Posts by Brian Iler

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”

Seniors Co-Housing:
Re-Thinking Traditional Housing Models for Canada’s Growing Senior Population

March 28th, 2019 by Brian Iler and Claudia Pedrero

This article was originally prepared for the Ontario Bar Association’s Real Property Law & Elder Law program on March 22, 2019

The Toronto Star recently featured a High Park co-housing project – Wine on the Porch. That project, its story, and a small handful of others like it, has helped spark renewed interest in co-housing (or collaborative housing) in Ontario.

That story began:

“It began half in jest — two couples enjoying their annual weekend getaway, strolling the streets of Stratford, Ont., wistfully admiring the pretty Victorians and wondering aloud about the future.

“Would it be feasible to avoid the loneliness that creeps with age by joining forces in a private home with room for shared meals and laughter and cosy nooks for private chats or reading?”

Continue reading “Seniors Co-Housing: <br/>Re-Thinking Traditional Housing Models for Canada’s Growing Senior Population”

Charities now free to engage in non-partisan political activities

July 20th, 2018 by Brian Iler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Charities are now free to engage in non-partisan political activities.

That’s the explicit message of the Ontario Superior Court in its decision this week.

What a huge relief to those many charities that suffered through Stephen Harper’s politically motivated Canada Revenue Agency audits!

While Justin Trudeau promised reform, and suspended action on those audits, he has yet to deliver reform.

But the court did.

The application to the court was brought by a small charity, Canada Without Poverty, after Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) threatened to take away its charitable registration, alleging that virtually all of its activities involved political engagement.

Continue reading “Charities now free to engage in non-partisan political activities”

Public interest should be central to regulation of charities’ political activities

January 6th, 2017 by Brian Iler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been notorious in recent years for its attacks on charities for their alleged political activities. Charities concerned about climate change and Aboriginal rights bore the brunt, with some still awaiting the attitude change promised by Justin Trudeau when he took power.

Taking Trudeau at his word, our law firm provided our thoughts to the Liberals’ inquiry on the issue of how charities’ political activities should be regulated.

Below is a précis. Our full submission is here.

Continue reading “Public interest should be central to regulation of charities’ political activities”

Angie Joyce retires after 40 years at Iler Campbell. Wishing her all the best

October 25th, 2016 by Brian Iler
Angie, right, signs up her last client, Janis Daly, centre with Lauren Blumas.

Angie, right, signs up her last client, Janis, centre, with Lauren Blumas.

For forty years, there’s been one constant in my life as a lawyer – Angie Joyce has been by my side. That’s now changed ‑ she has retired, after all those years. 

She was in her early twenties when she started working with me, and, when the firm I was in dissolved, she stayed with me through some very lean years – sometimes offering to put off payment of her wages because there was no money to be had – she knew because she did the books.

Her keen attention to detail and her ability to work a file – and with the opposite side on a deal ‑ coupled with her ability to read my mind and my handwriting all contributed immensely to building Iler Campbell into what it is today.

She loved working with our clients, and worked directly with them, most recently on numerous real estate deals as our senior real estate clerk.

She’s been my mentor, cheerleader, and my friend. I will miss her deeply.

I wish her well.    

-Brian

Non-profits await change from Liberal government. Here’s what needs to happen

April 5th, 2016 by Brian Iler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

In mandate letters to his newly appointed ministers, Justin Trudeau told Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and his minister responsible for Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Diane Lebouthillier, to:

“modernize the rules governing the charitable and not-for-profit sectors. … A new legislative framework to strengthen the sector will emerge from this process.”

Wonderful news, for both charities and non-profits (sometimes referred to as “not-for-profits”). For non-charitable non-profits, this was especially exciting, as their voice in political circles is regularly eclipsed by far-better organized charities.

Continue reading “Non-profits await change from Liberal government. Here’s what needs to happen”