Will Ontario let landlords and condominiums ban smoking recreational marijuana?

July 31st, 2017 by Elliot Fonarev

This article was first published on rabble.ca

The federal government’s proposed Cannabis Act, if passed, will legalize and regulate the production, sale and possession of recreational marijuana across Canada by July 2018. However, each of the provinces have decisions to make about how cannabis will be used, sold and regulated in their province. Until July 31, 2017, Ontarians can share feedback through a survey asking how the government should approach legalizing marijuana in Ontario.

The survey asks for input in five areas: (1) the minimum age someone can use, keep and buy cannabis, (2) where cannabis can be used, (3) road safety, (4) regulating sales of cannabis, and (5) planning public education.

One important question is where cannabis can be used: where will individuals be allowed to smoke marijuana and who gets to decide that? As marijuana is legalized by the federal government, it will be up to the Province to regulate how it can be used in some spheres. For instance, the Province could restrict the ability of landlords and condominium boards to prohibit vaping and/or smoking within units. Provincial regulations could also determine whether condo boards will be able to restrict vaping and smoking marijuana recreationally in common spaces like rooftops and courtyards.

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Lessons learned from a 10 year long city planning fight

July 12th, 2017 by Iler Campbell

Charlie Campbell, one of our founding partners,  has just published his history of the planning fight over the development of Toronto’s West Queen West Triangle lands from 2005 to 2016. These are the lands south of Queen St from Dovercourt to Gladstone, bordered on the south by the rail line, that have seen massive transformation into a veritable ‘condo forest’ in recent years.

But it’s a lot more than a history – it  includes a host of his trenchant observations and conclusions on what’s good and what’s bad with the planning process for new developments in Toronto. It’s also a valuable guide for how other communities facing development pressure can influence the process, which often feels rigged in favour  of developers.

Charlie is a key volunteer member of Active 18, the community group that took the lead in advocating for good design, parks, arts and artists’ workspace, heritage preservation and other community focused goals in the new developments in the West Queen West Triangle. It makes for fascinating reading from anyone interested in planning issues and the intricacies of dealing with developers, city hall, the OMB and various other interested parties. It’s also not without some of Charlie’s infamous absurdist humor. Look for the almost entirely redacted section in the middle of the “WQW at the OMB” chapter that insinuates that Putin was somehow involved in the ordeal. Charlie’s hope is that community groups dealing with similar issues will find it useful.

Read the history here.

Property Managers: How will changes to the Condominium Act affect you? Sign up for a free legal workshop

July 10th, 2017 by Iler Campbell

Do you have unanswered questions about Bill 106, Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015?

As you are no doubt aware, the Bill is expected to come into force in the fall of 2018. It will introduce a number of changes to the Condominium Act 1998, S.O. 1998, c. 19.

The Bill will create a Condominium Authority Tribunal to hear disputes between condominium owners and Boards. Parties will no longer need to go to court to litigate disputes with unit owners and/or the Board of Directors, unless they wish to appeal a decision of the Tribunal.

The Bill will also introduce the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (the CMSA), which creates a separate administrative body to oversee the licensing of property managers working in condominiums throughout Ontario. Under the CMSA:

  • All property managers (both individual managers and property management companies) will need to be licensed as condominium management providers in order to supply services to condominiums;
  • Condominium managers, as part of the licensing process, will be required to take specific courses and exams administered by the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO); and
  • There will be two categories of condominium management licenses: general licenses, which allow for management of all aspects of a condominium; and limited licenses, which impose certain restrictions with respect to entering into contracts and managing funds on behalf of the condominium corporation.

Individual and property management companies will have 150 days from the date on which the Bill is proclaimed to apply for the license.

If you’d like to know more about the changes to condo law, join us for a free breakfast workshop on Friday September 15th.  Sign up at condo-act.eventbrite.com and be sure you are subscribed to our blog for further updates.  We welcome your input on questions you’d like to see addressed.

The Rental Fairness Act: What does it mean for renters in Ontario?

June 30th, 2017 by Safia Lakhani

This article was first published on rabble.ca

The Rental Fairness Act, (the “RFA”) is part of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan, a strategy released in April 2017 to promote affordable housing in Toronto. The RFA, which received Royal Assent on May 30, 2017, eliminates the exemption to rent increase rules and requires landlords to compensate tenants if they wish to terminate a tenancy for personal use. Below are some of the key amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, (the “Act”) and what they mean for affordable housing in Ontario. Read the rest of this post

Adam Vaughan brought me to tears: dispatches from CHF Canada’s 2017 AGM in Niagara Falls

June 14th, 2017 by Celia Chandler

The Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) AGM, a highlight in my annual calendar, is over for another year. Last week, co‑op members, staff, and others in the sector gathered in Niagara Falls to learn, to strengthen ties across the country, to hear from politicians, to make organizational decisions, and yes, to have fun. For me, all those things happened and more.

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Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL): Federal government suspends the Private Right of Action provisions

June 13th, 2017 by Ted Hyland

Organizations – businesses, non‑profits and charities – are breathing a sigh of relief following the federal government’s decision to suspend indefinitely the coming into force of the provisions of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) that give persons the right to seek monetary compensation from anyone who has breached the consent rules in CASL and the collection and use of personal information rules in PIPEDA.[1]

Colloquially known as the “private right of action” clauses of CASL, they were slated to come into force on July 1, 2017; the suspension of their coming into force was accomplished by a federal Order‑in‑Council (PC Number: 2017‑0580), which was issued on June 2, 2017.

Among the groups that had lobbied the federal government to put the brakes on the implementation of the private right of action provisions were Imagine Canada and the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN). Imagine Canada and ONN sent a letter together to the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains. The letter, dated February 14, 2017, lays out a number of the principal concerns that the nonprofit and charitable sectors have with CASL generally and with the private right of action specifically.

[1] Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (S.C. 2000, c. 5)