Posts by Safia Lakhani

The Rental Fairness Act: What does it mean for renters in Ontario?

June 30th, 2017 by Safia Lakhani

This article was first published on

The Rental Fairness Act, (the “RFA”) is part of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan, a strategy released in April 2017 to promote affordable housing in Toronto. The RFA, which received Royal Assent on May 30, 2017, eliminates the exemption to rent increase rules and requires landlords to compensate tenants if they wish to terminate a tenancy for personal use. Below are some of the key amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, (the “Act”) and what they mean for affordable housing in Ontario. Read the rest of this entry

Minimizing risk in your construction projects

November 29th, 2016 by Safia Lakhani

On November 2nd, 2016, Iler Campbell hosted a breakfast session on how to minimize risks in construction projects. The session was attended by members of the co-op and non-profit sectors in Toronto. Over coffee and muffins, I spoke about the different types of risks that emerge on large and small-scale construction projects, and some of the precautions that owners can take in order to minimize those risks. We discussed the importance of having a solid construction contract and detailed records of incidents on-site. We also had a productive discussion on how property managers can play a key role in monitoring on-site progress, keeping records, and delivering notices to contractors and trades regarding deficient work and delays. Of course, we also discussed when to consult a lawyer!

This was the second workshop in our new IC Education series of free legal education seminars. Our next session will be on housing co-ownership. Make sure you’re signed up for our email list to receive notice of this and future events.

An update from Public Interest Career Day at McGill Law

November 29th, 2016 by Safia Lakhani

On November 16th, 2016, I headed back to Montreal to participate in McGill’s public interest career day- it was my first time back at the Faculty since I graduated in 2012! In addition to meeting public interest lawyers from across Canada, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel for law students on navigating the world of public interest law. Looking at out at a room full of first, second, and third year students, I remembered what it felt like to be in the midst of exams, completing countless job applications and wondering where I would land. One of my takeaway points was that while you may not end up in a public interest job immediately after law school, you should stay connected to the areas that interest and inspire you- whether by serving on boards or doing pro bono work. Litigation skills will serve you well in public interest law, so it is also worth investing time in developing them.

Iler Campbell has hired an articling student for the 2017-2018 year. We will update our website with more information on the application process for articling in 2018-2019, so stay tuned!

Taking racist sports logos to court: Sports, tropes and prospects for change

November 25th, 2016 by Safia Lakhani

This article was first published on

On October 14, 2016, the Superior Court of Ontario heard an application for an injunction preventing the display, broadcast, and dissemination of the team name and logo of the “Cleveland Indians,” a U.S. baseball team scheduled to play at the Rogers Centre later that day. The team, whose offensive logo has long been the subject of criticism amongst Indigenous Americans, was playing against the Toronto Blue Jays as part of the American League Championship Series. While the court refused to grant the injunction, the application has called attention to the issue of racial stereotyping and has raised questions about the viability of addressing this issue through the courts and/or human rights tribunals in Canada.

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Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women brings hope and challenges

April 28th, 2016 by Safia Lakhani

This article was first published on

On December 8, 2015, the federal government announced that it was launching a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. The announcement followed repeated calls for action by human rights advocates and Aboriginal women’s groups who have reported an overrepresentation of Indigenous women amongst Canada’s missing and murdered women. While the RCMP estimated that 1,012 Indigenous women were missing or murdered between 1980 and 2012, the number is expected to be higher than 1,200, and possibly as high as 4,000.

Since the government’s announcement, many have expressed high hopes for the inquiry. A recent headline in the Toronto Star went so far as to state that the inquiry, properly conducted, “could heal decades-old wounds and perhaps begin to restore trust in the justice system.” To be sure, the inquiry represents a departure from the Harper government’s reductive characterization of the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women as a familial issue, rather than one borne of poverty, marginalization and systematic racism towards Indigenous peoples, and girls and women, in particular.

But is the public’s faith in the healing powers of the inquiry justified? What tangible changes will it bring about? And what challenges may the commission face in carrying it out? Read the rest of this entry

Carter & Assisted Suicide: Where We Stand One Year Later

March 2nd, 2016 by Safia Lakhani

This article was first published on the Ontario Bar Association’s website. It is an update to an earlier article which was first published on

February 6, 2016 marked one year since the Supreme Court released its ruling in Carter v. Canada, 2015 SCC 5. That decision struck down the constitutionality of Sections 14 and 241(b) of the Criminal Code, which prohibit assisted suicide, on the basis that they infringed on the individual’s right to life, liberty and security, and the right to equal protection under the law, in a manner that could not be justified under Section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Carter was a departure from the Court’s earlier ruling in Rodriguez, in which the provisions prohibiting assisted suicide were found to violate the individuals’ right to life, liberty and security, but in a manner that was justified under Section 1 of the Charter.

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