Making Equality Rights Real

Securing Substantive Equality under the Charter

Overview

In the two decades since Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect, the right to equality has been one of the most hotly contested Charter rights, being disputed in over 350 reported court cases across Canada. It is a right that in very short order has become deeply engrained in Canadian legal, political, and social discourse. It has become a bedrock value, fundamentally reflecting and shaping how Canadians view themselves and their society.

Making Equality Rights Real critically assesses the state of equality jurisprudence from many angles. Collectively, these 13 essays attempt to advance substantive equality as section 15 of the Charter moves into its second generation. Each of the papers in this collection aims to deepen our understandings of the dynamics of inequality and oppression and so produce a richer more nuanced legal framework for eradicating discrimination and promoting substantive equality. With only two decades’ experience with Charter equality litigation, the project to secure substantive equality remains a work in progress.

Table of Contents

Preface - The Honourable Claire L'Heureux-Dubé
Introduction: In Pursuit of Substantive Equality - Fay Faraday, Margaret Denike, & M. Kate Stephenson

PART ONE: WHAT DOES EQUALITY MEAN?
CHAPTER 1: The Wrongs of Unequal Treatment - Sophia Moreau
CHAPTER 2: Equality, Comparison, Discrimination, Status - Beverley Baines
CHAPTER 3: Answering the Siren Call of Abstract Formalism with the Subjects and Verbs of Domination - Sheila McIntyre
CHAPTER 4: Discrimination and Dignity - Denise G. Réaume
CHAPTER 5: Law v. Meiorin: Exploring the Governmental Responsibility to Promote Equality under Section 15 of the Charter - Melina Buckley

PART TWO: EQUALITY CLAIMS IN CONTEXT
CHAPTER 6: Women Are Themselves to Blame: Choice as a Justification for Unequal Treatment - Diana Majury
CHAPTER 7: The Law Test for Discrimination and Gendered Disability Inequality - Fiona Sampson
CHAPTER 8: Equality Rights and the Charter: Reconceptualizing State Accountability for Ending Domestic Violence - Melanie Randall
CHAPTER 9: The Denial of the Means of Subsistence as an Equality Violation - Gwen Brodsky & Shelagh Day
CHAPTER 10: The Supreme Court, The Law Decision, and Social Programs: The Substantive Equality Deficit - Judith Keene

PART THREE: SHIFTING AND BLENDING PARADIGMS: THE CHARTER, STATUTORY HUMAN RIGHTS, AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
CHAPTER 11: Postcards from O'Malley: Reinvigorating Statutory Human Rights Jurisprudence in the Age of the Charter - Leslie A. Reaume
CHAPTER 12: Formulaic Comparisons: Stopping the Charter at the Statutory Human Rights Gate - Andrea Wright
CHAPTER 13: International Law as a Strategic Tool for Equality Rights Litigation: A Cautionary Tale - Jennifer Koshan

APPENDICES: LEAF FACTA
APPENDIX A: Newfoundland (Treasury Board) v. N.A.P.E.
APPENDIX B: Auton (Guardian ad litem of) v. British Columbia (Attorney General)
Contributors

Of interest...