Posts Tagged ‘Federal Liberal Government’

Update on CMHC’s reno/retro program

September 6th, 2017 by Celia Chandler

In its 2016 budget, the federal government announced a renovate and retrofit (reno/retro) program of forgivable loans administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).  CMHC issued a one‑time call for applications in June 2016 and made its final decisions on applications in June 2017.   Not surprisingly, the demand for funding greatly outstripped the available funds; we’re told that highest priority was given to projects in greatest financial need for work that addresses the risk of losing units (due to health and safety issues, regulatory or legislated requirements). By now, those who were lucky enough to be given the nod are busy working towards starting their projects quickly – all funds are to be spent by Nov 30, 2017.

We’re busy helping many with the paperwork to register these forgivable loans as mortgages on the title to their property.  If you’re a housing provider looking for legal support on these, please give us a call.

Bill C-16 introduces transgender protections but keeps Harper’s damaging human rights legacy

May 26th, 2016 by Shelina Ali

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Last week, the Liberal government introduced Bill C-16, an Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code of Canada to protect transgender individuals from discrimination and hate propaganda. The bill is almost identical to Bill C-279, a private member’s bill introduced in 2012 by NDP MP Randall Garrison. The two bills seek to make very simple amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) and the Criminal Code of Canada (Criminal Code): to provide protection from discrimination and from hate propaganda based on gender identity or expression.

The history and fate of the previous Bill C-279, together with prior amendments to the CHRA carried out by the Harper government in 2012 under Bill C-304, provide important insight into why the reintroduction of these amendments is so important — but also how, through Bill C-16, the Liberal government has failed to take advantage of a crucial opportunity to undo Harper’s damaging impact on the scope of equality rights protections available to Canadians under the CHRA. Read the rest of this entry

Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women brings hope and challenges

April 28th, 2016 by Safia Lakhani

This article was first published on rabble.ca

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

Non-profits await change from Liberal government. Here’s what needs to happen

April 5th, 2016 by Brian Iler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

In mandate letters to his newly appointed ministers, Justin Trudeau told Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and his minister responsible for Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Diane Lebouthillier, to:

“modernize the rules governing the charitable and not-for-profit sectors. … A new legislative framework to strengthen the sector will emerge from this process.”

Wonderful news, for both charities and non-profits (sometimes referred to as “not-for-profits”). For non-charitable non-profits, this was especially exciting, as their voice in political circles is regularly eclipsed by far-better organized charities.

Read the rest of this entry

Because it’s 2015: Calling for gender equality in the legal profession

December 17th, 2015 by Celia Chandler

This post was first published on rabble.ca

“Because it’s 2015″…

was the freshly minted PM’s response to the question, “why gender parity in the cabinet?” And good on him. I think we can all agree that equality of numbers is a start and can set a tone for the rest of society.

I’ve been reminded a few times lately that Justin’s tone of sunny ways regarding gender parity is sadly lacking in the legal profession. Read the rest of this entry

The state of assisted-dying legislation after Carter

December 7th, 2015 by Safia Lakhani

This post was first published on rabble.ca

On November 13, 2015, newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided his Minister of Justice, Jodi Wilson-Raybould, with a mandate letter. First on the list of priorities is that Ms. Wilson-Raybould “lead a process, supported by the Minister of Health, to work with provinces and territories to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada decision regarding physician-assisted death.”

It has been nine months since the Supreme Court released its ruling in Carter v. Canada, 2015 SCC 5, striking down the constitutionality of Sections 14 and 241(b) of the Criminal Code which prohibit physician-assisted suicide. The Court in Carter departed from the 1993 ruling in Rodriguez, which also dealt with the issue of physician-assisted suicide. In that case, the Court found that the provisions prohibiting physician-assisted suicide violated the individual’s right to life, liberty and security, but in a manner that was justified under Section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. By contrast, the Court in Carter found that the offending provisions of the Criminal Code infringed on the individual’s right to life, liberty and security, as well as the right to equal protection under the law in a manner that could not be justified. Read the rest of this entry