Human Rights

Sign up now: Messy Human Dramas and how to navigate them in your co-op

June 25th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Messy Human Dramas

Join us at Shamrock Co‑op in Waterloo on September 14 for this workshop.

Celia Chandler will lead you through fifteen common member situations in co‑ops:  from accessibility issues to hoarding to smoking to kids to the “unco-operative co-oper” and everything in between!

Iler Campbell LLP works closely with housing co‑ops across Ontario and is pleased to co‑sponsor this education event with COCHF. Read the rest of this entry

Human Rights: Can ethical veganism be counted as a creed?

June 5th, 2019 by Safia Lakhani

This article was first published on

The Ontario Human Rights Code protects individuals from discrimination in various contexts, including employment, accommodation and the provision of goods and services. While most of the 14 grounds enumerated in the code are self-explanatory, the recent case of Adam Knauff, a vegan firefighter who has alleged discrimination on the basis of “creed” for the failure to accommodate his diet raises questions about the intended scope of this protected ground, and whether it may be interpreted to accommodate his claim.   Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Miss It – May 4, 2019: CHFT Spring Durham Education Event – Human Rights

April 25th, 2019 by Celia Chandler

Human rights is a topic that comes up daily in the work we do with housing co‑ops.  Some recent examples:

  • how to accommodate dogs in a pet‑free co‑op;
  • is the medical note provided is enough to justify replacing carpet with laminate;
  • what is the best way to finance the cost of a stair lift in a townhouse (do we really have to?);
  • can we evict for noises that might relate to a mental health disability; and
  • can a maintenance person with a drug addiction continue to work at the co‑op.

If these are the kinds of questions that are coming up in your co‑op, come to my session on May 4, 2019 to talk through what the co‑op’s obligations are and how best to meet them.

CHFT has a long history of education in Toronto but recently they’ve expanded their reach to Durham.  I was excited to participate in the first CHFT Fall Durham Education Day in 2018 and am pleased to be asked back.

May 4’s event will include lunch and an afternoon workshop from CHFT staff member Anjala Kulasegaram, about what makes a good board.  You won’t want to miss that.

Registration information is here.

Join us!  We’d love to see you.

A constitutional cop‑out: Federal government passes the buck on conversion therapy

April 1st, 2019 by Michael Hackl

This article was first published on

The federal government missed an opportunity to introduce a significant protection for the LGBTQ community by failing to take steps to ban conversion therapy (the discredited practice of trying to convert individuals with non-heterosexual sexual orientations to heterosexuality under the guise of therapy). Instead, in its response to a petition calling for a ban on conversion therapy the federal government passed the buck to the provinces and territories.

The petition and the government’s response

On February 1, NDP MP Sheri Benson presented a petition to the House of Commons seeking a ban on conversion therapy, with a focus on protecting minors. The petition pointed out that organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Canadian Psychological Association have issued statements indicating that the practice is not supported by scientific research, lacks medical justification, and rather than providing assistance to affected individuals, can have significant adverse effects on their mental and physical health.

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Medically assisted death in Canada: Reflections on the process

January 31st, 2019 by Celia Chandler

Celia Chandler with her partner Jack Sikorski in 2018. Photo: Kate O’Connor/Sweetheart Empire

Iler Campbell’s Pro Bono column for (where this article was first published in three parts) is no stranger to the issue of medical assistance in death (MAID). We have contributed to the discussion a number of times in the last four years.

What is new is that I can now provide a firsthand account of a medically assisted death. At 6 p.m. on Monday, November 19, 2018, surrounded by his closest family, my husband, Jack Sikorski, consented to a medically assisted death. Jack’s cancer had progressed and his quality of life was greatly diminished; he was grateful for the choice to prevent further suffering and die on his own terms, as he had lived. And I am profoundly grateful, too.

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Ontario rollbacks to sex-ed curriculum prompt legal challenges

December 20th, 2018 by Safia Lakhani

This article was first published on

Though the election was only six months ago, the array of changes (or “rollbacks”) ushered in by the Ford regime is dizzying: from backtracking on the cap-and-trade program to cancelling the basic income pilot project, the government has wasted little time in cracking down on the initiatives undertaken by its predecessor. The government’s announcement in July 2018 that the province would be scrapping the modernized sexual education curriculum developed by the Liberal government in 2015 and returning to the 1998 curriculum pending further consultations falls squarely in line with this trend.

The government’s decision to revert back to the 1998 curriculum has prompted considerable backlash from educators, parents, and students, and has also prompted four separate legal challenges.

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