Posts by Elliot Fonarev

Think your waiver has you covered? It might not.

May 18th, 2018 by Elliot Fonarev

Chances are your organization has dealt with waivers if your services have the potential to create injury or liability to your clients or customers – for example, if you operate sports facilities or provide access to a physical space with potential hazards. If so, a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on the topic of waivers may interest you. It highlights that documents that release liability should be drafted very specifically to make it clear which legal rights are being waived.

Continue reading “Think your waiver has you covered? It might not.”

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. Continue reading “The Supreme Court of Canada extends protections from employment discrimination by non‑employers”

Changes to Parental Leave Benefits for workers in federally‑regulated companies

January 2nd, 2018 by Elliot Fonarev

On December 5, 2017, changes to the Employment Insurance Act that were introduced in Bill C-44, the Budget Bill Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, came into place. Employers may find the new changes will require amending existing leave policies and collective agreements to reflect the impact on top‑ups, or supplementary benefits to benefits claimants.

The changes apply to new claims for maternity, parental, and caregiver leave. Continue reading “Changes to Parental Leave Benefits for workers in federally‑regulated companies”

A friendly visit from the CRA? About the new Charities Education Program

December 18th, 2017 by Elliot Fonarev

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has launched a program to conduct in‑person visits to 500 registered charities each year to provide information and advice on their obligations under the Income Tax Act. The Charities Education Program (CEP) is designed to help charities avoid common errors and identify potential issues before it files its next information return.

Your charity may be selected by the CRA if it is newly registered, based on information from the charity’s information return (Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return), or if the charity has not complied in common areas such as receipting and reporting. All charities are eligible for a CEP visit. The CRA is also considering creating an ‘on‑demand’ service in the future for charities that wish to request a CEP visit, however currently charities are not able to request a visit.

Continue reading “A friendly visit from the CRA? About the new Charities Education Program”

Non-Profits: What you need to know about Bill 154

December 13th, 2017 by Elliot Fonarev

On November 14, Bill 154 received Royal Assent in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Among other things, Bill 154 affects legislation governing Ontario non‑profits and charities, namely, the Corporations Act (OCA), Not‑for‑Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (ONCA) and the Charities Accounting Act (CAA). Continue reading “Non-Profits: What you need to know about Bill 154”

Can a housing provider require disclosure of Henson trusts when considering rental assistance?

December 1st, 2017 by Elliot Fonarev

The Court of Appeal for British Columbia has just released a decision about asset verification for rental subsidy applicants who are beneficiaries of trusts. Though this decision is not binding in Ontario, it will be of interest to affordable housing providers here, as some of the same principles may apply.

The decision in S.A. v Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation (MVHC), helps shed light on the circumstances in which BC housing providers are allowed to request information about the contents or value of discretionary trusts (often called Henson trusts) when determining whether to grant or continue rental assistance. Henson trusts benefit disabled persons without affecting their ability to receive government benefits. Though the B.C. government does not consider Henson trusts as assets for the purpose of eligibility for disability assistance, the court said that MVHC was entitled to require the applicant provide information regarding a Henson trust when determining eligibility for a rental subsidy. In Ontario, Henson trusts are also not considered assets for determining eligibility for disability assistance under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Act, 1997. But if the Ontario courts are swayed by this case, housing providers could seek information about Henson trusts for their internal discretionary rental assistance programs. This could be an important source of data for housing providers to help make decisions about how to allocate discretionary funds and determine eligibility for internal and external rental assistance or Rent Geared to Income (RGI) programs.

Continue reading “Can a housing provider require disclosure of Henson trusts when considering rental assistance?”