Client Profile: Toronto Outdoor Picture Show

October 16th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

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Toronto Outdoor Picture Show (TOPS) is a Toronto‑based not-for profit that was originally founded in 2011 with its signature project, Christie Pits Film Festival (CPFF), a summer-long festival of free outdoor film screenings in the natural amphitheatre of Toronto’s Christie Pits Park.

CPFF is now Toronto’s largest public outdoor film festival and the epitome of magical summer evenings for many local residents. In 2015, the organization officially incorporated and adopted TOPS as its umbrella name. Since then, it has since expanded its programming and offers a summer‑long season across other areas of the city – from North York to Fort York, Toronto’s east side to Etobicoke – and has reached an audience of over 60,000 people over its 9-summer history. Each summer, the organization programs a combination of popular and critically-acclaimed feature films alongside local and Canadian short and feature films that celebrate excellent homegrown talent. Read the rest of this post

Free Webinar Oct 16 | Legal Cannabis and Housing: what have we learned after 1 year?

October 7th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Legal Cannabis and Housing: what have we learned after 1 year?

It has now been about a year since recreational cannabis was legalized. Some of the questions and concerns raised by housing providers leading up to that change were hard to answer as there was not yet any guidance from courts or tribunals as to how they would deal with such situations. While there are still issues that have not yet been tested before a court or tribunal, we do know more than we did a year ago. Join Iler Campbell lawyer, Michael Hackl on October 16th at 12:30 to discuss some of the developments that have taken place since the legalization of cannabis, how some housing providers are dealing with questions, and what the past year of legalized cannabis means for housing providers moving forward.

How to attend

You can attend this workshop as an interactive webinar or in person in our office.

Additionally you can sign up to receive a copy of the presentation and a recording of the webinar after the event.

Register here.

Fall Event Roundup

October 1st, 2019 by Iler Campbell

While the warm weather makes it hard to believe we’re into fall, we are certainly into the full swing of fall activity.

In September, we were pleased to attend two 25th anniversary parties for housing co‑ops – one in Whitby and another in Pickering. So great to see co‑ops do what they do best – celebrate strong, inclusive community.

In late September, we also delivered an IC Education workshop for housing co‑ops. We were delighted to have Alterna Savings and Credit Union  sponsor the event, allowing co‑ops to attend for free. Thanks to the Central Ontario Co‑operative Housing Federation (COCHF) for co‑organising this with us. Although it was held at a co‑op in Waterloo and many attendees were from COCHF co‑ops, we were delighted to have people attend from Sudbury, North Bay, Toronto, Peel Region and the Niagara Peninsula. If you have ideas about in‑person training and have the space to accommodate it, please be in touch. If we can find a way to deliver training in a way that is cost‑effective for you, we will.

ONPHA has its annual conference, themed “Owning our Future”, on Nov 1‑3 in Toronto. Iler Campbell lawyers are honoured to be on the program a few times: on Friday, Nov 1, Safia Lakhani will help housing providers understand their current obligations to their employees; and Celia Chandler will be part of a panel discussing medical assistance in death and how that relates to housing. On Saturday, Nov 2, Michael Hackl will pair up with another housing lawyer to discuss cannabis in housing; and Celia will return to the conference to offer thoughts on Building Successful Tenancies and Strong Communities with two community mediators.

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Bill 21 allows tyranny of the majority to trump minority rights

September 27th, 2019 by Michael Hackl

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Earlier this week, Quebec’s Human Rights Commission released a 327-page report (a 32-page summary can be found here), documenting xenophobic and Islamophobic acts of hate. The commission found that crimes reported and classified as hate crimes have been on the rise across Canada over the past decade, and in Quebec the two most targeted groups in hate crimes reported to the police in 2017 were Muslims and Arabs (and 78 per cent of xenophobic or Islamophobic acts were not even reported to the police). Further, the respondents to the study had experienced an average of three xenophobic or Islamophobic acts, and 35 per cent of the victims said they had changed their lifestyle as a result of encountering acts of hate.

The report’s recommendations include taking steps to address systemic discrimination. Myrlande Pierre, vice‑president of the Quebec Human Rights Commission, stated: “Systemic or structural racism exists. Quebec is not exempt from this phenomenon.”

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Client Profile: Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op

September 10th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Urbane Cyclists worker owners

Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op is more than your average bike shop. Since opening in 1997, this shop has been part of a movement towards human-powered transportation that promotes, in their words, “the awesomeness of bicycles.” Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op began as a repair shop geared (get it?!) towards commuters that were seeking an affordable and reliable way to get from Point A to Point B. Urbane recognized that the needs of a commuter are often very different from those of a recreational cyclist. Commuters are interested first and foremost in being as functional and efficient as possible on the bike, without any need for the flashy (and often expensive) bells and whistles that interest the recreational road cyclist. Since then, Urbane has branched out to adventure cycling and is the only shop in the city that specializes in recumbent bicycles.

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Some positive steps, but more work needed to improve Canada’s prisons

August 29th, 2019 by Karly Wilson

This article was first published on rabble.ca 

If the allegations against American billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein were not alarming enough on their own, his story became even darker earlier this month when, on the morning of August 10, he was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York from an apparent suicide. His death dominated the news cycle, causing outcry across the political spectrum over the quality of the security at the prison, the frequency with which guards checked on his safety, and why he was taken off  suicide watch despite having an apparent attempt just weeks earlier. To those who have kept an eye on the American carceral system, however, this was a pretty typical day, just with more news coverage.

The varied and systemic problems with prisons in the U.S. are not new, and they are not improving. In the past year alone, the U.S. prison system has frequently been in the headlines, from investigations into the extreme violence in Alabama state prisons, to the weeks-long power outage this winter in Brooklyn, to the high-profile murder of South Boston mobster James (Whitey) Bulger during a routine transfer. Underfunded, filled-to-bursting from the effects of mandatory minimums in the war on drugs, and guarded by a handful of underpaid workers struggling to stay safe and make ends meet — the violence within U.S. prisons is as horrifying as it is unsurprising.

But what about Canada?

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