Following Up: Legal aid clinics call on city for more tenant protections

The City of Thunder Bay’s proposed minimum heat bylaw will improve tenant protections, but not enough, say local legal clinics.

THUNDER BAY – A pair of legal clinics are calling on the City of Thunder Bay to go further on protecting tenants as it revamps a set of property-related bylaws.

A proposed new minimum heat by law, which still requires city council approval, is intended to tighten enforcement of an existing requirement for landlords to provide adequate heat to tenants of 21 C.

The rules do not apply to landlords who can provide proof of an agreement that the tenant is responsible for heat.

A draft recently updated by city staff following public consultation would increase the powers of municipal enforcement officers to intervene in the case of tenant complaints, and boost financial penalties for landlords who break the rules.

The changes don’t fully address concerns about how quickly complaints are resolved, however, according to the Kinna-Aweya and Lakehead University legal clinics.

The agencies are also calling on the city to expand tenant protections to cover other vital utilities like power and water.

The city unveiled an initial draft of the new minimum heat bylaw, along with others on yard maintenance, property standards, and vacant buildings, in May.

That first draft came under fire for what advocates said were unreasonable requirements that would make it challenging for tenants to file complaints.

An updated draft presented to the city council earlier this week addressed several of those concerns.

Tenant advocates said they welcome those changes, but are still hoping the city will approve more significant protections before council votes on approval on July 27.

Those protections are more important than ever, said Sally Colquhoun, coordinator of legal services with the Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic.

“It’s a big issue right

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Arizona attorney general: Pre-state abortion ban enforceable

“Our office has concluded the Legislature has made its intentions clear with regards to abortion laws,” Brmovich said on Twitter. “ARS 13-3603 (the pre-statehood law) is back in effect and will not be repealed” when the new law takes effect in late September.

The old law says anyone who helps a pregnant woman obtain an abortion can be sentenced to two to five years in prison. The only exception is if the life of the woman is in jeopardy.

Abortion clinics across Arizona had stopped providing the procedures within hours of last Friday’s Supreme Court ruling. They cited concerns that the old law could be enforced.

Explaining the halt in procedures, Planned Parenthood Arizona President and CEO Brittany Forteno said the possibility of prosecutions was just too risky to continue providing abortion care. Other abortion providers followed suit.

Besides the total ban, a law that grants eggs and fetuses all rights is also on the books. Abortion rights advocates are asking a judge who refused to block it last year because Roe v. Wade was in effect to consider his decision. The arizona-us-supreme-court-ed8133637e92bd1be872a1ed5583a66b”judge did block that law’s ban on abortions because of a fetal genetic abnormality.

After the Supreme Court decision, an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 abortion rights protesters gathered at the state Capitol, where the Legislature was completing work on the yearly session.

State police used tear gas to disperse the crowd after a small group of protesters started banging on the state Senate’s glass front and one person tried to kick in a sliding glass door. No arrests or injuries were reported Friday night, but protests continued for two days and several people were arrested.

Brnovich is among several Republicans vying for their party’s nomination for US Senate in the Aug. 2 primaries.


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Howard Levitt: Why a good lawyer never ignores the court of public opinion

If you ignore media inquiries, be prepared for the media to define your case and your client to the public

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What role can the media play in courtroom strategy play? Or, to put it differently, how best can counsel advocate outside of the courtroom, particularly in publicly prominent trials?

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Having had the good fortune of acting as counsel on many high-profile Canadian cases during my career, starting conspicuously with acting for the chief prosecution witness before the Patti Starr Commission of Inquiry, aka the Houlden Commission, in 1989, I have had a front -row seat to the interplay between media and counsel in such disputes.

Ignoring the media is not an option. Not a good one anyway. Choosing to not respond to media inquiries should be a deliberate decision rather than one of invariable policy. Otherwise, the media will define your case and your client to the public. That other court — the court of public opinion — must always be kept in mind.

Dan Abrams, the chief legal analyst for ABC News, once told a story about a friend working on a high-profile case who was concerned about being seen as a “media whore.” Abrams joked in response that, “There’s got to be something between whoring and abstinence.”

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Judges, however skilled and neutral, are not immune to arguments that are made about a case outside of the courtroom, particularly

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Better And Fairer Access To Legal Assistance

Hon Kiri Allan

Minister of Justice

Raising eligibility thresholds will provide a helping hand to more than 90,000 New Zealanders currently denied access to legal aid, Justice Minister Kiri Allan says.

“The Government is committed to driving through legislative changes to strengthen our legal aid system.

“Enshrining changes in legislation and regulations is necessary to give effect to Budget decisions and will help future-proof the legal aid system, ensuring improved access to justice for thousands of people who could not otherwise afford a lawyer.

“Our legal aid scheme is an important part of New Zealand’s justice system.

However it has come under strain in recent years, with settings largely unchanged since 2011 and the number of people eligible for legal aid decreasing, and projected to continue falling.

“Concerns have rightly been raised about the low eligibility threshold – for a single applicant this is currently just over half of what a fulltime worker on the minimum wage received – the $50 user charge, debt repayment and interest on legal aid grants.

“To address those issues we are implementing changes to the Legal Services Regulations 2011 and the Legal Services Act 2011giving effect to $148.7m of funding in Budget 2022.

The changes are:

  • increasing the income eligibility thresholds by 15% from 1 January 2023, making 93,000 more people eligible for civil and family legal aid in the first year,
  • removing the legal aid user charge, payable by most civil and family legal aid recipients,
  • removing interest on repayment of unpaid legal debt,
  • increasing the debt repayment thresholds by 16.5% for debt established from 1 January 2023, relieving financial pressures for around 16,000 low-income and vulnerable New Zealanders, and
  • increasing the civil and family legal aid eligibility thresholds and
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