Court dismisses landmark Charter challenge on behalf of homeless Canadians

Judge says legislatures, not courts, are the place to combat homelessness, but lawyers say the ruling denies justice to the poor.
Court dismisses landmark Charter challenge on behalf of homeless Canadians

Carlos Osorio / Toronto Star–Timothy Schmalz’s sculpture, Jesus the Homeless, outside Regis College at the University of Toronto. A judge ruled on Friday that Queen’s Park and Parliament are the best places to address homelessness, not the courts.

By: Social justice reporter, Published on Fri Sep 06 2013

Homeless people have been denied their day in court in the wake of an Ontario Superior Court decision that dismisses a landmark Charter case, say lawyers who vow to appeal.

“This case is about the fundamental principle of access to justice in our society,” said Tracy Heffernan, of the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, which is representing the applicants.

“By denying them the chance to present their evidence, the court suggests that poor people cannot rely on Charter protection,” she added.

The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) and four Toronto individuals launched the Charter challenge in May 2010.


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