Human Rights By-Law – Background Information

CHFC Appendix C to the Human Rights By-Law

This  Attachment  contains  background  information  relating  to  the  Model  Human Rights  By-law.  It  does  not  form  part  of  the  By-law  itself.

This  Attachment  may  be  updated  from  time  to  time.  The  CHF  Canada  website should  be  checked  for  the  most  recent  version.


1.    Why  have  a  Human  Rights  By-law?

The  Model  Human  Rights  By-law  does  two  things.

•    First,  it  states  the  co-op’s  commitment  to  the  Ontario  Human  Rights

•    Second,  it  states  a  procedure  for  dealing  with  human  rights
problems  at  the  co-op.

2.    What  is  the  Ontario  Human  Rights  Code?

The  Ontario  Human  Rights  Code  is  a  basic  law  of  the  Province  of  Ontario.
It  states  detailed  rules  and  definitions  on  the  human  rights  that  are
protected  in  Ontario.  It  states  procedures  on  how  those  rights  can  be

The  rules  in  the  Human  Rights  Code  are  explained  by  decisions  of  courts and  tribunals  on  what  the  Code  means  and  by  policy  statements  and  other materials  issued  by  the  Ontario  Human  Rights  Commission.

3.    Does  the  Human  Rights  By-law  state  the  human  rights  that  are

No.  People’s  human  rights  are  part  of  the  law  of  the  Province,  not  things that  the  co-op  adopts  in  a  by-law.

The  basic  commitment  to  human  rights  is  a  simple  and  straightforward
principle,  but  working  it  out  according  to  law  is  complicated.  Therefore,
the  basic  commitment  is  in  the  By-law,  but  not  the  detailed  legal  rules.

4.    What  are  the  human  rights  guaranteed  by  the  Human  Rights  Code?

The  Human  Rights  Code  states  that  people  have  a  right  not  be
discriminated  against  or  harassed  on  certain  specific  grounds.  It  is  only
discrimination  on  those  grounds  that  is  illegal.

5.    What  are  the  prohibited  grounds  of  discrimination  in  housing?

The  prohibited  grounds  of  discrimination  in  housing  are:

•    race,
•    ancestry,
•    place  of  origin,
•    colour,
•    ethnic  origin,
•    citizenship,
•    creed,
•    sex,
•    sexual  orientation,
•    age,
•    marital  status,
•    family  status,
•    disability,
•    the  receipt  of  public  assistance,
•    gender  identity,
•    gender  expression.

6.    What  are  the  prohibited  grounds  of  discrimination  in  employment?

Co-ops  are  employers  as  well  as  housing  providers.  The  prohibited  grounds of  discrimination  in  employment  are  the  same  as  in  housing  except:

•    An  employer  cannot  discriminate  based  on  record  of  offences.  A
housing  provider  can  take  record  of  offences  into  consideration.

•    A  housing  provider  cannot  discriminate  based  on  receipt  of  public
assistance.  This  is  not  in  the  list  of  prohibited  grounds  for

7.    Should  we  change  the  list  for  our  co-op?

This  is  not  recommended.
•    The  list  in  the  Code  is  accompanied  by  definitions  and  other  sections which  explain  and  qualify  the  obligations.  It  is  important  that  these apply.
•    Experience  shows  that  when  co-ops  adjust  the  list,  they  are  basically covering  the  same  things  in  different  words.  But  there  may  be  a slightly  different  meaning  that  is  hard  to  predict.

•    Co-op  by-laws  are  legally  operative  documents.  It  is  important  to  be
accurate  and  consistent  so  that  co-ops  do  not  have  unexpected


8.    What  is  harassment?

Harassment  is  inappropriate  comment  or  conduct  that  is  known  or
should  be  known  to  be  unwelcome.  It  is  illegal  if  it  is  on  a  ground  stated in  the  Human  Rights  Code.  The  prohibited  grounds  of  harassment  are substantially  similar  to  the  prohibited  grounds  of  discrimination.

Some  examples  of  harassment  when  based  on  a  prohibited  ground  are:

•    epithets,  slurs  or  jokes;
•    name  calling  or  nicknames;
•    jokes,  cartoons  or  graffiti;
•    verbal  abuse;
•    displaying  offensive  or  derogatory  images;
•    practical  jokes  causing  awkwardness  or  embarrassment;
•    condescending  or  patronizing  behaviour  undermining  a  person’s  self-

9.    What  is  sexual  harassment?

Sexual  harassment  is  harassment  because  of  sex,  sexual  orientation,
gender  identity  or  gender  expression.  Some  examples  are:

•    gender-related  comments  about  an  individual’s  physical
characteristics  or  mannerisms;
•    unwelcome  physical  contact,  patting  or  pinching;
•    suggestive  or  offensive  remarks  or  innuendoes  about  members  of  a
specific  gender;
•    propositions  of  physical  intimacy;
•    gender-related  verbal  abuse,  threats,  or  taunting;
•    leering  or  inappropriate  staring;
•    bragging  about  sexual  prowess;
•    demands  for  dates  or  sexual  favours;
•    offensive  jokes  or  comments  of  a  sexual  nature  about  a  person;
•    display  of  sexually  offensive  pictures,  graffiti,  or  other  materials;
•    questions  or  discussions  about  sexual  activities;
•    paternalism  based  on  gender  which  a  person  feels  undermines  his  or her  self-respect  or  position  of  responsibility;
•    rough  and  vulgar  humour  or  language  related  to  gender.

10.    Are  there  other  kinds  of  sexual  harassment?

Yes.  In  addition,  sexual  harassment  is  any  kind  of  sexual  advance  made by  someone  who  is  in  a  position  to  grant  or  deny  a  benefit  or
advancement  such  as  someone’s  employer  or  superior.  It  is  also  any
reprisal  by  such  a  person  for  rejection  of  a  sexual  advance.

11.    Does  the  victim  have  to  object  for  it  to  be  sexual  harassment?

No.  It  is  not  necessary  for  someone  to  object  to  behaviour  for  it  to  be
contrary  to  the  Human  Rights  Code.


12.    What  are  the  co-op’s  legal  responsibilities?

As  a  housing  provider  the  co-op  has  to  follow  the  Human  Rights  Code  in all  areas  of  its  operations.  This  includes  its  role  as  housing  provider and as  employer.

The  co-op  is  responsible  for  the  acts  of  the  co-op  as  a  corporation.  It
also  can  have  responsibility  for  the  acts  of  its  staff  and  anyone  acting  on its  behalf.  This  can  include  directors,  officers,  committee  members and others.

13.    Is  the  co-op  responsible  for  the  acts  of  individual  members?

If  the  co-op  is  a  place  where  discriminatory  or  harassing  language  or
acts  are  common,  it  is  said  to  have  a  “poisoned  environment”  or
“poisoned  atmosphere”.  Under  the  Human  Rights  Code  the  co-op  could
be  responsible.

The  co-op  has  to  do  what  is  reasonable  to  ensure  that  the  general
atmosphere  at  the  co-op  is  free  of  discrimination  or  harassment  on
human  rights  grounds.  It  cannot  just  ignore  such  conduct.


14.    Does  someone  who  is  disabled  have  to  obey  the  same  rules  as  other co-op  members?

Yes.  But  those  rules  have  to  be  adjusted  to  allow  for  the  person’s
disability  if  it  can  be  done  without  undue  hardship.

15.    Does  the  co-op  have  to  go  to  special  expense  to  fill  the  needs  of
someone  who  is  disabled?
Yes.  The  co-op  has  to  provide  equal  housing  to  everyone,  including  any members  who  are  disabled.  In  order  to  permit  the  disabled  members  to have  equal  housing,  special  measures  may  be  needed,  such  as  automatic door  openers.

The  co-op  and  anyone  else  providing  accommodation  has  to  take  such
measures  if  it  can  be  done  without  undue  hardship.

16.    What  is  undue  hardship?

Undue  hardship  is  not  defined  in  any  exact  way.  However,  it  would
include  cost,  outside  sources  of  funding,  if  any,  and  health  and  safety

17.    Doesn’t  it  cost  a  lot  to  accommodate  people  with  disabilities?

No.  The  Human  Rights  Commission  says  that  a  great  many  examples  of accommodation  can  be  done  very  inexpensively.

For  instance,  some  people  are  highly  sensitive  to  certain  chemicals  such as  cleaning  fluids.  Pricing  out  alternatives  that  are  less  offensive  (and maybe  better  for  the  environment)  shows  that  they  only  cost  a  co-op slightly  more.  The  same  is  true  of  a  great  many  other accommodations.

18.    Is  there  a  hard  and  fast  dollar  limit  for  an  accommodation?

No.  The  Human  Rights  Code  does  not  state  a  specific  limit  and  the
explanations  given  in  court  and  tribunal  cases  do  not  lead  to  any
specific  limit.  You  should  consult  your  local  federation  or  lawyer  when
this  issue  comes  up.


19.    What  is  indirect  discrimination?

Indirect  discrimination  is  also  called  “constructive”  discrimination.  It
exists  if  there  is  a  requirement  or  factor  that  is  not  discrimination  on  a
prohibited  ground  but  that  results  in  the  exclusion,  restriction  or
preference  of  a  group  of  persons  identified  by  a  prohibited  ground.

An  example  might  be  religious  beliefs.  Co-ops  might  be  scheduling
meeting  times  for  good  reasons  that  have  nothing  to  do  with  any  human rights  issues.  But  if  a  members’  meeting  falls  on  a  holiday  that  affects  a lot  of  the  members,  that  could  be  indirect  discrimination.

20.    Does  the  co-op  have  to  go  to  expense  or  change  its  rules  to  avoid indirect  discrimination?

Yes.  But  the  co-op’s  obligations  are  subject  to  the  same  test  of  undue
hardship  as  for  accommodating  disabilities.


21.    Does  accommodating  disabilities  and  avoiding  indirect  discrimination
involve  treating  some  members  better  than  others?

No.  This  is  the  biggest  issue  that  bothers  co-op  members.  Co-ops  are
founded  on  the  basis  that  all  members  have  equal  worth.  This  is  not  like other  kinds  of  corporations  where  worth  depends  on  the  number  of
shares  or  the  amount  of  investment.

But  sometimes  people  have  to  be  treated  differently  in  order  to  receive
equal  service.  For  instance,  no  one  would  suggest  that  there  is  anything wrong  with  giving  a  household  of  five  a  larger  unit  than  a  household  of one.  It  is  accepted  that  this  better  fits  their  needs.

In  the  same  way  co-op  services  need  to  be  adjusted  in  a  sensitive  way to  meet  other  specific  needs  of  co-op  members  if  it  will  not  cause
undue  hardship.

22.    Is  the  co-op  entitled  to  proof  of  the  needs?

Yes.  The  co-op  is  entitled  to  reasonable  evidence  if  there  is  any  need
for  accommodation.

However,  the  most  important  thing  to  remember  is  that  the  member
involved  is  entitled  to  be  treated  with  dignity.  People  should  get  away
from  the  mindset  that  there  is  any  kind  of  “special  privilege”.  Instead
recognize  that  whatever  is  being  done  is  being  done  to  give  service  that is  effectively  equal  to  others.

Therefore,  any  request  should  be  treated  with  respect  and  dignity,  and,
of  course,  complete  confidentiality  on  a  need-to-know  basis.


23.    Are  there  other  legal  issues  related  to  the  Human  Rights  Code  and human  rights  at  co-ops?

Yes.  A  lot  of  them.  This  paper  only  skims  the  surface.  It  is  important  to get  legal  advice  when  issues  come  up.

24.    If  a  complaint  is  made  against  the  co-op  to  the  Human  Rights
Tribunal,  what  should  the  co-op  do?

First,  the  co-op  should  report  it  to  the  co-op’s  insurance  company.  The
complaint  might  be  covered  by  the  co-op’s  insurance.

It  is  important  to  do  this  whether  or  not  the  co-op  thinks  there  is  any
merit  in  the  claim.  That  is  because  the  legal  or  other  costs  can  be  very high,  whether  or  not  the  co-op  defeats  any  complaint.  The  insurance company  may  not  provide  coverage  unless  it  is  consulted  from  the beginning.  It  is  a  requirement  of  the  insurance  that  the  co-op  consult  it from  the  beginning.

Second,  the  co-op  should  not  discuss  the  matter  with  the  person
involved  or  their  lawyer  and  no  one  acting  on  the  co-op’s  behalf  should
do  so.

Third,  the  co-op’s  own  lawyer  should  be  notified  in  the  case  the
insurance  company  lawyer  does  not  take  over.

25.    Will  following  the  Human  Rights  By-Law  mean  that  no  claim  can  be made  against  the  co-op?

No.  The  By-law  is  intended  to  be  a  way  to  enhance  human  rights  at  the co-op  and  to  resolve  problems.  However,  anyone  who  is  dissatisfied  or does  not  want  to  use  the  By-law  can  complain  to  the  Human  Rights


Conflict of Interest By-Law #78

By-law No. 78

Passed by the Board of Directors on March 30, 2016 Confirmed by the Members on May 17, 2016. Replacing By-Law 42 (October 5, 1995)

Conflict of Interest

1. Purpose of this Article

The rules in this Article are to help avoid conflicts of interest and to have fair ways to deal with them. They apply in addition to the requirements of the Co-op Act and other legal and government requirements. The first part of this Article explains conflict of interest. The second part of this Article states rules for different situations.

2. Understanding Conflict of Interest

People who make decisions on behalf of the co-op should make the decisions in the best interests of the co-op – not in their personal interests. This includes directors, officers, committee members and staff.

3. What is Conflict of Interest?

Two things create a conflict of interest:
•  someone takes part in a decision on behalf of the co-op, and
•  the decision benefits that person or a relative or friend in a way that is different from most co-op members.

(a) Taking part in a decision
People who take part in a decision on behalf of the co-op include:
– directors voting on a motion
– committee members making a decision or recommendation
– staff making a decision or giving advice to the board about a decision

(b) Benefits of a decision
Benefits of a decision include:
– direct or indirect benefits
– actual or potential benefits
– benefits to relatives and friends
– non-financial benefits

4. Conflict Situations

Two kinds of situations can become conflicts of interest:
·  manageable situations
·  prohibited situations

(a) Manageable situations
Manageable situations are part of the ordinary operation of the co-op. They could become conflicts of interest if the person getting the benefit takes part in the decision. Examples:
·  A director puts in a work order for major renovations to their unit.
·  A friend of a director is given a Notice to Appear.
·  An employee requests a pay raise.

(b) Prohibited situations
Prohibited situations are things that do not happen in the ordinary
operation of co-ops. They are often illegal. Examples include:
·  A director gets a reduced price on carpeting from the same company that is contracting for carpeting for the co-op.
·  A property management company or an employee receives an incentive or commission in connection with a contract signed by the co-op.
·  A director is a partner or shareholder in a company that is bidding on the co-op’s snow shovelling contract.

5. Rules for Directors

(a) Declaring
If a director has a conflict of interest or is involved in a situation that could become a conflict of interest, the director must declare it in writing before the next board meeting. If the director learns about it at a board meeting, the director must declare it at the meeting.

(b) If in doubt, declare
If a director is not sure whether something would be a conflict of interest, the director must report it to the board in the same way as stated in the previous paragraph. If other directors or members think a director could have a conflict of interest or is involved in a situation that could become a conflict of interest, they should also report it to the board.

(c) Deciding
The board has to decide if there is a conflict of interest and what to do about it. It should be considered at the first meeting after it is declared or reported or the next one after that.
The persons who might have a conflict cannot participate in the process of deciding. They cannot be present while the decision is being made.
The conflict declaration and the board decision must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. This could be in the confidential minutes if appropriate.

(d) If there is a manageable situation
If there is a manageable situation, the person with the potential conflict cannot vote or participate in any decision-making relating to the item cannot be present at a meeting while the item is under discussion, cannot see any of the documents or materials relating to the item, either before or after the decision is made

(e) If there is a prohibited situation
If there is a prohibited situation, the circumstances have to be changed so the prohibited situation no longer exists. It may not be enough for the director to leave the board since the director may have learned something that would give an advantage to someone, such as a bidder on a contract.

Steps to be take could include one or more of the following:

A. Resignation
The person involved can resign as a director.

B. Removal
The board can remove the person involved from the board. Despite Article IV, Section 6 (b) and Article V, section 1, Removal of a Director, removal under this section is effective as soon as the board passes the motion. There is no appeal to the members. If there is enough time, the director should be given written notice of the board meeting to discuss removal including the time and place of the meeting and the grounds for removal. The director can appear and speak at the meeting. The board decides and votes on the removal without the director present.

C. Deal with someone else
If the situation involved bidding on a contract with the co-op or selling something to the co-op, the co-op can reject the bidder or seller that is involved.

D. Change the situation
The situation that created the prohibited conflict can be changed in
other ways so there will not be a prohibited conflict.

(f) Government requirements
Individual directors and the board as a whole must also follow government and funder reporting and procedural requirements about conflict of interest.

6. Rules for Officers

Officers have to follow the same rules as directors, including any officers who are not directors.

7. Rules for Committee Members

(a) Declaring
Committee members must declare conflicts of interest and situations that could become a conflict of interest to the committee in the same way as directors declare them to the board. In addition, a copy of all conflict declarations should be given to the board, including those made during a committee meeting. If other members think a committee member could have a conflict of interest or is involved in a situation that could become a conflict of interest, they should also report it to the committee or the board of directors.

(b) Deciding
A committee has to decide about conflict of interest in the same way as the board. In addition, the chair of the committee has to give the board a written report on the situation no later than three days after the committee meeting.

(c) Dealing with committee conflicts
A committee has to deal with conflict of interest in the same way as the board. In addition, the board can make a decision about a committee conflict. The committee has to follow the board decision.

8. Rules for Staff

(a) Declaration by property management company
If the co-op has a contract with a property management company, that company has to declare conflicts of interest and any situation that could become a conflict of interest by giving a written report to the president as soon as possible. This has to be presented to the board at the next meeting. This could be a conflict of interest or situation involving the property manager’s staff at the co-op or involving the company or its owners or personnel who do not work at the co-op. The written report should state proposed steps to deal with the situation.

(b) Service companies or others who are not employees
Service companies and others who are not employees have to follow the
same requirements as property management companies under (a).

(c) Declaration by manager
If the manager is an employee of the co-op and has a conflict of interest, or is involved in a situation that could become a conflict of interest, the manager has to give a written report and explanation to the president as soon as possible. This has to be presented to the board at the next meeting.

(d) Declaration by other staff
Other co-op employees who have a conflict of interest, or are involved in situations that could become conflicts of interest, have to report it to the manager immediately. The manager will give any immediate directions that are needed and give a written report and explanation to the president as soon as possible. This has to be presented to the board at the next meeting.

(e) Board action
The board will decide if there is a conflict of interest and what steps to take.

9. Members’ Conflict of Interest
At members’ meetings, all members can discuss and vote as they wish, even if they have a conflict of interest. Members are encouraged to declare the conflict of interest before taking part in the discussion. Members should try to act in the best interests of the co-op as a whole.

10. Proof

(a) When required
The board can ask someone for evidence to prove that there is no conflict of interest or that the conflict of interest rules have been followed. It does this when deciding if there is a conflict of interest or investigating compliance with conflict of interest requirements.

(b) Response
Members and staff must give complete proof and details in response to a request under this section. This may require showing documents and getting sworn statements from everyone involved. Failure to provide proof under this section is a breach of this By-law. Also, failure to provide proof can be evidence of non-compliance with conflict of interest requirements.

Confidentiality Policy



Presented and approved at GMM on April 1, 1993

1. Basic Principles

The intention of this policy is to create a culture and a climate which supports maintaining confidentiality and makes it explicitly unacceptable behaviour to violate a member’s right to confidentiality.

This climate is fostered by such things as:

Board and committees discouraging anyone from presenting them with confidential information which they do not need to possess to function.

Staff making a point of offering members privacy for discussions in the office.

Members of the Board and sensitive committees shall acknowledge that they have received a copy of the confidentiality policy and that they understand their obligation to protect members’ privacy and confidentiality.

The Board and Committee members should not discuss with any other person the details of confidential matters.

2. Content of a member’s file

2.1 There will be a file for each individual member, not just household files.

2.2 The minimum that each file will contain will be the signed Member Application, Occupancy Agreement, and some tracking of where in the Co-op the member has lived and when. In addition, information on grievance and arrears would be included, as well as copies of correspondence to and from the member.

2.3 There will be nothing in the file that the member has not seen.

2.4 Information about grievances or arrears which is more than 5 years old, unless it is part of an ongoing pattern, should be discarded. Staff will consult with the Arrears Committee and the Grievance Committee regarding what should be discarded.

2.5 Content of the Unit (also called the Maintenance) file will be on the computer.

2.6 Member files are kept in the office in locked filing cabinets.

3. Member access to his/her own member file

3.1 It was agreed that members have the right to look at their own files. This may be done by making an appointment with the Co-ordinator to view the file during office hours.

 3.2 The Co-ordinator must be present while the member is viewing the file in order to answer any questions and to make sure that nothing is removed from the file.

3.3 The file itself may not be removed from the office, although members have the right to make photocopies of anything in the file.

4. Other access to the member file

4.1 No member, even if part of an elected committee, has the right to access any other member’s file, except where specifically directed by the Board.

4.2 If the Board or a committee needs information from a file, that information will be obtained through the Co-ordinator or Admin. Assistant. Maintenance information may also be obtained through the Maintenance workers in the absence of the Co-ordinator.

5. Function of Committees to maintain confidentiality

(e.g., Board, Membership, Arrears, Grievance)

 5.1 The Board

The Board will implement a mechanism for discussing issues at Board level without knowing the names of the people involved (e.g. President distribute copies of letters with names blacked out).

5.2 The Arrears Committee

 The Arrears Committee does not need to know who is on subsidy, except when discussing a particular Arrears case. Duplicate lists of those in Arrears should be destroyed as soon as possible after the meeting.

5.3 Grievance Committee

Policy states that “All particulars and minutes of meetings shall be kept strictly confidential and shall be disclosed only to the Board of Directors at their request. At the end of each year, and after consultation with the Committee, the Secretary shall precis and record the premise and conclusion of each grievance, to be kept in the files of the Grievance Committee and the members involved. This is to facilitate the resolution of future complaints that might involve any of the parties. All related testimony, documents and notes will be destroyed.

All files of Grievance Committee will be kept in the office, except for active files which may be temporarily removed from the office by a member of the Grievance Committee while a complaint is being worked on.

The Board does not generally need to know the details of particular grievances unless Board action is required.

5.4 General

The Board (and other Committees) should be very conscious of procedures which ensure that positions taken by particular Board or committee members on an issue are not discussed outside the meeting.

6. When the Member breaches his/her own confidentiality

(e.g., a member appeal)

If a member chooses to reveal confidential information about her or himself in order to appeal a decision of the Board or Committee , he must understand that this means that the Board (or other committee being appealed against) has the right to reveal any information upon which they acted, even if it is information that would otherwise be kept confidential.

7. Destruction of files

Each member of committees and the Board who deal with confidential material is expected to ensure that they dispose of confidential material in an appropriate manner. The office has a shredding machine, which may be used to shred documents. No copies of confidential material will be left lying around, either in Committee boxes or in the Board room where members might see them.

 At the end of a member’s term of office on the Board or a Committee, it is the member’s responsibility to make sure that confidential information obtained during the term is properly disposed of.

8. Process for implementation

The following implementation procedures will be developed by appropriate committees and staff.

8.1 Change filing system from Household files to Member files.

8.2 Procedures for removing old Arrears information.

8.3 Procedures for removing old Grievance information.

8.4 Process for regular reporting of Member in Good Standing Status to Membership Committee. [Section 5.2 re: definition of member in good standing was struck from approved version.]

Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted September 30, 2010.

Committee Vacancies and By-elections Policy


Committee Vacancies
and By-elections Policy
Approved by the GMM on September 28, 2011

Woodsworth Housing Co-op members elect directors, members of some key committees, committee chairs for some committees and delegates / representatives for co-op and community organizations. This policy mandates how Woodsworth proceeds when a vacancy occurs on a committee between the normal election time (AGM’s)

1. Directors
Vacancies for directors will be filled following Bylaw 1 (Organizational Bylaw),


2. Elected Committees – when the entire committee is elected by members (e.g. membership and arrears committees)
a) If there is a quorum remaining on the committee, the committee can vote to carry the vacancy until the next annual co-op elections.
b) If there is no quorum or if the committee wishes to fill the vacancy, the vacancy is filled by by-election or by committee vote, depending on the time left before the next AGM.

(i) To fill a vacancy in the first eight (8) months of an election year, a by-election will be held at the next regularly scheduled General Members’ Meeting for the membership to elect a replacement to complete the remainder of the full term.

(ii) To fill a vacancy in the last four (4) months of an election year, the committee can appoint a replacement to fill the position until the next annual co-op elections. The appointment takes effect immediately, but the election of the committee member must be put on the agenda for the next members’ meeting. The appointment will be considered confirmed unless the members elect someone else.

3. Elected Committee Chairs: when the chair of the committee is the only elected member (e.g. Editorial Committee):
The committee must inform the Board of Directors committee liaison and the membership that a vacancy has occurred and that a vote on replacement will take place.

Any Woodsworth member who has attended any two of the last three meetings of the committee can vote at the meeting. However, any member is eligible to be appointed or elected.

a) The committee can vote to fill the vacancy until the next AGM by appointment without a by-election. The replacement can come from the committee or be another volunteer member. The term for the replacement member will be until the next elections at the annual general meeting.

(b) If the committee votes to fill the vacancy through by-election, a by-election will take place at the next regularly scheduled General Members’ Meeting for the membership to elect a replacement to complete the remainder of the full term.

4. Delegates (SLNA, CHFC, CHFT and alternates)

As the delegates are not part of a committee, the Board of Directors must advertise the vacancy to the membership. If there are more candidates than positions, a by-election will take place. If there is a match between the number of candidates and positions, the Board of Directors should appoint the candidate and report to the members.

5. Candidates and Appointments:

Committees may solicit candidates from unsuccessful candidates at the last AGM, member surveys, from requests for volunteers in the Weekly, from members who have served on that committee in the past and members at large.

– The decision about who will fill the vacancy must be made at a committee meeting.

– The successful candidate’s name must be published as soon as possible.

Rules By-Law #19



Adopted August 27, 1979; Passed 23 August 1980;
Renamed Schedule A of Original Occupancy By-law No.2
to The Rules By-law No. 19 – Passed 22 March 1990; Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010.  Amended on September 23, 2013 by By-law 75.


Cable Television

Residents may not negotiate any cable television service from any source other than the Co-op's authorized supplier.



Members are allowed to keep pets in the Co-op. Pets must not interfere with another member's use or enjoyment of his/her unit or common areas.

Contained Pets

Pets that are normally contained in a cage, tank or other container may be kept in reasonable quantities and do not have to be registered with the Co-op. Examples of contained pets are birds, fish and small rodents.

Exotic Pets

No exotic pet may be kept by any member in the co-operative. The definition of an "exotic pet" will be left to the discretion of the Board.

Maximum Quantities

No household may have more than two adult pets (eight months or older), except as provided in paragraph 2.


Except as provided in paragraph 2, all pets must be registered with the Co-op.

Each member wishing to register a pet must sign an agreement to abide by this Policy and any decision made by the Board regarding his/her pet. Before signing the agreement, the member must provide, for each pet, the following information to be appended to the agreement: type of animal, name (if any), month and year of birth, description and a picture, plus such other information as the Co-op may require.

Condition of Animals

Pet owners must protect their pets against parasites (including fleas) and diseases. A certificate of inoculation against rabies and distemper for all mammals, plus F.E.R. for cats and hepatitis for dogs, must be filed with the Co-op at the time the pet is registered or when it has reached three months of age, and annually thereafter.

All pets six months of age or older must be spayed or neutered, unless they are being used for authorized breeding purposes, according to sub-paragraph (e). A certificate indicating that the spaying or neutering has taken place, issued by the Humane Society or a licensed veterinarian, must be filed with the Co-op when a pet is registered or within one month of the pet turning six months of age.

The requirement for inoculation, spaying or neutering of a pet may be waived or postponed, as appropriate, if the desirability of such waiver or postponement is confirmed in writing by the Humane Society or a licensed veterinarian. In such case, the pet must be kept inside the owner's unit, or under strict control when outside the unit.

If a certificate referred to in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) is not available because a member has owned a pet for a considerable length of time, then the certificate may be replaced by a written declaration that the pet has been inoculated, spayed or neutered, as appropriate.

Pets may remain unneutered or unspayed for breeding purposes, but only with the express permission in writing of the Co-op. Permission will only be granted to the owners of purebred pets and operators of licensed catteries. Breeding papers and proof of cattery registration must be filed with the Co-op before such an exemption will be granted.


STOOP AND SCOOP! A member must clean up any mess created by his/her pet through natural body functions or otherwise.

A member must repair any damage to the property of the Co-op or another member caused by his/her pet.

A member must control his/her pet to prevent any unnecessary noise, or noise that disturbs other members.


Dogs are only allowed in the common areas of the Co-op attended and on a leash. Dogs are allowed in the backyards of the units only if properly secured and there is a responsible person in the unit.

Cats may run loose, but if a cat creates a nuisance, it must be kept in the owner's unit.

Complaints and Penalties (amended April 23, 1980)

A complaint may be made by either a member or by an employee of the Co-op. Such complaints should be put in writing and submitted to the Co-op.

For the first complaint, the Co-op will send a written warning;

for the second complaint, a fine will be levied as set by the members of the Co-op;

for any subsequent complaint, the member will be served with a Notice to Appear (NTA) at a specific meeting of the Board to explain why s/he should not have his/her occupancy terminated; and

A member may appeal a warning or a fine directly to the Board of Directors.



Residents must not store gasoline, oil, large quantities of paint or other highly flammable or dangerous materials in their units. Residents shall not do or permit anything to be done in their premises which will significantly increase the risk of fire.

Residents must not obstruct or permit anything to obstruct the fire exits, stairwells, corridors, entry passages, and public thoroughfares.

Smoke detectors must not be disconnected or painted.

Garbage (amended April 23, 1980)

Townhouse residents and street access residents must place garbage on the street only on collection days.

Apartment residents must place garbage in the chutes provided. All garbage must be in securely tied bags which are small enough to fit down the chute. No garbage may be left in the hallways or garbage chute rooms.

Newspapers and magazines must be bundled securely with string. Apartment residents must place bundled newspapers, magazines, bottles and cans in the collection depot designated by the Co-op. Do not put newspapers, magazines, bottles and cans in the garbage chutes. Street access units should place bundled newspapers on the street for Wednesday newspaper pick up.

Large items (e.g. unwanted furniture): Apartment residents must be disposed of these items in the area designated by the Co-op. Street units should phone the City Garbage Collection for pick up.

No trash, garbage or unsightly debris should be stored on balconies, porches, patios, backyards, under porch steps or in doorways. Members with street access units should keep their front area clean. Members with yards or patios should keep them clean and free of trash, and those with pets must keep yards clean and free of animal feces.

No resident, including children, shall litter any common area of the Co-op: halls, stairs, sidewalks, roads, parking garage, etc. No resident shall throw garbage or shake rugs or mops from windows or balconies, or in hallways.

Garbage put anywhere except in designated areas is contrary to Co-op rules and City ordinances.

Pest Control

In the event of a serious bug problem in a building, the Co-op will have the right to order extermination services carried out in the whole building.

If members are incapable of preparing for extermination services, the Co-op will provide assistance.

Underground Garage

Vehicle engines must not be left running in the underground garage.

Vehicle maintenance must not be done in the underground garage. This includes washing, oil changes, repairs, etc.

Children are not to play in the underground garage, on the ramp or on the retaining wall around the ramp.

Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010.

Grievance and Reconciliation By-Law #45



Passed at the AGM on 27 November 1996
(formerly the Grievance Policy and Procedure)
Amended by By-law No. 50 at the GMM on 22 November 1999;
  Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010.

By-law and committee name amended, Sept. 30, 2010 By-law 69.


As a cooperative community, it is our goal to live together harmoniously. When conflicts arise between members, we should strive to resolve them in a sincere and sensitive manner instead of allowing misunderstandings and personal differences to escalate. The grievance procedure is a means of resolving differences among members of the Woodsworth community which cannot be accommodated through other channels. This procedure should be used only when a member feels that his or her use and quiet enjoyment of the co-op are being unreasonably compromised and threatened by another member or by a member’s guest. The specific focus of this procedure is on complaints regarding interpersonal conflicts.


Relationship with the Board

The purpose of the Reconciliation Committee is to help resolve formal grievances to the satisfaction of all involved parties. If this is not possible, the committee may recommend further action, as appropriate, to the Board of Directors. The committee is not a disciplinary body or a ‘court of law’ within the co-op. It cannot take any disciplinary action against any member or members who contravene Co-op rules or regulations. It can only refer such cases to the Board for resolution.


 The Reconciliation Committee of the Co-op shall consist of seven voting members as follows:

(a) six members shall be elected at a general meeting, three each year, for two-year terms.

 (b) One director shall be appointed by the board of directors as its liaison and shall attend meetings of the Committee as a voting member.


 Grievances shall be dealt with by duly called meetings of the Committee and the quorum for such meetings will consist of any four of seven Committee members.


The Committee shall appoint a Chairperson and a Secretary from among its members. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping proper minutes of the Committee’s meetings. The Secretary shall also be responsible for storing and maintaining the Committee’s files concerning the particulars and disposition of all formal grievances.

Conflicts of Interest

Members of the Reconciliation Committee who are directly parties to a complaint must step down from the Committee until the complaint has been resolved. Members of the Committee who have a conflict of interest in a dispute must declare that conflict.


The following type of cases shall not be dealt with by the Reconciliation Committee:

  • Cases Involving Other Co-op Bodies: The Committee is not authorized to deal with complaints against the staff, the administration, or the other committees of the Co-op. Such complaints should be addressed to the Board of Directors. Complaints that fall within the specific jurisdiction of another committee, especially with respect to by-laws, policies, and regulations as found in the Occupancy Agreement, should be directed to the appropriate committee or staff person.

  • Offenses Against the Law: The Committee will not proceed with a grievance if, after investigation, it considers that the matter should more properly be handled by the police or the courts.

  • Cases Requiring Professional Intervention: The Committee will not attempt to intervene, or to provide services, where an investigation indicates that help of a medical or social service agency or professional is indicated.


 The following steps shall comprise the normal steps of a normal grievance procedure:

Member’s Initiative

A Co-op member who has a grievance against another member must first contact that member in person — as soon as possible after the action causing the grievance has occurred — and attempt to resolve the grievance directly. The only exception to this requirement is where the member is certain, based on past attempts or experience, that such direct contact will be unsuccessful, or where the member genuinely fears that abuse or retaliation may result.

Filing a Grievance

 If the member’s direct initiative does not resolve the conflict, then the member should put the grievance in writing and submit it to the Co-op office, marked ‘Confidential — for the Attention of the Reconciliation Committee.’ The member would do well also to telephone a member of the Reconciliation Committee to alert the Committee to the fact that the grievance has been filed. The grievance should include the following information:

  • the name and unit number of the member filing the grievance;

  • the name and unit number of the person against whom the grievance is laid;

  • the nature of the alleged infraction or action causing the grievance, with as many facts and details as he or she considers necessary;

  • an account of the attempts that were made to resolve the grievance directly, or the reasons why such attempts were not made.

Committee Discussion

The Committee, having received a written grievance, shall review it at its next regular meeting and determine how to proceed. If the matter is urgent, a special meeting can be called at the discretion of the Chairperson.


Providing that they are confident the complainant has made all the appropriate attempts at an amicable resolution of the problem, the Committee shall proceed to investigate the facts involved in the dispute. The details of the alleged offense, together with the attitude of the complainant, shall be investigated by means of personal interviews with (in the following sequence):

  • the complainant;

  • the person complained against;

  • any available witnesses.

These interviews shall all take place at the earliest possible opportunity. Normally, each interview which involves the principals to the dispute shall be conducted by at least two members of the Committee, each of whom shall be responsible for preparing a written report of the interview.

Review of the Investigation

The necessary interviews and investigations having been completed, it will be normal practice for the Committee to meet again in order to share the information acquired so far, and form an opinion as to whether the grievance is valid, in whole or in part. Note that the Committee members will not inform either of the parties of their opinion as to the validity of the grievance at this point.


The Committee will next attempt to effect a resolution of the grievance. Normally, this will call for further interviews with the parties involved, either separately or in a face-to-face meeting. If a face-to-face meeting with both parties occurs, it will normally be held in a space that does not belong to either party involved.


If a resolution is effected, this will normally end the process. In some cases, the members may agree that the Reconciliation Committee participate in some form of monitoring of the resolution reached.

If a Resolution Cannot Be Reached

If no resolution of the dispute has been effected by the meditation process, the Committee shall then re-examine the issue to determine whether, in its opinion, the grieving member’s use and quiet enjoyment of his or her unit are still being unreasonably compromised. If it decides this is the case, it will normally refer the grievance to the Board of Directors. If, however, the Committee feels that the grievance was of doubtful merit it shall so advise the complainant and inform him or her that the Committee is closing its file on the case. At the same time, the Committee shall inform the complainant that he or she has the right to appeal its finding to the Board of Directors.

Record Keeping

All particulars and minutes of meetings shall be kept strictly confidential and shall be disclosed only to the Board of Directors at their request. At the end of each year, and after consultation with the Committee, the Secretary shall précis and record the premise and conclusion of each grievance, to be kept in the files of the Reconciliation Committee and the members involved. This is to facilitate the resolution of future complaints that might involve any of the parties. All related testimony, documents and notes will be destroyed.

Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010.