November 15, 2014
By Dave Braun
LO President

Dave Braun It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Every Landscape Ontario member now has access to no-cost legal advice. In this industry, it would be exceptionally rare to find a nurseryman, garden centre owner or landscape contractor with a lawyer on retainer, but now we can all have the confidence that comes with having one, without the expense.

LO has partnered with DAS Canada, a full-service specialist in legal expense insurance.

When you call the DAS toll-free line at 1-877-832-7534, you will be connected to legal counsel. It’s as easy as dialling the number between 8 a.m. and midnight, seven days a week. You can discuss your issue thoroughly over the telephone for as long as it takes. Most issues and questions can be resolved at this step.

If the issue needs more attention than can be provided over the phone, they will arrange for a 30-minute in-person free consultation. Any fees after that would be at a discounted rate of 25 per cent on what a lawyer would typically charge. LO has sent out information on the program in the membership renewals.  

We all know that legal matters can rack up significant costs, which are particularly damaging to small- and medium-sized businesses. These costs could potentially bankrupt companies facing legal disputes. This partnership offers a fully comprehensive list of areas in which DAS will provide legal counsel. Some examples include:
  • Employment disputes: An employee is dismissed from work for being late and missing important meetings.She is fired, and commences a wrongful dismissal action.
  • Legal defence: A garden centre owner performed a citizen’s arrest on a shoplifter and was charged with a criminal offence.
  • Contract disputes and debt recovery: A client incorrectly alleges your company did not provide all the services agreed upon, and so has refused to pay his account.
  • Statutory licence protection: The city stops your company from operating because of a zoning issue.
  • Property protection: A neighbour is interfering with your business by repeatedly parking his vehicles on the property.
  • Tax protection: A company has received a notice of tax audit.
  Some examples of simple advice include:
  •  A company’s CFO wants to know if she is in a conflict of interest    
  • An office was robbed and confidential information was stolen. Does the company have to notify its clients?
  • A business wants to terminate an employee. How does it do this and what are his/her rights in the matter?
  • What is the relevance of a shareholder agreement?
  • What kind of licence does a company need to operate its business?
  • Is it necessary to make provisional instalments for PST or HST?
  • Should a company hire someone as an employee, or on a contractual basis?
  • Can a landlord increase the rent without prior notice?
LO members no longer need to struggle to arrive at a resolution about a legal matter, or wonder about the possible legal consequences of a workplace decision. Simply by calling DAS, you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re making a well-informed decision...and there’s nothing to joke about that.
Dave Braun may be reached at