Client Profile: Assisted‑Dying Resources Centres Canada

June 19th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Logo for Assisted-Dying Resource Centres Canada
Following the Supreme Court of Canada’s Carter decision in 2015, Canadians acquired a right to receive medical assistance in death (MAiD). Legislation came into force in June 2016 amending the Criminal Code to allow MAiD in limited circumstances. Since then, thousands have exercised this right – many in their own homes, others in hospitals, and still others in other kinds of institutions.

For some, though, where to receive medical assistance in death is a needless stress. Homeless patients who might otherwise be eligible cannot exercise this right because shelters do not allow it; many hospices have policies that prevent patients from having medically assisted deaths; some nursing homes and retirement homes – especially faith based ones – have said “no” to MAiD; and finally, some patents prefer not to die in their own homes because of the memories it may leave for their loved ones. Read the rest of this post

Legal aid is important. Ford government’s cuts will hurt us all.

June 13th, 2019 by Brynn Leger

The Ontario government announced considerable cuts to funding Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) as part of its first budget released in April 2019. The budget cuts provide for a nearly 30% reduction in the government’s funding to LAO, which will increase to a 40% cut in future years. LAO funds legal services for those who cannot afford representation in Ontario. They do this by providing certificates to lawyers to compensate them for representing individual clients, primarily in criminal and family law matters. They also fund community legal clinics, which in turn provide legal representation to community members, and also carry out law reform and community organizing initiatives. The province is separated into “catchment areas,” with each catchment area having a designated legal clinic. There are also specialty legal clinics, which focus on certain areas of law such as disability, HIV/AIDS, or injured workers.

On June 12, 2019, LAO announced how those cuts will be applied in the coming year.  LAO will base cuts to legal clinics on low‑income population in each catchment area and other supports available. Toronto clinics will see the largest cuts based on these recalculations. LAO is also urging clinics to preserve one‑on‑one client work and scale back its law reform and community organizing work. These changes are in addition to the freeze on providing new provincial funding for immigration and refugee law services which was announced back in April.

One clinic which will be considerably impacted by these LAO funding cuts is Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS). PCLS has been serving the Parkdale community in Toronto for over 40 years, and also functions as a student clinical education program, offering 20 student placements each year. It works in the areas of employment, housing, social assistance and immigration law. It has struggled this year to secure a lease for a new location in the neighbourhood, lacking a secure commitment from LAO to support the move. The latest announcement from LAO will mean a $1,000,000.00 cut to the PCLS budget. Read the rest of this post

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

June 5th, 2019 by Safia Lakhani

This article was first published on rabble.ca

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 post

Client Profile: Humber Co-operative Development Corporation

May 23rd, 2019 by Iler Campbell

The Humber Condominiums is Options for Homes’ latest development on the market. Options calls The Humber “an affordable modern condominium surrounded by nature and convenience.” And we’re sure the condo on Wilby Cres. in Weston Village will be!

The relationship between Options and Iler Campbell dates back to the ’90s when Brian Iler helped the founder of Options establish a financing model that provides down payment support to purchasers, making home ownership affordable to people who mostly wouldn’t otherwise be able to get into the housing market. That was 25 years ago. Nowadays, the need is even greater. In addition to the benefits to purchasers, the model moves some renters into ownership, which frees up more space in a tight rental market. Over 3,000 new homes have been built using their innovative model, creating great communities of people living in quality homes that are more affordable.

Read the rest of this post

Video: Employment Standards Act – Amendments in 2018 and 2019 and what they mean for you

May 16th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

In 2018, the Ford Government passed Bill 47, the “Making Ontario Open for Businesses Act”. This bill reverses a number of changes made to employment standards legislation by the Liberal government, including the provision around annual increases to minimum wage. In addition to providing a summary of key amendments to the Employment Standards Act, we will also touch on Bill 66, the “Act to Restore Ontario’s Competitiveness”, which was passed on April 3, 2019 and makes further changes to employment legislation in Ontario.

Iler Campbell lawyer, Safia Lakhani, led a workshop on these changes on May 15. A recording of it is now online. Check it out below. You can download a copy of her slideshow here and handout here.

The LTB has become slooooow. Is there relief on the horizon?

May 10th, 2019 by Celia Chandler

Many of our housing clients have been disappointed recently about the length of time it takes to conduct business at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Rest assured, we are doing our very best to push things along as quickly as we can. The LTB acknowledges the delay on its website:

Over past months, parties have experienced service delays at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). The LTB continues to work with the government to improve its services. A number of experienced adjudicators have recently been reappointed and recruitment is under way to fill other adjudicator vacancies. On January 1, 2019, the LTB became part of the newly created Tribunals Ontario organization. A review will be conducted of all tribunals, including the LTB, to identify areas for improvement to make services more streamlined, cost-effective and efficient.

This is not new – the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail both reported on the delay, and on the LTB admission of the problem, six months ago. We see no improvement since then.

Read the rest of this post