"...The first two decades of Charter litigation testify to a certain timidity – both on the part of litigants and the courts – to tackle head on the claims emerging from the right to be free from want." (Louise Arbour)

Research in Support of Litigating Social Condition, Poverty and Homelessness as Grounds of Discrimination

Cases and Evidence Provided by CURA Researchers

Advocacy Centre For Tenants Ontario v. City of Kitchener and the Regional Municipality of Waterloo (Municipal Bylaws)

For full description of case, click here

Boulter v Nova Scotia Power Incorporation (Utilities)

For full description of case, click here

P.D. v. British Columbia (Legal Aid / Access to Justice)

R v. Clarke (Jury Selection)

For full description of case, click here

Toussaint v. Minister of Citizenship (Immigration)

For full description of case, click here (See also: SRAC page)

Federal Court of Canada:

Federal Court of Appeal:

Supreme Court of Canada

Further Resources

Canadian Human Rights Act Review – Calls for addition of “Social Condition” to the CHRA

For full description of the 2000 Review Panel’s Report, click here

International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP)

The ICHRP is facilitating Penalising Poverty: A Platform-Network for collaborative research and advocacy to generate knowledge and policy advocacy to strengthen human rights-based responses to laws and practices that penalise people in poverty and propose policy alternatives. CURA community researcher, Bruce Porter, presented “Getting the Right(s) Framework: Rights to Housing, to Livelihood and Discrimination Against the Poor” at an expert workshop held by the ICHRP on the Penalisation of People Living in Poverty in Geneva on 17-18 March 2011.

Social Rights, Discrimination and the Right to Equal Citizenship

Bruce Porter, provides an overview of “Social Rights, Discrimination and the Right to Equal Citizenship” in his chapter "Claiming Adjudicative Space: Social Rights, Equality and Citizenship" in Margot Young et al, eds, Poverty: Rights, Social Citizenship, and Legal Activism (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007) 77. Highlighted below are some of the key documents he references:

  • Ekos Research Associates, Memorandum Concerning Child Poverty Focus Groups: Revised Conclusions (February 4, 1997). Secured through a Freedom of Information Request, this memorandum analyzes the results of focus groups on poverty. It concludes that “welfare recipients are seen in unremittingly negative terms by the economically secure”.
  • People on Welfare for Equal Rights v. Constable Michael Spurr (1991) (Nova Scotia Police Review Board). Decision regarding a complaint filed by People on Welfare for Equal Rights against Constable Michael Spurr after he suggested that people on welfare are genetically inferior and should stop having children.

Historical Resources

See Resouces on Poverty and Homelessness or Social Condition as Grounds of Discrimination


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