Posts by Celia Chandler

When there’s a will, there is a way!
Supreme Court declares Henson Trusts not to be considered assets… for now

January 28th, 2019 by Celia Chandler

On Friday, January 25, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released a very important decision for:

  1. people with disabilities who have or will inherit money;
  2. people who are leaving money to people with disabilities; and
  3. housing providers which calculate rent subsidies.

In a decision referred to as S.A. v. Metro Vancouver Housing, the Supreme Court decided that the money left for SA in a Henson Trust is not considered an asset for the purposes of determining eligibility for Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation (MVHC) rental subsidy.

Continue reading “When there’s a will, there <em><u>is</u></em> a way! <br/> Supreme Court declares Henson Trusts not to be considered assets… for now”

Thanks from Celia

November 26th, 2018 by Celia Chandler

As you know from the Iler Campbell LLP blog last week,  my husband, Jack Sikorski, died last Monday, November 19, 2018.  Originally diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2016, Jack’s cancer spread this year and I spent the last 10 weeks at home. I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend with Jack, including being with him and his children at his medically assisted death. As Canadians, we are so fortunate to have this choice now. 

Thank you for your expressions of concern over these months and particularly in the last few days. How comforting to receive support from such a large circle of friends, many with your own cancer stories.   Thanks to clients who agreed to work with my colleagues in my absence and of course, to those colleagues for so ably picking up my work. I am indeed privileged.  

I am devastated and exhausted but also back at work, not knowing quite what else to do with myself and knowing that I’d feel better back in my comfort zone. Please feel free to direct your legal inquiries to me again and I will do my very best to serve you.  

Thank you again, Celia

The Law Society is flirting with the idea of doing away with articling. Should it?

July 26th, 2018 by Celia Chandler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

One hundred thirty-seven — yes, that’s right: 137. And last year, 150!

These are the number of applicants we received for one articling position for the period July 2019 to May 2020. For readers not in law in Ontario, articling is a 10-month work placement under the supervision of a lawyer. Completing articles is a condition to practising law in Ontario.

The competition for securing articles is so intense that the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has explored alternatives and is flirting with the idea of giving up on articling altogether.

Bad idea. We don’t want to lose an important training ground for progressive lawyers. Our law firm, Iler Campbell LLP, is unusual as a place where young lawyers can gain experience working for non‑profits, charities, co‑ops, social enterprise and the like. We see hiring articling students as an obligation to the legal profession and to the progressive organizations that we serve. Our tagline is “A law firm for those who want to make the world a little bit better.” Articling here and in other like‑minded firms helps build a cadre of advocates for that better world.

Continue reading “The Law Society is flirting with the idea of doing away with articling. Should it?”

Size as a human right in a #MeToo world

March 5th, 2018 by Celia Chandler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

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.

Continue reading “Size as a human right in a #MeToo world”

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.

B.C. is revamping its human rights system. How can it ensure justice is served?

September 7th, 2017 by Celia Chandler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

In August, the new B.C. government took an important step: it decided to reinstate the B.C. Human Rights Commission, dismantled by the long-governing Liberals 15 years ago. This was not the first time that B.C.’s governments have taken a run at the human rights system. This year’s NDP announcement mirrors its restoration of the Commission in the 1990s after it was previously abolished by the Liberals in the Social Credit Action of 1983.

And good on the NDP for their persistence! Human Rights Commissions across the country play an important public advocacy role. They keep a watchful eye on larger system-wide problems — the myriad ways in which groups of people who are protected under provincial human rights legislation can be discriminated against. In Ontario, the Commission has been responsible for engaging in public consultations and preparing policies that help guide our society towards a fairer, less discriminatory society for people who have faced marginalization historically and still do today.

Continue reading “B.C. is revamping its human rights system. How can it ensure justice is served?”