This week the European Parliament published a study on The principles of equality and non-discrimination, a comparative law perspective – Canada.
The document is part of a series of studies, which, in a comparative law perspective, seek to present the principles of equality and non-discrimination in different States. This study examines sources of equality law and judicial interpretation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination in Canada.
Contemporary equality law was a response to histories of both public and private discrimination in Canada. Statutory protections for equality and non-discrimination emerged in the post World War II era and were expanded and consolidated in the 1960s and 1970s. Constitutional reforms in the 1980s enshrined equality in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Since then, equality jurisprudence has expanded the interpretation of discrimination to include direct, indirect and systemic discrimination. Courts have rejected formal equality to embrace expansive notions of substantive equality in interpreting constitutional protections. Even with such strides over the last decades towards robust equality and non-discrimination principles and protections, just and effective implementation of their promise remains a pressing challenge for Canada.
The analysis concludes with a call for optimistic vigilance: that even with the significant strides made over the last decades towards robust equality and non-discrimination principles and protections, just and effective implementation of the promise of modern equality rights remains a pressing challenge.
The full report published by the European Parliament Research Service is available: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2020/659362/EPRS_STU(2020)659362_EN.pdf
Photo Credit : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Canada