COURT CHALLENGES PROGRAM OF CANADA

PROGRAMME DE CONTESTATION JUDICIARE DU CANADA

ANNUAL REPORT 1998-1999

As the sun sets on the twentieth century, the Court Challenges Program of Canada celebrates the numerous advances that have been made in Canadian law and jurisprudence regarding the rights of historically disadvantaged groups and of Canada's official minority language communities. Throughout the century, significant gains have been made in our quest for equal respect and consideration for all when governments make or apply laws; for the ability to work, communicate and receive services in either official language when dealing with the Federal Government; and for the capacity of each official language minority community to educate their children in the language of that community.

Recent decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada give Canadians hope that in the twenty-first century, the courts will continue to insist that law makers and government officials acknowledge and take into consideration patterns of disadvantage and oppression in Canada and ensure that law and government programs promote the full participation in society, by everyone, regardless of personal characteristics or group membership.

The Court Challenges Program of Canada/

Programme de contestation judiciaire du Canada is funded by the

Department of Canadian Heritage of the Government of Canada.

The following individuals contributed to the preparation of this report: Yvan Beaubien, Ronald Bisson, Annette Boucher, Melina Buckley, Patrick Case, Shelagh Day, Danielle Hince, Richard Goulet, Nicole Guénette, Sylvie Léger, Sarah Lugtig, Leslie MacLeod, Sharon McIvor, Estella Muyinda, Stacy Nagle, Ken Norman, Yvonne Peters, Rénald Rémillard, and Claudette Toupin.

Editing: Doug Smith

Translation: Majestran inc.

Layout and Design: The Art Department

ISBN # 1-896894-06-2

For further information, please contact

The Court Challenges Program of Canada/

Programme de contestation judiciaire du Canada

294 Portage Avenue, Room 616

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0B9

Telephone: (204) 942-0022

Fax: (204) 946-0669

Web Site: http://www.ccppcj.ca

Electronic Mail: info@ccppcj.ca

Copyright 1999

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

INTRODUCTION

PART I- DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM AND ITS ACTIVITIES

Historical Background

Mandate of the Court Challenges Program of Canada

Funding

Who can receive funding

Categories of funding

Structure of the Court Challenges Program

Membership

Advisory Committees

Panels

Panel Selection Committees

Board of Directors

PART II- FINANCIAL MATTERS

Contribution Agreement

Financial Statements

PART III- EQUALITY RIGHTS

Introduction

Case Examples funded under the Court Challenges Program

Criminal Law

Racism

Sexual Assault

Sentencing

Gun Control

Taxation

Aboriginal Law

Immigration/Refugee Law

Social and Economic Rights

Closing Comments

PART IV- LANGUAGE RIGHTS

Introduction

Language Rights Interpretation

Education Rights

Language of Work, Communications and Services

Linguistic Dimension of Freedom of Expression

Judicial Rights

Legislative Bilingualism

Closing Comments

PART V- STATISTICAL HIGHLIGHTS

Equality Rights

Language Rights

PART VI- RESOURCES

Annual Report

Brochures

Papers

Court Challenges Web Site

 

 

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am very pleased to present to you the fifth annual report of the Court Challenges Program of Canada.

This report contains an overview of the activities undertaken and funded by the Court Challenges Program over the past year. As always, our Annual Report, even a detailed forty-page report, only scratches the surface of the actual work that is accomplished by the Court Challenges Program.

In reviewing our activities in 1998-99, I am struck by the sense that the Program has entered a new stage. A five year turning point of the Program as an independent corporation, marked by a growing confidence and maturity. We have consolidated our internal structure and operations and are now ready to embark on a period of growth.

Over the past year, the Board's most important activities have been in the area of policy development and planning for the future. The Board, along with members of staff, Panels and Advisory Committees, has conducted thorough reviews and developed a comprehensive personnel policy and a revised confidentiality and information-sharing policy, as well as initiating an investigation into funding levels. With respect to planning, the Board and staff, again in partnership with other individuals involved in the Program, have undertaken a strategic planning process and developed a detailed action plan to enhance funding to provide for an expanded mandate and to ensure the Program's long-term financial stability.

This internal policy development and planning supports the core work of the Program as carried out by the Panels and successful applicants. We are proud to point to the concrete progress made over the past year, but perhaps more importantly, the Board is gratified by the spirit of cooperation, collaboration and partnership that pervaded the efforts made by all the individuals toward these shared goals. This harmonious spirit bodes well for the work that lies ahead, especially with respect to mandate expansion, which will call on all of us working in partnership to succeed in this much-cherished dream.

Unity through shared goals will also serve us well in the current context of public debate over the appropriate role of the courts in official language and equality rights litigation. While we have witnessed many successes over the last year, we have also seen an unprecedented level of public criticism of the courts and public interest litigation. These strident calls of "judicial activism" likely only represent a vocal minority, yet they contribute to a chilling climate for rights-seekers.

I would like to recognize and extend my gratitude to the members of the Board, staff, Panels, and Advisory Committees for their hard work, dedication and support. The care and commitment reflected in contribution of volunteer time and the high quality of work produced by our small and talented staff is truly inspirational.

Melina Buckley

Chair of the Board of Directors

 

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

On October 24, 1999, the Court Challenges Program of Canada will celebrate its fifth year of operation as an independent non-profit corporation dedicated to providing financial assistance and support for test-cases of national significance in the areas of equality and official language rights. On February 1, 1998, I began work at the Court Challenges Program as its second Executive Director.

The 1998-99 fiscal year was a time of learning for me and the four other staff members who started in that year. I would like to thank Danielle Hince, Richard Goulet, Stacy Nagle, Yvonne Peters and Norma Won who acted as teachers and mentors and were so thoughtful and caring in sharing information about the Program's work and dynamics. Your assistance was invaluable.

My first task was to acquire a good understanding of the Program and to meet with the people who sit on its Board of Directors, Panels, Selection Committees and Advisory Committees and work in its Member organizations. Then, with the assistance of staff and members of the Board of Directors, I began to identify areas where the Program needed improvement. It must be noted that previous Boards and staff had laid an excellent foundation for the Program, building on the experience of the Program in its earlier incarnations. I would like to acknowledge the work of the past Executive Director, François Boileau, who was instrumental in setting up the Program from negotiating the lease for an office, purchasing office equipment, and hiring staff to negotiating a second Contribution Agreement with Canada and the past Assistant Director, Joan Dawkins, who diligently promoted the Program among equality-seeking groups and developed an application process which is sensitive to the needs of applicants.

I spent a good portion of 1998-99 filling vacancies, reviewing existing personnel policies and building a team which is dedicated and proficient in implementing the Program's mandate and objectives. The staff and I have initiated a major review of the Program's strategic plan. The plan will focus on actively involving all components of the Program – the Board, Panels and Advisory Committees - in discussing and defining the Program's future direction and in targeting our energies and resources on ensuring the Program's continued effectiveness in shaping constitutional law in Canada.

There is still much work to be undertaken. The Program is not known widely enough. The Program is unable to fund equality cases in areas of provincial jurisdiction nor can it fund language cases in non-constitutional jurisdiction. This prevents the Program from adequately advancing the equality rights of Canada's disadvantaged communities and the language rights of Canada's official language minority communities. I envision, in the upcoming year, working diligently with the Mandate Expansion Committee in promoting the Program's successes, developing a network of persons who support the Program's work both financially and morally and convincing federal, provincial and territorial government's that the Program's mandate needs to be expanded and adequately funded.

In closing, I would like to thank the members of the Board of Directors, Panels and Advisory Committees and staff for their support and trust. A special thanks goes out to Melina Buckley, the Program's Chair, whose wisdom has guided me on numerous occasions. I have been touched by the dedication and commitment of the people associated with the Court Challenges Program, to the goal of achieving the equality and language rights contained in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and in other constitutional provisions so that all Canadians can actively participate in and benefit from Canadian society.

Claudette Toupin

Executive Director

 

INTRODUCTION

The Court Challenges Program of Canada is a non-profit corporation whose mandate is to advance the constitutional rights and freedoms related to equality and official language rights by providing financial assistance for test cases of national significance.

This annual report provides an overview of the major activities undertaken by the Court Challenges Program for the period commencing April 1, 1998 and ending March 31, 1999.

The annual report is divided into six parts. Part I summarizes the history, mandate, structure and various activities of the Program that were pursued in the 1998-1999 fiscal year by the various constituents of the Program. Part II outlines the Program's financial resources and contains the audited financial statements. Part III discusses the major cases funded by the Equality Panel. Part IV focuses on the significant cases whose funding was approved by the Language Panel. Part V highlights the statistical information on applications received and funded in the last five years. Part VI lists various background papers and other information sources available from the Program.

 

 

PART I - DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM AND ITS ACTIVITIES

Historical Background

The Program was initiated in 1978, when the Department of the Secretary of State of the Government of Canada began to provide funding to individuals wishing to clarify, in the courts, the extent of their language rights under Sections 93 and 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867. At that time the Federal Government determined which cases were to be funded.

When the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect in 1982, the Program's mandate was broadened to include language rights guaranteed under the Charter and the Constitution. In 1985, the Government of Canada expanded the Court Challenges Program to cover challenges to federal legislation, policies, and practices related to equality rights under section 15 of the Charter.

Because Canada could find itself in a conflict of interest if it funded court challenges relating to matters of federal jurisdiction, the Government decided to vest the administration of the Program in the Canadian Council on Social Development from September 1985 to March 1990 and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa from March 1990 to February 1992.

In February 1992, the Federal Government abolished the Court Challenges Program. This prompted strong protests from equality-seeking groups, language rights groups and individuals from Canada's academic and legal communities. On October 24, 1994, the Program was restored as a non-profit autonomous corporation when the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Michel Dupuy, signed a Contribution Agreement committing the Government to provide the Court Challenges Program with $2.75 million annually.

 

Mandate of the Court Challenges Program of Canada

According to the Letters Patent, the objects of the Court Challenges Program are:

"To provide assistance for test cases of national significance (without regard to geographical factors), put forward on behalf of or by groups or individuals, which will promote and enhance the language rights of Canada's official language communities or the equality rights of historically disadvantaged groups and to administer test-case funding according to contribution agreements with the Federal Government and any other source of funding. In so doing, the program should recognize:

- the inequality that has existed for historically disadvantaged groups and official language minorities, and the significance of the recent development of Canadian law and jurisprudence regarding equality and the rights of official language minorities;

- Canada's commitment to ensure respect for, and to promote and enhance the rights of official language minorities and historically disadvantaged groups;

- the need to ensure access to the courts that will enable historically disadvantaged groups and official language minorities to secure the realization of their rights and to ensure the execution of the judgements regarding their rights; and

- the international human rights obligations to which Canada has agreed to be bound.

 

Funding

Under the Contribution Agreement, the Court Challenges Program may only fund test cases that relate to the following constitutional rights and freedoms:

- such official language rights as guaranteed by the interpretation or application of section 93 or 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, or as guaranteed in section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870, sections 16 to 23 of the Constitution Act, 1982, or parallel constitutional provisions, or the clarification of the linguistic aspect of freedom of expression in section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, when invoked in an official language minority case; and

- the equality rights guaranteed in sections 15 (equality) and 28 (gender equality) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including the clarification of sections 2 (fundamental freedoms) or 27 (multiculturalism) when invoked in support of arguments based on section 15.

 

Who can receive funding

Financial assistance for test cases of national significance may be provided to individuals, groups or non-profit organizations from or representing official language minority or historically disadvantaged communities. Before funding will be granted, the Program must be satisfied that the applicant requires financial assistance in order to be able to proceed with the case. Funding may be granted to a party, i.e., a person or group whose rights are directly affected by the case or to an intervener, i.e., person or group who wishes to raise important constitutional arguments not made by others in a case.

Cases, which receive funding, must involve federal and provincial language rights protected by Canada's Constitution or challenges to federal laws, policies and practices based on equality sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Applications for financial assistance shall not be considered for complaints or procedures filed under the Official Languages Act or the Canadian Human Rights Act. Cases will only be funded if they deal with an issue or raise an argument of national significance that has not already been argued before the courts and has the potential to change a law, policy or practice in a way which will ensure the respect of equality and language rights. Funding cannot be awarded if an alternative dispute resolution method exists, but the applicant can reapply if the alternative method does not resolve the dispute.

 

Categories of Funding

Under the Contribution Agreement there are five categories of funding. The Program has established a maximum amount of funding available to a qualified applicant for each funding category as follows:

- Case Development Funding. The Program may provide up to $5,000 for legal research and other development work to determine whether an applicant has a good test case. An additional $5,000 may be available for consultation with lawyers, individuals or groups relating to the issues of the case being developed.

- Litigation. The Program may provide funding to pay expenses such as lawyers' fees, photocopying, telephone, fax, and other technical costs and taxes on those amounts, associated with taking a case to court. Program funds may be used for witness fees, travel expenses and other special costs. The maximum amount of case funding available is $50,000 at trial level, $35,000 for each appeal and $35,000 for each intervener. The maximum amount available for Case Funding will be reduced by the amount of Case Development Funding received.

- Impact Study Funding. This funding may be granted to a qualified person or group to do research on an important court decision and to prepare a paper to discuss the case's possible effect. Such research is intended to help individuals and groups better understand a court decision and to prepare for future cases. The amount available for Impact Study Funding is at the discretion of the Panels, but the practice has been to limit the amount to $5,000.

- Program Promotion and Access Funding. These funds are granted to applicants for activities, which promote awareness of, access to, or capacity to use the Program or for consultation on specific litigation within the Program's mandate, including meetings with community representatives and legal experts. Funding cannot be used for public education, community development, lobbying or other forms of political advocacy.

- Negotiation Funding. Up to $5,000 may be granted for costs incurred only for the purposes of negotiating or attempting to resolve a dispute before the matter proceeds to the courts. The case must meet the criteria of national significance.

In rare instances, when a case is difficult or when special circumstances exist, the Program provides extraordinary funding to applicants. This funding is available over and above the limits discussed above.

 

Structure of the Court Challenges Program

The Court Challenges Program is organized around the dual purposes of funding constitutional litigation relating to equality and language rights. The corporation's structure consciously reflects the distinctiveness and uniqueness of this duality. The organization is composed of the following elements:

- The membership

- Two advisory committees

- Two decision-making panels

- Two panel selection committees

- A Board of Directors

 

<<TABLE>> Organizational Chart - omitted

The following section describes the roles, responsibilities and activities of these entities during the 1998-1999 fiscal year.

 

The Membership

The Court Challenges Program is committed to securing the realization of equality rights of Canada's historically disadvantaged groups and the language rights of Canada's official language minorities. To ensure that the Program is responsive to the needs of these two constituents, the Program By-laws provides for the creation of three categories of Members:

Equality Members:

Equality-seeking organizations representing disadvantaged communities and individuals

Language Members:

Organizations representing minority official language communities

Director Members:

Persons who are members of the Program's Board of Directors.

Any non-profit organization from an official language minority community that is interested in pursuing the Program objectives may become a Language Member. In the same way, any non-profit organization working in the field of equality that is interested in pursuing the Program objectives may become an Equality Member. Organizations submit their membership applications to the Board of Directors, which determines whether the organization meets the established criteria.

On April 1, 1998, the Court Challenges Program's membership was composed of 97 Equality Members and 14 Language Members. During the 1998-1999 fiscal year, the Board of Directors welcomed the following four organizations as new members:

 

New Equality Members

African Canadian Caucus of Nova Scotia

Association multiculturelle francophone de l'Alberta

Centre de services juridiques pour lesbiennes et gais

National Indo-Canadian Council

West Coast Prison Justice Society

 

New Language Members

Association des juristes d'expression française du Nouveau-Brunswick

La Fédération des parents francophones de l'Alberta

 

The Annual General Meeting

Membership entitles representatives of Members to attend the Program's Annual General Meeting and any other meeting called for the purpose of considering the Program's business and to vote on motions at those meetings. For a motion to be carried, it must receive a majority of votes in at least two of the three membership categories. Prior to the Annual General Meeting, Equality Members appoint or elect two individuals to sit on the Board of Directors, as do the Language Members. At the Annual General Meeting, Members ratify all appointments to the Board of Directors. Through the year, Members receive the Program's Annual Report and other information produced by the Program.

The Court Challenges Program held its fourth Annual General Meeting in Ottawa on September 20, 1998. The meeting was attended in total by 53 persons of which 25 were representatives of Equality Members, 5 representatives of Language Members, 6 Director Members, 7 Panel Members, 8 staff and 2 observers.

The following topics were discussed at the Annual General Meeting:

the new five year Contribution Agreement between Canadian Heritage and the Court Challenges Program;

- a new staff structure for the Program;

- a draft Mandate Expansion Action Plan;

- the Program's audited statements to March 31, 1998;

- a proposed by-law amendment that would change the terms for members of the Board of Directors and Panels from two to three years;

- various Equality and Language Rights cases that were funded by the Program throughout the 1997-1998 fiscal year;

- the activities of the Advisory Committee of Equality Members and the Advisory Committee of Language Members; and

- the application of substantive equality with regards to the composition of the Board of Directors, the Panels and the staff.

 

Advisory Committees

The Program's By-laws enable the Equality Members and the Language Members to each establish an advisory committee and to determine the committee's mandate and composition. The Members have created the Advisory Committee of Equality Members and the Advisory Committee of Language Members. To enhance communication between the Advisory Committees and the Program's Board of Directors, a resolution was adopted at the 1997 Annual General Meeting inviting a representative of each Advisory Committee to participate in meetings of the Board of Directors in a non-voting capacity.

 

The Advisory Committee of Equality Members

At the Program's Annual General Meeting, the Equality Members approved a statement of purpose and terms of reference for the Advisory Committee of Equality Members. The Advisory Committee's purpose is to provide a mechanism to ensure the security, growth and usefulness of the Program to equality-seeking groups. The Committee will focus its work on three broad themes:

- Strategic planning to strengthen and sustain the work of the Program;

- Communication to facilitate the sharing of information and discussion of ideas, issues and strategy; and

- Mutual education to promote and protect equality rights.

The Advisory Committee will be composed of a maximum of 12 Equality Members, nominated and approved by the Members at the Annual General Meeting for a term of three years. The confirmed Member organizations then appoint a person to sit on the Advisory Committee. In 1998-1999, the following organizations and persons were selected to sit on the Advisory Committee of Equality Members:

African Canadian Legal Clinic – Margaret Parsons

Charter Committee on Poverty Issues - Bonnie Morton

Council of Canadians with Disabilities – Jim Derksen and David Martin

December 9 Coalition – Monika Chappell

Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere – Lawrence Aronovitch and John Fisher

Ligue des droits et libertés – Noël St. Pierre

Minority Advocacy and Rights Council – Indra Singh

National Association of Women and the Law – Margaret Denike

National Indo Canadian Council – Pravin Varma

Native Women's Association of Canada – Theresa Lanigan

Women's Legal Education and Action Fund – Jennifer Scott and Carissima Mathen

There is one vacant position on the Advisory Committee that remains to be filled.

Over the course of the year, the Advisory Committee of Equality Members operated with a rotating chair that was occupied by Monika Chappell and Bonnie Morton. Noël St. Pierre and Monika Chappell were appointed to act as the Advisory Committee's representative to the Board of Directors.

During 1998-1999, the Advisory Committee held seven conference calls and two meetings, one in Winnipeg, the other in Ottawa. As previously mentioned, the Advisory Committee completed a draft terms of reference and set up at the 1998 Annual General Meeting a nominating committee for future appointments to the Advisory Committee. It provided membership input to the Board on the following topics: the 1998 Annual General Meeting and National Consultation, mandate expansion, funding levels for case development and litigation, the 1999-2000 Advisory Committee's budget, and the Program's Confidentiality Policy. It discussed ways of working with lawyers on strategic equality cases and how members could influence the provincial and Federal Governments' social union initiatives.

Based on a recommendation at the 1997 Annual General Meeting, the Advisory Committee established two sub-committees, one on Race and the other on Poverty to develop a strategy to increase the number of equality rights cases and studies funded by the Court Challenges Program in these areas.

During 1998-1999, the Race Issues Sub-committee, which is composed of Indra Singh, Chair, Margaret Parsons, Fo Neimi, Richard Long, Avvy Go, and Rocky Jones held two conference calls and met in Ottawa in September. At these meetings, the sub-committee prepared its terms of reference, discussed barriers to addressing racism and emerging issues for race-related equality litigation, and developed a proposal for a national conference to be held in June 1999 to create a national network to increase race-based charter challenges.

The Poverty Issues Sub-committee whose members are Bonnie Morton, Chair, Jacquie Ackerly, Fred Robertson, Richard Long, and Josephine Grey met in Ottawa and held two conference calls. The sub-committee discussed the concluding observations of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Report, certain cases that involve social conditions as a ground of discrimination in the Charter, the terms of the "social union", and the proliferation of anti-panhandling by-laws, and began work on developing its terms of reference.

 

 

The Advisory Committee of Language Members

The Advisory Committee of Language Members consisted of the following organizations and persons in 1998-1999:

Alliance Québec – Len MacDonald

Commission nationale des parents francophones – Armand Bédard and Jean-Pierre Dubé

Fédération des associations de juristes d'expression française de common law – Jean-Paul Boily

Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada – Richard Barrette.

The Advisory Committee of Language Members have no formal terms of reference. During 1998-1999, the Advisory Committee conducted three conference calls. During these calls, the following items were discussed: the 1998 Annual General Meeting and National Consultation, mandate expansion, funding levels for case development and litigation, the Program's Confidentiality Policy, Fall 1999 Conference on Language Rights, the Program's Mission and Vision Statements and Operating Principles. Armand Bédard and Len Macdonald acted as the Committee's representative on the Board of Directors during 1998-1999.

 

Panels

Two autonomous bodies identified as the Equality Panel and the Language Panel make all decisions regarding case and project funding at the Court Challenges Program.

 

The Equality Panel

The Equality Panel reviews funding applications that involve challenges to federal legislation, policies or practices relating to equality rights protected by sections 15 (equality) and 28 (gender equality) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or raise sections 2 (fundamental freedoms) or 27 (multiculturalism) in support of arguments based on section 15. The Equality Panel consists of seven members, each of whom brings to the Panel expertise in equality and human rights issues as well as considerable experience with a broad range of equality-seeking groups. As of November 1998, new Panel members are appointed for a three-year term.

On April 1, 1998, the Equality Panel was composed of the following individuals:

Shelagh Day, Co-chair (British Columbia) – human rights advocate in Vancouver, President and senior editor of the Canadian Human Rights Reporter, and author of articles and studies on equality rights of disadvantaged groups;

Ken Norman, Co-chair (Saskatchewan) – Law Professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon and author of various reports on human rights, labour relations, administrative and constitutional law;

Daniel Dortélus (Québec) – lawyer in private practice, member of the Québec Human Rights

Tribunal and involved in various racial equality-seeking groups in Québec;

Amy Go (Ontario) – Director of Senior Services at the Woodgreen Community Centre and an

activist with racial minority and women's communities in Toronto in addressing systemic racism, sexism and discrimination;

Sharon McIvor (British Columbia) – member of the Lower Nicola Indian Band, practising member of the Law Society of British Columbia, professor of Aboriginal Law and author of numerous articles on Aboriginal women's rights, Aboriginal self-determination and gender equality in the legal profession;

Carmen Paquette (Ontario) – private consultant in Ottawa who has worked in the areas of women's issues, international development, literacy, minority rights, Francophone issues, health issues, gay and lesbian issues and workplace innovation; and

Yvonne Peters (Manitoba) – lawyer and consultant for governments, community groups, labour unions and corporations on the impact of human rights legislation and the Charter and the advancement of human rights.

In May 1998, Patrick Case was appointed to replace Daniel Dortélus, whose term had ended. Mr. Case is a former printer and union member. He was elected to the Toronto Board of Education in 1978. After completing a law degree he practised family and refugee and immigration law before working as a Staff Lawyer with Parkdale Community Legal Services. Mr. Case then took employment with the Toronto Board of Education where he worked as an Equity Advisor. At the Board, his work focused on complaints, policy and procedure writing and complaint management. Among others, Mr. Case has trained school board and municipal personnel, crown attorneys and executives in private industry to investigate and resolve human rights and personal harassment matters. He is currently completing his LL.M. in Constitutional Law and is the Director of the University of Guelph's Human Rights and Equity Centre.

In November 1998, Carmen Paquette and Amy Go completed their mandates and were replaced by Leslie MacLeod from St. John's, Newfoundland. Leslie MacLeod has worked as an adult educator, community development worker, social researcher and technical writer. She has been active as consultant, advocate, community and board member in the disability, mental health and women's movements for the past seventeen years. A vacancy remains to be filled on the Equality Panel.

During the 1998-1999 fiscal year, the Panel met four times in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg, and seven times by conference call.

The Court Challenges Program received a total of 125 applications for equality-related cases in 1998-1999. This is a decrease of 14 applications or 10.1 per cent over the previous fiscal year. In 1998-1999, the Panel granted funding for 67 applications in the following categories:

Case Development

Number of cases 18

Amount of money granted $121,909

Percentage of total 7.9

Case Funding

Number of cases 30

Amount of money granted $1,247,264

Percentage of total 81.3

Impact Studies

Number of cases 0

Amount of money granted 0

Percentage of total 0

Program, Promotion and Access & Negotiation

Number of cases 19

Amount of money granted $165,000

Percentage of total 10.8

 

The Language Panel

The Language Panel approves funding for cases that relate to provincial or federal language rights protected by sections 93 or 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, sections 16 to 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870, and section 2 of the Charter where it is used in support of the language rights sections in the Constitution and, in particular, freedom of expression, or the language rights protected by any parallel constitutional provision. The Language Panel has five members, each with a special understanding of language rights and minority official language communities in Canada.

On April 1, 1998, the members of the Language Panel were as follows:

Yvan Beaubien, Co-chair (Alberta) – Secretary-treasurer of the Conseil scolaire francophone du

Centre-Est No. 3 in Alberta and community development worker in minority language communities and in international development organizations;

Sylvie Léger, Co-chair (Ontario) – a lawyer, an assistant professor and Director of the Canadian Centre for Linguistic Rights at the University of Ottawa;

Ronald Bisson (Ontario) - a private management consultant who has worked with various French-language minority communities outside Quebec as Director General of the Fédération des jeunes canadiens-français and as a teacher in Manitoba's French language schools;

Louise Guerrette (New Brunswick) – an in-house lawyer for a major corporation in Montréal and former general secretary of the Association des juristes d'expression française du Nouveau-Brunswick; and

Kathleen Tansey (Québec) - a practising lawyer, member of Alliance Québec and former teacher in Montréal.

In June 1998, Louise Guerrette resigned from the Language Panel and in November 1998,

Annette Boucher was appointed to the Language Panel. Annette is from Nova Scotia and has practised as a lawyer with the law firm Patterson Kitz and is presently full-time Appeal Commissioner with the Nova Scotia Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal. She has been both advocate and legal counsel for francophone groups in Nova Scotia working for the establishment of quality French first-language education in that province.

During the 1998-1999 fiscal year, the Language Panel met three times in-person in Ottawa and Montréal and held two conference calls.

In 1998-1999, the Court Challenges Program received 26 applications for support for language-related cases. This was an increase of 1 application or 4 per cent over the previous year. In 1998-1999 the Panel granted funding for 27 applications in the following categories:

Case Development

Number of cases 7

Amount of money granted $19,205

Percentage of total 3.0

Case Funding

Number of cases 16

Amount of money granted $557,408

Percentage of total 86.5

Impact Studies

Number of cases 3

Amount of money granted $14,376

Percentage of total 2.2

Program, Promotion and Access & Negotiation

Number of cases 1

Amount of money granted $53,509

Percentage of total 8.3

 

Panel Selection Committees

When the appointment of new Panel members is required, the Program solicits nominations from its members and other community groups. The names are forwarded to two Panel Selection Committees, which appoint the most qualified persons to the respective Panels. The members of the Equality Panel are appointed by an Equality Panel Selection Committee. Similarly, Language Panel Members are selected by a Language Panel Selection Committee.

The members of the Panel Selection Committees, which number not less than three and not more than five, are appointed by the Program's Board of Directors and are chosen for their expertise in either equality or language rights. In January 1999, the Board of Directors set the term of Panel Selection Committee members to be five years with one member being replaced each year starting in the year 2000.

The Equality Panel Selection Committee

In the 1998-1999 fiscal year, the Equality Panel Selection Committee was composed of the following persons:

Akua Benjamin (Ontario) – Professor of Social Work at Ryerson Polytechnic University

William Black (British Columbia) – Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia

Lucie Lamarche (Québec) – Professor of Law at the Université de Québec at Montréal

Gérald Miller (Québec) – lawyer and disability rights activist

There exists a vacancy on the Equality Panel Selection Committee. Andrew Cordozo, former Director of the Pearson-Shoyama Institute, resigned in December 1997 after taking a new position with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

In November 1998, the Equality Panel Selection Committee held a conference call where the members reappointed Shelagh Day and Sharon McIvor and appointed two new members to the Equality Panel for a term of three years.

Language Panel Selection Committee

In the 1998-1999 fiscal year, the Language Panel Selection Committee was composed of the following persons:

Josée Bouchard (Ontario) – Professor of Common Law at the University of Ottawa

Gerard Lévesque (Ontario) – Lawyer and member of the Fédération des juristes d'expression

française de l'Ontario

Guy Matte (Ontario) – Executive Director of the Association des enseignants et enseignantes franco-ontariens

Raymond Poirier (Manitoba) – Director of the Association des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba

Eric Sutton (Québec) – Lawyer with Girouard, Peris, Goldenberg, Pappas, Brabant and Sutton

During the 1997-1998 fiscal year, the Language Panel Selection Committee met once by conference call in November. At that meeting, the members appointed one new member and reappointed Yvan Beaubien and Sylvie Léger to the Language Panel for three-year terms.

 

The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the administration of the Court Challenges Program, including budget, human resources matters, establishing policies, and long and short term plans for the effective operation of the Program. Its basic role is to ensure that the Program's mandate is fulfilled and the Contribution Agreement is respected.

There are seven positions on the Board of Directors. Two Directors are elected by the Equality Members; two Directors are elected by the Language Members; one Director is nominated by the Law Faculties and Bar Associations across Canada; and the chairperson or one co-chairperson of each of the Equality Panel and the Language Panel is appointed a Director.

At the Annual General Meeting, the Program Members confirm the appointments of the Directors. In November 1999, the Minister of Industry Canada approved the By-law amendments sanctioned by the Program Members at the September 1998 Annual General Meeting to extend the terms of the Directors of the Board and the members of both the Equality and Language Panels from two to three years or until their successors are appointed and confirmed.

From among its members, the Board appoints the Chairperson, the Vice-Chair, the Secretary and the Treasurer and any other officers, which it deems to be required. The officers' terms are for one year from the date of appointment or until their successors are appointed. The Chairperson, the Directors appointed by the Equality and Language Panels and the Executive Director constitute the Executive Committee who administers the affairs of the Corporation between meetings of the Board of Directors.

On April 1, 1998 the Board of Directors consisted of:

- Chair and Representative of the Law Faculties/Bar Associations - Melina Buckley (British Columbia), a lawyer specializing in legal research and policy development and an author and speaker on federal law reform, constitutional law, equality issues and access to justice and formerly Senior Director of Legal and Government Affairs at the Canadian Bar Association;

- Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of the Equality Panel - Shelagh Day;

- Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of the Language Panel - Yvan Beaubien;

- Treasurer and Representative of the Language Members – Louise Somers (New Brunswick) a lawyer and notary in private practice in Saint Quentin and past president of the Association des juristes d'expression française du Nouveau-Brunswick;

- Representatives of the Equality Members – Raj Anand (Ontario) lawyer in the firm of Weir & Foulds and Chantal Tie (Ontario), Executive Director of the South Ottawa Community Legal Services, professor of Immigration Law at the University of Ottawa and legal counsel in many interventions for the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund.

- Representative of the Language Members – Suzanne Birks (Québec), former President and Executive Director of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation, presently a Partner in the law firm of Lapin Mauer where she specializes in administrative law, international trade, intellectual property, arbitration, and employment.

Claudette Toupin, Executive Director of the Court Challenges Program, was appointed as secretary to the Board of Directors.

At the Program's 1998 General Annual Meeting, Burnley "Rocky" Jones was elected to replace Raj Anand as one of the two representatives of the Equality Members and Suzanne Birks was re-appointed as one of the two representatives of the Language Members. Mr. Jones practices law at the Halifax firm of B.A., "Rocky" Jones and Associates. He is a founding member of numerous peace and civil rights movements including the Black United Front of Nova Scotia, the National Black Coalition of Canada, Dalhousie University Transition Year Program, Dalhousie Law School Indigenous Blacks and Mi'kmaq Program, African Canadian Liberation Movement, and the Nova Scotia Project and Kwacha House.

During the 1998-1999 fiscal year, the Board of Directors met in Ottawa on September 17, 1998 and in Vancouver on November 7 and 8, 1998. The Board held eight conference calls through out the year.

The Board focussed its time and energy on five major areas:

- Personnel and Strategic Planning

- Mandate Expansion

- Review of Funding Levels

- Confidentiality and Information-Sharing Policy

- Promotion and Outreach.

 

Personnel and Strategic Planning

In February 1998, the Board of Directors established a Personnel Committee to review and develop personnel policies and practices. During the 1997-1998 fiscal year the members of the Personnel Committee consisted of Melina Buckley, Suzanne Birks, Estella Muyinda, and Chantal Tie, and Claudette Toupin.

The Personnel Committee began its work with its first conference call in May 1998 and subsequently met by conference call on five occasions. During the 1998-1999 fiscal year, the Personnel Committee reviewed the Personnel Policy contained in the Program's Procedures and Policy Manual and drafted a new Personnel Policy that addressed various personnel issues of concern to the staff and members of the Board of Directors. It developed a new performance appraisal form and process for the evaluation of the Program's staff. The Committee examined and made changes to the job description and/or salary range of four staff positions.

The Program welcomed a new Legal Analyst, Estella Muyinda, in June 1998 and a new Director of the Language Rights Program, Rénald Rémillard, in November 1998.

Estella Muyinda started with the Program in June 1998. She received her Bachelor of Laws at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and a Diploma in Legal Practice at the Law Development Centre, Kampala, Uganda. Upon her arrival in Canada, she attended the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law, where she qualified to practice law in Canada. She was admitted to the Manitoba Bar and Northwest Territories Bar. Ms. Muyinda is currently a non-bencher member of the Equity Panel, Law Society of Manitoba, a board member of the Legal Education and Action Fund (Manitoba), the Vice-President of the Ugandan-Canadian Association of Manitoba, and a board member of the Aids Shelter Coalition of Manitoba.

Rénald Rémillard began working as the Director of the Language Rights Program four days a week in November 1998. Mr. Rémillard works with the Language Rights Panel, official language minority groups, applicants and staff to implement the language rights program through all stages of the funding process and to develop and implement an outreach program to make the Program more accessible to the official language minority groups.

Mr. Rémillard received a Bachelor of Arts from the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface in 1984, a Bachelor of Laws from the Université de Moncton in 1987, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Manitoba in 1989 and a Diploma in Advanced Studies in Political Sciences from the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) in 1993. Mr. Rémillard has been a member of the Manitoba Law Society since 1990. Mr. Rémillard has worked as a legal researcher for the Institut Joseph-Dubuc from 1990 to 1994. He teaches Political Science at the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface and was employed as the Manager of Political and Legal Affairs at the Société franco-manitobaine.

In December 1998, the Personnel Committee reviewed the organization of the Program's staff. It recommended that the position of half-time file clerk be changed to a full-time legal assistant and concurred with the Executive Director's suggestion that Danielle Hince be offered the position upon her return from maternity leave in February 1999. Ms. Hince started at the Program in August 1995 as Secretary-Receptionist and provided necessary administrative support for the Program in the last four years. Ms. Hince has a diploma in Office Administration from the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface.

In February 1999, Nicole Guénette was hired to fill the Secretary-Receptionist position starting March 1, 1999. Ms. Guénette comes to the Program with eight years of experience as a bilingual secretary-receptionist in Manitoba for various organizations. With her hiring, the Program has filled all its vacant positions.

<<TABLE>> Staff Organizational Chart - omitted

In the fall of 1998, the Court Challenges Program decided to begin the review of its 1997 to 1999 Long Term Plan that was adopted in February 1997. The process began with a staff planning workshop. At that workshop, values and operating behaviours were developed and the planning process of developing vision and mission statements, identifying the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities and future activities of the Program was begun.

In November 1998, the Program staff facilitated a planning session with Board members where members developed vision and mission statements, operating principles, and began identifying areas around which a strategic plan should be developed. A synthesis of the work of the Program's staff and Board of Directors was presented to the Board who requested that parts of the strategic plan be circulated to the Panels and the Advisory Committees for their review and input.

 

Mandate Expansion

One of the areas the Membership has identified for future development and work is the expansion of the Program's mandate under the Contribution Agreement to allow for the funding of equality cases in areas of provincial jurisdiction and language cases that involve certain portions of the Official Languages Act. An evaluation report completed by an independent agency in September 1997 noted that the Contribution Agreement's mandate limits the Court Challenge Program's impact. This finding reiterated recommendations made by Parliamentary Committees and most recently by the United Nation's Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to the effect that the Program's mandate should be expanded to include provincial jurisdiction.

By limiting the Program's influence on equality cases to areas of federal jurisdiction, the Contribution Agreement provides disadvantaged groups with partial access to the exercise of their equality rights. While the Program's cases certainly contribute to development in equality rights, many of the most recent advances have resulted from challenges to provincial laws and government actions. Provincial law and regulations will likely become all the more significant as the Federal Government withdraws from social programming and devolves its traditional areas of responsibility to the provinces. Mandate expansion is, therefore, critical to the Program's mission of strengthening and clarifying the equality rights of all Canadians.

On the language side, in many provinces, key language rights are not provided by the Constitution but by statute or by policy. The Program cannot finance language claims in these areas and therefore is limited in assisting groups and individuals in protecting and enhancing language rights.

The Board of Directors is aware that achieving mandate expansion will require a comprehensive approach as the Federal Government will not act unilaterally and substantial provincial co-operation and private-sector funding will be required before the Program is able to finance cases in provincial jurisdiction. The Board of Directors established a committee to develop an action plan to secure federal/provincial governmental and private sector financial support for an expanded mandate.

During the 1998-1999 fiscal year, the Mandate Expansion Committee consisted of three members from the Board of Directors, Melina Buckley, Suzanne Birks and Shelagh Day, and two members of the Advisory Committee of Equality Members, Bonnie Morton and Margaret Parsons. The Committee met three times. They reviewed a discussion paper, prepared by Melina Buckley, entitled "A Court Challenges Fund for Canada". This discussion paper set out the broad outlines of a five-year action plan to implement the following elements:

- a public support campaign to develop network of contacts and supporters to raise the Program's profile;

- a political campaign to gain federal/provincial/territorial governmental support for funding an expanded mandate for the Court Challenges Program; and

- a fundraising campaign in the private and charitable sectors.

The discussion paper was presented at the Annual General Meeting and distributed to the Program's Members for comment before November 15, 1998. The Committee integrated in its plan the comments received from the Membership and began its work of developing a detailed action plan.

 

Review of Funding Levels

In June of 1998, the Program received a joint letter from the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, the Commission nationale des parents francophones, Alliance Quebec, and the Fédération des associations de juristes d'expression française de common law. In this letter, the four organizations asked that the Program review its funding levels, particularly with regard to the hourly rates and upper limits set for regular funding as well as for extraordinary funding. These organizations argued that the current levels, which were set in February of 1995 by increasing the amounts granted under the old Program, no longer provide adequate and realistic case funding.

The Program currently has a schedule of the maximum amounts allowed based on funding categories. Except for extraordinary funding, the decision-making panel cannot go beyond the maximum allowable for any of the categories.

At its meeting of June 24, 1998, the Board of Directors for the Court Challenges Program decided to set up a 5-member sub-committee with a mandate to review current funding limits. The sub-committee was made up of the following people:

- Chantal Tie, representative of the Program's Board of Directors;

- Lawrence Aronovitch, representative of the Advisory Committee of Equality Members;

- Rhéal Teffaine, representative of the Advisory Committee of Language Members;

- Ken Norman, representative of the Equality Panel; and

- Ronald Bisson, representative of the Language Panel.

The sub-committee developed various recommendations that will be presented to the Board of Directors sometime before the end of June 1999.

 

Confidentiality and Information-Sharing Policy

In response to a request for information, under the federal Access to Information Act, the Board of Directors decided to conduct an internal review of its Confidentiality and Information Sharing Policy and its processes for including information about cases funded by the Program in the Program's Annual Report and for responding to third party request for information about cases funded by the Program.

At its October 1998 conference call, the Board of Directors established an ad-hoc committee of the Board composed of Melina Buckley, Suzanne Birks, Yvan Beaubien, Ken Norman and the Executive Director to develop a new confidentiality and information-sharing policy. On March 30, 1999, the Board of Directors adopted a new confidentiality and information-sharing policy. This policy protects the Program's applicants' privacy and interests and permits the Program to release certain information, upon receiving permission from the applicant, to inform the public about the work of the Program, to promote strategic development of equality and official minority language rights in Canada, and to prepare reports required by the Program's funding agencies.

 

Promotion and Outreach

In 1998-1999, the Court Challenges Program staff and Panel members made presentations to over twenty-five equality-seeking and official minority language groups located in Edmonton, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Yellowknife.

On February 5, 1999, the Program hosted an event in which Madame Justice L'Heureux-Dubé of the Supreme Court of Canada spoke to and met with representatives of member and applicant organizations in Manitoba.

During 1998-1999, the Program distributed the following information materials:

- 350 Information Kits;

- 500 Program Brochures; and

- 1000 Your Right to Equality Brochures.

 

PART II - FINANCIAL MATTERS

The Contribution Agreement

On March 31, 1998, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Sheila Copps signed a new Contribution Agreement with the Program. The agreement runs from April 1, 1998 to March 31, 2003 and provides $2.75 million annually to the Program (unchanged from the previous agreement). Program, Promotion and Access and Negotiation funding are available to both equality and language rights groups and individuals. Each category of funding has a carry over amount, which includes the accumulated uncommitted funds for that category from the last contribution agreement and the previous fiscal year. Any surplus funds at the end of the Contribution Agreement will go back to Canadian Heritage.

The $2.75 million provided annually by the Federal Government is allocated as follows:

Program Administration $650,000.

Language Rights Funding $525,000.

- case development 63,750.

- litigation 400,000.

- negotiation and program promotion and access 55,000.

- impact studies 6,250.

Equality Rights Funding $1,575,000.

- case development 191,250.

- litigation 1,200,000.

- program promotion and access and negotiation 165,000.

- impact studies 18,750.

 

The Financial Statements

The following are the Program's audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 1999. The statements consist of four main items:

1. The Balance Sheet – contains a breakdown of each fund

2. The Statement of Operations and Fund Balances - provides a detailed list of monies received, transferred and disbursed in each funding category

3. Notes to the Financial Statements

- Note 1 includes information about the incorporation of the Program and its Contribution Agreement.

- Note 2 explains each of the funds, how they are accounted for and how the revenue is allocated between restricted and unrestricted funds.

- Note 3 explains how capital assets are recorded.

- Note 4 provides the breakdown between equality and language rights in each of the funds.

- Note 5 shows the Program's commitments, which includes Panel commitments and the Program's lease commitment.

4. Schedule of Operating Expenses - shows the revenue and the expenses for the Program's administrative monies.

 

Price Waterhouse Coopers

Chartered Accountants

One Lombard Place

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Winnipeg, MB

Canada R3B 0X6

Telephone +1 (204) 926-2400

Facsimile +1 (204) 944-1020

May 21, 1999

AUDITORS' REPORT

To the Board of Directors of Court Challenges Program of Canada

Programme de contestation judiciaire du Canada

We have audited the balance sheet of Court Challenges Program of Canada -Programme de contestation judiciaire du Canada as at March 31, 1999 and the statement of operations and fund balances for the year then ended. These financial statements are the responsibility of management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit.

We conducted our audit in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform an audit to obtain reasonable assurance whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation.

In our opinion, these financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Court Challenges Program of Canada - Programme de contestation judiciaire du Canada as at March 31, 1999 and the results of its operations and changes in its financial position for the year then ended in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Price Waterhouse Coopers

Chartered Accountants

 

COURT CHALLENGES PROGRAM OF CANADA

PROGRAMME DE CONTESTATION JUDICIAIRE DU CANADA

BALANCE SHEET

ASSETS - As at MARCH 31, 1999

CASH -- Operating Fund ($33,052)

CASH -- Litigation Fund ($40,904)

CASH -- Programs and Promotion Access Fund and Negotiation Fund $47,740

CASH -- Case Development Fund $35,625

CASH -- Impact Studies Fund $16,888

CASH -- Total for 1999 $26,297

CASH total for 1998 $194,320

ASSETS - MARCH 31, 1999 continued

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Operating Fund $194,782

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Litigation Fund $309,000

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Programs and Promotion Access and Negotiation Fund $ 7,000

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Case Development Fund $27,036

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Impact Studies Fund $-

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Total for 1999 $537,818

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE total for 1998 $814,362

ASSETS - MARCH 31, 1999 continued

PREPAID EXPENSES -- Operating Fund $9,976

PREPAID EXPENSES -- Litigation Fund $-

PREPAID EXPENSES -- Programs and Promotion Access and Negotiation Fund $-

PREPAID EXPENSES -- Case Development Fund $-

PREPAID EXPENSES -- Impact Studies Fund $-

PREPAID EXPENSES -- Total for 1999 $9,976

PREPAID EXPENSES total for 1998 $-

TOTALS OF CASH, ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE AND PREPAID EXPENSES:

TOTAL -- Operating Fund $171,706

TOTAL -- Litigation Fund $268,096

TOTAL -- Programs Promotion AND Access and Negotiation Fund $54,740

TOTAL -- Case Development Fund $62,661

TOTAL -- Impact Studies Fund $16,888

TOTAL -- for 1999 $574,091

TOTAL for 1998 $1,008,682

CAPITAL ASSETS (NOTE 3)

CAPITAL ASSETS -- Operating Fund $54,465

CAPITAL ASSETS -- Litigation Fund $ -

CAPITAL ASSETS -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $ -

CAPITAL ASSETS -- Case Development Fund $ -

CAPITAL ASSETS -- Impact Studies Fund $ -

CAPITAL ASSETS -- Total $54,465

CAPITAL ASSETS total for 1998 $58,208

ASSETS -- GRAND TOTAL

GRAND TOTAL -- Operating Fund $226,171

GRAND TOTAL -- Litigation Fund $268,096

GRAND TOTAL -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $54,740

GRAND TOTAL -- Case Development Fund $62,661

GRAND TOTAL -- Impact Studies Fund $16,888

GRAND TOTAL -- 1999 -- $628,556

GRAND TOTAL for 1998 $1,066,890

LIABILITIES - MARCH 31, 1999

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES -- Operating Fund $85,304

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES -- Litigation Fund $-

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $ -

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES -- Case Development Fund $-

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES -- Impact Studies Fund $ -ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES -- Total for 1999 -- $85,304

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES total for 1998 $69,188

FUND BALANCES-- EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED (NOTE 4)

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Operating Fund $ -

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Litigation Fund $268,096

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $54,740

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Case Development Fund $62,661

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Impact Studies Fund $16,888

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Total for 1999 -- $402,385

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED total for 1998 $885,148

FUND BALANCES -- INVESTED IN CAPITAL ASSETS

INVESTED -- Operating Fund $54,465

INVESTED -- Litigation Fund $ -

INVESTED -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $ -

INVESTED -- Case Development Fund $ -

INVESTED -- Impact Studies Fund $ -

INVESTED -- Total for 1999 -- $54,465

INVESTED total for 1998 -- $58,208

FUND BALANCES -- UNRESTRICTED

RESTRICTED -- Operating Fund $86,402

RESTRICTED -- Litigation Fund $ -

RESTRICTED -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $ -RESTRICTED -- Case Development Fund $ -

RESTRICTED -- Impact Studies Fund $ -

RESTRICTED -- Total for 1999 -- $86,402

RESTRICTED total for 1998 -- $54,346

TOTAL LIABILITIES

TOTAL -- Operating Fund $140,867

TOTAL -- Litigation Fund $268,096

TOTAL -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $54,740

TOTAL -- Case Development Fund $62,661

TOTAL -- Impact Studies Fund $16,888

TOTAL -- Total for 1999 -- $543,252

TOTAL for 1998 -- $997,702

 

STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND FUND BALANCES

For the Year ended March 31, 1999

Operating Fund - 1999

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $650,000

Interest $31,594

Human Resource development $-

Total $681,594

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $653,281

Programs Delivery $-

Total 653,281

Excess of Revenue over expenses

(expenses over revenue) for the year $28,313

Fund balance (beginning of year) $112,554

Fund balance, end of year $140,867

Operating Fund - 1998

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $ 550,000

Interest $16,470

Human Resource development $5,198

Total $571,668

Expenses -

Operating (schedule) $608,130

Programs Delivery $-

Total $608,130

Excess of Revenue over expenses

(expenses over revenue) for the year ($36,462)

Fund balance (beginning of year) $149,016

Fund balance, end of year $ 112,554

Restricted Funds

Litigation Fund

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $1,084,328

Interest $-

Human Resource development $-

Total $1,084,328

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $-

Programs Delivery $1,552,386

Total $1,552,386

Excess of Revenue over expenses

(expenses over revenue) for the year ($468,058)

Fund balance (beginning of year) $736,154

Fund balance, end of year $ 268,096

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $ 120,218

Interest$-

Human Resource development $-

Total $ 120,218

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $-

Programs Delivery 130,164

Total 130,164

Excess of Revenue over expenses

(expenses over revenue) for the year ($9,946)

Fund balance (beginning of year) ($64,686)

Fund balance, end of year $ 54,740

Case Development Fund

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $ 52,036

Interest $-

Human Resource development $-

Total $ 52,036

Expenses -

Operating (Schedules) $-

Programs Delivery $ 63,799

Total $ 63,799

Excess of Revenue over expenses

(expenses over revenue) for the year ($11,763)

Fund balance (beginning of year) 74,424

Fund balance, end of year $ 62,661

Impact Studies Fund

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $ 30,000

Interest $-

Human Resource development $-

Total $ 30,000

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $-

Programs Delivery $22,996

Total $22,996

Excess of Revenue over expenses

(expenses over revenue) for the year $7,004

Fund balance (beginning of year) $9,884

Fund balance, end of year $ 16,888

Total 1999

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $1,286,582

Interest $-

Human Resource development $-

Total $ 1,286,582

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $-

Programs Delivery 1,769,345

Total $1,769,345

Excess of Revenue over expenses

(expenses over revenue) for the year ($482,763)

Fund balance (beginning of year) $885,148

Fund balance, end of year $402,385

Total 1998

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $1,962,229

Interest $-

Human Resource development $-

Total $1,962,229

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $-

Programs Delivery $1,338,879

Total $1,338,879

Excess of Revenue over expenses

(expenses over revenue) for the year $623,350

Fund balance (beginning of year) $261,798

Fund balance, end of year $ 885,148

 

Court Challenges Program of Canada - Programme de contestation judiciaire du Canada

Notes to Financial Statements

March 31, 1999

1 Incorporation and contribution agreement

Court Challenges Program ofCanada - Programme de contestation judiciaire du Canada is a corporation incorporated without share capital under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act. The Corporation's objective is to clarify the constitutional rights and freedoms related to equality rights and official language rights by providing financial assistance for test cases of national significance. The Corporation is non-taxable under Section 149 ofthe Income Tax Act.

The Corporation entered into a contribution agreement with the Government of Canada on March 31, 1998 which sets out terms and conditions governing the administration of the Corporation for the period April 1, 1998 to March 31, 2003.

2 Significant accounting policies

Fund accounting

The Corporation follows the restricted method of accounting for contributions.

Operating Fund

The Operating Fund accounts for the Corporation's administrative activities and reports unrestricted resources and operating grants.

Litigation Fund

The Litigation Fund reports restricted resources that are to be used to provide financial assistance for litigation expenses incurred for language and equality cases of potential national significance.

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund

The Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund reports restricted resources that are to be used for activities which promote awareness of, access to, or capacity to use the Program and provide financial assistance to individuals or organizations for negotiating expenses incurred to resolve disputes.

Case Development Fund

The Case Development Fund reports restricted resources that are to be used to provide financial assistance to develop potential language or equalits, test cases.

Impact Studies Fund

The Impact Studies Fund reports restricted resources that are to be used to provide financial assistance for the preparation of impact studies of important court decisions relevant to litigation under the Program.

 

Notes to Financial Statements

March 31, 1999

Revenue recognition

Restricted contributions related to general operations are recognized as revenue of the Operating Fund in the year the expenses are incurred. All other restricted contributions are recognized as revenue of the appropriate restricted fund.

Unrestricted contributions are recognized as revenue of the Operating Fund in the year received or receivable if the amount to be received can be reasonably estimated and collection is reasonably assured.

Investment income is recognized on an accrual basis as revenue of the Operating Fund.

Capital assets

Capital assets are recorded at cost. Amortization is provided over the estimated useful lives of the related assets, using the following methods and rates:

Computer equipment 5 year straight-line, no residual value

Furniture and equipment 5 year straight-line, no residual value

Cash flows

A statement of cash flows has not been included as it would not prnvide any additional meaningful information.

3 Capital assets

1999

Computer Equipment

Cost $88,077

Accumulated amortization $48,360

Furniture and equipment

Cost $41,274

Accumulated amortization $26,526

Total cost $129,351

Total accumulated amortization $74,886

Net book value (1999) $54,465

1998

Computer Equipment

Cost $71,411

Accumulated amortization $32,411

Furniture and equipment

Cost $37,824

Accumulated amortization $18,616

Total cost $109,235

Total accumulated amortization $51,027

Net book value (1998) $58,208

4 Externally restricted fund balances

Categories of externally imposed restrictions on net assets are allocated as follows:

Equality rights

Litigation Fund $42,416

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $43,707

Case Development Fund $41,438

Impact Studies Fund $19,480

Total (1999) $147,041

Total (1998) $513,355

Language rights

Litigation Fund $225,680

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $11,033

Case Development Fund $21,223

Impact Studies Fund ($2,592)

Total (1999) $255,344

Total (1998) $371,793

Grand totals

Litigation Fund $268,096

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $54,740

Case Development Fund $62,661

Impact Studies Fund $16,888

Total (1999) $402,385

Total (1998) $885,148

5 Commitments

The Corporation's Equality and Language Rights Panels have approved commitments as follows:

Equality rights

Commitments approved by Panels

-- Litigation $1,247,264

-- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation $165,000

-- Case development $121,909

-- Impact studies ($9,334)

Total $1,524,839

Language rights

Commitments approved by Panels -- Litigation $557,408

-- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation $53,509

-- Case development $19,205

-- Impact studies $14,376

Total $644,498

Grand total for equality rights and language rights $2,169,337

1999 -- Disbursements paid 1,769,345

Sub-total $399,992

Restricted cash $(59,349)

Future commitments to be funded by contributions $340,643

1998 totals

Commitments approved by Panels -- Litigation $2,351,404

-- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation $170,000

-- Case development $165,455

-- Impact studies $55,231

Grand total for equality rights and language rights $2,742,090

Disbursements paid $1,338,878

Sub-total $1,403,212

Restricted cash ($87,409)

Future commitments to be funded by contributions $1,315,803

The Corporation has an operating lease commitment for office premises at an annual cost of $24,953 for a term that expires on April 15, 2003.

6 Uncertainty due to the Year 2000 Issue

The Year 2000 Issue arises because many computerized systems use two digits rather than four to identify a year. Date-sensitive systems may recognize the year 2000 as 1900 or some other date, resulting in errors when information using year 2000 dates is processed. In addition, similar problems may arise in some systems which use certain dates in 1999 to represent something other than a date. The effects ofthe Year 2000 Issue may be experienced before, on, or after January' 1, 2000, and, if not addressed, the impact on operations and financial reporting may range from minor errors to significant systems failure which could affect the Corporation's ability' to conduct normal business operations. It is not possible to be certain that all aspects of the Year 2000 Issue affecting the Corporation, including those related to the efforts of customers, suppliers, or other third parties, will be fully resolved.

 

Schedule of Operating Expenses

For the year ended March 31, 1999

1999 1998

Advertising 1,350 12,217

Annual meeting 10,440 9,423

Audit fees 5,175 5,175

Bank charges 581 556

Board members' lost wages 695 425

Depreciation 23,859 21,274

Facilities 23,876 19,928

Insurance 500 500

Legal fees 6,269 6,024

Office equipment and maintenance 5,674 14,905

Panel members' fees 18,820 17,315

Photocopying and printing 7,344 10,252

Postage 11,852 18,161

Public relations and outreach 15,110 10,708

Research material 6,551 570

Salaries and benefits 374,583 334,650

Supplies 12,313 9,474

Telephone and fax 26,990 21,569

Translation and interpretation 14,757 20,938

Travel and meetings 86,542 74,066

653,281 608,130

 

PART III - EQUALITY RIGHTS:

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 1998-1999 FISCAL YEAR

Introduction

A significant part of the equality rights work undertaken by the Program involves considering and, where appropriate, funding eligible individuals and groups to challenge federal laws, policies or practices under section 15 (the equality guarantee) of the Charter. To be eligible for funds, according to the Contribution Agreement, an applicant must be an individual member of, or a non-profit organization representing, a disadvantaged group. The Contribution Agreement also states that the Program cannot consider equality challenges involving matters that fall squarely within the authority of the provincial legislatures. As a result, a number of important equality rights cases each year are not eligible for Program funding simply because they target laws passed by provincial legislatures or actions by provincial governments.

Program staff review all applications for funding to ensure that they meet funding requirements and advance the Charter's guarantee of equality. Applications that propose to challenge a federal law, policy or practice are then presented to the Equality Panel, which decides whether to grant funding and whether conditions should be imposed on such funding. For example, funding may be granted on the condition that the applicant work with a lawyer who has knowledge of and experience with equality rights litigation.

Test case funding is provided to applicants to begin their case at the trial level (the first court or tribunal decision) and for later appeals. Funding is also available for applicants who wish to intervene in an equality case already before the court.

 

Case examples funded under the Courts Challenges Program

Many people view the litigation funding provided by the Court Challenges Program as similar to the funding provided by legal aid plans. However, there are many differences between the two types of financial assistance. The most important difference is that Program funding is provided exclusively for the purpose of supporting test cases that are of national importance and advance a comprehensive definition of equality as guaranteed by the Charter. By definition, the impact of a test case must extend beyond the individuals involved, to the equality seeking communities to which they belong.

The Equality Rights Program granted funding to a party and/or intervener(s) in a number of exciting test cases this year. In keeping with the Program's requirement to respect the confidentiality of applicants, only general descriptions of the cases are provided. Case descriptions include the nature of the issue involved in the case and do not include information that could reveal the specifics of the applicant's arguments. These cases represent important challenges in the promotion of equality in a number of areas. Set out below is a summary of some of these cases. Some cases have received a final decision from the Court, while others are still awaiting a decision.

 

Criminal Law

Racism

R. v. Williams

The central issue in this case was whether prospective jurors could be questioned about their racial bias to ensure a fair trial before an impartial (unbiased) jury. The person accused of a crime (the "accused") in this case was an Aboriginal man charged with robbery. The accused asked to be allowed to question potential jury members about their ability to judge the evidence in the case free from racial prejudices and biases about Aboriginal people. The argument was that such questioning is necessary in light of widespread racism in Canadian society.

The British Columbia Supreme Court acknowledged the existence of a realistic possibility that a potential juror could be biased against an Aboriginal person charged with the robbery of a white person. However, the Court rejected the argument that widespread bias against Aboriginal persons was enough to warrant questioning an individual juror about his or her biases. The British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld this ruling. To establish bias, an accused would have to provide evidence of racist attitudes that have particular links with the accused's trial.

On June 4, 1998, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down the final decision in this case. In the Court's view, where there is evidence of widespread racial prejudice, a realistic potential of bias exists on the part of candidates for the jury. It confirmed that a person accused of a crime has the right to question prospective jurors about their racial biases in such cases. Given the important role of juries in deciding criminal law cases, this ruling has advanced equality significantly for those communities who have experienced the effects of widespread racism within the Canadian justice system.

 

Sexual Assault

R. v. Ewanchuk

According to Canada's Criminal Code, sexual activity becomes a sexual assault if one of the people involved has not agreed voluntarily to participate and the other person is aware of this fact. The Code also describes situations where no consent or agreement has been obtained. These were spelled out to challenge myths and stereotypes about sexual assault victims, such as the belief that women mean "Yes", even when they say "No". In this case, a man was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year -old girl in a trailer, after bringing her there for a job interview. She claimed that she was afraid of him and had said "No" several times.

The trial judge of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench believed the complainant (victim). However, he refused to convict the accused because the young woman's consent could be "implied" in the circumstances, given that she had pretended not to be afraid. Two out of three judges from the Alberta Court of Appeal agreed with the trial judge. One of these two judges, Mr. Justice McClung, also noted that the complainant had not struggled with the accused, nor had she presented herself to the accused in a "bonnet and crinolines". Chief Justice Fraser did not agree with her colleagues, pointing out that the criminal law was designed to avoid stereotypical beliefs that women are consenting in such circumstances.

The Supreme Court of Canada delivered the final decision in this case on February 25, 1999. The Court unanimously decided to convict Mr. Ewanchuk. All judges agreed that there was no such thing as "implied consent" to sexual assault and that "No means No". In their view, consent must

be communicated to the accused and will not be found where a complainant is silent or passive. Three judges went on to criticize stereotypes about women which the lower courts wrongly relied upon. These included the beliefs that all women consent unless they fight back and that women must dress modestly or can be assumed to have consented.

This case has advanced equality for women and children, who represent the majority of victims of sexual assault. It also protects those victims who may remain silent or passive during a sexual assault due to their fear, their state of severe intoxication, or their physical or mental impairment. No longer can women or children be assumed to consent to sexual activity that takes place against their will.

 

R. v. Darrach

Some of the current sexual assault laws (sometimes referred to as the "rape shield laws") prevent the Court from admitting evidence of prior sexual activity on the part of a sexual assault complainant unless certain requirements are met. Specific procedures must be followed and the person accused of the assault must show that such evidence is essential to his/her defence. Accused persons continue to challenge the constitutionality of these provisions. To prevent these provisions from being rolled back or watered down, and to make sure courts interpret them in a manner which complies with the equality guarantees of the Charter, complainants, usually women or children, find themselves in the position of having to defend the "rape shield laws".

At the heart of this case was a constitutional challenge by an accused, charged with sexual assault, to these rules of evidence. The Ontario Court of Appeal concluded that the current rules of evidence achieve an appropriate balance between the complainant's interests in privacy and the accused's interests in having a fair trial. As such, they do not violate the accused's constitutional rights. The accused has received permission to appeal the Court of Appeal's decision before the Supreme Court of Canada, and is waiting to have a hearing.

 

Sentencing

R. v. Latimer

This case involves an accused found guilty by a jury of second degree murder of his severely disabled daughter. The central issue in this case for equality seekers is the sentence imposed on the accused by a judge of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench. In Latimer's second trial, Mr. Justice Noble convicted Mr. Latimer of the crime, however, he granted Mr. Latimer a constitutional exemption from the mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment without parole for ten years. He found that this minimum was a cruel and unusual punishment that violated section 12 of the Charter. Mr. Latimer received a sentence of two years less a day, with one year served in a correctional facility and one year confined to his farm.

This case was appealed to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal by both the Crown and the accused. The Court of Appeal confirmed the conviction and overturned the trial judge's sentence. In restoring the minimum sentence required by the Criminal Code, the Appeal Court noted that society must be able to use the criminal law to prevent abuses in such situations. Mr. Latimer has now appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Latimer case has been of great concern for equality groups representing people with disabilities. They fear that a lesser sentence will encourage other parents and caregivers to follow Mr. Latimer's example and use mercy and compassion as an excuse for killing a person with a disability.

 

R. v. Hoeppner

The Criminal Code contains a special regime that governs people who are accused of crimes, but found "not criminally responsible" on account of a mental disability. These provisions allow for such persons to be detained indefinitely in a hospital or other institution if they are found to pose a danger to the public. Such detention is, however, reviewed each year by a special board. Mr. Hoeppner was charged with assault in 1993 for pushing an elderly man to the ground after an argument. As he suffers from a mental illness, he was found "not criminally responsible" and then detained in a hospital, where he remained for more than six years. Had he been found guilty of the offence, he would have served no more than six months in jail.

Mr. Hoeppner challenged his continued detention on the grounds that it violated both his right to equality and his right to liberty under the Charter. When the review board rejected his Charter challenge, he appealed to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal found that the possibility of being kept in the hospital indefinitely violated his right to liberty and basic principles of justice and fairness. However, they did not agree that the provisions violated his right to equality. In the Court of Appeal's view, Mr Hoeppner was not being singled out due to his disability, but, rather, due to the danger he, as an individual, posed to the public.

This case, while not decided on equality grounds, has significant promise for the equality interests of persons with mental disabilities. These equality seekers may be vulnerable to indefinite detention, in circumstances which are not in their best interests and which carry the stigma of the criminal law.

 

Gun Control

Reference Re: Firearms Act

In this reference, the Alberta government asked the province's Court of Appeal to provide its opinion on the constitutionality of a new Federal law that regulates the possession and ownership of all types of guns. The Province argued that this law was about regulating private property and so should be a matter for the provincial government alone to address through law. It relied on Canada's Constitution, which sets out lists of the areas in which the provincial and Federal Governments each have the sole power to make laws.

The Alberta Court of Appeal found, however, that the gun control law does come within the Federal Parliament's authority. The reason was that the law is a criminal law necessary to protect public safety, not just a law to regulate the ownership of private property. In making this ruling, the Court of Appeal recognized that even ordinary or lawful guns play a significant role in violence perpetrated against women and children. It also interpreted Canada's Constitution in a manner that respected the equality interests of these two groups. This decision has been appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada which has yet to hear it.

 

Taxation

Vancouver Society of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women v. Canada (Minister of National Revenue)

This case began when Revenue Canada refused to register the Vancouver Society of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women as a charitable organization for tax purposes. This refusal was based, in part, on the determination that the activities of the organization did not promote the advancement of education as required by the definition of "charity" in the Income Tax Act and related law. The Vancouver Society, along with other equality-seekers, believed that Revenue Canada's refusal to grant them charitable status violated the guarantee of equality in section 15 of the Charter. In their view, this definition of "charity" failed to recognize the type of education and help needed by immigrant and minority women to overcome high levels of unemployment and poverty.

The Federal Court of Appeal upheld Revenue Canada's ruling. The Court of Appeal stated that the organization's purposes and activities were too vague to allow a determination of whether they were truly all charitable in nature and a benefit to the public. The Vancouver Society then appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Supreme Court of Canada handed down its decision on January 28, 1999. All of the judges supported a broader understanding of the types of "education" that could be charitable. However, a majority of the judges found that one of the stated purposes of the organization was too vague. In their view, this purpose would allow for non-charitable activities such as maintaining an employee bank and helping immigrant women acquire recognition of their professional qualifications. For this reason, the majority would not allow the Vancouver Society to receive charitable status. The dissenting judges, on the other hand, believed that "charity" should cover the broad range of activities which help newcomers to Canada integrate into society.

The majority judgement's failure to address the inequality created by the legal definition of charity was disappointing for equality seekers. Many believe that this definition, which is founded on English traditions and common law, should be updated to address the needs of the diverse communities that make up Canadian society.

 

Rosenberg et al. v. Canada (Attorney General)

This case involves a pension plan set up by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (C.U.P.E.) for its employees. In 1992, C.U.P.E. amended its plan to provide pension benefits to partners in same-sex relationships. Revenue Canada refused to register the amended plan and, consequently, denied CUPE's members special tax benefits. The reason was that the Income Tax Act required such plans to restrict survivor benefits to spouses of the opposite sex. The Plaintiffs asked the Ontario Court, General Division to declare that the Income Tax Act's "opposite-sex" definition of spouse, as it applied to registered pension plans, violated their rights to equality under the Charter. Following the analysis set out in Egan by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Court declined to grant such a declaration.

On April 23, 1998, Ms. Rosenberg and the other appellants won their appeal before the Ontario Court of Appeal. Relying on the analysis set out by the Supreme Court in Vriend v. Alberta, Madam Justice Abella rejected an approach which considers the overall objective of legislation when determining whether discrimination can be justified. She chose instead to examine the purpose of the actual limit on the appellant's equality rights, in this case, the exclusion of same-sex spouses from the registered pension scheme. The Court of Appeal could find no reason for making special provisions for heterosexual couples facing the risk of economic insecurity upon ageing or death, but not for same-sex couples. As a result, the Court held that the definition of spouse for registered pension plans must be changed to include same-sex partners.

 

Aboriginal Law

Corbiere et al. v. The Queen and Batchewana Indian Band

This challenge is to provisions of the Indian Act, which prohibit participation in Band elections by band members who do not live on reserve. Due to a shortage of land and housing, many members of the Batchewana Indian Band are forced to live off reserve. Particularly affected are women and children reinstated under Bill C-31 who have never had the opportunity to live on the reserve. A number of persons in this position are challenging the residency requirement as contrary to the equality guarantees in section 15 of the Charter.

The plaintiffs went to the Federal Court, Trial Division, and obtained a declaration that certain sections of the Indian Act dealing with Band elections are invalid under section 15 of the Charter. The case was appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, which upheld the decision of the Trial Court. The case then went to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Update - On May 20, 1999, the Supreme Court delivered its decision. While two groups of justices provided two separate decisions, they all agreed that the residency requirement in the Indian Act violated the equality rights of Aboriginal band members living off-reserve. In reaching this conclusion, the court recognized that Aboriginal people living off-reserve had suffered historic disadvantage in society. Being prevented from participating in the political governance of their communities only perpetuated this incursion on their dignity and identity as Aboriginal people. Members of the court also recognized that Aboriginal women were particularly affected, due to many barriers faced by women who have recently regained status under the Indian Act when trying to establish a residence on reserve.

 

Ardoch Algonquin v. Ontario

Non-status and Métis Aboriginal people have brought a section 15 Charter challenge to an Ontario government scheme that shares an on-reserve casino's revenues with the Indian Bands in the province. The claimants argue that their exclusion from the scheme violates their equality rights, and that Canada's Constitution gives only the Federal Government the authority to make laws affecting the status of Aboriginal people. Given the Program's mandate, an equality question of particular interest is the Federal Government's responsibility to make sure that section 15 rights are respected when it delegates its authority over Aboriginal peoples under the Constitution. Aboriginal women have felt especially vulnerable to governments' failure to consider their needs and concerns in these situations.

The first level judge in this case found that non-status Aboriginal and Métis peoples make up a disadvantaged group, when compared to the rest of society as well as to members of Indian Bands. Accordingly, the judge found that excluding non-status and Métis people from the casino project violated their Charter rights to equality. He also found that the provincial government had stepped outside its legitimate powers under the Constitution by making these laws and agreements regarding Aboriginal peoples.

The Ontario government and the Chiefs of Ontario appealed this decision and won. According to the Ontario Court of Appeal, section 15(2) protects projects designed to benefit a disadvantaged group (in this case, Indian Bands) from an equality challenge by people outside of the group (non-status Aboriginal and Métis communities). The Court of Appeal also found that the province had not stepped into the Federal Government's field of authority over Aboriginal people under the Constitution, because the province was just spending money, not trying to define who is an "Indian" and who is not. This appeal is now before the Supreme Court of Canada.

 

Immigration/Refugee Law

Solis v. MCI

In the Immigration Act, permanent residents who are declared to be a "danger to the public" can be ordered deported without necessarily being able to appeal the deportation decision. Other people subject to deportation orders have an automatic right to appeal the order before the Appeals Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. Mr. Solis grew up in Canada and has many family ties here, but has remained a Guatemalan citizen. Due, in part, to having a record as a young offender, he has been declared a danger to the public and ordered deported. He argues that the failure of the Immigration Act to provide for an automatic appeal violates his right to equality under section 15 of the Charter since he receives inferior procedural protection that leaves him vulnerable to the influence of racist beliefs on the part of Immigration officials.

The Federal Court Trial Division did not agree with Mr. Solis. The judge did not find he belonged to a disadvantaged group, given that the only difference drawn in the legislation was between those who had committed offences and those who had not. This case is now before the Federal Court of Appeal.

 

Dular v. MCI

The Immigration Act and Regulations allow a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada to sponsor a family member to join him/her to live in this country. This regime is very important as it helps families stay connected after one or more of the family's members have immigrated to Canada. Special limits have applied, however, to those who want to sponsor an adopted son or daughter who is over 18. Most significantly, the child has to be legally adopted before his/her nineteenth birthday (the age limit); and the adoption could not be for the purpose of coming to Canada.

These regulations prevented Mr. Dular from sponsoring his adopted son, Prakash. The son had lived with his adoptive father since the age of three years, but was not officially adopted until a few days past his nineteenth birthday. Mr. Dular challenged this age limit under section 15 of the Charter as discriminating against adoptive parents. The Appeals Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board agreed. It found the age limit to be based on the stereotypical belief that adoptive parents who are immigrants are using adoption to get around immigration restrictions. The Board held that the age limit discriminated on the basis of "adoptive parentage" and could not be justified by the Federal government.

Upon review of the Board's decision, the Federal Court (Trial Division) agreed that the age limit violated an adoptive parent's equality rights. However, the reviewing judge found that the Board made a mistake in the part of its decision looking at possible justifications for the age limit. It sent the case back to a new Board to be heard again using the correct legal test. As the Federal Court of Appeal rejected Mr. Dular's appeal, Mr. Dular has now appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

This case raises very important equality issues for families immigrating to Canada. Definitions of family vary across cultures and are often much more inclusive than the Euro-American norm of the "nuclear family". Also, circumstances in countries of origin such as poverty or violence may lead to families adopting children in conditions which make it difficult to finalize adoptions in the manner required by law.

 

Social and Economic Rights

Fisk v. Minister of Human Resources Development

The Canada Pension Plan provides for a surviving married or common-law spouse to receive a survivor's pension upon the death of his or her partner. However, to be able to receive the survivor's pension, the "spouse" must be of the opposite sex from that partner.

Mr. Fisk had a long-term relationship with a male partner. When his partner died, Mr. Fisk applied for a survivor's pension under the Canada Pension Plan, but was turned down because he did not fit the "opposite sex" definition of spouse in the Plan. This ruling was eventually confirmed by the Pension Appeals Board. Mr. Fisk has now appealed that decision to the Federal Court of Appeal and is waiting for a hearing date.

This and other cases where a public or private survivor's pension is denied to a same-sex partner raise important equality issues for people involved in same-sex relationships. The cases have a particularly significant impact on partners of people with HIV/AIDS, many of whom rely on such pensions if their loved ones die from the disease.

 

Power et al. v. Canada

This challenge was brought by a group of fish plant workers from Newfoundland who lost their jobs when the Federal Government ordered people to stop fishing for cod in the North Atlantic. The Federal Government had created the TAGS Program (The Atlantic Groundfish Strategy), which provided both income replacement and retraining for people in their situation. All of the people in the case received benefits under the Program, but none received them for the maximum possible time. The reason was that they had not worked enough weeks during the qualifying period due to maternity leave, disability, or caring for a disabled spouse.

The fish plant workers challenged the TAGS guidelines in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland, as discriminating against them on the basis of sex and disability. On December 11, 1998, the trial judge ruled that the workers did not qualify for the full TAGS benefit. He found that the only distinction drawn in the guidelines was between people who worked during the qualifying period and those who did not. In his view, an income support program could treat people who worked differently from those who did not, without violating section 15 of the Charter. He also observed that there was no "reasonable accommodation" for these individuals' needs, short of completely restructuring the program.

This case underlines the importance of the concept of "substantive equality", that is, of a definition of equality which considers the impact of a law or policy within the surrounding social context. The judge here might have reached a different result had he considered that sex (pregnancy) and disability affected the claimants' ability to work, and, therefore, to qualify for the full TAGS benefits.

 

Donohue v. HRDC

To receive income support benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act, you must be unable to work due to sickness or injury, or lose your job but be available for work should a job arise. In this case, Ms. Donohue is the sole parent of a young son who has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Due to his disability, he was unable to attend day care and Ms. Donohue found herself needing to leave work to care for him at home. She applied for Unemployment .Insurance benefits, but was turned down. The reason was that she was not sick, yet she was unavailable for work while she cared for her son. When she appealed the denial of benefits, the Unemployment Insurance Board of Referees granted her "sickness" benefits on the basis of her caregiving responsibilities for a child with a disability.

The Federal Government appealed this decision to the Unemployment Insurance Umpire, who reversed the decision to give her benefits. The Umpire considered himself bound by an earlier Federal Court of Appeal decision in the Faltermeier case. In that case, the Court observed that the Unemployment Insurance Act was never meant to provide income support to parents for child care. In their view, the law had the sole aim of replacing individuals' earnings when they were unable to work due to illness or lack of available work. Accordingly, the section 15 Charter claim was unsuccessful. The Federal Court of Appeal would not overturn the Umpire's decision in Ms. Donohue's case and her application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was turned down.

 

Closing Comments

The many cases discussed above illustrate both obstacles and gains in our common pursuit of equality through test case litigation. Some courts and tribunals seem only concerned with the blatant and more relatively rare examples where groups are purposely singled out by government for negative or less advantageous treatment. Others, most notably the Supreme Court of Canada, are beginning to root out inequality created by laws and policies that indirectly perpetuate existing disadvantage in society. In this slow process of sensitizing the courts to the real-life stories and experiences of inequality by individuals and groups, important advances are, nonetheless, being made.

 

List of Authorities

Corbière v. Canada (Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs) [1999] S.C.J. No. 24

Corbière v. Canada (Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs) [1997] F.C. 689 (Fed. C.A.)

Corbière v. Canada (Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs) [1994] 1 F.C. 394(Fed. T.D.)

Donohue v. Canada (Attorney General) [1998] S.C.C.A. No. 457

Donohue v. Canada (Attorney General)[1998] F.C.J. No. 935 (Fed. C.A.)

Dular v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)[1998] S.C.C.A. No. 619

Dular v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)[1998] 2 F.C. 81, [1997] F.C.J. No. 1423 ( Fed. T. D.)

Fisk v. Minister of Human Resources Development (November 26, 1998) Doc. No. A-25-98 (Fed. C.A.)

Lovelace v. Ontario [1997] S.C.C.A. No. 427 Indexed as Ardoch Algonquin First Nation v. Ontario

Lovelace v. Ontario [1997] 33 O.R. (3d) 735; O.J. No. 2313 (Ont. C.A.)

Lovelace v. Ontario [1996] O.J. No. 5063 (Ont. Gen. Div.)

Power v. Canada (Attorney General) [1999] N.J. No. 30 (Nfld. S.C.)

R. v. Darrach [1998] S.C.C.A. No. 184

R. v. Darrach [1994] O.J. No. 3162 (Ont. C.A.)

R. v. Ewanchuk [1999] S.C.J. No. 10

R. v. Ewanchuk [1998] 57 Alta. L.R. (3d) 235 ( Alta. C.A.)

R. v. Ewanchuk [1993] A.J. No. 1274 (Alta. Q.B.)

R. v. Hoeppner [1999] M.J. No. 113 (Man. C.A.)

R. v. Latimer [1999] S.C.C.A. No. 40

R. v. Latimer [1997] 1 S.C.R. 217

R. v. Latimer [1998] S.J. No. 731 (Sask C.A.)

R. v. Latimer [1995] S.J. No. 402, 126 D.L.R. (4th) 203 (Sask. C.A.)

R. v. Latimer [1994] S.J. No. 480 (Sask. Q.B.)

R. v. Williams [1998] 1 S.C.R. 1128

R. v. Williams [1996] 75 B.C.A.C. 135 (B.C. C.A.)

R. v. Williams [1995] 3 C.N.L.R. 178 (B.C. S.C. )

Reference re : Firearms Act [1998] A.J. No. 1028 (Alta C.A.)

Reference re : Firearms Act [1998] S.C.C.A. No. 531

Rosenberg et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) O.J. No. 1627 (Ont. C.A.)

Rosenberg et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) (March 1996, 1994) Court File No. 79885/94, Ottawa, Ont.

Solis v. Canada (Minister if Citizenship and Immigration [1999] F.C.J. No. 372 (Fed. T.D.)

Vancouver Society of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women v. Canada (Minister of National Revenue) [1999] S.C.J. No. 5

Vancouver Society of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women v. Canada (Minister of National Revenue) ) [1996] 195 N.R. 235, 2 C.T.C. 88, F.C.J. No. 307 (Fed. C.A.)

 

PART IV - LANGUAGE RIGHTS

Introduction

In this section, we will be highlighting the main court challenges granted funding by the Language Rights Panel during the 1998-99 fiscal year, as well as a number of major decisions involving language rights. It is important to note that the Report on language rights in 1998 of the Commissioner of Official Languages contains an excellent overview of language rights cases and issues and is an invaluable source of information for anyone wanting to find out more about some of the cases mentioned in this annual report.

For the purposes of this report, we have divided language rights into six categories as follows:

1. Language rights interpretation

2. Education rights

3. Language of work, communications and services

4. Linguistic dimensions of freedom of expression

5. Judicial rights

6. Legislative bilingualism

 

Language Rights Interpretation

The area of language rights has been a very interesting one during the past year, mainly because of two cases brought before the Supreme Court of Canada. The first was Reference re Secession of Quebec and the second, the Beaulac case.

Reference re Secession of Quebec did not directly involve language rights, but the Supreme Court's comments on the existence and importance of underlying constitutional principles, such as the protection of linguistic minorities, could have an important influence on the interpretation of language rights. The Court had this to say, on page 229 of the Reference, about underlying constitutional principles:

Underlying constitutional principles may in certain circumstances give rise to substantive legal obligations (have "full legal force", as we described it in the Patriation Reference, supra, at p. 845), which constitutes substantive limitations upon government action. These principles may give rise to very abstract and general obligations, or they may be more specific and precise in nature. The principles are not merely descriptive, but are also invested with a powerful normative force, and are binding upon both courts and governments.

The Program funded two impact studies to gain a better understanding of the ramifications this reference could have on language rights.

The Program also funded the interventions of the Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario and the Association des juristes d'expression française du Manitoba before the Supreme Court of Canada in A.G. British Columbia v. Victor Beaulac. While this case dealt mainly with the right of the accused to have a trial in French under section 530 of the Criminal Code, the Court had this to say about the interpretation of language rights: "Language rights must in all cases be interpreted purposively, in a manner consistent with the preservation and development of official language communities in Canada;" There is no doubt that, in the future, this Supreme Court decision will become a key ruling in all matters involving language rights and it may well open the door to new developments regarding these rights.

 

Education Rights

Section 23 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms grants three levels of rights to parents belonging to an official language minority. At the first level, parents are given the general right to have their children educated in the minority official language where numbers warrant. Where there are enough of these children, section 23 can also give rise to the right to have them taught in minority official language schools. In Mahé v. Alberta, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 342, the Supreme Court of Canada also recognized a third right, i.e., the right of parents to governance of the linguistic minority's schools. This right to school governance by the linguistic minority could involve anything from guaranteeing the minority's representation on a mixed school board and the absolute control of all cultural and linguistic factors, to setting up an independent school board for the linguistic minority.

 

The right to Instruction and Schools

The Program has funded a certain number of court challenges involving the right to instruction and schools, including the following:

For a number of years, some French-speaking parents of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, and the organization representing them, namely the Fédération des parents de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard, had been asking for a French-language school to be set up in their community. They went to court to challenge the Minister of Education's decision not to open a French-language school in Summerside. In January of 1997, the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island sided with the parents, granting them the right to a French-language school. The government appealed that decision and won.

The Fédération des parents de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard received funding from the Program to take its case to the Supreme Court. Funding was also granted to the Commission scolaire de langue française de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard, the Société Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin and the Commission nationale des parents francophones to intervene in this case and to defend their views before the Supreme Court. This case has yet to be heard. We hope the Supreme Court decision will further clarify and extend the right to instruction and schools for the linguistic minority.

In Saskatchewan, the Conseil scolaire fransaskois de Zenon Park obtained Program funding to force the government and the anglophone regional school board to provide it with school facilities that were at least equivalent to those provided to the majority community. The Conseil scolaire fransaskois de Zenon Park won its case in the lower court and the Court of Appeal. Moreover, permanent facilities are now under construction.

The following case raises an interesting point regarding the right to instruction for Ontario's linguistic minority. An English-speaking couple, Susan Abbey and her husband, registered their three children in a French-language school when they first started their schooling. When the family moved to another community, Ms. Abbey registered her children in an immersion school, but she quickly realized that the immersion program did not meet her children's educational needs. The English-language school board turned down her request to register her children in a French-language school and pay the tuition fees. It was their view that the applicant had no such right under section 23. This case raised the following question: Can ineligible parents gain the right to have their children educated in a minority official language school under subsection 23(2) of the Charter, if the child has previously been educated in such a school ?

In June of 1997, the Ontario Divisional Court rejected the applicant's arguments. Ms. Abbey then launched an appeal. On February 11, the Court of Appeal of Ontario decided in Susan Abbey's favour. It ruled that all Ms. Abbey's children were accorded rights under section 23, even if their parents were not French-speaking, given that the eldest had been educated in a minority French-language school.

 

The Right to School Governance

The Program agreed to fund a court challenge from the Toronto chapter of the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario dealing with holding English-only school board elections when these elections involved voting for school trustees responsible for governance of schools for the French-speaking minority. Thus the Court will soon be asked to rule on the extent of the right to school governance and its effect on the use and presence of the minority official language in school board elections involving governance of educational institutions protected under section 23.

In La Fédération des parents francophones de la Colombie-Britannique et al. v. The Queen, parents of the French-speaking minority obtained a ruling to the effect that the lack of mechanisms in the province's schools act to settle disputes regarding implementing and carrying out transfers of assets, joint management of shared assets, negotiating leases for facilities that are not transferred and any other dispute that may arise between the French-language school board and a school board of the majority official language community, distorted the negotiation process and also restricted the French-language school board's ability to fulfil its mandate.

Although a good number of issues were settled through court challenges funded throughout the fiscal period, several issues still remain before the courts, including that of adequate funding to give effect to this constitutional right. We hope that many of these issues will be settled in the near future.

 

Language of Work, Communications and Services

Subsection 16(1) of the Charter stipulates that French and English are the official languages of Canada and have equality of status, rights and privileges as to their use in the institutions of the Parliament and the government of Canada. Subsection 16(2) contains similar provisions for the institutions of the legislature and government of New Brunswick. Lastly, subsection 16(3) confirms the authority of Parliament or a legislature to promote the equality of the status or use of French and English.

There has been very little interpretation of section 16 by the courts. The Supreme Court of Canada has made a few comments on the subject, but nothing that would make it possible to draw any clear and definite conclusions regarding the impact of this section. It is hard to say whether this section is merely declaratory or confers specific rights. We hope that more court decisions will help to further clarify the scope of this section in the near future.

Section 16.1 of the Charter is a unique clause in that it constitutionally enshrines the equality of both of New Brunswick's official language communities. There have been no requests for Program funding for cases involving this clause in the 1998-1999 fiscal year but funding for such a case has been granted very recently.

Section 20 of the Charter grants the right to use the official language of one's choice in communications with the head or central office of an institution of the Parliament or government of Canada as well as those of the legislature and government of New Brunswick or in obtaining services from these institutions. Except in the case of head offices or central administrations, the above-mentioned right to obtain services in the official language of one's choice is contingent upon significant demand or the nature of the office.

A number of issues regarding this section remain subject to challenge. The courts have not yet specifically determined exactly what constitutes "the institutions of the Parliament or government of Canada" or of the "legislature or government of New Brunswick" mentioned in sections 16 and 20 of the Charter. We do not know, for instance, whether or not territorial governments are institutions of the government of Canada.

The obligations of the Federal Government regarding language in its areas of jurisdiction have been clearly established. However, the question that arises is whether the Federal Government has obligations, under section 20 of the Charter, to require the provinces, territories and third parties to comply with the obligation to ensure the delivery of services to the public in the event of a transfer or devolution of federal programs.

 

Linguistic Dimensions of Freedom of Expression

Certain fundamental rights vested through the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have a language component. The most obvious example of this kind of right is freedom of expression as guaranteed under Section 2 of the Charter. The Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled on the connection between language and freedom of expression in cases emanating from Quebec, especially those involving the language used on signs.

The Contribution Agreement the Program signed with the Federal Government makes it possible for the Language Rights Panel to fund cases dealing with freedom of expression under paragraph 2(b) of the Charter, provided they involve the language rights of an official language minority.

For the first time since the Program was restored, we funded a court challenge dealing with this right in the case of Lorraine Chiasson et al. v. A.G. Québec. This case involves Quebec's Charter of the French Language, section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the language of computer software in the workplace.

 

Judicial Rights

In judicial matters, language guarantees are contained in section 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867; section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870; and section 19 of the Charter. These provisions authorize the use of French or English in any trial brought before courts set up in certain provinces, namely Quebec, New Brunswick and Manitoba or by the Parliament of Canada. In the field of the judiciary, language rights deal mostly with the choice of language for procedures and the right to address the court in the official language of one's choice.

The Program has granted no funding for this particular language right during the last fiscal year.

 

Legislative Bilingualism

In the area of legislation, the Program can fund cases aimed at clarifying the language obligations of the Parliament of Canada, the legislatures of New Brunswick and Manitoba, and Quebec's National Assembly. Section 17 of the Charter guarantees the right to use French or English in the debates and other proceedings of Parliament, and of the legislature of New Brunswick. Section 18 requires that documents emanating from these two institutions be printed and published in both languages.

Section 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, and section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870, both of which preceded the Charter, impose similar obligations on Parliament, the Manitoba legislature and Quebec's National Assembly.

The Supreme Court of Canada has had to rule several times as to the scope of section 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, and section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870. Nevertheless, certain issues remain, including the following: Does section 133 require that all documents tabled during parliamentary proceedings be in both official languages?

The Program has received no requests for funding regarding legislative bilingualism during the 1998-99 fiscal year.

 

Closing Comments

The Program still receives substantial applications for funding regarding education rights. This shows how important these rights are to official minority groups and how difficult it is to get the thirteen provincial and territorial jurisdictions to comply with these rights. Some progress has been made in implementing these rights over the past year. Nevertheless, a number of outstanding issues remain in the area of education rights for official language minorities. It is our hope that a number of these matters will be clarified during the coming year.

The administrative devolution of federal programs to provinces, territories or third parties has taken on an ever-increasing importance for linguistic minorities. The Federal Government's constitutional obligations regarding language rights remain unclear in the event of administrative devolution. This is why we also foresee a significant increase in funding applications for language of services to the public in the years to come due to these government transformations.

By way of conclusion, we wish to point out that the Program is preparing a conference on language rights for the fall of 1999. We hope this conference, which will be dealing mainly with language rights in the areas of education and services to the public, will give rise to strategic litigation and aid in clarifying and advancing language rights in the years to come. By organizing such a conference at a time when developments in language rights are most interesting, thanks to certain Supreme Court of Canada rulings, the Program plans to play a major role in clarifying and advancing the constitutional language rights of Canada's official language minorities.

 

List of Authorities

Abbey v. Essex Board of Education [1997] O.J. No. 3457 (Ont.C.A.)

Abbey v. Essex Board of Education [1997] O.J. No. 2379 (Ont. Div. Ct.)

Arsenault-Cameron v. Prince Edward Island [1998] S.C.C.A. No. 267 (Supreme Court of Canada Application for Leave to Appeal)

Arsenault-Cameron v. Prince Edward Island [1997] P.E.I.J. No. 7 (P.E.I. S.C.)

Arsenault-Cameron v. Prince Edward Island [1997] P.E.I.J. No. 21 (P.E .I. S.C. – Div. Ct.)

Arsenault-Cameron v. Prince Edward Island [1998] P.E.I.J. No. 38 ( P.E.I. C.A.)

Association des Parents Francophones (Colombie-Britannique) v. British Columbia [1998] B.C.J. No. 2727, Vancouver A973289, J.E. 99-00339 (B.C. S.C.)

Association des Parents Francophones (Colombie-Britannique) v. British Columbia (19 August 1996), Vancouver A890762, J.E. 96-12726 (B.C. S.C.)

Conseil scolaire Fransaskois de Zénon Park v. Saskatchewan [1998] S.J. No. 3457

(Sask. C.A.)

Conseil scolaire Fransaskois de Zénon Park v. Saskatchewan [1998] S.J. No. 494 (Sask. Q. B.)

Lorraine Chiasson et al. c. Procureur général du Québec (13 juillet 1998), Montréal 500-05-043380-987 (Que. S.C.)

Mahé v. Alberta [1990] 1 S.C.R. 342

R. v. Beaulac [1999] S.C.R. No. 25 (S.C.C.)

R. v. Beaulac [1997] B.C.J. No. 2379 (B.C. C.A.)

R. v. Beaulac [1994] B.C.J. No. 420 (B.C. C.A.)

R. v. Beaulac [1991] B.C.J. No. 277, Vancouver Registry No. CC890145 ( B.C. S.C.)

Renvoi relatif à la sécession du Québec [1998] 2 S.C.R. 217


PART V – STATISTICAL HIGHLIGHTS

EQUALITY RIGHTS

Table 1

Breakdown of Equality Applications Received

October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Province/Territory Yukon

% of Canadian Population 0.1

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 0

% of Applications 0

1996/1997 0

% of Applications 0

1997/1998 1

% of Applications 0.7

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

Total 1

% of Applications 0.2

Province/Territory Northwest Territories

% of Canadian Population 0.2

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 2

% of Applications 2.3

1996/1997 0

% of Applications 0

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

Total 2

% of Applications 0.4

Province/Territory British Columbia

% of Canadian Population 12.9

1994/95 16

% of Applications 28.1

1995/1996 14

% of Applications 15.9

1996/1997 17

% of Applications 15.0

1997/1998 16

% of Applications 11.5

1998/1999 17

% of Applications 13.6

Total 80

% of Applications 15.4

Province/Territory Alberta

% of Canadian Population 9.3

1994/95 5

% of Applications 8.8

1995/1996 7

% of Applications 8

1996/1997 8

% of Applications 7.1

1997/1998 13

% of Applications 9.5

1998/1999 10

% of Applications 8.0

Total 43

% of Applications 8.2

Province/Territory Saskatchewan

% of Canadian Population 3.4

1994/95 2

% of Applications 3.5

1995/1996 9

% of Applications 10.2

1996/1997 3

% of Applications 2.6

1997/1998 10

% of Applications 7.2

1998/1999 1

% of Applications 0.8

Total 25

% of Applications 4.8

Province/Territory Manitoba

% of Canadian Population 3.8

1994/95 7

% of Applications 12.3

1995/1996 15

% of Applications 17

1996/1997 11

% of Applications 9.7

1997/1998 25

% of Applications 17.9

1998/1999 24

% of Applications 19.2

Total 82

% of Applications 15.7

Province/Territory Ontario

% of Canadian Population 37.6

1994/95 19

% of Applications 33.3

1995/1996 29

% of Applications 33

1996/1997 45

% of Applications 39.8

1997/1998 54

% of Applications 39.4

1998/1999 49

% of Applications 39.2

Total 196

% of Applications 37.6

Province/Territory Quebec

% of Canadian Population 24.7

1994/95 3

% of Applications 5.2

1995/1996 5

% of Applications 5.7

1996/1997 15

% of Applications 13.2

1997/1998 13

% of Applications 9.3

1998/1999 16

% of Applications 12.8

Total 52

% of Applications 10.0

Province/Territory New Brunswick

% of Canadian Population 2.5

1994/95 3

% of Applications 5.2

1995/1996 0

% of Applications 0

1996/1997 6

% of Applications 5.3

1997/1998 1

% of Applications .7

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

Total 10

% of Applications 1.9

Province/Territory Nova Scotia

% of Canadian Population 3.1

1994/95 1

% of Applications 1.8

1995/1996 3

% of Applications 3.4

1996/1997 4

% of Applications 3.5

1997/1998 4

% of Applications 2.9

1998/1999 7

% of Applications 5.6

Total 19

% of Applications 3.6

Province/Territory Prince Edward Island

% of Canadian Population .5

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 4

% of Applications 4.5

1996/1997 1

% of Applications 1

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

Total 5

% of Applications 0.9

Province/Territory Newfoundland/Labrador

% of Canadian Population 1.9

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 0

% of Applications 0

1996/1997 2

% of Applications 1.8

1997/1998 2

% of Applications 1.5

1998/1999 1

% of Applications 0.8

Total 5

% of Applications 0.9

Province/Territory Any location outside of Canada

% of Canadian Population

1994/95 1

% of Applications 1.8

1995/1996 0

% of Applications 0

1996/1997 1

% of Applications 1

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

Total 2

% of Applications 0.4

Totals

% of Canadian Population 100

1994/95 57

% of Applications 100

1995/1996 88

% of Applications 100

1996/1997 113

% of Applications 100

1997/1998 139

% of Applications 100

1998/1999 125

% of Applications 100

Total 522

 

 

Table 2 – Breakdown of Equality Applications Received October 24, 1994 to March 31, 1999 by Type of Application

(Transcriber's note: the 6 column headings are as follows: 1994/95 1995/96 1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 TOTAL)

Aboriginal 9 19 21 33 15 97

Age 2 0 5 5 3 15

Citizenship 2 2 1 4 4 13

Colour/Race/National Origin/Ethnicity

-- Colour 0 7 6 4 0 17

-- Race 0 0 2 9 17 28

-- National Origin 2 1 3 2 1 9

-- Ethnicity 2 1 6 4 9 22

-- General (Note a) 2 5 9 3 3 22

Disability 7 12 10 19 16 64

Family/Marital/Parental 3 6 6 4 6 25

Geography 0 0 2 1 0 3

Language 0 2 1 1 0 4

Poverty 4 6 5 6 10 31

Prisoner/Criminal Record 5 2 3 5 7 22

Religion 2 1 0 0 0 3

Section 15 General 3 2 8 9 2 24

Sex 3 6 9 17 19 54

Sexual Orientation 6 11 11 7 5 40

Unknown (Note b) 0 1 2 2 3 8

Other (Note c) 5 4 3 4 5 21

TOTAL 57 88 113 139 125 522

Note a: Applications involving all of the following grounds of discrimination: colour, race, national origian and ethnic origin.

Note b: Applications involving no known ground for discrimination.

Note c: Applications involving a ground of discrimination other than those listed in this table.

 

Table 3 - Breakdown of Decisions Made by the Equality Rights

Panel from October 24, 1994 - March 31, 1999

(Transcriber's note: the 5 column headings are as follows: Decision Pending

Panel/Admin Rejection

Applicant Withdrawn

Panel Granted

Total

Aboriginal 6 13 14 64 97

Age 1 5 2 7 15

Citizenship 2 5 0 6 13

Colour/Race/National Origin/Ethnicity

-- Colour 0 5 3 9 17

-- Race 6 5 1 16 28

-- National Origin 0 4 2 3 9

-- Ethnicity 4 5 1 12 22

-- General (Note a) 1 1 3 17 22

Disability 4 15 7 38 64

Family/Marital/Parental 2 13 2 8 25

Geography 0 2 0 1 3

Language 0 2 0 2 4

Poverty 3 7 4 17 31

Prisoner/Criminal Record 4 5 4 9 22

Religion 0 3 0 0 3

Section 15 General 1 1 5 17 24

Sex 2 13 5 34 54

Sexual Orientation 3 2 5 30 40

Unknown (Note b) 1 6 1 0 8

Other (Note c) 1 12 4 4 21

TOTAL 41 124(Note d) 63 294(Note e) 522

Accpetance Rate = 70.3%

Note a: Applications involving all of the following grounds of discrimination: colour, race, national origian and ethnic origin.

Note b: Applications involving no known ground for discrimination.

Note c: Applications involving a ground of discrimination other than those listed in this table.

Note d: See table 5 for a further breakdown

Note e: See table 4 for a further breakdown

 

Table 4 - Breakdown of Type of Funding Granted by the Equality

Rights Panel from October 24, 1994 to March 31, 1999

(Transcriber's note: the 5 column headings are as follows:

Case Development

Case Funding

Impact Study

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation

Total

Aboriginal 24 36 2 2 64

Age 2 5 0 0 7

Citizenship 2 4 0 0 6

Colour/Race/National Origin/Ethnicity

-- Colour 2 5 0 2 9

-- Race 5 3 0 8 16

-- National Origin 2 1 0 0 3

-- Ethnicity 3 5 0 4 12

-- General(Note a) 4 5 0 8 17

Disability 9 19 2 8 38

Family/Marital/Parental 2 6 0 0 8

Geography 0 0 0 1 2

Language 1 1 0 0 2

Poverty 6 4 0 7 17

Prisoner/Criminal Record 1 6 1 1 9

Religion 0 0 0 0 0

Section 15 General 1 5 0 11 17

Sex 6 18 0 9 33

Sexual Orientation 7 14 2 7 33

Unknown (Note b) 0 0 0 0 0

Other(Note c) 0 1 0 3 4

TOTAL 77 134(Note d) 8 71 294

Note a: Applications involving all of the following grounds of discrimination: colour, race, national origian and ethnic origin.

Note b: Applications involving no known ground for discrimination.

Note c: Applications involving a ground of discrimination other than those listed in this table.

Note d: See table 6 for a further breakdown

 

Table 5 - Breakdown of Unsuccessful Equality Rights Applications from October 24, 1994 to

March 31, 1999

Aboriginal

No Federal Link (Note a) 4

Not a test case (Note b) 7

Duplication (Note c) 2

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 13

Age

No Federal Link (Note a) 1

Not a test case (Note b) 3

Duplication (Note c) 1

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 5

Citizenship

No Federal Link (Note a) 1

Not a test case (Note b) 3

Duplication (Note c) 1

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 5

Colour

No Federal Link (Note a) 3

Not a test case (Note b) 2

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 5

Race

No Federal Link (Note a) 2

Not a test case (Note b) 1

Duplication (Note c) 2

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 5

National Origin

No Federal Link (Note a) 2

Not a test case (Note b) 2

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 4

Ethnicity

No Federal Link (Note a) 2

Not a test case (Note b) 2

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 1

Total 5

General (Note 5)

No Federal Link (Note a) 1

Not a test case (Note b) 0

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 1

Disability

No Federal Link (Note a) 10

Not a test case (Note b) 3

Duplication (Note c) 2

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 15

Family/Marital/Parental

No Federal Link (Note a) 4

Not a test case (Note b) 8

Duplication (Note c) 1

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 13

Geography

No Federal Link (Note a) 0

Not a test case (Note b) 2

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 2

Language

No Federal Link (Note a) 2

Not a test case (Note b) 0

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 2

Poverty

No Federal Link (Note a) 5

Not a test case (Note b) 1

Duplication (Note c) 1

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 7

Prison/Criminal Record

No Federal Link (Note a) 1

Not a test case (Note b) 4

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 5

Religion

No Federal Link (Note a) 3

Not a test case (Note b) 0

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 3

Section 15 General

No Federal Link (Note a) 1

Not a test case (Note b) 0

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 1

Sex

No Federal Link (Note a) 5

Not a test case (Note b) 7

Duplication (Note c) 1

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 13

Sexual Orientation

No Federal Link (Note a) 0

Not a test case (Note b) 1

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 1

Total 2

Unknown (Note f)

No Federal Link (Note a) 4

Not a test case (Note b) 2

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 6

Other (Note g)

No Federal Link (Note a) 6

Not a test case (Note b) 6

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 12

Totals

No Federal Link (Note a) 57

Not a test case (Note b) 54

Duplication (Note c) 11

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 2

Total 124

Note a: The Program's Contribution Agreement states that cases which receive funding must challenge a Federal law, policy or practice and cannot challenge a provincial or territorial law, policy or practice. These applications did not receive funding because they did not meet this requirement. Either they challenged provincial government action or they did not challenge government action at all.

2 Note b: A "test case" is a legal case which deals with a problem or raises an argument that has not already been decided by the courts and has the potential to stop discrimination or improve the way the law works for members of a disadvantaged group or groups in Canada. These are applications where the Equality Rights Panel found that the proposed challenge was not a strong test case based on section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Common reasons leading to such a decision by the Panel are: the case, if successful, will benefit only the individual involved as opposed to a broader group of equality seekers; the case does not provide the opportunity to advance equality for an historically disadvantaged group; and/or the equality issue in the case has already been determined by the courts.

Note c: These applications covered legal issues already funded by the Program or already before the courts. The Program's Contribution Agreement does not allow it to fund such "duplicate" cases.

Note d: These applications involved complaints under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Program's Contribution Agreement prevents it from funding such cases.

Note e: Applications involving all of the following grounds of discrimination: colour, race, national origin and ethnic origin.

Note f: Applications involving no known ground of discrimination.

Note g: Applications involving a ground of discrimination other than those listed in this table.

 

Table 6 – Breakdown of Case Funding Granted by the Equality Rights Panel October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999 by Court Level

Case Funding: Aboriginal

First Instance 24 (2 interventions)

Appeal 3 (1 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 9 (6 interventions)

Total 36

Case Funding: Age

First Instance 2

Appeal 1

Supreme Court of Canada 2 (1 intervention)

Total 5

Case Funding: Citizenship

First Instance 2

Appeal 1

Supreme Court of Canada 1

Total 4

Case Funding (Color/Race/National Origin/Ethnicity): Color

First Instance 2

Appeal 1

Supreme Court of Canada 2 (1 intervention)

Total 5

Case Funding: Race

First Instance 0

Appeal 1

Supreme Court of Canada 2 (2 interventions)

Total 3

Case Funding National Origin

First Instance 1

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 1

Case Funding Ethnicity

First Instance 4 (1 intervention)

Appeal 1

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 5

Case Funding General(Note a)

First Instance 2 (1 intervention)

Appeal 2 (1 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 1

Total 5

Case Funding Disability

First Instance 6 (1 intervention)

Appeal 8 (5 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 5 (3 interventions)

Total 19

Case Funding Family/Marital/Parental

First Instance 3

Appeal 3 (1 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 6

Case Funding Geography

First Instance 0

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 0

Case Funding Language

First Instance 1

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 1

Case Funding Poverty

First Instance 4

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 4

Case Funding Prisoner/Criminal Record

First Instance 3

Appeal 2 (1 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 1 (1 intervention)

Total 6

Case Funding Religion

First Instance 0

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 0

Case Funding Section 15 General

First Instance 1

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 4 (3 interventions)

Total 5

Case Funding Sex

First Instance 6 (1 intervention)

Appeal 4 (3 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 8 (7 interventions)

Total 18

Case Funding Sexual Orientation

First Instance 6

Appeal 6 (4 interventions)

Supreme Court of Canada 2 (1 intervention)

Total 14

Case Funding Unknown(Note b)

First Instance 0

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 0

Case Funding Other(Note c)

First Instance 1

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 1

Case Funding Total

First Instance 68

Appeal 33

Supreme Court of Canada 37

Total 138

Note a: Applications involving all of the following grounds of discrimination: colour, race, national origian and ethnic origin.

Note b: Applications involving no known ground for discrimination.

Note c: Applications involving a ground of discrimination other than those listed in this table.

 

LANGUAGE RIGHTS PROGRAMS

Table 7 – Breakdown of Language Applications Received October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Province/Territory Yukon

% of Canadian Population 0.1

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 0

% of Applications 0

1996/1997 1

% of Applications 4

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

Total 1

% of Applications 0.9

Province/Territory Northwest Territories

% of Canadian Population 0.2

1994/95 1

% of Applications 7.2

1995/1996 1

% of Applications 4.4

1996/1997 1

% of Applications 4

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

Total 3

% of Applications 2.7

Province/Territory British Columbia

% of Canadian Population 12.9

1994/95 1

% of Applications 7.2

1995/1996 3

% of Applications 13.0

1996/1997 1

% of Applications 4

1997/1998 1

% of Applications 4.0

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

Total 6

% of Applications 5.3

Province/Territory Alberta

% of Canadian Population 9.3

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 3

% of Applications 13

1996/1997 0

% of Applications 0

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 3

% of Applications 11.5

Total 6

% of Applications 5.3

Province/Territory Saskatchewan

% of Canadian Population 3.4

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 1

% of Applications 4.4

1996/1997 0

% of Applications 0

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 1

% of Applications 3.8

Total 2

% of Applications 1.8

Province/Territory Manitoba

% of Canadian Population 3.8

1994/95 2

% of Applications 14.2

1995/1996 4

% of Applications 17.4

1996/1997 6

% of Applications 24

1997/1998 1

% of Applications 4.0

1998/1999 6

% of Applications 23.1

Total 19

% of Applications 16.8

Province/Territory Ontario

% of Canadian Population 37.6

1994/95 7

% of Applications 50

1995/1996 1

% of Applications 4.4

1996/1997 1

% of Applications 4.0

1997/1998 9

% of Applications 36

1998/1999 7

% of Applications 27

Total 25

% of Applications 22.1

Province/Territory Quebec

% of Canadian Population 24.7

1994/95 1

% of Applications 7.2

1995/1996 5

% of Applications 21.7

1996/1997 6

% of Applications 24

1997/1998 6

% of Applications 24

1997/1998 1

% of Applications 3.8

Total 19

% of Applications 16.8

Province/Territory New Brunswick

% of Canadian Population 2.5

1994/95 2

% of Applications 14.2

1995/1996 2

% of Applications 8.7

1996/1997 3

% of Applications 12

1997/1998 8

% of Applications 32.0

1998/1999 1

% of Applications 3.8

Total 16

% of Applications 14.2

Province/Territory Nova Scotia

% of Canadian Population 3.1

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 0

% of Applications 0

1996/1997 3

% of Applications 12

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 2

% of Applications 7.6

Total 5

% of Applications 4.4

Province/Territory Prince Edward Island

% of Canadian Population .5

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 2

% of Applications 8.7

1996/1997 1

% of Applications 4

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 3

% of Applications 11.5

Total 6

% of Applications 5.3

Province/Territory Newfoundland/Labrador

% of Canadian Population 1.9

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 1

% of Applications 4.3

1996/1997 2

% of Applications 8

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 2

% of Applications 7.6

Total 5

% of Applications 4.4

Totals

% of Canadian Population 100

1994/95 14

% of Applications 100

1995/1996 23

% of Applications 100

1996/1997 25

% of Applications 100

1997/1998 25

% of Applications 100

1998/1999 26

% of Applications 100

Total 113

% of Applications 100

 

Table 8 – Breakdown of Language Applications Received October 24, 1994 to March 31, 1999

1994/95

Education Rights 11

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 1

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 0

Total 14

1995/96

Education Rights 11

Judicial Rights 3

Language of Work and Service 6

Legislative Bilingualism 2

Other 1

Total 23

1996/97

Education Rights 14

Judicial Rights 2

Language of Work and Service 6

Legislative Bilingualism 2

Other 1

Total 25

1997/98

Education Rights 17

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 6

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 1

Total 25

1998/99

Education Rights 13

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 3

Legislative Bilingualism 2

Other 7

Total 26

Totals

Education Rights 66

Judicial Rights 8

Language of Work and Service 22

Legislative Bilingualism 7

Other 10

Total 113

 

Table 9 – Breakdown of Decisions Made by the Language Rights Panel from October 24, 1994 to March 31, 1999

Decision Pending:

Education Rights 0

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 0

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 0

Total 1

Panel/Admin. Rejection:

Education Rights 9

Judicial Rights 4

Language of Work and Service 5

Legislative Bilingualism 3

Other 4

Total 25(Note a)

Applicant Withdrawn:

Education Rights 4

Judicial Rights 2

Language of Work and Service 2

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 0

Total 9

Panel Granted:

Education Rights 53

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 15

Legislative Bilingualism 3

Other 6

Total 78(Note b)

Grand total:

Education Rights 66

Judicial Rights 8

Language of Work and Service 22

Legislative Bilingualism 7

Other 10

Total 113

Acceptance Rate = 75.7%

Note a: See Table 11 for a further breakdown.

Note b: See Table 10 for a further breakdown.

 

Table 10 – Breakdown of Type of Funding Granted by the Language Rights Panel from October 24, 1994 to March 31, 1999

Case development:

Education Rights 7

Judicial Rights 0

Language of Work and Service 7

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 1

Total 15

Case Funding:

Education Rights 37

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 8

Legislative Bilingualism 2

Other 1

Total 49(Note a)

Impact Study:

Education Rights 1

Judicial Rights 0

Language of Work and Service 0

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 2

Total 4

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation:

Education Rights 8

Judicial Rights 0

Language of Work and Service 0

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 2

Total 10

Grand total:

Education Rights 53

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 15

Legislative Bilingualism 3

Other 6

Total 78

Note a: See Table 12 for a further breakdown.

 

Table 11 - Breakdown of Unsuccessful Language Rights Application from October 24, 1994 to March 31, 1999

No Consititutional Link (Note a)

Education Rights 5

Judicial Rights 3

Language of Work and Service 1

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 3

Total 13

Not a Test Case (Note b)

Education Rights 0

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 2

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 0

Total 3

Duplication (Note c)

Education Rights 1

Judicial Rights 0

Language of Work and Service 0

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 0

Total 2

Other (Note d)

Education Rights 3

Judicial Rights 0

Language of Work and Service 2

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 1

Total 7

Grand total

Education Rights 9

Judicial Rights 4

Language of Work and Service 5

Legislative Bilingualism 3

Other 4

Total 25

Note a: The Program's Contribution Agreement states that cases which receive funding must advance official language minority rights as guaranteed by the interpretation or application of section 93 or 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, or as guaranteed in section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870, sections 16 to 23 of the Constitution Act, 1982 or parallel constitutional provisions.

Note b: A "test case" is a legal case which deals with a problem or raises an argument for the resolution of a linguistic rights issues. These are applications where the Language Rights Panel found that the proposed challenge was not a strong test case based. Common reasons leading to such a decision by the Panel are. the case, if successful, will benefit only the individual involved as opposed to a broader group of official language minorities; the case does not provide the opportunity to advance the linguistic rights of the official language minority; and/or the language issue in the case has already been determined by the courts.

Note c: These applications covered legal issues already funded by the Program or already before the courts. The Program's Contribution Agreement does not allow it to fund such "duplicate" cases.

Note d: Applications involving a reason other than those listed in this table.

End of table

 

Table 12 – Breakdown of Case Funding Granted by the Language Rights Panel October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999 by Court Level

First Instance:

Education Rights 25 (7 interventions)

Judicial Rights 0

Language of Work and Service 7 (1 intervention)

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 1

Total 34

Appeal level:

Education Rights 8 (5 interventions)

Judicial Rights 1 (1 interventions)

Language of Work and Service 1

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 0

Total 10

SCC Level:

Education Rights 4 (3 interventions)

Judicial Rights 0

Language of Work and Service 0

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 0

Total 5

Grand total:

Education Rights 37

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 8

Legislative Bilingualism 2

Other 1

Total 49

 

PART VI – RESOURCES

The Court Challenges Program has developed various information materials to promote the Program and its objectives. The following documents are available to the public for free upon request.

Annual Reports

1994-1995 Annual Report – Court Challenges Program of Canada – a report of the activities undertaken by the Program from the time of its reinstatement to March 31, 1995.

Available in English, French and on computer diskette.

1995/96 Annual Report – Court Challenges Program of Canada – a report of the activities undertaken by the Program from April 1, 1995 to March 31, 1996.

ISBN #1-896894-00-3

Available in English, French and on computer diskette.

1996/97 Annual Report – Court Challenges Program of Canada – a report of the activities undertaken by the Program from April 1, 1996 to March 31, 1997.

ISBN #1-896894-02-X

Available in English, French and on computer diskette.

 

Brochures

Court Challenges Program of Canada - a brochure on the mandate and the different types of funding available from the Program.

Available in English, French, audio-tape, large print, Braille or on computer diskette

Court Challenges Program of Canada Web Site -

HYPERLINK http://www.ccppcj.ca

http://www.ccppcj.ca

-– the site includes the following:

-- a library – which is an on-going collection of Program materials, links to other web sites and other information. The library contains an alphabetical listing of key words and you can also search for words or phrases.

-- a discussion area called "Law Talk/Parlons droit". Interested people can contribute to the dialogue or catch up on a discussion.

-- the site also features: the Program's organizational chart; the Program's general brochure; Your Right to Equality brochure, the information kit; bios of Board members, Panel members and staff; and, information about the Program's logo.

Can be viewed in English or French

Information Kit – Court Challenges Program of Canada – a series of information sheets which explain how to apply for funding from Court Challenges Program.

Available in English, French, audiotape, large print, Braille or on computer diskette.

Your Right to Equality - A brochure on equality rights and the Court Challenges Program

Available in English, French, audio-tape, large print, braille or on computer diskette

End of page 53

Page 54

Papers

Charter Litigating for Racial Equality, Nitya Iyer, February 1996 – the paper address the comparative absence of Charter s. 15 cases addressing issues of racial inequality.

Available in French and English.

Equality Guarantee of the Charter in the 1990's, The, Gwen Brodsky, April 19, 1996 – the paper provides an overview of equality rights litigation issues, concentrating on developments subsequent to 1992 when the original Court Challenges Program was cancelled.

Available in French and English

Le bilan des droits linguistiques au Canada, Benoît Pelletier, Août 1995 – the study examines the current state of language rights in Canada.

Available in French

End of report

Table 2

Breakdown of Equality Application Received

October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Table 3

Breakdown of Decisions Made by the Equality Rights Panel

From October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Table 4

Breakdown of Types of Funding Granted by the Equality Rights Panel

From October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Table 5

Breakdown of Unsuccessful Equality Rights Applications

From October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Table 6

Breakdown of Case Funding Granted by the Equality Rights Panel

October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999 by Court Level

LANGUAGE RIGHTS

Table 7

Breakdown of Language Applications Received

October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Table 8

Breakdown of Language Applications Received

October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Table 9

Breakdown of Decisions Made by the Language Rights Panel

From October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Acceptance Rate = 75.7%

Table 10

Breakdown of Type of Funding Granted by the Language Rights Panel

From October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Table 11

Breakdown of Unsuccessful Language Rights Applications

From October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

Table 12

Breakdown of Case Funding Granted by the Language Rights Panel

October 24, 1994 – March 31, 1999

PART VI - RESOURCES

The Court Challenges Program has developed various information materials to promote the Program and its objectives. The following documents are available to the public for free upon request.

Annual Reports

1994-1995 Annual Report – Court Challenges Program of Canada – a report of the activities undertaken by the Program from the time of its reinstatement to March 31, 1995.

Available in English, French and on computer diskette.

1995/96 Annual Report – Court Challenges Program of Canada – a report of the activities undertaken by the Program from April 1, 1995 to March 31, 1996.

ISBN #1-896894-00-3

Available in English, French and on computer diskette.

1996/97 Annual Report – Court Challenges Program of Canada – a report of the activities undertaken by the Program from April 1, 1996 to March 31, 1997.

ISBN #1-896894-02-X

Available in English, French and on computer diskette.

1997/98 Annual Report – Court Challenges Program of Canada – a report of the activities undertaken by the Program from April 1, 1997 to March 31, 1998.

ISBN #1-896894-04-6

Available in English, French and on computer diskette.

 

Brochures

Court Challenges Program of Canada - a brochure on the mandate and the different types of funding available from the Program.

Available in English, French, audio-tape, large print, Braille or on computer diskette.

Your Right to Equality - A brochure on equality rights and the Court Challenges Program

Available in English, French, audio-tape, large print, braille or on computer diskette.

Information Kit – Court Challenges Program of Canada – a series of information sheets which explain how to apply for funding from Court Challenges Program.

Available in English, French, audiotape, large print, Braille or on computer diskette.

 

Papers

Charter Litigating for Racial Equality, Nitya Iyer, February 1996 – the paper address the comparative absence of Charter s. 15 cases addressing issues of racial inequality.

Available in French and English.

The Equality Guarantee of the Charter in the 1990's, Gwen Brodsky, April 19, 1996 – the paper provides an overview of equality rights litigation issues, concentrating on developments subsequent to 1992 when the original Court Challenges Program was cancelled.

Available in French and English.

Le bilan des droits linguistiques au Canada, Benoît Pelletier, Août 1995 – the study examines the current state of language rights in Canada.

Available in French.

Transcending Language, Transforming Context: Reclaiming Charter(ed) Territory, Norma Won, August 1998 – a paper discussing the strengths and limitations of the interpretation of Equality Under Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

Available in French and English.

Working Together Across Our Differences, Avvy Go and John Fisher, August 1998 – a Discussion Paper on Coalition-building, Participatory Litigation and Strategic Litigation.

Available in French and English.

 

The Court Challenges Web Site

The Program has also developed a Web Site at http://www.ccppcj.ca. Information contained on the site includes the following materials:

- the Program's organizational chart

- the Program's general brochure

- Your Right to Equality brochure

- the information kit

- biographies of Board members, Panel members and staff, and

- information about the Program's logo.

In addition to the on-going collection of Program materials, links to other web sites, and other information is available in the library. The library also contains an alphabetical listing of key words and can be searched for words or phrases. The site also contains a discussion area called "Law Talk/Parlons droit". Interested people can contribute to the dialogue or catch up on a discussion about equality and language rights in Canada.