Canada: Grower vs. bank case finally going to hearing over loan issue

CANNANNEW REPORT

The dispute dating from 2010 follows Scotiabank’s recall of a loan to a homeowner with a federal licence to grow medical cannabis. The Western Standard reports An 11-year dispute over whether banks can pull mortgages from marijuana users is finally headed to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, says Blacklock’s Reporter. The dispute dating from 2010 follows Scotiabank’s recall of a loan to a homeowner with a federal licence to grow medical cannabis. “The key question in this motion is who, on the facts and pursuant to the law, is a victim of discrimination,” wrote Edward Lustig, an adjudicator with the Tribunal. Scotiabank had sought to dismiss the complaint. Robert McIlvenna, of Val Therese, Ont., filed the complaint after the bank learned he was growing marijuana plants on his property and denied him further credit. “The bank does not allow marijuana in their communities,” a Scotiabank officer was quoted in evidence. The family was told Scotiabank “was very concerned about the environmental issues within residences where cannabis was grown” and that “growing marijuana at a mortgaged home was prohibited by bank policy.” The Canadian Human Rights Commission twice rejected McIlvenna’s complaint. The case went to federal judges three times. “For reasons that have not been expressed it is apparent the Human Rights Commission does not like this complaint and wants to be rid of it,” Justice Robert Barnes of the Federal Court wrote in 2019. “In my view the Commission has shown itself to be unfit to resolve this matter such that the court must now direct it to act,” wrote Barnes. The complaint now proceeds to a full Tribunal hearing. It “alleges the Bank of Nova Scotia engaged in a discriminatory practice contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act by treating the McIlvennas in an adverse differential manner in the provision of services…

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