Does your organization need some legal advice?
Bakerlaw is pleased to provide organizational clients with support in the areas of:
- Consultations on equality and disability issues
- Canada Elections Act compliance
- Charter and/or human rights issues affecting an organization’s membership
Not seeing what you’re looking for? This is an area of our practice we are excited to be expanding. Get in touch (link) and let’s talk about your organization’s legal issue to see if we can help!
Bakerlaw has represented a variety of organizations and contributed to policy work in a variety of ways. Here are some examples of our work:
- Submissions (link) to the Special Joint Committee on Physician Assisted Dying regarding what safeguards should be adopted after medical assistance in dying was legalized (link)
- Legal research for provincial and federal government agencies regarding equality rights.
- Comparative reports for national and international non-governmental organizations regarding equality protections afforded to people in different countries.
- A report (link) for the Canadian Human Rights Commission on the legal duty to accommodate Environmental Sensitivities.
- A report on equality considerations arising in Canada’s national security laws.
- Implementation materials for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, regarding a proposed regulation on accessibility in customer service. This included extensive research on the approach that other countries and governments use to explain laws.
- Interpretive Guidelines for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario to explain the meaning of the customer service standard.
- Compliance Assistance Workbook to help the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario assess whether organizations are complying with the customer support standard and to guide implement the standard’s requirements.
- A strategic options paper for Barrier Free Manitoba on possible approaches to improving provincial accessibility standards legislation.
Bakerlaw is open to other proposals, get in touch (link) to see if we can assist your organization!
Ontario Human Rights Commission v Simpson-Sears
Ontario Human Rights Commission v. Simpsons-Sears,  2 SCR 536; The Supreme Court of Canada found that it is not necessary to prove that discrimination is intentional to find that there has been a violation of human rights. A neutral rule can have discriminatory effects. Where a rule has a discriminatory effect, a duty to accommodate will be triggered
Bhinder v CN
Bhinder v. CN,  2 SCR 561; Mr. Binder, a member of the Sikh religion who wears a turban was fired because he refused to wear a hard hat. The Supreme Court of Canada found that there was no duty to accommodate where there is a bona fide occupational requirement. While the hart hat requirement had a discriminatory effect on Sikhs; this requirement was a bona fide occupational requirement and was therefore not discriminatory.
Andrews v Law Society of British Columbia
Andrews v. Law Society of British Columbia,  1 SCR 143; the Supreme Court of Canada held that a rule which restricts an entire class of persons from certain forms of employment, on the grounds of a lack of citizenship status and without consideration to educational and professional qualifications, infringes section 15 (equality rights) of the Charter.
Eldridge v British Columbia (Attorney General)
Eldridge v. British Columbia (Attorney General),  3 SCR 624; In this decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that if a service is to be provided, it must be done in an inclusive manner. The Court ruled that sign language interpreters must be provided in the delivery of medical services where doing so is necessary to ensure effective communication.
British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles v British Columbia (Council of Human Rights)
British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) v. British Columbia (Council of Human Rights),  3 SCR 868; The Supreme Court of Canada held that that it was discriminatory to cancel the license of a person with a visual disability.
Lovelace v Ontario
Lovelace v. Ontario, 2000 SCC 37,  1 SCR 950; At that time, this was the leading decision from the Supreme Court of Canada on section 15(2) of the Charter. This section protects affirmative action programs from the equality requirement under section 15(1) of the Charter. The Court held that the distribution of casino profits to a select group of Indigenous Peoples was not discriminatory.
Harper v Canada (Attorney General)
Harper v. Canada (Attorney General), 2004 SCC 33,  1 SCR 827; the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Canada Election’s Act spending limits on third-party election advertising infringes section 2(b) of the Charter. This section deals with the fundamental freedoms in relation to thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication. The Court ruled that while section 2(b) of the Charter was infringed, it was saved by section 1 of the Charter, and that the limits imposed under the Act were justified as it helped to protect fairness in elections.
Charkaoui v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)
Charkaoui v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2007 SCC 9,  1 SCR 350; The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the detention of a permanent resident or foreign national deemed to be a threat to national security, infringes section 7 (life, liberty, and security of the person) of the person.
Council of Canadians with Disabilities v VIA Rail Canada Inc.
Council of Canadians with Disabilities v. VIA Rail Canada Inc., 2007 SCC 15,  1 SCR 650; the Supreme Court of Canada required VIA Rail to modify its coach and service cars to accommodate those who use mobility devices. The costly renovation required to modify the trains did not constitute undue hardship. This case sets a strong precedent that what constitutes “undue hardship” is a high threshold.
Canada (Canadian Human Rights Commission) v Canada (Attorney General) (Mowat)
Canada (Canadian Human Rights Commission) v. Canada (Attorney General) (Mowat), 2011 SCC 53,  3 SCR 471; the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s does not have the power to award legal costs. Unfortunately, this case has a negative impact on our clients. This means that clients are unable to recover legal costs after human rights tribunal hearings.
On January 30, 2020, the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is hosting a national forum on medical assistance in dying (MAiD). This forum will discuss the critical balance between the right…
Bakerlaw’s David Baker and summer student Geoff Cross recently wrote an article entitled: Establishing The Right to Palliative Care in Canada (link). The article explores two possible ways to establish an enforceable legal right to palliative care in Canada. This…
Bakerlaw Files Response to Supreme Court Regarding Motion to Extend February 2016 Deadline Set in Carter
Last week, the Attorney General of Canada submitted a motion to the Supreme Court of Canada to extend the deadline the Court gave in the Carter v Canada (Attorney General) judgment. In Carter, the Court struck down the provisions of…
On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada is set to hear arguments on whether Canada should strike down statutory provisions designed to prevent assisted suicide, but only with regard to disabled people. The Council of Canadians with…
Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) and Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) celebrate ruling in Carter v. Canada
Toronto, ON, October 10, 2013 — The British Columbia Court of Appeal released its decision today in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), concerning the constitutionality of the Criminal Code prohibitions against euthanasia and assisted suicide. The majority of the Court allowed the…