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BC court orders overhoused co-op members to move. Implications for Ontario?

July 25th, 2019 by Celia Chandler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

At Iler Campbell we hear all the time from housing providers about the issue of overhousing and underhousing — that is, situations where people are renting units that are bigger than they need (overhousing) and people whose space needs are not met (underhousing).

Underhousing is not surprising — we are experiencing a housing crisis in Canada so having people living in cramped quarters seems an obvious outcome.

Perhaps less obvious is the reverse. Case by case, though, we understand how overhousing happens: in many cases, people moved into their now‑too‑large units years ago when they were living with spouses and children. They’ve celebrated family milestones within the walls; they’ve welcomed newborns into their lives there; they’ve marked their children’s heights on the kitchen wall; they’ve lost loved ones there; they’ve buried pets in the backyard; they’ve invested their sweat and money into improving their homes — in short, they are connected to the living space. Their need for space may be diminished but their need for this particular space has not.

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Law Society elections send a message on diversity and it’s not what you’d hope

June 27th, 2019 by Shelina Ali

This article was first published on rabble.ca

The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) is once again facing a court challenge claiming that it has violated Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects the right to freedom of conscience, speech and religion. This court challenge follows the LSO’s successful defence of its decision to refuse to accredit the proposed law school at Trinity Western University (TWU) because of a requirement that attendees sign a covenant agreeing not to engage in homosexual activities. The LSO took the position that this prevented equal access to the legal profession in Ontario by excluding individuals who identified as LGBTQ.

The new battle relates to a Statement of Principles that the LSO requires lawyers to provide as of last year. It’s another example of the LSO attempting to enshrine principles of diversity, anti‑oppression and anti‑discrimination in a profession that is known for its lack of inclusiveness and diversity. In this case, the opposition to advancing these values is coming from other lawyers and is proving to be divisive for the governing council of the LSO — the democratically elected body that oversees its governance 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

Community land trusts a model for community-led land stewardship

April 25th, 2019 by Claudia Pedrero

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Last week marked the first meeting of the Canadian Network of Community Land Trusts held on Canadian soil.

The group’s meeting in Montreal was attended by community land trusts from across Canada, most of them from British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. It’s indicative of a rise in popularity of this alternative model of land ownership, as communities grapple with increasingly unaffordable housing prices, and commercial development changes the social, cultural and economic diversity of neighbourhoods. The Canadian Network of Community Land Trusts is seeking to share the collective experience and expertise of Canadian land trusts while expanding the footprint of this model of land ownership.

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

April 1st, 2019 by Michael Hackl

This article was first published on rabble.ca

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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Supreme Court’s Jarvis decision re-examines privacy in public places

March 5th, 2019 by Brynn Leger

This article was first published on rabble.ca

In R v Jarvis, an Ontario high school teacher was charged with voyeurism after secretly taking videos of his female students’ chests with a camera pen. Intuitively, Jarvis’ actions seem wrong. But the trial court and Court of Appeal acquitted him. The Supreme Court overturned those decisions and convicted Jarvis, updating the analysis of “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the process. Read the rest of this post