COURT CHALLENGES PROGRAM OF CANADA

PROGRAMME DE CONTESTATION JUDICIARE DU CANADA

ANNUAL REPORT 1999-2000

 

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a statement of our basic human rights and freedoms. Some of these are: the right to free expression and freedom of belief, the right to vote, the right to a fair process and trial if accused of a crime, the rights of members of official language minority communities to communicate and to educate our children in the language of that community, and the right to equality.

The Charter became part of Canada's Constitution in 1982. The Constitution is like a blueprint for how we want to govern ourselves and structure our society. The Constitution --including the Charter-- is the "Supreme Law" which means that governments must respect it whenever they pass a law, make a policy, or have day-to-day dealings with us.

The Court Challenges Program of Canada, whose offices are located in the prairies of Canada, provides financial assistance for important court cases that advance language and equality rights guaranteed under Canada's Constitution, including the Canadian Charter.

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, Shirley Frgacic, Richard Goulet, Danielle Hince, Sylvie Léger, Sarah Lugtig, Leslie MacLeod, Sharon McIvor, Estella Muyinda, Stacy Nagle, Yvonne Peters, Rénald Rémillard, Céline Sevald, Louise Somers, Claudette Toupin and Lindsay Waddell.

Editing: Doug Smith

Translation: Majestran inc.

Layout and Design: The Art Department

ISBN # 1-896894-08-9

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 2000

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

PART I – DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM AND ITS ACTIVITIES

Historical Background

Mandate of the Court Challenges Program of Canada

Funding

Who can receive funding?

How much funding is available?

Structure of the Court Challenges Program

The Membership

Advisory Committees

Panels

Panel Selection Committees

The Board of Directors

Staff

Administrative Support

Promotion and Outreach

Financial Statements

PART II – EQUALITY RIGHTS

Introduction

Cases funded under the Court Challenges Program

Closing Comments

PART III – LANGUAGE RIGHTS

Introduction

The Unwritten Constitutional Principle of Protection of Minorities

Minority Language Educational Rights

Language of Work, Communications and Services

Language Rights Aspects of Freedom of Expression

Judicial Rights

Legislative Bilingualism

Closing Comments

PART IV – STATISTICAL HIGHLIGHTS

Equality Program

Language Program

PART V – RESOURCES

Annual Reports

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 sixth annual report of the Court Challenges Program.

This report contains an overview of the activities undertaken and funded by the Court Challenges Program over the past year. As always, I am struck by the breadth, eminence, and sheer quantity of work that is generated by this small and critically important organization. This sketch underscores the unique nature and value of the Court Challenges Program and the vast contribution it is able to make in conjunction with the individuals and organizations who receive its funding.

We have enjoyed decisive victories that move us toward full recognition and implementation of the language rights of official language minorities and the equality rights of historically disadvantaged groups in Canada during this period. The Program provides a focal point to celebrate these successes and to reflect on how to broaden their impact to encompass others who have been less fortunate in negotiations with government and in the courts.

Over the past year, the Board's most important activities have been in the area of policy development and planning for the future. Working closely with members of staff, Panels and Advisory Committees the Board has reviewed and amended its funding guidelines and membership policy. The strategic plan that will guide us for the next three years is near completion.

At successive annual meetings, our members have made it clear that the Board's priority should be to enhance funding to provide for an expanded mandate and to ensure the Program's long-term financial stability. The Board's Mandate Expansion Committee has taken significant steps toward this end over the past year. Work has been undertaken to lay the foundation for a three-pronged approach to establishing an endowment fund: securing additional, long-term funding from the Federal Government; seeking support from the provincial and territorial governments; and private sector fundraising. Achieving these cherished goals is a long-term endeavour and the Board looks forward to working closely with Program members toward these shared objectives.

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

The preparation of an annual report causes one to reflect on an organization’s activities and to assess its achievements.

The 1999-2000 fiscal year can best be described as a year of consolidation and growth. The Board of Directors fine-tuned existing policies and plans by adopting a new comprehensive personnel policy, approving minor, but substantive changes, to the Program’s funding guidelines and endorsing detailed action plans for the implementation of the strategic plan. Input from the Panels and the Advisory Committees were instrumental in shaping these initiatives.

The Advisory Committees began work on some specific projects to ensure that the Program remains relevant and useful to its Members. The Advisory Committee of Equality Members developed a newsletter proposal to provide and exchange information among the Program’s Members on Equality and Language Rights litigation. It established two sub-committees, one which is preparing a manual of tools to assist community groups and lawyers to work effectively together on strategic litigation and another which is studying the needs of interveners. The Advisory Committee of Language Members played a key role in the success of the national Forum on Language Rights that was held in Ottawa in November 1999. This Forum has generated an increase in the number and in the diversity of Language Rights applications the Program received in the 1999-2000 fiscal year.

The Panels have been busy reviewing applications from and granting funding to an increasing number of individuals and organizations seeking to advance constitutional equality and language rights in Canada. The Equality Panel has been struggling with how best to fund test cases at a time where the demand outstrips the available funding. The Language Panel is developing materials to assist both community groups and lawyers to better understand and evolve constitutional official language minority rights.

All components of the Program are diligently working on mandate expansion. Meetings with members, friends of the Program and certain key government officials have been organized to promote the Program and to develop strategies to convince federal, provincial and territorial governments 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. The dedication and commitment of the people associated with the Court Challenges Program have sustained the staff at the Program. A strong foundation has been put into place in this fiscal year. This will ensure that the Program can achieve its mission to promote the full recognition and implementation of the language rights of official language minorities and of the equality rights of historically disadvantaged groups in Canada.

Claudette Toupin

Executive Director

 

PART ONE - DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM AND ITS ACTIVITIES

1.1 Historical Background

The Court Challenges Program was initiated in 1978, when the Department of the Secretary of State of the Government of Canada began funding 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 of the potential conflict of interest that arises from the Government of Canada funding court challenges relating to matters of federal jurisdiction, the Government vested the administration of the Program with an outside agency. The Canadian Council on Social Development administered the Program from September 1985 to March 1990 and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa performed this function from March 1990 to February 1992.

In February 1992, the Federal Government abolished the Court Challenges Program. This prompted strong protest 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. 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.

 

1.2 Mandate of the Court Challenges Program

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.

 

Funding

On March 31, 1998, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Sheila Copps signed a new Contribution Agreement with the Court Challenges Program. The agreement runs from April 1, 1998 to March 31, 2003 and provides $2.75 million annually. The $2.75 million is allocated as follows:

Program Administration $650,000.00

Language Rights Funding $525,000.00

Equality Rights Funding $1,575,000.00

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.

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 The Program does not fund 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.

 

1.3.2 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 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.

 

1.3.3 How much funding is available?

Under the Contribution Agreement there are five categories of funding. The Program has established a maximum amount of funding available 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.

* On September 1, 2000, the maximum available at trial level will be increased to $60,000 and funds up to a maximum of $5,000 will be made available for development of social research-based evidence and/or coalition building/co-ordination. See section entitled Review of Funding Guidelines on page ??? of this report for more precise details.

 

<TABLE> - Organizational Chart - omitted

 

1.4 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

The following section describes the roles, responsibilities and activities of these entities during the 1999-2000 fiscal year.

 

1.4.1 The Membership

The Court Challenges Program is committed to realizing the equality rights of Canada’s historically disadvantaged groups and the language rights of Canada’s official language minorities. For that reason, the Program has two general categories of members: Equality Members and Language Members. A third category of members comprises the seven members of the Board of Directors.

Any non-profit organization from an official language minority community interested in pursuing the Program objectives may apply to become a Language Member. In the same way, any non-profit organization representing disadvantaged communities and individuals and working in the field of equality that is interested in pursuing the Program objectives may become an Equality Member. The Board of Directors determines whether the organization meets the established criteria.

Members can send voting representatives to the Program’s Annual General Meeting and any other meeting considering the Program’s business. 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. Members receive the Program’s Annual Report and other information produced by the Program.

On April 1, 1999, the Court Challenges Program’s membership was composed of 102 Equality Members and 16 Language Members. During the 1999-2000 fiscal year, the following organizations became new members:

 

New Equality Members

- Association québecois des étudiants handicapés au post-secondaire

- Black Community Workgroup of Halifax

- Black Law Students of Canada

- Groupe d’aide et d’information sur le harcèlement sexuel au travail

- Indigenous Bar Association of Canada

- Quebec Native Women Inc.

- Trans/Action

 

New Language Members

- Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba

- Association des juristes d’expression française de la Saskatchewan

 

1.4.1.1 The Annual General Meeting

The Court Challenges Program held its fifth Annual General Meeting in Montreal on September 19, 1999. The meeting was attended by 61 persons: 24 were representatives of Equality Members, 10 representatives of Language Members, 7 Director Members, 9 Panel Members, 7 staff and 4 observers.

The following topics were discussed at the Annual General Meeting:

- the Program’s strategic planning exercise;

- review of the Program’s personnel policy, confidentiality policy, funding guidelines;

- mandate expansion;

- a draft Mandate Expansion Action Plan;

- the Program’s audited statements to March 31, 1999;

- various Equality and Language Rights cases that were funded by the Program throughout the 1998-1999 fiscal year;

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

- questions related to Program accessibility.

 

1.4.2 Advisory Committees

The Equality Members have established an Advisory Committee of Equality Members and the Language Members have established an Advisory Committee of Language Members. A representative of each Advisory Committee participates in of Board of Directors meetings in a non-voting capacity.

 

1.4.2.1 The Advisory Committee of Equality Members

The Advisory Committee of Equality Members’ mandate is to ensure the security, growth and usefulness of the Program to equality-seeking groups. It performs this task through the following mechanisms:

- 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 is 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 1999-2000, the Advisory Committee of Equality Members consisted of the following organizations and persons:

African Canadian Legal Clinic – Margaret Parsons

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies – Dawn McBride

Charter Committee on Poverty Issues – Bonnie Morton

Council of Canadians with Disabilities – David Martin

December 9 Coalition – Monika Chappell

Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere – 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 – Carissima Mathen

The Advisory Committee of Equality Members’ chair rotated between Bonnie Morton and Carissima Mathen. Monika Chappell represented the Advisory Committee on the Board of Directors.

During 1999-2000, the Advisory Committee held four conference calls and two meetings in Montreal. During these meetings, the Committee members provided feedback to the Board on the following topics: the Program’s Strategic Plan, funding levels for case development and litigation, and the 1999 Annual General Meeting and National Consultation. The Committee developed and sent to the Board of Directors a proposal for the creation of a quarterly newsletter to provide an exchange of information among the Program’s members on equality and language litigation.

The Committee established two sub-committees: the Working with Lawyers Sub-committee and the Interventions at the Supreme Court Sub-committee. The Working with Lawyers Sub-committee, composed of Margaret Denike, Theresa Lanigan, Dawn McBride, Bonnie Morton, Margaret Parsons, Indra Singh, and Noël St. Pierre (chair), is preparing a manual of tools to assist community groups and lawyers in working effectively together on strategic litigation.

The Interventions at the Supreme Court Sub-committee was established in response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s invitation to provide them with submissions on what would constitute appropriate procedures governing interventions. The Committee, composed of John Fisher, Margaret Denike, Carissima Mathen (chair), Bonnie Morton, and Margaret Parsons, developed a discussion paper on the impact of funding, timelines, procedures, and applications requirements for interveners at the Supreme Court level.

In 1998, the Advisory Committee established a Sub-committee on Race Issues and a Sub-committee on Poverty Issues to develop a strategy to increase the number of equality rights cases and studies funded by the Court Challenges Program in these areas.

The Race Issues Sub-committee Chairperson is Indra Singh, of the Minority Advocacy Rights Council (Ottawa). Other members include: Margaret Parsons, of the African Canadian Legal Clinic (Toronto); Avvy Go, of the Metro Toronto Chinese & South East Asian Legal Clinic (Toronto); Rocky Jones, of B.A "Rocky" Jones and Associates (Halifax); Fo Niemi, of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations (Montreal); and Richard Long, of the Native Council of Canada (Edmonton).

The Race Issues Sub-committee finalized its Terms of Reference in 1998. The most important task at hand was the establishment of a national network.

The Sub-committee held a national consultation in June of 1999 to: a) analyze the reasons for the dearth of section 15 race-based jurisprudence; b) develop strategies to increase the number of section 15 cases heard in the courts at a federal level; c) ensure that these cases are expertly presented in the context of a section 15 race analysis; and d) establish a national network of critical thinkers, lawyers and community members that would undertake the work necessary to achieve (a), (b) and (c).

Over thirty legal practitioners, community members and academics attended the two-day meeting, where they recommended the establishment of such a network. In October, the Race Sub-Committee finalized the terms of the network’s mission and vision. The sub-committee is now considering sources of funding and the means to establish the network.

The Poverty Sub-committee Chairperson is Bonnie Morton, who is a member of the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues (Regina). Other members are: Susan Bruce, of the National Anti-Poverty Organization (Winnipeg); Josephine Grey, of the Low Income Families Together (Toronto); Jacquie Ackerly, of End Legislated Poverty (Victoria); and Richard Long, of the Native Council of Canada (Edmonton).

During the past year the Poverty Sub-committee met twice, once at the Annual General and once during a conference call. Its primary activities involved finalizing the Sub-committees terms of reference and setting specific goals. These include: providing support to plaintiffs undertaking court challenges involving poverty issues; acting as a liaison between community groups and the Court Challenges Program; and participating in the Program's efforts to expand its mandate to include provincial cases.

1.4.2.2 The Advisory Committee of Language Members

The Advisory Committee of Language Members consisted of the following organizations and persons in 1999-2000:

Alliance Québec – Len MacDonald

Commission nationale des parents francophones – Jean-Pierre Dubé and Murielle Gagné-Ouellette

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

Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada – Richard Barrette and François Boileau

In 1999-2000, the Advisory Committee conducted three conference calls and discussed the following items: funding guidelines for case development, litigation and negotiation, the 1999 and 2000 Annual General Meetings and National Consultations, mandate expansion, the Fall 1999 Conference on Language Rights in Ottawa, and the Program’s criteria for Equality and Language Members. Len Macdonald and Jean-Paul Boily represented the Advisory Committee on the Board of Directors.

 

1.4.3 Panels

The Equality Panel and the Language Panel, two autonomous bodies, make all decisions regarding case and project funding at the Court Challenges Program. Panel members are appointed for a three-year term.

 

1.4.3.1 The Equality Panel

The Equality Panel reviews funding applications that involve challenges relating to equality rights. The seven Equality Panel members have expertise in equality and human rights issues as well as considerable experience with a broad range of equality-seeking groups.

On April 1, 1999, the Equality Panel was composed of the following individuals:

- Patrick Case (Ontario) – lawyer and Director of the University of Guelph’s Human Rights and Equity Centre, with extensive experience in family, refugee and immigration law and knowledge about equity, human rights and personal harassment matters;

- 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;

- Leslie MacLeod (Newfoundland) – adult educator, community development worker, social researcher, technical writer, consultant, advocate, community and board member in the disability, mental health and women’s movements;

- 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; 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 November 1999, Ken Norman completed his mandate and was replaced by Martha Jackman, a Professor in the Faculty of Law (French Common Law Section) at the University of Ottawa. She has written and published extensively on constitutional rights issues, with particular focuses on social rights, poverty and women’s equality. Ms Jackman has been actively involved in continuing legal and judicial education, litigation and other activities at the local and national level. She is the managing editor of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law and a member of the Law Society of Canada.

In December 1999, Pat Case replaced Ken Norman as co-chair for the Equality Panel.

Also in November 1999, Claudyne Bienvenue was appointed to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of André Paradis. Ms Bienvenue lives in Outremont, Québec and is a legal analyst for the Québec Human Rights Tribunal. Ms Bienvenue holds a bachelor degree in Law from the University of Montreal and has worked as a legal researcher for the Conseil d’intervention pour l’accès des femmes au travail studying the impact of Québec’s Employment Equality Act on non-union-workers. She has also undertaken numerous research projects on human rights, young offenders and refugees.

During the 1999-2000 fiscal year, the Panel met four times in Halifax, Montreal, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg, and five times by conference call.

The Court Challenges Program received a total of 131 applications for equality-related cases in 1999-2000. This is an increase of 6 applications or 4.8 per cent over the previous fiscal year. In 1999-2000, the Panel granted funding for 102 applications in the following categories:

- Case Development

Number of Cases 19

Amount of Money Granted $96676.00

Per cent of Total 4

- Case Funding

Number of Cases 47

Amount of Money Granted $1946239.00

Per cent of Total 81

- Impact Studies

Number of Cases 14

Amount of Money Granted $74239.00

Per cent of Total 3

- Program, Promotion and Access and Negotiation

Number of Cases 22

Amount of Money Granted $290000.00

Per cent of Total 12

 

1.4.3.2 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’s five members each have a special understanding of language rights and official minority language communities in Canada.

On April 1, 1999, 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 a community development worker in minority language communities and international development organizations;

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

- Annette Boucher (Nova Scotia) – a lawyer and full-time Appeal Commissioner with the Nova Scotia Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal who 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.

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

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

During the 1999-2000 fiscal year, the Language Panel held four in-person meetings: one each in Halifax, Ottawa and two in Montréal.

In 1999-2000, the Court Challenges Program received 43 applications for support for language-related cases. This was an increase of 14 applications or 48 per cent over the previous year. In 1999-2000 the Panel granted funding for 29 applications in the following categories:

- Case Development

Number of Cases 4

Amount of Money Granted $24878.00

Per cent of total 5

- Case Funding

Number of cases 14

Amount of Money Granted $454777.00

Per cent of Total 77

- Impact Study

Number of Cases 2

Amount of Money Granted $19834.00

Per cent of Total 4

- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation

Number of Cases 9

Amount of Money Granted $84210.00

Per cent of Total 14

 

1.4.4 Panel Selection Committees

The Program solicits nominations for new Panel members from its members and other community groups. An Equality Panel Selection Committee appoints the members of the Equality Panel. Similarly, a Language Panel Selection Committee selects Language Panel Members.

The members of the Panel Selection Committees 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.

 

1.4.4.1 The Equality Panel Selection Committee

In the 1999-2000 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;

- Nitya Iyer (British Columbia) – Member of the British Columbia Human Rights Commission and a former Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia;

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

- Gérald Miller (Québec) – Lawyer and disability rights activist.

In October 1999, the Equality Panel Selection Committee appointed Claudyne Bienvenue and Martha Jackman to three-year terms and re-appointed Yvonne Peters for a two-year term.

 

1.4.4.2 Language Panel Selection Committee

In the 1999-2000 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; and

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

In January 2000, the Language Panel Selection Committee reappointed Ronald Bisson and Kathleen Tansey to the Language Panel for three-year terms.

 

1.4.5 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 Program operation. 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. New Directors are appointed for three-year terms

The Board appoints the Chairperson, the Vice-Chair(s), the Secretary and the Treasurer and any other officers deemed to be required. The officers’ terms are for one year from the date of appointment or until their successors are appointed. The Executive Committee administers the affairs of the Corporation between meetings of the Board of Directors and is comprised of the Chairperson, the Treasurer, the Directors appointed by the Equality and Language Panels and the Executive Director.

On April 1, 1999, 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. She was formerly the 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;

- Representative of the Equality Members – Burnley "Rocky" Jones (Nova Scotia) a lawyer in the 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;

- Representative of the Equality Members – Chantal Tie (Ontario), Executive Director of the South Ottawa Community Legal Services; adjunct-professor of Immigration and Refugee Law at the University of Ottawa Law School and legal counsel in actions and interventions on behalf of various equality seeking groups. She is a former co-chair of the National Legal Committee 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 Research Director in the firm of O’Reilly Mainville & Associates, where she specializes in administrative law, international trade, intellectual property, arbitration, and employment; and,

Claudette Toupin (Winnipeg), Executive Director of the Court Challenges Program, was secretary to the Board of Directors.

At the Program’s 1999 General Annual Meeting, Louise Somers was re-appointed as a Language Member representative and Chantal Tie was re-elected as a Equality Member representative.

During the 1999-2000 fiscal year, the Board of Directors met in Winnipeg on May 15 and 16, Montreal on September 16 and in Vancouver on February 19 and 20. The Board held seven conference calls throughout the year.

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

- Personnel and Strategic Planning,

- Mandate Expansion,

- Review of Funding Levels,

- Membership, and

- Newsletter.

 

1.4.5.1 Personnel and Strategic Planning

On May 15, 1999, the Board of Directors adopted a new comprehensive personnel policy. The policy provides employees with new provisions on overtime, sick leave, professional development, performance evaluation, termination, and harassment and grievance procedures.

During the 1999-2000, the Board of Directors continued its work on the development of a strategic plan. The Board, the Panels, the Advisory Committees and the Staff reviewed the Program’s mission and vision statements and operating principles. At its February meeting, the Board approved action plans for the following five major components of the strategic plan:

- Assisting Applicants,

- Encouraging Strategic Litigation and Information-Sharing,

- Outreach for Applications,

- Developing public, political and financial support for Mandate Expansion, and

- Organizational Support and Development.

 

1.4.5.2 Mandate Expansion

One of the Board of Directors's priorities is to secure a broader financial base for the Program that will provide both long-term stability and an ability to fund a greater variety of language and equality rights cases. At the present time, our mandate is limited to the terms of the Contribution Agreement with the Federal Government. Our members have made it clear that the Program should also have the capacity to fund section 15 equality cases that are of provincial and territorial jurisdiction and language cases that involve Part VII of the Official Languages Act. The need for an expanded funding capacity has also been recognized in numerous provincial, national and international reports.

In order to achieve these objectives, the Program has set a goal to establish an endowment fund to finance the expanded activities of the Court Challenges Program beyond the year 2003. It is anticipated that contributions to the fund will come from the federal, provincial and territorial governments and the private sector.

The Board of Directors established a Mandate Expansion Committee which consists of four members from the Board of Directors: Suzanne Birks, Melina Buckley, Shelagh Day, and Rocky Jones; and two members of the Advisory Committee of Equality Members: Bonnie Morton and Margaret Parsons. At its four meetings in 1999-2000, the Committee prepared an action plan containing the following elements:

- a public support campaign to develop a 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 Program’s first priority is to build a network of support among our member organizations and other friends of the Program. A letter was sent to all members asking for their input and involvement in this major undertaking. The Mandate Expansion Committee has also begun to develop and contact a list of individuals and organizations, beyond the membership, who may assist us in this endeavour. Initial meetings have been held with senior Federal Government officials and a letter was sent out to cabinet ministers and Members of Parliament who have previously supported the Program. Committee members have also held small informal meetings with supporters and government officials in some of the provinces as a precursor to developing an advocacy plan in each of these jurisdictions.

Finally, an application for a charitable tax number was made to Revenue Canada. An exciting postscript to this report is that the Program was granted status as a charitable organization in May 2000. While the focus of our efforts will be on fundraising from government sources, the Program can now raise funds from the private sector.

 

1.4.5.3 Review of Funding Levels

In June 1998, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, the Commission nationale des parents francophones, Alliance Québec, and the Fédération des associations de juristes d’expression française de common law asked that the Program review its funding guidelines, 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, no longer provide adequate and realistic case funding.

On June 24, 1998, the Board of Directors set up a five-member sub-committee with a mandate to review current funding guidelines. The sub-committee was made up of the following people:

- Chantal Tie, of the Program’s Board of Directors;

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

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

- Ken Norman, of the Equality Panel; and

- Ronald Bisson, of the Language Panel.

The sub-committee presented its recommendations to the Board in June 1999. These recommendations were circulated to the Panels and Advisory Committees; their comments and suggestions were forwarded to the Board of Directors. After considering this issue in depth at several of its meetings, the Board of Directors approved changes to the Program’s funding guidelines. The following changes apply to applications received after September 1, 2000:

- That the maximum amount of funding allowable for Case Funding –Litigants Trial Level be increased from $50,000 to $60,000;

- That the Program provide $5,000, either under the Case Development or Case Funding categories, to support the development of social research-based evidence and/or coalition building/co-ordination. The $5,000 would be deducted in total from the Case Funding allotment similar to the present practice of deducting the amounts an applicant receives for Case Development;

- That a funding limit of $5,000 be created for the Negotiation category under the Equality Rights Program. The guidelines presently set out a funding limit of $5,000 for Negotiation under the Language Program; and,

- That the Equality and Language Panels be given the authority to grant extraordinary funding for Negotiation Funding when required.

 

1.4.5.4 Membership

On September 8, 1999, the Board of Directors established a sub-committee to develop a set of specific criteria against which the Board could evaluate future Membership applications. On January 13 and February 24, 2000, the Membership Sub-committee, consisting of Rocky Jones and Chantal Tie, members of the Board of Directors, Monika Chappell, appointed by the Advisory Committee of Equality Members and Murielle Gagné-Ouellette, representing the Advisory Committee of Language Members, met by conference call. The Membership Sub-committee reviewed the provisions in the Program’s By-law and proposed twelve recommendations that were reviewed by the Board of Directors on April 25, 2000.

 

1.4.5.5 Newsletter

On September 16, 1999, after reviewing a newsletter proposal from the Advisory Committee of Equality Members, the Board of Directors established a sub-committee to develop in more depth the objectives of the newsletter, its content, format, size, publication schedule, distribution system, costs and funding sources. The Newsletter Sub-committee was composed of Chantal Tie, representing the Board of Directors, Indra Singh, nominated by the Advisory Committee of Equality Members and Denis Bertrand, the Communication Director for the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne, appointed to represent the Advisory Committee of Language Members.

The Newsletter Sub-committee held a conference call on February 8, 2000 and an in-person meeting in Ottawa on March 6, 2000. It prepared a report that was reviewed by the Board of Directors on April 25, 2000.

 

Staff

During the 1999-2000 fiscal year, the Program employed eight persons to implement its mandate. The organization chart shows the names and positions persons employed by the Program. In September, Nicole Guénette, the secretary-receptionist took an extended sick leave. Her replacement, Shirley Frgacic, mastered the skills and knowledge required to carry out her duties.

<TABLE> - staff organizational chart

1.5.1 Administrative Support

During the 1999-2000, Program staff organized and participated in the Annual General Meeting and 45 conference calls and in-person meetings of the Board, the Panels, the Advisory Committees, the Selection Committees and various sub-committees. Staff arranged the conference calls, the travel and accommodations for in-person meetings, prepared and sent the agenda and background materials to participants prior to the meeting, took the minutes and did the required follow-up. Staff prepared and presented to the Panel analyses of all applications which met the criteria set out in the Contribution Agreement and subsequently prepared and sent decision letters to the applicants. Between meetings, staff answered hundreds of telephone calls from the public and applicants and reviewed and managed applicant’s files to ensure that the conditions of funding are met. At March 31, 2000, staff was managing 291 active Equality files and 65 active Language files.

 

1.5.2 Promotion and Outreach

In 1999-2000, the Court Challenges Program staff met with 46 equality seeking and official minority language groups in Montreal, Moncton, Bathurst, Petit Rocher, Charlottetown, Summerside, Halifax, and St. John’s. Staff made presentations at and participated in the following conferences and meetings:

- a meeting in Winnipeg of the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba on May 27,1999;

- the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies Conference on June 1, 1999 in Montreal;

- the Annual General Meeting of the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario on the June 26 and 27;

- the Atlantic Women’s Justice Conference in Gander on September 24 and 25;

- the National Indo-Canadian Council’s Annual General Meeting and National Conference in Winnipeg on October 2;

- the Western Provinces’ Poverty Conference in Vancouver on October 21;

- the West Coast LEAF’s conference on women’s equality on November 4 to 7 in Vancouver;

- an International Human Rights Day Conference in Winnipeg;

- the November Annual General Meeting of the Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba as well as a meeting of the three Western Associations des juristes d’expression française;

- a meeting of the Association des directeurs d’éducation de l’Ouest et du Nord in Winnipeg on February 18 on the evolution of minority education rights in Canada;

- the Fédération nationale des femmes canadiennes-françaises Forum on Equality held on March 3 to 5 in Ottawa;

- a teleconference of the Division scolaire fransaskoise on March 17; and,

- a conference on Eliminating Racism in Toronto on March 23 to 25.

 

During 1999-2000, the Program distributed the following information materials:

- 913 Information Kits;

- 2073 Program Brochures; and,

- 2408 Your Right to Equality Brochures.

 

1.6 Financial Statements

The following are the Program’s audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2000. 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

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May 26, 2000

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, 2000 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 Canadian 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, 2000

CASH -- Operating Fund ($67,505)

CASH -- Litigation Fund ($60,799)

CASH -- Programs and Promotion Access Fund and Negotiation Fund ($77,403)

CASH -- Case Development Fund $32,189

CASH -- Impact Studies Fund $25,196

CASH -- Total for 2000 ($148,322)

CASH total for 1999 $26,297

ASSETS - MARCH 31, 2000 continued

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Operating Fund $192,609

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Litigation Fund $534,300

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Programs and Promotion Access and Negotiation Fund $245,000

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Case Development Fund $35,000

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Impact Studies Fund $15,000

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE -- Total for 2000 $1,021,909

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE total for 1999 $537,818

ASSETS - MARCH 31, 2000 continued

PREPAID EXPENSES -- Operating Fund $7,310

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 2000 $7,310

PREPAID EXPENSES total for 1999 $9,976

SUB-TOTALS OF CASH, ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE AND PREPAID EXPENSES:

SUB-TOTAL -- Operating Fund $132,414

SUB-TOTAL -- Litigation Fund $473,501

SUB-TOTAL -- Programs Promotion AND Access and Negotiation Fund $167,597

SUB-TOTAL -- Case Development Fund $67,189

SUB-TOTAL -- Impact Studies Fund $40,196

SUB-TOTAL -- for 2000 $880,897

SUB-TOTAL for 1999 $574,091

CAPITAL ASSETS (NOTE 3)

CAPITAL ASSETS -- Operating Fund $29,305

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 for 2000 $29,305

CAPITAL ASSETS total for 1999 $54,465

ASSETS -- TOTAL

TOTAL -- Operating Fund $161,719

TOTAL -- Litigation Fund $473,501

TOTAL -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $167,597

TOTAL -- Case Development Fund $67,189

TOTAL -- Impact Studies Fund $40,196

TOTAL -- 2000 -- $910,202

TOTAL for 1999 $628,556

LIABILITIES - MARCH 31, 2000

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES -- Operating Fund $54,076

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 2000 -- $54,076

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES total for 1999 $85,304

FUND BALANCES -- EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED (NOTE 4)

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Operating Fund $ -

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Litigation Fund $473,501

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $167,597

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Case Development Fund $67,189

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Impact Studies Fund $40,196

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED -- Total for 2000 -- $748,483

EXTERNALLY RESTRICTED total for 1999 $402,385

FUND BALANCES -- INVESTED IN CAPITAL ASSETS

INVESTED -- Operating Fund $29,305

INVESTED -- Litigation Fund $ -

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

INVESTED -- Case Development Fund $ -

INVESTED -- Impact Studies Fund $ -

INVESTED -- Total for 2000 -- $29,305

INVESTED total for 1999 -- $54,465

FUND BALANCES -- UNRESTRICTED

UNRESTRICTED -- Operating Fund $78,338

UNRESTRICTED -- Litigation Fund $ -

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

UNRESTRICTED -- Case Development Fund $ -

UNRESTRICTED -- Impact Studies Fund $ -

UNRESTRICTED -- Total for 2000 -- $78,338

UNRESTRICTED total for 1999 -- $86,402

SUB-TOTAL LIABILITIES

SUB-TOTAL -- Operating Fund $107,643

SUB-TOTAL -- Litigation Fund $473,501

SUB-TOTAL -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $167,597

SUB-TOTAL -- Case Development Fund $67,189

SUB-TOTAL -- Impact Studies Fund $40,196

SUB-TOTAL – Sub-Total for 2000 -- $856,126

SUB-TOTAL for 1999 -- $543,252

TOTAL LIABILITIES

TOTAL -- Operating Fund $161,719

TOTAL -- Litigation Fund $473,501

TOTAL -- Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $167,597

TOTAL -- Case Development Fund $67,189

TOTAL -- Impact Studies Fund $40,196

TOTAL – Sub-Total for 2000 -- $910,202

TOTAL for 1999 -- $628,556

 

STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND FUND BALANCES

For the Year ended March 31, 2000

Operating Fund - 2000

Revenue -

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

Interest $26,576

Human Resource development $2,772

Total $679,348

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $712,572

Programs Delivery $-

Total $712,572

Excess of Revenue over expenses (expenses over revenue) for the year ($33,224)

Fund balance (beginning of year) $140,867

Fund balance, end of year $107,643

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

RESTRICTED FUNDS

Litigation Fund

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $1,846,537

Interest $-

Human Resource development $-

Total $1,846,537

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $-

Programs Delivery $1,641,132

Total $1,641,132

Excess of Revenue over expenses (expenses over revenue) for the year $205,405

Fund balance (beginning of year) $268,096

Fund balance, end of year $473,501

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $420,000

Interest $-

Human Resource development $-

Total $420,000

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $-

Programs Delivery $307,143

Total $307,143

Excess of Revenue over expenses (expenses over revenue) for the year $112,857

Fund balance (beginning of year) $54,740

Fund balance, end of year $167,597

Case Development Fund

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $117,000

Interest $-

Human Resource development $-

Total $117,000

Expenses -

Operating (Schedules) $-

Programs Delivery $112,472

Total $112,472

Excess of Revenue over expenses (expenses over revenue) for the year $4,528

Fund balance (beginning of year) $62,661

Fund balance, end of year $67,189

Impact Studies Fund

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $100,000

Interest $-

Human Resource development $-

Total $100,000

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $-

Programs Delivery $76,692

Total $76,692

Excess of Revenue over expenses(expenses over revenue) for the year $23,308

Fund balance (beginning of year) $16,888

Fund balance, end of year $40,196

Total 2000

Revenue -

Contributions - Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage $2,483,537

Interest $-

Human Resource development $-

Total $2,483,537

Expenses -

Operating (Schedule) $-

Programs Delivery $2,137,439

Total $2,137,439

Excess of Revenue over expenses(expenses over revenue) for the year $346,098

Fund balance (beginning of year) $402,385

Fund balance, end of year $748,483

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

 

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 of Canada - 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 of the 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 equality, 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, 2000

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 provide any additional meaningful information.

 

3 Capital assets

2000

Computer Equipment

Cost $79,976

Accumulated amortization $57,165

Furniture and equipment

Cost $41,274

Accumulated amortization $34,780

Total cost $121,250

Total accumulated amortization $91,945

Net book value (2000) $29,305

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

 

4 Externally restricted fund balances

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

Equality rights

Litigation Fund $330,639

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $103,176

Case Development Fund $50,630

Impact Studies Fund $23,358

Total (2000) $507,803

Total (1999) $147,041

Language rights

Litigation Fund $142,862

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $64,421

Case Development Fund $16,559

Impact Studies Fund $16,838

Total (2000) $240,680

Total (1999) $255,344

Grand totals

Litigation Fund $473,501

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation Fund $167,597

Case Development Fund $67,189

Impact Studies Fund $40,196

Total (2000) $748,483

Total (1999) $402,385

 

5 Commitments

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

Equality rights

Commitments approved by Panels

Litigation $1,946,239

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation $290,000

Case development $96,676

Impact studies $74,239

Total $2,407,154

Language rights

Commitments approved by Panels

Litigation $454,777

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation $84,210

Case development $24,878

Impact studies $19,834

Total $583,699

Grand total for equality rights and language rights $2,990,853

2000 -- Disbursements paid $2,137,439

Sub-total $853,414

Restricted cash $-

Future commitments to be funded by contributions $934,231

1999 Totals

Commitments approved by Panels

Litigation $1,804,672

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation $218,509

Case development $141,114

Impact studies $5,042

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

Disbursements paid $1,769,345

Sub-total $399,992

Restricted cash ($59,349)

Future commitments to be funded by contributions $340,643

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.

Schedule of Operating Expenses

For the year ended March 31, 2000

Advertising 2000 - $248 1999 – $1,350

Annual meeting 2000 - $9,931 1999 – $10,440

Audit fees 2000 - $5,518 1999 - $5,175

Bank charges 2000 - $623 1999 - $581

Board members' lost wages 2000 – $1,445 1999 - $695

Depreciation 2000 – $26,060 1999 – $23,859

Facilities 2000 – $25,364 1999 – $23,876

Insurance 2000 - $3,778 1999 - $500

Legal fees 2000 - $- 1999 – $6,269

Loss on write off of assets 2000 – $1,000 1999 - $-

Office equipment and maintenance 2000 - $7,190 1999 - $5,674

Panel members' fees 2000 - $18,250 1999 – $18,820

Photocopying and printing 2000 - $11,100 1999 - $7,344

Postage 2000 - $5,120 1999 – $11,852

Public relations and outreach 2000 – $21,388 1999 – $15,110

Research material 2000 - $6,872 1999 – $6,551

Salaries and benefits 2000 - $406,026 1999 – $374,583

Supplies 2000 – $10,239 1999 – $12,313

Telephone and fax 2000 – $14,807 1999 – $26,990

Translation and interpretation 2000 - $33,074 1999 – $14,757

Travel and meetings 2000 – $104,539 1999 – $86,542

TOTAL 2000 - $712,572 1999 – $653,281

 

 

PART II - EQUALITY RIGHTS PROGRAM: CASE HIGHLIGHTS FROM 1999-2000

2.0 Introduction

This section of the report highlights the main court challenges granted funding by the Equality Rights Panel for the 1999-2000 fiscal year.

The Equality Rights Program granted funding to a party and/or intervener(s) in a number of exciting test cases this year. Below is a short description of a number of these challenges. In keeping with the Program's obligation to respect the confidentiality of all applicants, only public information about the cases is provided, and this, with the permission of the applicants involved. The following pages show how inequality arises for diverse groups and communities in many areas of federal law or policy.

 

Cases funded by the Equality Program

2.1.1 Aboriginal Law

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

This case challenged Indian Act provisions that prohibit band members who do not live on reserve from participating in Band elections. Due to a shortage of land and housing, many members of the Batchewana Indian Band must live off-reserve. Particularly affected by this provision 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 challenged the residency requirement as contrary to the equality guarantees in section 15 of the Charter. The Federal Court, Trial Division, declared that certain sections of the Indian Act dealing with Band elections are invalid under section 15 of the Charter. The Federal Court of Appeal upheld the Trial Court decision, as did the Supreme Court of Canada.

While two groups of Supreme Court Justices provided two separate decisions, on May 20, 1999, all the judges agreed that the Indian Act residency requirement 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 which was further perpetuated by their being prevented from participating in the political governance of their communities. 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.

 

Scrimbitt v. Sakimay Indian Band Council

In a related case, Ms Scrimbitt challenged a Sakimay Indian Band Council policy which denied her the right to participate in Band elections due to her status as someone reinstated under Bill C-31. Under the changes to the Indian Act contained in Bill C-31, many Aboriginal women who had lost status under the previous version of the Indian Act have recently regained status as have a number of their descendants.

The Federal Court trial judge released his decision on October 19, 1999. He found that the policy did indeed discriminate against Ms Scrimbitt and other people reinstated under Bill C-31, contrary to the equality rights in section 15. The court found that the inequality arose for all Bill C-31 reinstatees, whether male or female, on the grounds of sex and prior marital status. The reason is that the loss of status, which this Bill was meant to repair, could always be traced to a female ancestor who was denied registration under the previous legislation due to her marital status. The judge concluded that the Band Council had not provided sufficient justification for the discrimination. As the Indian Act prohibited this limit on Ms Scrimbitt's (and other Bill C-31 reinstatees') rights as a Band member, the policy was not a "limit prescribed by law" as required by section 1 of the Charter. The Band Council has appealed this decision.

 

Watt v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Watt is a member of a First Nation whose traditional territories straddle the Canada-United States border. In 1986, he moved to the southern region of British Columbia and a few years later was convicted of growing marijuana. Because Mr. Watt is not a Canadian citizen and does not have status under the Indian Act, Immigration officials ordered him to be deported.

Mr. Watt argued before an Immigration Adjudicator that he has a right as an Aboriginal person to remain in Canada, relying on section 35 of the Constitution Act 1982. He also challenged sections 4 and 5 of the Immigration Act, which protects Canadian citizens, permanent residents and people with status under the Indian Act from being deported. By failing to extend this protection to people who have Aboriginal rights in Canada but are not registered under the Indian Act, these provisions arguably violate both his right to equality and his constitutional Aboriginal rights.

The Immigration Adjudicator stated that she lacked the authority to decide whether the provisions violated Canada's Constitution. The Federal Court trial judge found the provisions had actually extinguished or eliminated any rights as an Aboriginal person without status to remain in Canada. On December 30, 1998, the Federal Court of Appeal found that the earlier decision-makers in the case were both wrong. In the appeal court's view, an Immigration Adjudicator has the power to decide constitutional questions, and to refuse to apply legislation which is inconsistent with the Constitution, including the Charter. Secondly, the Immigration Act provisions were not sufficient to extinguish the Aboriginal rights in question. The Court of Appeal sent the case back to the Adjudicator to be reheard on the basis of these principles and to give full consideration to Mr. Watt's section 15 case.

 

2.1.2 Criminal Law

R. v. Mills

Mr. Mills, who was accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl, wanted to obtain records of visits she made to a counselling agency and a psychiatrist, for use in his court case. He did not want to follow the procedures for accessing these records which are imposed by Bill C-46, however, arguing that these sections of the Criminal Code violated his right to a fair criminal process. Bill C-46 sets out the process and the factors that a judge must use when an accused person goes to court to ask for a complainants' (victims') private records. The provisions attempt to balance the accused person’s right to know the case against him and make a full defence with the complainants’ rights to privacy and equality. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench agreed with Mr. Mills that the provisions went too far in protecting complainants' rights and declared Bill C-46 to be unconstitutional. The complainant in the case, L.C., then received permission to bring an appeal directly to the Supreme Court of Canada. Groups representing women, children, service providers, and mental health consumers intervened in the case to explain why Bill C-46 is needed to protect the equality and privacy of sexual assault complainants.

In its decision of November 25, 1999, a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada found that the provisions in Bill C-46 do not interfere with an accused person's right to a fair criminal process under section 7 and 11(d) of the Charter. The Court pointed out that the scope of these rights is not unlimited and must take into account the rights and interests of the other people involved in the process, namely, the survivors of sexual assault who must report the crime and testify in court. Primarily women and children, sexual assault complainants have historically been subject to bias and stereotype within sexual assault trials. The Court has now made it clear that equality is an integral part of the concepts of fairness and justice, particularly in the criminal law.

 

2.1.3 Defense

Liebmann v. Canada (Minister of National Defence)

A member of the Naval Reserve of the Canadian Armed Forces, Mr. Liebmann was turned down for a posting in Iraq during the war in the Persian Gulf, due to the fact that he is Jewish and would be serving in a Muslim country. He challenged the Canadian Forces policy that allowed his superiors to consider "the cultural, religious or other sensitivities of the parties to the conflict and the host country" in determining whether to assign him to a peacekeeping mission. Mr. Liebmann claims that this policy violates his right to equality under section 15 of the Charter by discriminating against him on the ground of his religion.

While the Federal Court trial judge’s decision of September 18, 1998, accepted that Mr. Liebmann had been denied the posting because of his religion, the judge found that the policy was constitutional. In the judge's view, any distinctions on cultural or religious grounds were relevant to the policy's purpose, that being to make sure peacekeeping missions are successful and do not endanger the lives of the soldiers involved. In the trial judge's view, the policy did not stereotype religious or cultural groups, but rather allowed for a case-by-case consideration of the risks posed by an individual's background and circumstances. As a result, it did not violate the guarantee of equality found in section 15. Mr. Liebmann has appealed this decision in the Federal Court of Appeal.

 

2.1.4 Elections

Sauvé v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer)

Inmates and former inmates of correctional institutions, along with a group representing Aboriginal prisoners, and a group representing prisoners more generally, are challenging a Canada Elections Act provision preventing all prisoners serving a sentence of more than two years from voting in federal elections. The individuals and groups involved claim this provision violates their right to vote, which is protected by section 3 of the Charter. They also claim that, given the overrepresentation of poor people and Aboriginal people in correctional institutions, the restriction further violates the inmates' right to equality under section 15.

In 1995, the Federal Court trial judge found the provision to be an impermissible restriction of these prisoners' right to vote. The judge found, however, that denying inmates the right to vote does not discriminate on the basis of poverty or Aboriginal ancestry contrary to section 15 of the Charter. His reason was that the law does not draw any lines among prisoners on these grounds.

In the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision on October 21, 1999, two of the three appeal court judges rejected the trial judge's finding concerning voting rights, agreeing instead that the Federal government had shown that the law restricts the right to vote in a minimal – and, therefore, permissible – way. All three justices also found that the election law did not violate section 15. In their view, being treated differently because one is a prisoner is not like being treated differently on the basis of those personal characteristics such as race or sex which are listed in section 15. For this reason, prisoners who are treated differently as a group do not have an equality rights claim. The appeal court focused on the fact that one's status as a prisoner changes over time, and found that the government could reasonably expect prisoners to change their behaviour in order to receive equal benefit of the law. The court further found that the election law did not discriminate on the ground of Aboriginal ancestry as most Aboriginal people are not in prison and, therefore, are still allowed to vote. Furthermore, the law was never intended to target Aboriginal prisoners. The plaintiffs are now waiting to find out if the Supreme Court of Canada will hear their appeal.

 

2.1.5 Immigration/Refugee Law

Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

This case involves a challenge by Ms Baker, a Jamaican-born woman, who worked illegally in Canada as a domestic worker for a number of years. After the birth of her fourth Canadian-born child, she suffered post-partum psychosis and was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. After undergoing treatment at a mental health facility for one year, she applied for landed immigrant status on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Her application was denied and she was ordered deported. The Immigration officer had noted that she would be a "tremendous strain" on the social welfare system for the rest of her life.

Ms Baker appealed this ruling to the Federal Court Trial Division. At trial, she relied on international human rights conventions and covenants, particularly the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, to support her request to remain in Canada with her Canadian-born children. The Court upheld the deportation order. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal.

The Supreme Court of Canada decision of July 9, 1999 stated at the outset that it was deciding this case in light of the duty of fairness and the principles of natural justice which govern public officials in their everyday dealings with the public. Nonetheless, the Court's approach provided an opportunity to address many of the equality considerations at play in the case. Firstly, in reviewing the fairness of the decision-making process, the Court found that the immigration official showed an impermissible bias against single mothers and women with a psychiatric history. Secondly, at least in the Immigration context, the Court found that officials who exercise discretion with a serious impact on the lives of the people involved, must make "reasonable" decisions which take into consideration the values underlying domestic and international human rights. What this meant in Ms Baker's case, is that, when deciding whether she, as a mother, may remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, the Immigration official should have given very serious consideration to the impact of his decision on her children.

Many decisions affecting equality seekers are made by government officials who exercise considerable discretion. This judgment encourages the consideration of human rights values in such determinations.

 

Deol v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

When Ms Deol applied to sponsor her father, Ranjit Singh, to come to Canada to live permanently, she was turned down because an Immigration Act provision denies entry to people "expected to cause excessive demands in health and social services". Mr. Singh has an advanced degenerative disease in both knees and requires a cane, assistance to live independently, surgery and long-term specialist's care.

Ms Deol appealed the denial to the Appeals Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board, arguing, in part, that this provision violates her and her father's right to equality by discriminating on the basis of his disability. The Board member’s decision of February 22, 2000 found that Mr. Singh was not sufficiently disabled to come within the definition of disability under section 15. She further noted that, even if Mr. Singh was sufficiently disabled, the Act does not draw a distinction on the basis of his disability, but rather on the basis of the excessive demands on the health care system caused by it.

Equality seekers involved in the immigration system will be monitoring the progress of this case as it deals with a tremendous obstacle not only to people with disabilities who wish to move to Canada, but also to the reunification of families where a member has a disability.

 

Solis v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Under the Immigration Act, permanent residents 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 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 his 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 leaving him vulnerable to the influence of racist beliefs on the part of Immigration officials.

The Federal Court Trial Division found that Mr. Solis could not make an equality claim because he did not belong to a disadvantaged group. In the judge's view, the only difference drawn in the legislation was between those who had committed offences and those who had not. The Federal Court of Appeal decision of March 28, 2000 confirmed the lower court's finding on the constitutional rights raised in the case. It did not make any findings regarding Mr. Solis' equality rights or interests, however. Mr. Solis is waiting to find out if the Supreme Court of Canada will hear his appeal.

 

2.1.6 Social and Economic Rights

Collins v. Canada

This case involves the benefits provided to spouses of Old Age Security recipients. At the age of 61, Ms Collins’ application for a spousal allowance under the Old Age Security Program was denied because she was separated from her husband. If they had been living together, she would have received the benefit until the age of 65, at which point she would be eligible to apply for Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits. Ms Collins challenged this restriction, arguing that it discriminates against her on the basis of her marital status and, therefore, violates her right to equality under section 15 of the Charter.

The Federal Court trial judge’s decision of October 25, 1999 agreed that the restriction on spousal benefits violated section 15 on the basis of Ms Collins' marital status. However, the court accepted the government's justification for the law under section 1. The trial judge acknowledged that the government intended to leave separated spouses out of the Plan, but found that it was acceptable to exclude Ms Collins and others, if done in the aim of targeting co-habiting couples for help. In reaching this decision, the judge relied heavily on the fact that expanding the Program to cover separated spouses could be costly. In the judge's view, the government's law-makers were better placed than the court to decide how federal tax money is spent on social programs Ms Collins has appealed this decision to the Federal Court of Appeal.

Many equality seekers are concerned about this case as it raises the question of whether governments can justify the failure to include certain disadvantaged groups in social programs on the basis of cost.

 

Granovsky v. Canada (Minister of Human Resources Development)

Mr. Granovsky challenged Canada Pension Plan Act (CPP) provisions which required him to contribute a certain amount to the Plan for a specified period in order to be eligible for a disability pension. He has a progressive disability which prevented him from working continuously and from making sufficient contributions to qualify for CPP benefits when he did become permanently unable to work. Mr. Granovsky argued that this denial discriminated against him on the basis of his disability. The Pension Appeals Board rejected his claim. The Board's ruling was appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal where the Court found that the Plan discriminated against persons with progressive disabilities contrary to section 15 of the Charter, but went on to find that the discrimination could be justified under section 1 of the Charter. Mr. Granovsky then brought his case before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Update: The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision of May 18, 2000 found that the denial of disability pension benefits did not discriminate against Mr. Granovsky within the purpose and meaning of section 15. The Court found that the only difference in treatment contained in the eligibility requirements was between those with temporary disabilities such as Mr. Granovsky

and those with severe and permanent disabilities. The Court then held that the provisions were meant to improve conditions for those in the latter group. As Mr. Granovsky was challenging a benefit which targeted a more disadvantaged group than that to which he belonged, excluding him did not violate his right to equality.

Equality seekers are concerned that the Supreme Court's comparison of temporary and permanent disabilities failed to recognize the needs of people with progressively disabling conditions, who are no less disadvantaged than others upon reaching the point where their disability prevents them from working on a permanent basis.

 

2.2 Closing Comments

Results have certainly been mixed this year, as courts continue to struggle with an ever-evolving equality analysis. Whether "neutral" laws and policies that perpetuate existing disadvantage through effects on vulnerable groups, under-inclusive social and economic benefits legislation, or policies which appear to give attention to the needs of individual equality seekers, all are common vehicles for inequality in Canadian society. The inequality may be clear to the equality seekers who feel its effects, however, translating these experiences into legal arguments and evidence which a court will recognize is no simple feat. The cases described above do demonstrate, however, the varied and rich opportunities to advance equality in so many areas of government involvement in our lives.

 

List of Authorities

Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] S.C.J. No.39; 2 S.C.R. 817 (S.C.C.)

Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1996] F.C.J. No. 1726; 2 F.C. 127 (F.C.A.)

Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1995] F.C.J. No. 1441; 101 F.T.R. 110 (F.C.T.D.)

Collins v. Canada, [1999] F.C.J. No.1578; [2000] 2 F.C. 3 (F.C.T.D.)

Corbiere et al. v. The Queen and Batchewana Indian Band, [1999] S.C.J. No. 24; 2 S.C.R. 203 (S.C.C.)

Corbiere et al. v. The Queen and Batchewana Indian Band, [1996] F.C.J. No. 1486; 142 D.L.R. (4th) 122 (F.C.A.)

Corbiere et al. v. The Queen and Batchewana Indian Band, [1993] F.C.J. No. 896; [1994] 1 F.C. 394 (F.C.T.D.)

Deol v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [2000] I.A.D.D. No. 214

(Immigration and Refugee Appeal Board)

Granovsky v. Canada (Minister of Human Resource Development), [2000] S.C.J. No. 29 (S.C.C.)

Granovsky v. Canada (Minster of Human Resource Development), [1998] F.C.J. No. 311; 3 F.C. 175 (F.C.A.)

Liebman v. Canada (Minister of National Defence), [1998] F.C.J. No. 1313; [1999] 1 F.C. 20 (F.C.T.D.)

Sauvé v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer), [1999] S.C.C.A. No. 617 (S.C.C. application for leave to appeal)

Sauvé v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer), [1999] F.C.J. No. 1577; [2000] 2 F.C. 117 (F.C.A.)

Sauvé v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer), [1995] F.C.J. No. 1735; [1996] 1 F.C. 857 (F.C.T.D.)

Scrimbitt v. Sakimay Indian Band Council, [1999] F.C.J. No. 1606; [2000] 1 F.C. 513 (F.C.T.D.)

Solis v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [2000] F.C.J. No. 407 (F.C.A.)

Solis v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1998] F.C.J. No. 675; 147 F.T.R. 272 (F.C.T.D.)

R. v. Mills, [1999] S.C.J. No. 68; 3 S.C.R. 668 (S.C.C.)

R. v. Mills, [1997] A.J. No. 1036; 207 A.R. 161 (Alta. Q.B.)

Watt v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, [1998] F.C.J. No. 1931; [1999] 2 F.C. 455 (F.C.A.)

Watt v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, [1994] F.C.J. No.1122; 82 F.T.R. 57 (F.C.T.D.)

 

 

PART III – LANGUAGE RIGHTS

3.0 Introduction

This section of the report highlights the main cases for which funding was granted by the Language Rights Panel for the 1999-2000 fiscal year, along with some other major court decisions pertaining to language rights.

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

1. The unwritten constitutional principle of protection of minorities;

2. Minority language educational rights;

3. Language of work, communications, and services;

4. Language rights aspects of freedom of expression;

5. Judicial rights; and

6. Legislative bilingualism.

 

3.1 The Unwritten Constitutional Principle of Protection of Minorities

There have continued to be interesting developments in the area of language rights during the past year due in part to a court challenge in Ontario based on the Reference re Secession of Québec.

Though the Reference re Secession of Québec did not deal directly with language rights, the Supreme Court’s remarks on the existence and importance of certain underlying constitutional principles such as the protection of minorities, including language minorities, could have a major impact on the rights of official language minority communities and on language rights. This is what the Supreme Court had 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 constitute 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 exact nature and scope of these principles, however, remains unclear. For the first time this year, Ontario’s Divisional Court relied on this principle, in Gisèle Lalonde, Michelle de Courville-Nicol et Hôpital Montfort v. Health Services Restructuring Commission of Ontario.

In this case, three judges from Ontario’s Divisional Court accepted the legal argument based on the unwritten constitutional principle of protecting minorities to overturn the directives issued by Ontario’s Health Services Restructuring Commission. The judges invalidated the directives because of their negative impact on the Franco-Ontarian community on the basis that they violated the unwritten constitutional principle of protection of minorities. On page 50 of the decision, the three judges had this to say about the unwritten constitutional principle of protection of minorities and its relevance in relation to the directions issued by the Commission:

Given the constitutional mandate for the protection and respect of minority rights - an "independent principle underlying our constitution", a "powerful normative force" - it was not open to the Commission to proceed on a "restructured health services" mandate only, and to ignore the broader institutional role played by Hôpital Montfort as a truly francophone centre, necessary to promote and enhance the Franco-Ontarian identity as a cultural/linguistic minority in Ontario, and to protect that culture from assimilation.

This issue will be heard at the Ontario Court of Appeal as the Ontario government has already launched an appeal in this case. Should this Court uphold the lower court’s decision and grant constitutional protection to certain key institutions and/or legal rights of official language minority communities, it would be a major gain for official language minority communities and, indirectly, for language rights.

 

3.2 Minority Language Educational Rights

Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms confers a sliding scale of rights onto official minority language parents. At the most basic level, parents are granted the general right to have their children receive instruction in the minority official language where the number of pupils warrant. Where there are enough children, section 23 can also entitle those children to receive their instruction in minority language educational facilities. The Supreme Court of Canada has also recognized a higher level of right in Mahé v. Alberta, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 342 - the right of parents to manage those minority language educational facilities. The right to school governance can range from requiring linguistic minority representation on a mixed school board with exclusive authority over all cultural and language aspects, to setting up an independent school board for the linguistic minority.

The Program funded a certain number of court challenges on entitlement to instruction and schools. Here are a few of these.

French-speaking parents in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, and the organization representing them - the Fédération des parents francophones de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard - had for several years been demanding that a French-language school be set up in their community. In January of 1997, the Prince Edward Island Supreme Court sided with the parents, saying they had a right to a French-language school. The government appealed the decision and won.

In 1998, the Fédération des parents de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard were granted Program funding to take the case before the Supreme Court of Canada. Funding was also granted to Prince Edward Island’s French Language Board, the Société Saint-Thomas d’Aquin and the Commission nationale des parents francophones to intervene on behalf of the parents.

The Supreme Court’s decision of January 2000 quashed the decision of the Prince Edward Island Supreme Court, Appeal Division. The Supreme Court of Canada reiterated yet again that section 23 must be interpreted according to its true purpose. The following is an excerpt of this decision pertaining to this issue:

A purposive interpretation of section 23, rights is based on the true purpose of redressing past injustices and providing the official language minority with equal access to high quality education in its own language, in circumstances where community development will be enhanced. (Paragraph 27)

By reiterating the true purpose of section 23 the Supreme Court fully recognized the vital role schools play in helping official language minority communities flourish. Thus, this decision was an important victory not only for the parents of Summerside, but for all official language minority communities.

The Program also provided some funding for a case involving the Fédération des parents acadiens de la Nouvelle-Écosse. This challenge, which addresses the need to offer single-program French-language schools in various regions in Nova Scotia, goes back a number of years. On June 15, 2000, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court ordered homogenous programming in all provincial Acadian School Board high schools by September 2000 except in the regions of Clare and Argyle, which were to have their single-program schools by September 2001.

Though a good number of issues have been settled through court challenges funded by the Program during this fiscal year, several matters still remain before the courts, namely the issue of adequate funding to implement this constitutional right. The Program hopes that a number of these issues will be settled over the coming years.

 

3.3 Language of Work, Communications and Services

Subsection 16(l) of the Charter states that English and French are the official languages of Canada and that they have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of Canada. Subsection 16(2) contains equivalent provisions regarding the institutions of the legislature and government of New Brunswick. Lastly, subsection 16(3) confirms the authority of Parliament or a legislature to advance the equality of status or use of English and French.

The Supreme Court of Canada has made a few pronouncements on these provisions, but not in any way that would make it possible to draw clear and definite conclusions about the scope of this section. At this point in time, it is hard to say whether this section is merely declaratory or if it confers specific rights. The scope of this section remains to be clarified.

Section 16.1 of the Charter is unique in that it enshrines the equality of New Brunswick’s two official language communities in the Constitution. In 1999-2000, for the first time, a few of the funding applications submitted to the Program pertained to this section, if only in part. Some of these applications resulted in funding being granted which could eventually give rise to a court ruling on the actual scope of this provision.

Section 20 of the Charter confers the right to use the official language of one’s choice to communicate with, and to receive available services from, any head or central office or institution of the Parliament or government of Canada and the legislature and government of New Brunswick. Except in the case of a head or central office, the entitlement to services is conditional upon significant demand or the purpose of the office.

A number of issues pertaining to this section remain subject to interpretation. For instance, the courts have yet to define exactly what constitutes the "institutions of the Parliament or government of Canada" or the "legislature and government of New Brunswick" mentioned in sections 16 and 20 of the Charter.

However, this year, the Program has granted funding to the Fédération franco-ténoise to launch a court challenge that would result in clarifying whether the government of the Northwest Territories and, by extension, all territorial governments are institutions of the government of Canada for the purposes of section 20 of the Charter. Given the importance of this matter, the Program believes that this challenge could be instrumental in determining the scope of section 20 of the Charter and of rights in the area of language of services.

The federal government’s language obligations in areas within its jurisdiction have been clearly established. It is less clear, however, whether its obligations under section 20 of the Charter to deliver services to the public in English or French continue to exist when it delegates some of its powers to provinces, territories and/or third parties to deliver these services.

The Program has granted funding to the Association des juristes d'expression française de l’Ontario to intervene in a court challenge involving the Federal Contraventions Act and the matter of devolution. This case, scheduled to be heard in the Fall of 2000, could provide the beginnings of answers to some of these questions.

 

3.4 Language Rights Aspects of Freedom of Expression

Some fundamental rights conferred by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have a language component. The most obvious instance of this type of right is the freedom of expression guaranteed under section 2 of the Charter. The Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled on the link between language and freedom of expression in Québec cases, especially those pertaining to the language of commercial signs.

The Contribution Agreement the Program signed with the federal government makes it possible for the Language Rights Panel to grant funding for cases involving freedom of expression as set out in paragraph 2(b) of the Charter, provided they pertain to the language rights of an official language minority group.

In 1998, the Program granted funding for a court challenge involving this right in the Lorraine Chiasson et al. v. The Attorney General of Québec. This case involved Québec’s Charter of the French Language, section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the language of software in the workplace. Justice Pierre J. Dalphond of the Québec Superior Court, District of Montreal, declared that the Charter of the French Language did not forbid making English versions of software programs available and did not allow the Office de la langue française to prevent an employer from providing English-language programs in a workplace where French-language programs were already available to employees.

 

3.5 Judicial Rights

In judicial matters, language rights are guaranteed under section 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870, and section 19 of the Charter. These provisions allow French or English to be used in any case before courts established in Québec, New Brunswick and Manitoba, or by the Parliament of Canada.

In the judicial area, language rights pertain mainly to the choice of the language of proceedings and the right to address the court in the language of one’s choice.

This year, the Program funded a number of language cases pertaining to judicial rights, including R. v. Deveaux in Nova Scotia. In this case, the French-speaking defendant had not been informed by the judge at his first appearance in court that he was entitled to have his trial in French under section 530 of the Criminal Code. The decision rendered in this case, drawing heavily from the landmark Beaulac case and from certain constitutional language provisions under the Charter, reaffirmed the importance of language rights in judicial matters. Moreover, the judge concluded that since French-speaking accused’s language rights had been violated, a new trial was necessary, this time to be held in French.

A number of other cases involving judicial language rights were also granted funding during the past year. Several of these are either about to go before the courts or are presently being heard. A number of major decisions should be rendered within the coming year.

 

3.6 Legislative Bilingualism

The Program may make financial contributions to cases aimed at clarifying the language obligations of the Parliament of Canada, the Legislative Assemblies of New Brunswick and Manitoba, as well as the National Assembly of Québec. Section 17 of the Charter guarantees the right to use French or English in the debates and proceedings of Parliament and of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. Section 18 requires that all documents issued by 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, that preceded the Charter, impose parallel obligations on Parliament, Manitoba’s Legislative Assembly and Québec’s National Assembly.

The Program, however, received no applications for funding in the area of legislative bilingualism during the 1999-2000 fiscal year.

 

3.7 Closing Comments

The Program held its first national conference on language rights in Ottawa in the fall of 1999. Some 150 participants attended, including legal experts, civil servants and community representatives from all over Canada. Dealing mainly with language rights in education and in services to the public, the conference was a huge success. The Court Challenges Program and the Language Rights Panel are already acting upon conference conclusions in setting future policies.

Moreover, the conference has already given rise to a number of new funding applications as well as strategic court challenges in the area of language rights. The tables at the end of the annual report demonstrate that the number and diversity of funding applications in the area of language rights have risen markedly in the past year. Given the recent positive developments in language rights, the continuing government transformations and, unfortunately, the reticence of some provincial and territorial governments to honour the constitutional education rights of their official language minorities, the Program foresees that the number of applications will continue to climb, although at a somewhat slower pace, over the coming year.

In closing, it is important to note that language rights have been changing rapidly over the past few years, these changes being chiefly favourable to linguistic minority groups. The Program will continue to play a leading role in the coming year to ensure, as much as possible, that the constitutional language rights of Canada’s official language minority groups continue to build on these positive developments.

 

Case Law Sources

Arsenault-Cameron c. Prince Edward Island, [2000] S.C.J. no. 1; 184 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 44 (C.S.C.)

Arsenault-Cameron c. Prince Edward Island, [1998] P.E.I.J. no. 38; 162 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 329 (C.A.P.E.I.)

Arsenault-Cameron c. Prince Edward Island, [1997] P.E.I.J. no. 7; 147 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 308 (C.S.P.E.I.)

Arsenault-Cameron c. Prince Edward Island, [1997] P.E.I.J. no. 21; 149 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 96 (C.S.P.E.I. - Cour divisionnaire)

Commissaire aux langues officielles du Canada c. Procureur général du Canada et al.,

(Cour fédérale, no. T-2170-98)

Fédération franco-Ténoise et al. c. Procureur général du Canada, (Cour fédéral, no. T-110-00)

Gisèle Lalonde, Michelle de Courville-Nicol et Hôpital Montfort c. Commission de

restructuration des services de santé de l'Ontario, [1999] O.J. no. 4489; 181 D.L.R. (4th) 263 (C.S. Ont. - Cour divisionnaire)

Glenda Doucet-Boudreau et al. c. Ministère de l'Éducation de la Nouvelle-Écosse et al.,

[2000] N.S.J. no. 191 (C.S.N.S.)

Lorraine Chiasson et al. c. Procureur général du Québec, [2000] J.Q. no. 2010 (C.S. Qué.)

Mahé c. Alberta, [1990] A.C.S. no. 19; 1 R.C.S. 342 (C.S.C.)

Mahé c. Alberta, [1987] A.J. no. 709; 42 D.L.R. (4th) 514 (C.A. Alta.)

Mahé c. Alberta, (1985) 64 A.R. 35; 22 D.L.R. (4th) 24 (Q.B. Alta.)

R. c. Beaulac, [1999] A.C.S. no. 25; 121 B.C.A.C 227 (C.S.C.)

R. c. Beaulac, [1997] B.C.J. no. 2379; 98 B.C.A.C. 271 (C.A.B.C.)

R. c. Beaulac, [1994] B.C.J. no. 420; 40 B.C.A.C. 236 (C.A.B.C.)

R. c. Beaulac, [1991] B.C.J. no. 277 (C.S.B.C.)

R. c. Deveaux, [1999] N.S.J. no. 477; 181 N.S.R. (2d) 81 (C.S.N.S.)

Renvoi relatif à la sécession du Québec, [1998] S.C.J. no. 61; 2 R.C.S. 217 (C.S.C.)

 

Part IV Statistical Highlights

Breakdown of Equality Applications Received

October 24, 1994 — March 31, 2000

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

1999/2000 0

% of Applications 0

Total 1

% of Applications 0.1

Province/Territory Nunavut (Nunavut became a Territory in April 1999)

% 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 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

1999/2000 0

% of Applications 0

Total 0

% of Applications 0

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

1999/2000 0

% of Applications 0

Total 2

% of Applications 0.3

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

1999/2000 15

% of Applications 11.5

Total 95

% of Applications 14.5

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 9.3

1998/1999 10

% of Applications 8.0

1999/2000 15

% of Applications 11.5

Total 58

% of Applications 8.9

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 7.1

1998/1999 1

% of Applications 0.8

1999/2000 3

% of Applications 2.3

Total 28

% of Applications 4.3

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

1999/2000 24

% of Applications 18.3

Total 106

% of Applications 16.2

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 38.8

1998/1999 49

% of Applications 39.2

1999/2000 52

% of Applications 39.7

Total 248

% of Applications 38

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

1999/2000 10

% of Applications 7.6

Total 62

% of Applications 9.5

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 0.7

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

1999/2000 0

% of Applications 0

Total 10

% of Applications 1.5

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

1999/2000 11

% of Applications 8.3

Total 30

% of Applications 4.7

Province/Territory Prince Edward Island

% of Canadian Population 0.5

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

1999/2000 0

% of Applications 0

Total 5

% of Applications 0.8

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

1999/2000 1

% of Applications 0.8

Total 6

% 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

1999/2000 0

% of Applications 0

Total 2

% of Applications 0.3

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

1999/2000 131

% of Applications 100

Total 653

% of Applications 100

 

Table 2 — Breakdown of Equality Applications Received

October 24, 1994 to March 31, 2000 by Type of Application

(Transcriber's note: the 7 column headings are as follows: 1994/95 1995/96 1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 1999/00 TOTAL)

Aboriginal 9 19 21 33 15 40 137

Age 2 0 5 5 3 5 20

Citizenship 2 2 1 4 4 2 15

Colour/Race/National Origin/Ethnicity

-- Colour 0 7 6 4 0 0 17

-- Race 0 0 2 9 17 16 44

-- National Origin 2 1 3 2 1 0 9

-- Ethnicity 2 1 6 4 9 2 24

-- General (Note a) 2 5 9 3 3 0 22

Disability 7 12 10 19 16 13 77

Family/Marital/Parental 3 6 6 4 6 5 30

Geography 0 0 2 1 0 2 5

Language 0 2 1 1 0 0 4

Poverty 4 6 5 6 10 6 37

Prisoner/Criminal Record 5 2 3 5 6 9 30

Religion 2 1 0 0 0 0 3

Section 15 General 3 2 8 9 2 2 26

Sex 3 6 9 17 19 13 67

Sexual Orientation 6 10 10 7 5 7 45

Transgendered 0 1 1 1 3 0 6

Unknown (Note b) 0 1 2 2 3 1 9

Other (Note c) 5 4 3 3 3 8 26

TOTAL 57 88 113 139 125 131 653

Note a: Applications involving all of the following grounds of discrimination: colour, race, national origin 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, 2000

(Transcriber's note: the 5 column headings are as follows: Decision Pending, Panel/Admin Rejection, Applicant Withdrawn, Panel Granted, Total)

Aboriginal 6 17 18 92 135

Age 1 6 2 11 20

Citizenship 3 5 0 7 15

Colour/Race/National Origin/Ethnicity

-- Colour 0 5 3 9 17

-- Race 3 7 2 32 44

-- National Origin 0 4 2 3 9

-- Ethnicity 1 7 1 15 24

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

Disability 2 19 9 48 78

Family/Marital/Parental 1 16 2 11 30

Geography 0 4 0 1 5

Language 0 2 0 2 4

Poverty 2 8 4 23 37

Prisoner/Criminal Record 1 7 2 18 28

Religion 0 3 0 0 3

Section 15 General 1 1 4 20 26

Sex 6 16 5 40 67

Sexual Orientation 4 2 4 38 28

Transgendered 0 2 1 3 6

Unknown (Note b) 1 7 1 0 9

Other (Note c) 4 13 3 6 26

TOTAL 39 152(Note d) 66 396(Note e) 653

Acceptance Rate = 72.3%

Note a: Applications involving all of the following grounds of discrimination: colour, race, national origin 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, 2000

(Transcriber's note: the 5 column headings are as follows: Case Development, Case Funding, Impact Study, Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation, Total)

Aboriginal 27 53 5 6 91

Age 3 8 0 0 11

Citizenship 2 5 0 0 7

Colour/Race/National Origin/Ethnicity

-- Colour 2 5 0 2 9

-- Race 7 6 1 18 32

-- National Origin 2 1 0 0 3

-- Ethnicity 4 7 0 4 15

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

Disability 12 26 3 8 49

Family/Marital/Parental 3 8 0 0 11

Geography 0 0 0 1 1

Language 1 1 0 0 2

Poverty 6 7 0 10 23

Prisoner/Criminal Record 7 8 1 2 18

Religion 0 0 0 0 0

Section 15 General 1 5 0 14 20

Sex 6 20 1 13 40

Sexual Orientation 7 20 2 9 38

Transgendered 1 0 0 2 3

Unknown (Note b) 0 0 0 0 0

Other(Note c) 1 0 1 4 6

TOTAL 96 185(Note d) 22 93 396

Note a: Applications involving all of the following grounds of discrimination: colour, race, national origin 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, 2000

Aboriginal

No Federal Link (Note a) 5

Not a test case (Note b) 10

Duplication (Note c) 4

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 19

Age

No Federal Link (Note a) 2

Not a test case (Note b) 3

Duplication (Note c) 1

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 6

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) 2

Duplication (Note c) 2

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 6

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) 4

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 1

Total 7

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) 7

Duplication (Note c) 2

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 19

Family/Marital/Parental

No Federal Link (Note a) 4

Not a test case (Note b) 11

Duplication (Note c) 1

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 16

Geography

No Federal Link (Note a) 1

Not a test case (Note b) 3

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 4

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) 6

Not a test case (Note b) 1

Duplication (Note c) 1

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 8

Prison/Criminal Record

No Federal Link (Note a) 2

Not a test case (Note b) 5

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 7

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) 9

Duplication (Note c) 2

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 16

Sexual Orientation

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

Transgendered

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) 7

Not a test case (Note b) 6

Duplication (Note c) 0

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 0

Total 13

Totals

No Federal Link (Note a) 63

Not a test case (Note b) 73

Duplication (Note c) 14

Canadian Human Rights Act (Note d) 2

Total 152

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, 2000 Court Level

Case Funding: Aboriginal

First Instance 39 (5 interventions)

Appeal 4 (1 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 9 (7 interventions)

Total 52 (13 interventions)

Case Funding: Age

First Instance 4

Appeal 2

Supreme Court of Canada 2 (1 intervention)

Total 8 (1 intervention)

Case Funding: Citizenship

First Instance 2

Appeal 3

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 5

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

First Instance 2

Appeal 1

Supreme Court of Canada 2 (1 intervention)

Total 5 (1 intervention)

Case Funding: Race

First Instance 2

Appeal 2 (1 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 3 (3 interventions)

Total 7 (4 interventions)

Case Funding National Origin

First Instance 1

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 1

Case Funding Ethnicity

First Instance 5 (1 intervention)

Appeal 2 (1 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 7 (2 interventions)

Case Funding General(Note a)

First Instance 2 (1 intervention)

Appeal 2 (1 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 1

Total 5 (2 interventions)

Case Funding Disability

First Instance 8

Appeal 9 (4 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 8 (5 interventions)

Total 25 (9 interventions)

Case Funding Family/Marital/Parental

First Instance 5

Appeal 3 (1 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 8 (1 intervention)

Case Funding Geography

First Instance 0

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 0

Case Funding Language

First Instance 1 (1 intervention)

Appeal 0

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 1 (1 intervention)

Case Funding Poverty

First Instance 6

Appeal 1

Supreme Court of Canada 0

Total 7

Case Funding Prisoner/Criminal Record

First Instance 3

Appeal 2 (1 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 3

Total 8 (1 intervention)

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 (3 interventions)

Case Funding Sex

First Instance 7 (1 intervention)

Appeal 4 (3 intervention)

Supreme Court of Canada 9 (8 interventions)

Total 20 (12 interventions)

Case Funding Sexual Orientation

First Instance 7

Appeal 9 (6 interventions)

Supreme Court of Canada 4 (3 interventions)

Total 20 (9 interventions)

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 96

Appeal 44

Supreme Court of Canada 45

Total 185

Note a: Applications involving all of the following grounds of discrimination: colour, race, national origin 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, 2000

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 0.7

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

1999/2000 3

% of Applications 6.5

Total 4

% of Applications 2.5

Province/Territory Nunavut (Nunavut became a Territory in April 1999)

% 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 0.7

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

1999/2000 1

% of Applications 2.4

Total 1

% of Applications 0.6

Province/Territory Northwest Territories

% of Canadian Population 0.2

1994/95 1

% of Applications 7.1

1995/1996 1

% of Applications 4.3

1996/1997 1

% of Applications 4

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

1999/2000 2

% of Applications 4.3

Total 5

% of Applications 3.1

Province/Territory British Columbia

% of Canadian Population 12.9

1994/95 1

% of Applications 7.1

1995/1996 3

% of Applications 13.1

1996/1997 1

% of Applications 4

1997/1998 1

% of Applications 3.7

1998/1999 0

% of Applications 0

1999/2000 1

% of Applications 2.4

Total 7

% of Applications 4.3

Province/Territory Alberta

% of Canadian Population 9.3

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 3

% of Applications 13.1

1996/1997 0

% of Applications 0

1997/1998 0

% of Applications 0

1998/1999 3

% of Applications 11.5

1999/2000 5

% of Applications 10.7

Total 11

% of Applications 6.8

Province/Territory Saskatchewan

% of Canadian Population 3.4

1994/95 0

% of Applications 0

1995/1996 1

% of Applications 4.3

1996/1997 0

% of Applications 0

1997/1998 2

% of Applications 7.4

1998/1999 1

% of Applications 3.9

1999/2000 0

% of Applications 0

Total 4

% of Applications 2.5

Province/Territory Manitoba

% of Canadian Population 3.8

1994/95 2

% of Applications 14.3

1995/1996 4

% of Applications 17.5

1996/1997 6

% of Applications 24

1997/1998 1

% of Applications 3.7

1998/1999 7

% of Applications 23.1

1999/2000 11

% of Applications 26.1

Total 31

% of Applications 19.3

Province/Territory Ontario

% of Canadian Population 37.6

1994/95 7

% of Applications 50.1

1995/1996 1

% of Applications 4.3

1996/1997 1

% of Applications 4.0

1997/1998 9

% of Applications 33.3

1998/1999 8

% of Applications 27

1999/2000 4

% of Applications 10.7

Total 30

% of Applications 18.6

Province/Territory Quebec

% of Canadian Population 24.7

1994/95 1

% of Applications 7.1

1995/1996 5

% of Applications 21.7

1996/1997 6

% of Applications 24

1997/1998 6

% of Applications 22.2

1998/1999 2

% of Applications 3.9

1999/2000 7

% of Applications 17.4

Total 27

% of Applications 16.8

Province/Territory New Brunswick

% of Canadian Population 2.5

1994/95 2

% of Applications 14.3

1995/1996 2

% of Applications 8.7

1996/1997 3

% of Applications 12

1997/1998 8

% of Applications 29.7

1998/1999 1

% of Applications 3.9

1999/2000 6

% of Applications 13

Total 22

% of Applications 13.7

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

1999/2000 3

% of Applications 6.5

Total 8

% of Applications 5.0

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

1999/2000 0

% of Applications 0

Total 6

% of Applications 3.7

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

1999/2000 0

% of Applications 0

Total 5

% of Applications 3.1

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 27

% of Applications 100

1998/1999 29

% of Applications 100

1999/2000 43

% of Applications 100

Total 161

% of Applications 100

 

Table 8 — Breakdown of Language Applications Received October 24, 1994 to March 31, 2000

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 19

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 6

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 1

Total 27

1998/99

Education Rights 15

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 3

Legislative Bilingualism 3

Other 7

Total 29

1999/00

Education Rights 16

Judicial Rights 5

Language of Work and Service 9

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 12

Total 43

Totals

Education Rights 86

Judicial Rights 13

Language of Work and Service 31

Legislative Bilingualism 9

Other 22

Total 161

 

Table 9 — Breakdown of Decisions Made by the Language Rights Panel from October 24, 1994 to March 31, 2000

Decision Pending:

Education Rights 2

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 1

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 6

Total 10

Panel/Admin. Rejection:

Education Rights 15

Judicial Rights 4

Language of Work and Service 5

Legislative Bilingualism 4

Other 6

Total 34(Note a)

Applicant Withdrawn:

Education Rights 4

Judicial Rights 3

Language of Work and Service 2

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 0

Total 10

Panel Granted:

Education Rights 64

Judicial Rights 6

Language of Work and Service 23

Legislative Bilingualism 3

Other 11

Total 107(Note b)

Grand total:

Education Rights 85

Judicial Rights 14

Language of Work and Service 31

Legislative Bilingualism 8

Other 23

Total 161

Acceptance Rate = 75.9%

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, 2000

Case development:

Education Rights 8

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 9

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 1

Total 19

Case Funding:

Education Rights 45

Judicial Rights 4

Language of Work and Service 10

Legislative Bilingualism 2

Other 2

Total 63(Note a)

Impact Study:

Education Rights 1

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 1

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 2

Total 6

Program Promotion and Access and Negotiation:

Education Rights 10

Judicial Rights 0

Language of Work and Service 3

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 6

Total 19

Grand total:

Education Rights 64

Judicial Rights 6

Language of Work and Service 23

Legislative Bilingualism 3

Other 11

Total 107

Note a: See Table 12 for a further breakdown.

 

Table 11 - Breakdown of Unsuccessful Language Rights Application from October 24, 1994 to March 31, 2000

No Constitutional Link (Note a)

Education Rights 5

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 2

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 3

Total 12

Not a Test Case (Note b)

Education Rights 4

Judicial Rights 2

Language of Work and Service 2

Legislative Bilingualism 2

Other 2

Total 12

Duplication (Note c)

Education Rights 2

Judicial Rights 0

Language of Work and Service 0

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 0

Total 2

Other (Note d)

Education Rights 4

Judicial Rights 1

Language of Work and Service 1

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 1

Total 8

Grand total

Education Rights 15

Judicial Rights 4

Language of Work and Service 5

Legislative Bilingualism 4

Other 6

Total 34

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.

 

Table 12 — Breakdown of Case Funding Granted by the Language Rights Panel October 24, 1994

— March 31, 2000 by Court Level

First Instance:

Education Rights 27 (8 intervenors)

Judicial Rights 2

Language of Work and Service 10 (1 intervention)

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 1

Total 41

Appeal level:

Education Rights 12 (7 intervenors)

Judicial Rights 1 (1 intervenor)

Language of Work and Service 0

Legislative Bilingualism 0

Other 0

Total 13

SCC Level:

Education Rights 6 (5 intervenors)

Judicial Rights 1 (1 intervenor)

Language of Work and Service 0

Legislative Bilingualism 1

Other 1 (1 intervenor)

Total 9

Grand total:

Education Rights 45

Judicial Rights 4 (2 intervenors)

Language of Work and Service 10

Legislative Bilingualism 2

Other 2 (1 intervenor)

Total 63

 

 

PART V - 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.

1998/99 Annual Report – Court Challenges Program of Canada – a report of the activities undertaken by the Program from April 1, 1998 to March 31, 1998.

ISBN #1-896894-06-2

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 the 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 discusses the comparative absence of Charter s. 15 cases of racial inequality.

Available in French and English.

L’article 23 et les défis de l’éducation pour la minorité linguistique francophone : Frondeurs et Tyrans, Jean Pierre Dubé, Novembre 1999 – The paper reviews the state of education for French-language minorities and outlines the challenges to be overcome in the area of French-language education for minority francophone communities.

Available in French.

L’Entente sur l’union sociale et ses conséquences sur les communautés minoritaires de langue officielle, François Boileau, November 1999 – Mr. Boileau gives a brief description of the Social Union Framework Agreement and explains the effects of federal spending on official language minority communities.

Available in French.

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

Available in French.

Les changements économiques et les communautés minoritaires de langue française, Jean Guy Vienneau, November 1999 – This paper describes the current economic situation of Canada’s French-language minority communities and proposes a variety of solutions that would enable these communities to meet future economic challenges.

Available in French.

Les élements essentiels pour avoir des communautés minoritaires vibrantes de langue officielle, Rodrigue Landry, PhD, November 1999 – Using a theoretical model and concrete examples, Dr. Landry lists and explains the political, demographic, cultural and economic factors that are needed to sustain healthy minority linguistic communities.

Available in French.


Les tranformations gouvernementales et les communautés minoritaires de langues officielle, Linda Cardinal, Political Science Department, University of Ottawa, November 1999 – This paper summarises the Savoie and Fontaine reports on the impact of government transformations on official language minority communities and sets out some implementation strategies that might be pursued.

Available in French.

Official-Language Minorities: Demographic Trends, Charles Castonguay, Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa, July 20, 1999 – The paper discusses the demographic trends in official language minority communities and the need to adopt a strategy to counter the effects of assimilation.

Available in French and English.

Section 15 in the New Millennium: The Recognition of Human Dignity and Substantive Equality, Norma Won, August 1999 – This paper analyzes the Law v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration) decision and discusses its current and future impact for equality seeking communities.

Available in French and English.

Sections 16, 20 and 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Unanswered Questions, Richard L. Tardif, Director, Legal Services, Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, August 1999 – Mr. Tardif reviews unanswered questions arising out of Sections 16, 20 and 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Available in French and English.

The Equality Guarantee of the Charter in the 1990’s, Gwen Brodsky, April 19, 1996 – This 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.

Transcending Language, Transforming Context: Reclaiming Charter(ed) Territory, Norma Won, August 1998 – Ms Won discusses 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.

Tranformations technologiques et l’évolution des communautés minoritaires de langue officielle, Sylvio Boudreau, Fondation Concept Art Multimedia, November 1999 - Mr. Boudreau takes a quick look at current technological changes and discusses how francophone minorities are making use of the Internet.

Available in French.

Working Together Across Our Differences, Avvy Go and John Fisher, August 1998 – This paper discusses various experiences and lessons learned when community groups participate in 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.