay compensation under any form whatsoever to a person other than the portal respecting the offering under the regime of this exemption. Such prohibition does not apply to the fees of lawyers and accountants who may help the issuer in drafting the offering documents.Prior to allowing an issuer to access their websites, registered portals will also be required to conduct background checks on the issuer’s, directors, officers and promoters through the requirement to file a personal information form such as that required by the Canadian Securities Administrators for prospectuses or the Canadian exchanges.This Draft Regulation will not apply to issuers of the real-estate sector who are not reporting issuers or to investment funds.In conclusion, the intention of the Participating Jurisdictions to facilitate fundraising by some start-ups and SMEs is genuine. However, public protection requires a framework for this “new” financing method. It remains to be seen whether the industry will view the proposed framework as providing an adequate balance between regulatory requirements and compliance costs. The consultation period ends on June 18, 2014.TRADEMARKS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ON PUBLIC SIGNS AND POSTERSDavid Eramianwith the collaboration of Sylvie Demers, articling studentOn April 9 last, the Superior Court of Québec issued its judgment1 on a motion for a declaratory judgment pertaining to trademarks in the English language on public signs and posters. The applicants, Magasin Best Buy Ltée2, Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd, Gap (Canada) Inc., Old Navy (Canada) Inc., Corporation Guess? Canada, la Compagnie Wal Mart du Canada, Toys “R” Us Canada Ltée and Curves International Inc. were seeking to have the Court answer the following question : [TRANSLATION] “are trademarks in the English language, without a registered French version, used on public signs and posters and in commercial advertising, required to be accompanied by a generic descriptive term in the French language to comply with the Charter of the French Language (“Charter”) and the Regulation respecting the language of commerce and business (“Regulation”)?” This motion for a declaratory judgment was made in the context of a recent change of policy of the Office de la langue française (“Office”) as to the interpretation of the Regulation, which was putting the applicants at risk of becoming the subject of penal proceedings and having their francization certificates withdrawn if they did not use their trademarks in the English language in conjunction with a generic descriptive term in the French language. The Attorney General of Québec was inviting the Court to answer the question in the affirmative.The Superior Court answered the question in the negative, ruling in favour of the applicants. Firstly, the Court noted the distinction between the legal concepts of a business name and a trademark. The Court concluded that it was with full knowledge that the government had introduced a specific exception to the French language signage requirement to allow trademarks in other languages than French on public signs and posters. The scheme of the Act could not then be invoked to run against an exception created by the legislator with full knowledge.Secondly, the Court noted that the Office had consistently applied section 25(4) of the Regulation since it came into force in 1993, allowing trademarks registered in languages other than French on public signs and posters without them being accompanied by generic terms. This interpretation was thus continuous and could be considered as an interpretative custom allowing the applicants to believe that their signage practices complied with the Charter. The interpretation proposed by the Attorney General would have resulted in depriving this derogation specifically provided for under section 25(4) of the Regulation of any practical application.The Superior Court concluded by stating that it is not for the courts to modify clear legislative and regulatory texts supported by an interpretative custom which has been consistently applied for 20 years. It is rather for the legislator, if it so wishes, to intervene and impose the solutions it deems adequate as to the language to be used by businesses on public signs and posters.________________________________1 2014 QCCS 1427, par. 9.2 This decision of the Superior Court was appealed, on May 8, 2014, by the Attorney General of Québec.
Legal newsletter for business entrepreneurs and executives, Number 18
CONTENTS Easing the financing rules while waiting for crowdfunding Avoiding disputes by entering into a shareholders’ agreement Tenth anniversary of Bill 72 : Land protecton and rehabilitationEASING THE FINANCING RULES WHILE WAITING FOR CROWDFUNDINGJosianne BeaudryThere is no doubt that small and mediumsized enterprises (“SMEs”) and businesses in the startup phase (also known as early- stage businesses) face multiple challenges when seeking financing. Not only must they identify investors who are prepared to take the risk of investing in their projects, they must also ensure that they comply with the rules on raising capital imposed by the securities regulators.Under the rules in force in Quebec and the rest of Canada, for a corporation to raise capital, unless it has an exemption, it must retain the services of a firm registered in an appropriate category with the Canadian Securities Administrators, and must also prepare and provide the purchasers with a disclosure document known as a “ prospectus”.This procedure is generally too onerous and demanding for SMEs and startups, not to mention the obligations these companies would have after the financing to prepare and distribute continuous disclosure documents, such as financial statements, management’s discussion and analysis and press releases.Thus, SMEs and startups are often limited to raising funds from business associates, family (“love money”) and accredited investors — which are generally persons with a net income before taxes exceeding $200,000 or net assets of at least $5,000,000.SMEs and startups also have the option of soliciting funds from a broader range of investors without having to prepare a prospectus through the use of an offering memorandum. The offering memorandum is a disclosure document similar to a prospectus but which is more simple to prepare and less costly. This financing alternative seems generally to be overlooked and underused by SMEs and startups. The lack of use of the offering memorandum is likely due to the accompanying regulatory requirement of preparing audited financial statements drawn up in accordance with the IFRS. This type of financing appears to be much more popular in the Canadian West.However, in this regard, on December 20, 2012, the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) issued an interim local order allowing SMEs and startups that are not otherwise reporting issuers, as defined in the securities legislation, to distribute their securities by means of an offering memorandum without having to include audited financial statements drawn up in accordance with the IFRS.Thus, it is henceforth possible for these corporations to issue an offering memorandum without having to prepare audited financial statements. Moreover, the unaudited financial statements accompanying the offering memorandum may even be drawn up in accordance with the Canadian GAAP applying to private issuers.However, to take advantage of this easing of the regulatory requirements, the issuer must limit the total amount of all of its offerings made under this rule to $500,000 and limit the aggregate acquisition cost per purchaser to $2,000 per 12-month period preceding the offering (and not $2,000 per issuer). A warning must also be added to the offering memorandum clearly informing any purchaser of the fact that the financial statements are not audited and are not drawn up in accordance with the IFRS, and of the limits on the investment threshold.It should also be noted that, under the Quebec legislation, the use of an offering memorandum by a corporation to raise funds is subject to translation requirements. Thus, for purposes of soliciting financing in the province of Quebec, the offering memorandum must either be written in French or in both French and English.Conscious of the financing needs of SMEs and startups, at the same time as the AMF was announcing the easing of the rules on the contents of the offering memorandum (which is slated to apply for a maximum period of two years), the AMF also launched a consultation on equity crowdfunding.Equity crowdfunding consists of raising capital from a large number of investors, who are not necessarily accredited investors, by means of an electronic platform in return for the issuance of securities. Some jurisdictions such as the United States (under development since April 5, 2012), England and Australia have adopted rules authorizing equity crowdfunding.These rules generally provide that corporations may only raise a modest amount through this type of financing. Similarly, the amount investors may invest is also small. At present, this type of financing is prohibited in Canada unless one has an exemption or issues a prospectus.The main objective of equity crowdfunding is to facilitate access to capital at a reduced cost. However, this objective is difficult to reconcile with recent developments in the regulation of Canadian securities markets aimed at protecting investors.Indeed, in carrying out their mission to protect investors, Canadian authorities have continued to increase the regulatory requirements (disclosure, compliance, proficiency, etc.), which also has the effect of increasing the operating costs of the various participants in the financial markets.Some financial market stakeholders are concerned about the risks of an exodus of innovative Quebec corporations and talent which could be tempted to move south to the U.S. to finance their projects, where they would benefit from a more streamlined and less costly financing environment. The Canadian Securities Administrators will have to meet the challenge of finding the difficult balance between the financing needs of SMEs and startups and the protection of investors.AVOIDING DISPUTES BY ENTERING INTO A SHAREHOLDERS’ AGREEMENTJean-Sébastien DesrochesDisputes between shareholders sometimes have serious consequences for a business corporation and can be an impediment to the carrying on of the operations in the ordinary course of business. Such disputes are usually complex and costly while also being protracted in nature. In this context, a well-written shareholders’ agreement that is tailored to the business can help to avoid disputes or, at least, limit their scope and provide a framework for managing them.Shareholders’ agreements may not age well over time. They may not evolve in sync with the business and its shareholders, particularly in a context of expansion and growth. Furthermore, it is generally difficult to change a shareholders’ agreement once it has been signed, and an attempt to change the ground rules in midstream could be a source of additional conflicts between the shareholders. It is therefore imperative for the shareholders to establish their rights and obligations, as well as those of the corporation, in a shareholders’ agreement as early as possible in the life of the corporation.No one will be surprised to learn that money is the main cause of disputes between shareholders, whether it is the money invested (or to be invested) in the corporation or money that the corporation pays (or will pay) to its shareholders in the form of dividends or otherwise. At the same time, the shareholders’ contributions in property, services, time and money often create friction within the corporation, particularly since the shareholders’ business, financial and other expectations may evolve differently - even in opposite directions - over time.Apart from financial issues, personal conflicts can also inflame the relationship between the shareholders, especially when family members are involved with the business. The same is true when decisions are to be made on the global objectives of the corporation and strategic issues.In addition, if the corporation has shareholders from different jurisdictions, cultural differences can also give rise to tension between the shareholders. In such cases, the text of the shareholders’ agreement must be very explicit and should, if possible, be supported by concrete examples of the application of the more complex clauses, such as valuation of the shares and the procedure for exercising a right of first refusal. In all cases, it is essential to provide for the order of priority for the exercise of the various rights, remedies and mechanisms contained in the agreement to avoid adding issues of interpretation of the agreement to the existing business issues.It is often at times when the business of the corporation is not faring so well that the common disagreements between shareholders tend to flare up and lead to litigation. The shareholders’ agreement should therefore anticipate the future situations which the corporation may face, whether positive or negative, such as refinancing, the arrival of new shareholders, family succession, the acquisition or sale of a business, international expansion, the development of new markets, and retirement from the business.The ability to anticipate future developments takes on its full importance when one considers the context in which the shareholders’ agreement is being entered into. Thus, the shareholders’ and drafter’s objectives may be different in the case of an agreement concluded for tax and estate planning purposes versus an agreement dealing, for instance, with the arrival of a new investor, a transaction for the acquisition of the business (e.g., business transfer or succession) or a start-up situation. Even in a very particular context such as this, the shareholders’ agreement should still give the corporation and its shareholders the means to achieve their ambitions and the requisite flexibility to carry out all their business projects.In addition to their status as shareholders, the shareholders may also hold several other titles or functions in the corporation, since they often also act as directors, officers and employees. Disputes may therefore arise as a result of these different roles and the associated rights and obligations, and degenerate very quickly into personal disputes.The drafting and negotiation of a shareholders’ agreement is a complex and exacting exercise requiring both legal and practical experience. Thus, a review of the cases in the courts shows that disputes pertaining to the most complex terms and conditions of the agreement, such as the mechanisms for the arrival and departure of shareholders and transfers of securities (right of first refusal, purchase and sale (shotgun) clause, etc.) as well as interpretation of non-competition, non-solicitation and intellectual property provisions, are among the subjects most frequently debated in the courts.Valuation mechanisms for assessing the price of the shares in different situations should also be clearly established in the shareholders’ agreement. Such mechanisms should oversee and govern any discussions on the value to be attributed to the shares of the corporation in the context of a sale or transfer, including in complicated situations where there are ongoing disputes among the parties.Lastly, it is fundamental to provide for effective conflict resolution mechanisms tailored to the needs of the parties ( confidentiality of the process, cultural and linguistic factors, obligation to pursue the operations of the business as a going concern in spite of the dispute, etc.) that allow for action to be taken quickly to preserve the value of the business. This will enable the parties to avoid the forced liquidation of the business, with its disastrous consequences for the employees, suppliers and clients.TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF BILL 72: LAND PROTECTION AND REHABILITATIONSophie PrégentThe planning of a construction project or start-up of an industrial activity requires prior verification of a number of matters. Despite the introduction, ten years ago this year, of rules in the Environment Quality Act (EQA) governing the protection and rehabilitation of contaminated lands, the physical condition of the project site is often still a neglected issue.While the question of soil contamination can raise issues of civil relations, such as, for example, civil liability or the warranty of quality (against latent defects), in this article, we will focus exclusively on the obligations that can arise from the EQA.The purpose of the EQA is environmental protection. This protection is embodied in measures for prior protection, emergency responses and rehabilitation in the EQA. The EQA also imposes certain duties to act on the users of immovables.POWER TO ISSUE ORDERSThe Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks ( MSDEWP) has broad powers, including, in particular, the power to order the filing of a rehabilitation plan if he has reason to believe, or ascertains, that contaminants are present on land in a concentration exceeding the limit values prescribed by regulation,1 or that they are likely to affect the environment in general.2Since 2003, this power has applied to all persons who have had custody of the land, in any capacity whatsoever. Such an order can therefore be imposed on tenants and is not limited only to the owner or “polluter” of the land.Thus, it is important for any purchaser to be familiar with the history of the land so that it can assess whether there is a risk that this type of situation could arise.Where such an order has been issued, some means are available for a person to exempt himself from it, in particular, where (i) he was unaware of or had no reason to suspect the condition of the land having regard to the circumstances, practices and the duty of care, or (ii) he was aware of the condition of the premises, but shows that he acted at all times with care and diligence in conformity with the law and, finally, (iii) he shows that the condition of the premises is a result of circumstances exterior to the land and attributable to a third party.CESSATION OF INDUSTRIAL OR COMMERCIAL ACTIVITYWhere a person permanently ceases carrying on a commercial or industrial activity referred to in schedule III of the Land Protection and Rehabilitation Regulation3 (LPRR), the operator must conduct a characterization study of the land.4 This obligation applies where the activity permanently ceases and it triggers the further obligation to carry out the rehabilitation of the land if the contaminants present in the soil exceed the regulatory concentration limit. This work must be performed in accordance with a rehabilitation plan which is submitted to the MSDEWP and approved by him.While this obligation to carry out the rehabilitation of the land only applies to the operator of the activity, it creates a restriction on the use of the land which must definitely be taken into account by the purchaser in the context of a transaction. Indeed, the failure by the operator to perform the rehabilitation will have significant consequences for the purchaser, especially if it wishes to change the use of the land.CHANGE IN USEWhere a person wishes to change the use of land which served as the site of a commercial or industrial activity listed in schedule III of the LPRR, he must conduct a characterization study, unless he already has such a study in hand, and it is still current.5Obviously, in the context of an acquisition, if this obligation exists, it is advisable for the purchaser to ensure it is satisfied by the vendor, or, at the very least, that the condition of the premises be very clearly disclosed to avoid any unpleasant consequences down the road.If the characterization study reveals that contaminants are present in amounts exceeding the regulatory limits, a rehabilitation plan will have to be submitted to the MSDEWP for approval, after which the rehabilitation will have to be done before the new use of the land can commence. This work will obviously create delays for the purchaser since the municipality will not issue the necessary permits to proceed with the subdivision or construction until the land has been decontaminated.In the event that the land has already been decontaminated in accordance with the applicable procedures, it is important for the purchaser to carefully review the rehabilitation plan submitted to the MSDEWP and the various entries made in the land register to determine whether there are any restrictions on the use of the land, or whether any excess contaminants may have been left in the ground with the consent of the MSDEWP.REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTSThe EQA contains a series of measures requiring the publication of notices in the land register with respect to contaminated lands,6 specifically, notices of contamination, notices of decontamination, and notices of use restriction. In addition, in some circumstances, certain notices must also be given to the local municipality, to the Minister of SDEWP, and even to neighbours.Clearly, the existence of such notices must be verified when any transaction is being undertaken. However, it is important to remember that the EQA does not regulate all of the situations relating to contaminated lands and, in particular, historic contamination and contamination resulting from activities not covered by the LPRR. The existence or lack of registrations against the land in the land register does not therefore guarantee that the premises are in compliance with the rules of the EQA on the rehabilitation of contaminated soils.LIMITED APPLICATIONThus, as far as contaminated soils are concerned, the application of the EQA is limited. For instance, there is no general obligation to perform the rehabilitation of land following the completion of a characterization study done on a voluntary basis. However, the presence of contaminants could trigger a restriction on the use of the land which could prevent the purchaser from being able to use it for the planned activity.7Accordingly, as a purchaser, it is very important to be well informed of the condition and history of an immovable, and even, most of the time, to obtain an environmental characterization of the subject property. It is a question of exercising the care and diligence of a responsible purchaser._________________________________________ 1 The Land Protection and Rehabilitation Regulation, CQLR, chapter Q-2, r 37.2 Section 31.43 of the Environment Quality Act, CQLR, chapter Q-2, provides more specifically that this applies to contaminants which are “likely to adversely affect the life, health, safety, welfare or comfort of human beings, other living species or the environment in general, or to be detrimental to property”.3 Supra, note 1. This is a list of most of the activities that are likely to cause soil contamination.4 See sections 31.51 and following of the EQA.5 See sections 31.51 and following of the EQA.6 See sections 31.51 and following of the EQA.7 For example, a residential development that cannot proceed on land where contaminants exceed the acceptable limits for residential usage.