Federal Appeal

Constitutional Law

Applicant denied benefits because of unfortunate confluence of events

Applicant was diagnosed with fibromyalgia triggered by two car accidents and childbirth. Doctor was of opinion applicant was unable to work. Applicant applied for disability benefits under Canada Pension Plan. Board found applicant did not qualify for disability benefits. Applicant was involved in third car accident. Applicant’s condition worsened appreciably. Board found there was no infringement of s. 15 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Application for judicial review was dismissed. There was no infringement of s. 15 of Charter. Provisions of Plan applied to applicant as written. Applicant did not qualify for disability benefits. Applicant did not meet requirement of contributing under Plan in four of last six years. Child rearing dropout (“CRDO”) provisions did not change fact applicant was not in compliance with four of six rules. Applicant’s required contribution could not be prorated because applicant did not meet conditions contained in s. 19 of Plan. Plan did not single out women in invidious way. Plan did not have discriminatory purpose, policy or effect. Detrimental effect caused on applicant was consequence of interaction of complicated rules within complicated scheme that was not general social welfare scheme available to all in every circumstance. Month in which child was born was not enumerated or analogous ground under s. 15 and was not personal characteristic on which applicant was denied benefit under Plan. Lines drawn were generally appropriate. Applicant was denied benefits because of unfortunate confluence of events and not discriminatory legislative standards. Ameliorative nature of CRDO provisions and proration provision lead to conclusion that applicant did not establish presence of discrimination.

Miceli-Riggins v. Canada (Attorney General) (Jun. 14, 2013, F.C.A., John M. Evans J.A., David Stratas J.A., and Wyman W. Webb J.A., File No. A-52-12) 230 A.C.W.S. (3d) 605.

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