Canada’s social economy about to get a boost, but problems remain

February 7th, 2020 by Brian Iler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Canada’s social economy — those social enterprises (nonprofits, charities and co-operatives) that generate income in pursuit of social goals instead of profit — is about to get quite a boost.

Quietly, but thoughtfully and effectively, the federal government has initiated and funded, with serious money, a brand-new program creating the Social Finance Fund, to drastically expand the social economy.

This year, $50 million is flowing, and is set to quickly increase to $75 million per year for the next 10 years.

The fund is intended to address a major impediment to growth of the social economy — the shortage of investment capital.

While the private sector readily raises millions through Bay Street’s financial institutions, social enterprises don’t attract their interest. Instead, to be successful, social enterprises rely heavily on the communities they serve for financial support. And that often isn’t enough.

Hence the fund.

The creation of the fund was one of 12 recommendations in support of social innovation and social finance made to the federal government made in August 2018 by a steering group broadly representative of social economy organizations. Continue reading “Canada’s social economy about to get a boost, but problems remain” »

Free Legal Workshop – Human Rights & Housing: An Overview

February 5th, 2020 by Iler Campbell

At Iler Campbell LLP, we are regularly asked to provide advice on a wide range of human rights and housing issues including: dogs in pet‑free co‑ops; whether a medical note provides enough detail; and if behaviour can justify eviction if it relates to a mental health disability.

Join Celia Chandler on Feburary 19th at noon for this free one hour webinar where she will give an overview of how the Ontario Human Rights Code applies in housing. The goal for the session – to give you better tools to know whether you’ve got an issue that’s worth a call to your lawyer. Continue reading “Free Legal Workshop – Human Rights & Housing: An Overview” »

Co-op Education Events Roundup – 2020 Winter/Spring

January 21st, 2020 by Iler Campbell

Happy new year to you all. We’ve settled back in after the holidays and are excited to announce that we will be out and about speaking at housing co-op events over the next few months.

Michael Hackl and Celia Chandler will deliver workshops (cannabis and human rights respectively) this Saturday, January 25, 2020, at the Golden Horseshoe Winter Workshops in St. Catharines. This is a great event with co-opers from the GH area and beyond. Consider joining us. To learn more and register, click here.

Continue reading “Co-op Education Events Roundup – 2020 Winter/Spring” »

Looking back on 2019 and wishing you a happy holidays and new year!

December 23rd, 2019 by Iler Campbell

This year we walked, talked, listened, made big plans, passed big milestones and big tests, and welcomed new life into the world. Read on to see what we got up to in 2019.

We’ve put together a little website looking back on 2019. Check it out!

Legal cannabis enters into debate about where Canadians can smoke

December 21st, 2019 by Celia Chandler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Most people recognize that people have a right to live their lives so long as they don’t negatively affect their neighbours. But let’s face it — many things that people do have the potential to bug others: too loud music, intense cooking smells, children running around, dogs pooping in the wrong place, too many visitors, too much loud arguing, the list goes on.

Nothing, however, has the potential to irritate neighbours quite as much as cigarette and cannabis smoke. At least that’s our recent observation from our work helping housing providers deal with behaviours that don’t conform to providers’ standards. Add the fact that many people have medical conditions that are worsened by smoke and you’ve got a recipe for neighbourhood conflict.

Continue reading “Legal cannabis enters into debate about where Canadians can smoke” »

Exploring new ways for charities to work in partnerships

December 10th, 2019 by Ted Hyland

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Registered charities in Canada find themselves increasingly drawn to find ways of operating through partnerships and networks. There are two legal impediments they face in doing their work. One is the requirement under the Income Tax Act that charities carry on their own activities themselves, known as the “direction and control” requirement. The other impediment is the prohibition against registered charities making gifts to any entity that is not a qualified donee (qualified donees are registered charities and other various tax-exempt entities specified in the act).

The Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) view is that charities are allowed to use their resources in only one of two ways: either by making gifts to other qualified donees (for most charities, this means to other registered charities) or by applying their resources to their “own activities,” which the charities must carry on themselves.

It is in this context that the Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector, established in January 2018, held hearings into the effect of laws and policies on the charitable sector. It issued its report, Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector, in June 2019.

Continue reading “Exploring new ways for charities to work in partnerships” »