Canada strengthened its targeted sanctions regime

22 Jun 2023

On June 22, 2023, Canada implemented changes to its targeted sanctions regime through the Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1.

The legislation introduced the concept of a "deemed ownership rule," which stipulates that any property held or owned, either directly or indirectly, by an entity controlled by an individual is considered the property of that individual. Control, in this context, was defined broadly to encompass:

i) Holding 50% or more of the shares or voting rights in the entity. ii) Having the ability to alter the composition or powers of the entity's board of directors. iii) Exercising the capacity to direct the activities of the entity through any available means.

These rules served to fortify the sanctions regime, effectively tightening the measures related to asset freezing, prohibiting dealings, and allowing for property seizures.

Furthermore, the amendment conferred upon the Government the authority to impose secondary sanctions on parties that offer support to, or engage in business with, sanctioned individuals.