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.

Province plans to make legislative changes that will help transitional housing providers

May 26th, 2017 by Claudia Pedrero

Bill 124, the proposed Rental Fairness Act, 2017 passed its third reading in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario last week. This bill has received significant attention in the past few weeks for the important changes it could make to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the RTA).

The press has focussed on the fact that Bill 124, if passed into law, will increase rent controls to include units built after 1991 and require landlords who want to take over a unit for their own use to compensate a tenant or provide them an alternate unit.

However, there is another important change to the RTA which deserves attention: those providing transitional housing and rehabilitative or therapeutic services will be exempt from the RTA for tenancies that lasts four years or less.

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Parkdale tenants take action on affordable housing with rent strike

May 25th, 2017 by Katie Douglas

This article was first published on rabble.ca

At the beginning of May, a group of tenants in Parkdale, a Toronto neighbourhood that is home to many newcomers and low‑income residents, went on a rent strike. The tenants are protesting proposed rent increases as well as what they claim are serious maintenance issues in their units. In a recent news release, a spokesperson for the group said that the landlord of three of the six buildings has begun issuing eviction notices to the striking tenants because they did not pay their May rent.

The background to this rent strike is an increasingly problematic rental market in Toronto.

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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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“Bill 114 – An Act to provide for Anti-Racism Measures” – A Starting Point to Address Systemic Racism in Ontario

May 16th, 2017 by Michael Hackl

Since 1962, the Ontario Human Rights Code has provided individuals who suffered discrimination or harassment because of a number of personal characteristics, including race or religion, with a way to assert their rights to equal treatment in certain sectors, such as housing and employment. Even prior to the passage of the Human Rights Code, there were laws such as the Fair Employment Practices Act, 1951 and the Fair Accommodation Practices Act, 1954, which provided some of the protections that were later incorporated into the Human Rights Code.

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Employers take note: Make sure your employees’ termination clauses don’t exclude benefits and severance pay under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

May 16th, 2017 by Claudia Pedrero

With the provincial government looking at instituting a minimum wage of $15.00/hour, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the ESA) is generating headlines this week.

But one of the biggest pitfalls for employers in the ESA made judicial news at few weeks ago: the Ontario Court of Appeal further clarified employers’ obligations when terminating employees in its decision Wood v Fred Deeley Imports Ltd. (Wood) released earlier this year.

The important take-away from this case is: if the termination clause in an employment contract excludes even one obligation under the ESA the entire termination clause is unenforceable. As a result, the employee becomes entitled to common law reasonable notice discussed in more detail below. The employment clause will also be void even if the employer meets the ESA obligations that were excluded from the termination clause.

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