Constitutional Law

Minimizing risk in your construction projects

November 29th, 2016 by Safia Lakhani

On November 2nd, 2016, Iler Campbell hosted a breakfast session on how to minimize risks in construction projects. The session was attended by members of the co-op and non-profit sectors in Toronto. Over coffee and muffins, I spoke about the different types of risks that emerge on large and small-scale construction projects, and some of the precautions that owners can take in order to minimize those risks. We discussed the importance of having a solid construction contract and detailed records of incidents on-site. We also had a productive discussion on how property managers can play a key role in monitoring on-site progress, keeping records, and delivering notices to contractors and trades regarding deficient work and delays. Of course, we also discussed when to consult a lawyer!

This was the second workshop in our new IC Education series of free legal education seminars. Our next session will be on housing co-ownership. Make sure you’re signed up for our email list to receive notice of this and future events.

Outgrowing the government: Medical cannabis access in Canada in light of the Allard decision

March 3rd, 2016 by Lauren Blumas

This article was first published on rabble.ca. It is co-written by Jenna Valleriani.

Each week, new retail storefronts are opening in the city of Toronto. But these aren’t your average retailers.

Medical cannabis dispensaries, storefronts which dispense cannabis on-site to those with medical conditions, have historically operated on the margins of the law, providing access to patients since a time in Canada when there was no legal means of doing so.

But this is not the slow uptake of a grassroots movement by the mainstream. What cities like Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto are experiencing can accurately be described as a dispensary boom — neon lights and all. What is going on? Why now? And are they legal?

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Harper takes a swing at the Supreme Court after losing yet another case

May 7th, 2014 by Priya Sarin

In the past few years, the Harper government has aggressively pursued its own agenda without due regard for the Canadian Constitution, the rights of the provinces and the rights of the most vulnerable Canadians. It has pushed for Senate reform, tougher criminal laws, and even subtly attempted to shift the balance of the Supreme Court of Canada by appointing judges with a conservative bent.

Stephen Harper may have hoped that his five appointments to the Supreme Court would influence the outcome of the cases before it, but a recent string of well‑deserved thrashings in court have demonstrated that the Supreme Court is truly an independent, non‑partisan body, able to act as a check on the government’s (inappropriate) actions.

Read more on rabble.ca

Freedom of expression for federal librarians and archivists under attack

April 1st, 2013 by Priya Sarin

Although federal public servants have always had a limited right to freedom of expression (as compared to private sector employees), certain government employees have recently been subjected to increasingly strict policies, or codes of conduct, which govern their behaviour both in and out of the workplace. Two recent policies effectively restrict access to the media and participation in forums for intellectual debate — such as conferences or teaching engagements. Contrary to what you might expect, these policies do not target employees in the justice, immigration or national defence departments, but rather scientists, librarians and archivists associated with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Department of Canadian Heritage. There are two reasons why Canadians should be concerned: 1) this continues a trend of the Harper government to restrict the public’s timely access to valuable information from our experts on issues of national importance (which in turn negatively impacts the quality of our public discourse and ability to make informed decisions); and 2) some of these policies are unnecessarily restrictive and arguably in breach of section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms ‑- the right to freedom of expression.

Read more on rabble.ca