Decision to eliminate benefit previously provided was ‘cruel and unusual’

Federal court | Constitutional Law

CHARTER OF RIGHTS

Decision to eliminate benefit previously provided was ‘cruel and unusual’

Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) provided health insurance coverage to refugee claimants and others seeking Canada’s protection. Governor in Council passed Orders in Council (OICs), which significantly modified IFHP. Level of coverage was reduced for many and eliminated for others. Three public interest organizations and two individuals brought application to declare OICs invalid. Application granted. OICs violated s. 12 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and not saved by s. 1. GIC had intentionally targeted group of poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals, to encourage them to leave country more quickly once refugee claims rejected, and to deter “bogus” claimants from seeking protection of Canada. In unusual circumstances of case, decision to limit or eliminate benefit previously provided to discrete minority of individuals coming within administrative control of government subjected them to “treatment” for purposes of s. 12. Treatment was “cruel and unusual”, particularly as it affected children who had been brought to Canada by their parents. Cuts to health insurance affected by OICs potentially jeopardized health, and indeed very lives, of innocent and vulnerable children in manner that shocked the conscience and outraged our standards of decency. Declaration of invalidity suspended for four months.
Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care v. Canada (Attorney General) (Jul. 4, 2014, F.C., Anne L. Mactavish J., File No. T-356-13) 244 A.C.W.S. (3d) 73.

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Colleen Flood reflects on career as healthcare policy prof and new role as Queen's Law School Dean

Ontario Superior Court welcomes new judges Ira Parghi and Benita Wassenaar

Worker unable to mitigate termination damages due to physical incapacity: Ontario Court of Appeal

Ontario Superior Court refuses to dismiss estate litigation despite delays

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds TTC's liability in personal injury case of woman struck by bus

Ontario Superior Court dismisses former wife's claims against late husband's estate

Most Read Articles

Ontario Superior Court dismisses former wife's claims against late husband's estate

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds TTC's liability in personal injury case of woman struck by bus

Ontario Superior Court welcomes new judges Ira Parghi and Benita Wassenaar

Colleen Flood reflects on career as healthcare policy prof and new role as Queen's Law School Dean