Co-operative Law

Recreational marijuana – coming to a unit near you

May 23rd, 2017 by Lauren Blumas

The federal government has announced its plans to legalize recreational marijuana. In addition to legalizing possession of cannabis for recreational purposes ‑ we’ve long had a regime for legal possession of medical cannabis ‑  the proposal allows households to grow up to four marijuana plants under 100 cm. What will legalization mean for rental and co‑op housing?

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Eight days and counting… Join us at our Human Rights for Co-ops event March 4th

February 24th, 2017 by Iler Campbell

On Saturday, March 4, 2017, we will host our first IC Education event in Durham Region.   And we’d love to see you there!    Our housing provider clients regularly inquire about human rights issues – how to distinguish a human right from a personal preference and how far the housing provider’s duty to accommodate extends.   If you’d like to join us for our Human Rights Refresher at Otter Creek Co‑op in Whitby on Saturday, March 4, 2017, please register.  We have a few spaces left.

Human Rights Refresher for Housing Co ops, Saturday, March 4, 2017 10 a.m. to noon.

February 6th, 2017 by Celia Chandler

Are you on a housing co‑op board that is struggling about how to respond to complaints that second hand smoke is causing a child’s allergies to get worse? Are you a housing co‑op manager concerned that the capital budget is going to take a hit as more members need accessibility retrofits in their units? Are you a bit unclear about what things are covered by the Human Rights Code and what are not?

As a lawyer serving housing co‑ops, I’m asked these kinds of questions all the time. It also seems like there are a few co‑op members out there who want to use the language of human rights to justify the things they’d like to see at the co‑op.

If you’d like to learn a bit more about human rights in housing co‑ops, please join us at a human rights refresher as part of our IC Education series. We heard many of you who don’t like coming to our office in downtown Toronto, so we’re taking this one on the road! Otter Creek Co‑operative Homes has graciously offered to let us use its meeting room at 835 McQuay Boulevard, Unit 30 in Whitby. Sign up early because space is limited.

RSVP here

Thoughts from the Canadian Worker Co‑op Federation annual conference

November 14th, 2016 by Iler Campbell

The Canadian Worker Co‑op Federation (CWCF) held its annual conference last week in Vancouver ‑‑ a good choice since the drizzly November weather encouraged full participation of the 50+ participants.

I attended the conference on Friday morning, Alain Bridault kicked the morning off with a plenary session “Managing the Democratic Governance Process in a Worker Co‑op.” Bridault discussed the challenge of governing when your members are also your employees. Thanks to Denyse Guy from Co‑operatives and Mutuals Canada for her translation services and her input from time to time.

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Fall Events Roundup

September 23rd, 2016 by Iler Campbell

Hoarding: New Approaches to Community Management – Oct 20 ‑ Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto

VHA Home HealthCare is running this conference that we think may be of interest. Celia Chandler will be attending (not presenting). See here for details and to register.

CHFC 2016 London Fall Education Event – October 29 ‑ London

Celia Chandler will be running a workshop of human rights in housing co‑ops. See the event brochure here. Register here.

2016 CWCF-CoopZone Conference – November 2‑5 – Vancouver

Celia Chandler will be co‑presenting a workshop about legal issues in Worker Co‑ops. See the conference website for full details and to register.

ONPHA Conference and Trade Show – November 4‑6 – Sharaton Centre Toronto

We will have a booth at the trade show. If you’re attending please stop by and say ‘hi!’

Lauren Blumas will be co‑presenting a workshop titled “Expect the unexpected: Working with tenants and their familiesSee the conference website for full details and to register.


CHFT 2016 Fall Education Event – November 19 – Oakham House, Toronto

Michael Hackl will be participating in a panel about legal issues in co‑ops. Here is the event brochure. Register for the event here.

44% of Ontario’s co-ops could be slated for dissolution. Make sure yours isn’t one of them!

August 24th, 2016 by Celia Chandler

In 2015, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) requested each of Ontario’s co‑operatives incorporated before December 31, 2014 and not dissolved to complete an information return. As reported last week by FSCO, many co‑ops filed their returns. However, about 44% of co‑ops on FSCO’s list did not.

Because of the low response rate, FSCO has advised that it will begin the process of dissolving those co‑ops no longer in operation. It’s not clear exactly what FSCO’s process will be. But we’d hate for your co‑op to be among them.

Did your co‑op respond? Take a look at FSCO’s directory to be sure.