Co-operative Law

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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It’s that time of year – CHF Canada’s annual conference! 

June 6th, 2017 by Iler Campbell

Once again this year, Iler Campbell LLP lawyers are honoured to have been asked to speak at the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada’s Co‑operative Management Conference and Member Education Forum in Niagara Falls this week.   CHF Canada provides this annual opportunity for housing co‑opers from across the country to gather to discuss emerging issues, strategize about their collective response, make new friends and renew old acquaintances.

Celia Chandler, a regular presenter for CHF Canada and its regional federations, will participate in the legal issues town hall for managers on Wednesday.  On Thursday, Celia will give a presentation to members on human rights and in particular, when co‑ops have a duty to accommodate behaviours that do not conform to the community standard.

Lauren Blumas, no stranger to the co‑op world, will deliver a workshop on Thursday afternoon on the legal issues stemming from aging in place.  On Friday morning, Lauren and Andrew Noble of the Non‑Smokers’ Rights Association of Ontario will discuss how to deal with smokers in co‑op communities.  This is sure to draw a crowd, especially with the federal promise of legalization of marijuana on the horizon.

If you’re at the conference, please be sure to say “hi” to Lauren and Celia.  And stay tuned to this blog for future Iler Campbell speaking engagements.

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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