Some Iler Campbell staffing news

March 13th, 2018 by Iler Campbell

With spring comes renewal, and Iler Campbell is no different! For a couple of years now, our clients have enjoyed working with a consistent team of lawyers, many of whom began with us as articling students and stayed on as lawyers. As with any profession, though, it is unusual for young lawyers to stay at a single firm. While we are sad that two of our home‑grown lawyers are leaving us, we’re equally pleased, though, both have bitten the housing bug and have taken jobs in the housing sector.

Katie Douglas, called to the bar in 2016, has left us for a job lawyering at Toronto Community Housing. Many will know her for her frequent trips to the Landlord and Tenant Board on behalf of our housing clients. Of her time here, Katie says: “I enjoyed working for Iler Campbell’s great clients and getting to know the unique challenges facing the non-profit sector. I’m sad to leave Iler Campbell but excited to continue my career in social housing.” We wish Katie much success as she tackles housing issues from the perspective of an in‑house lawyer.

Lauren Blumas started with us as a summer student in 2012 and developed a strong interest in a range of housing issues like hoarding, aging in place, co‑buying and medical cannabis in housing. Lauren has also decided to see the housing sector from the inside and has taken a management position with Victoria Park Community Homes based in Hamilton. Our loss is their gain. Lauren reflects on her time here in the following way: “I’m grateful for my time at Iler Campbell and the practical foundation it’s given me to pursue a career in affordable housing. It is the good work of Iler Campbell and its incredible clients that inspired me to dedicate my efforts to the urgent issue of affordable housing.”

Do not despair, though – clients will continue to be well‑served. Shelina Ali, Safia Lakhani, and Michael Hackl, and firm partners, Brian Iler, Ted Hyland and Celia Chandler will be joined by Claudia Pedrero. Claudia articled with us then left for awhile and gained valuable experience in condominium law at another firm. We’re thrilled she’s come back to us. Claudia will work on condominium development, financing, purchase and sale transactions, and real estate co-ownership. She will also advise non-profits, charities and co-ops on general corporate governance and housing matters. She is on the board of directors of the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust, which lets her bring real‑world perspective to client service.

Size as a human right in a #MeToo world

March 5th, 2018 by Celia Chandler

This article was first published on

In May 2017, Quebec court judge Jean-Paul Braun decided on a case in which a 17-year-old young woman was sexually assaulted by a cab driver. Justice Braun said, “you could say she’s a little overweight, but she has a pretty face, huh?” and went on to suggest that perhaps the victim was a “little flattered” by the sexual attention, implying that her size made her unattractive to most men.

We’re living in a time when sexual assault and fat‑shaming are both concepts receiving a lot of attention. While sexual assault has dominated headlines and those headlines appear to be affecting behaviour and in some cases, laws, a larger discussion of fat‑shaming hasn’t quite broken through to the mainstream in the same way.

In Canada, size is still an acceptable basis for discrimination, not protected by human rights legislation. It ought to be. And in certain lights, the two issues are different sides of the same (sexist) coin.

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Chronic work stress? Amendments will let more people qualify for workers’ compensation, but questions remain about how the changes will be applied

February 26th, 2018 by Michael Hackl

January 1, 2018 was a banner day for employee’s rights and protections in Ontario.

In addition to changes to the Employment Standards Act that came into force on January 1 (see our previous blog post here), a new entitlement for benefits under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (the WSIA) for “chronic or traumatic mental stress arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment” also came into effect that day.

An entitlement under the WSIA simply means that a worker who meets those criteria is entitled to benefits under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) insurance plan. So, for example, the act states that a “worker who sustains a personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his or her employment is entitled to benefits under the insurance plan.”

Previously, the WSIA provided that a worker suffering from mental stress was not entitled to benefits unless the stress was “an acute reaction to a sudden and unexpected traumatic event arising out of and in the course of his or her employment” – far too high a bar for many workers. As an example, prior to January 1, an employee might have been entitled to benefits if he or she experienced mental stress because they had been involved in or witnessed a horrific accident in the course of their employment, but not if they experienced mental stress due to an ongoing course of events, such as persistent harassment. Under the new entitlement the later scenario may be covered; the WSIA may provide benefits for mental stress resulting from an ongoing course of events.

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Join us Feb 22 for co-ownership speed dating!

February 13th, 2018 by Iler Campbell

Looking for someone to co-buy a house with? Come out on Thursday, February 22 for co-ownership speed dating.

Join us for an evening of co-ownership knowledge, mixing, mingling and even speed dating for co-ownership. You will hear from experts who currently support co-ownership as well meet others interested in co-owning.

Meet at the Duke of York (39 Prince Arthur Ave, Toronto) at 6:30pm. To register visit

We’re teaming up with mortgage broker, Lesley Tenaglia and real estate agent Lesli Gaynor for this event. Iler Campbell lawyers Safia Lakhani and Lauren Blumas will be on hand providing general legal information on co‑ownerships.

Co-buying has been getting lots of press. Check out an article about this event!

Could #MeToo happen in your organization? Consider a Human Rights workshop

February 8th, 2018 by Celia Chandler

From Hollywood to Queen’s Park, every employer is thinking about how to make sure that employees are free from sexual harassment in the workplace.  This includes non‑profits which employ staff.  And it goes double for housing providers which must make an environment free from harassment and discrimination  for their employees and for their tenants or co‑op members.  No easy feat.  Our clients are educating themselves to be on top of this stuff.

Last weekend I spent a couple of hours with a housing co‑op board in Brampton delivering a workshop on human rights and the duty to accommodate;  next week I’m off to a Hamilton co‑op to do the same, this time for the board, staff and interested members.

If you’d like someone from our firm to come to your next board meeting for training on human rights or any other area of law where we practise, please ask.   We think our fees for these tailor‑made presentations are pretty reasonable.  And you know what they say ‑‑ an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The Supreme Court of Canada extends protections from employment discrimination by non‑employers

February 6th, 2018 by Elliot Fonarev

The Supreme Court of Canada has recently released a decision regarding workplace discrimination that has important implications for employers and employees alike. In British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal v. Schrenk, the 6‑3 majority of the court ruled that a co‑worker can be held liable under BC’s Human Rights Code for workplace discrimination against another co‑worker. While this case was about the jurisdiction of the BC Human Rights Tribunal and interpretation of BC’s Human Rights Code, it sends a message to other provincial tribunals about how to approach discrimination in the employment context differently – and leaves many questions for employers. Read the rest of this post