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Preparing the citizens of tomorrow This document has legal information up to date as of June 1, 2013. None of the information in this document should be.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing the citizens of tomorrow This document has legal information up to date as of June 1, 2013. None of the information in this document should be."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing the citizens of tomorrow This document has legal information up to date as of June 1, None of the information in this document should be taken to be legal advice. These materials are the exclusive property of Éducaloi. Teachers in Quebec schools can use them, but for non-commercial purposes only. The materials must be used in their original form, without modification. © 2013

2 Éducaloi is a non-profit organization that explains the law to Quebecers in language that is easy to understand. Plain language for citizens

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7 Today’s Agenda M ULTANI V. C OMMISSION SCOLAIRE M ARGUERITE -B OURGEOYS C OMMISSION DES DROITS DE LA PERSONNE V. C OLLÈGE N OTRE -D AME The Canadian and Quebec Charters The Right to Equality and Freedom from Discrimination Two Decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada Reasonable Accommodation

8 Canadian and Quebec Charters Can you name the rights and freedoms protected by the charters? It is a document describing the main rights and freedoms society gives all people. What is a charter?

9 Canadian and Quebec Charters The right to life, freedom and security Freedom of expression Freedom of religion Right to equality Right to an education The right of children to be protected and taken care of by parents The right of of a young person who commits a crime to be held in an age-appropriate facility Rights and Freedoms

10 The Canadian and Quebec Charters Who must respect the Canadian Charter? The Quebec Government The Canadian Government Laws Decisions Actions of government representatives E.g., government departments, municipalities, public schools, municipal and provincial police E.g., government departments, police officers of the RCMP

11 Canadian and Quebec Charters Who must respect the Quebec Charter? Laws Decisions Actions of their representatives Actions Quebec Government Organizations Individuals E.g., private companies, private schools E.g., government departments, municipalities, public schools, the provincial police

12 The Right to Equality and Freedom from Discrimination Right to Equality Everyone is entitled to the same rights and access to the same services. The right to be free from discrimination flows from the right to equality.

13 The Right to Equality and Freedom from Discrimination Discrimination Preventing someone from enjoying the same rights and having access to the same services as other people… on the basis of a personal characteristic recognized in the charters: religion physical or mental disability race or ethnic or national origins etc. Can you name the personal characteristics mentioned in the charters?

14 social status (e.g. being unemployed) sexual orientation political beliefs gender disability language race pregnancy skin colour civil status (e.g., being singles or married) religion age (except when the law allows) The Right to Equality and Freedom from Discrimination Some prohibited grounds of discrimination:

15 Direct Discrimination A rule is specifically aimed at certain people. E.g., “Blacks cannot attend this school.” This rule is directly discriminatory because it prevents some people, on the basis of race, from attending a public school like everyone else. The rule is not valid. This is discrimination prohibited by the charters InDirect Discrimination The Right to Equality and Freedom from Discrimination A rule looks like it is general and aimed at everyone, but in reality it prevents certain people from exercising their fundamental rights. E.g., “No animals allowed in the school.” This rule indirectly prevents blind students who use seeing-eye dogs from attending the school like other students. The rule is valid BUT an exception - called an “accommodation”- should be made.

16 Reasonable Accommodation Definition Reasonable accommodation is an exception granted to someone so that he or she can exercise the same rights and have access to the same services as other people.

17 Conditions for Granting Accommodation The person was a victim of discrimination. The person asks for an accommodation. The accommodation measure is reasonable. Reasonable Accommodation

18 When it does not cause undue hardship. This means that the accommodation meets these criteria: It respects the organization’s financial and other resources. It does not interfere with the organization’s operations. It does not violate the rights or jeopardize the safety of other people. When is accommodation reasonable?

19 Reasonable Accommodation The right to equality doesn’t mean that everyone has to be treated exactly the same way. Take note!

20 Court Decisions M ULTANI V. C OMMISSION SCOLAIRE M ARGUERITE - B OURGEOYS C OMMISSION DES DROITS DE LA PERSONNE V. C OLLÈGE N OTRE -D AME

21 W AS THERE DISCRIMINATION ?  There was no direct discrimination.  But there was indirect discrimination. The rule in the school’s code of conduct is valid. BUT it prevented Gurbaj, because of his religion, from having access to the same services as everyone else. I S ACCOMMODATION POSSIBLE ? Y ES.  There was no infringement on the rights and safety of others.  There was no undue hardship on the school. S TUDENTS SHOULD THEREFORE BE ABLE TO WEAR A KIRPAN TO SCHOOL, UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. Multani v. Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys Decision Gurbaj’s father asked a court to order reasonable accommodation so his son could wear his metal kirpan to school.

22 Multani v. Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys Questions to Consider: Could this decision apply to other religious practices? Should all religious symbols be banned in schools? What do you think the level of security should be in your school? Total security (no scissors, compasses or hockey sticks) or a reasonable level of security? Would the decision have been the same in a place where there is a lower tolerance for risk, such as airports?

23 W AS THERE DISCRIMINATION ? Y ES  The college’s main purpose is to give its students an academic education, not to turn them into athletes.  Maud was physically capable of meeting the standards of the college’s academic program. I S ACCOMMODATION POSSIBLE ? Y ES.  There was no infringement on the rights and security of others.  There was no undue hardship for the school. T HE COLLEGE SHOULD HAVE ADMITTED M AUD AND PUT INTO PLACE ACCOMMODATION MEASURES. Commission des droits de la personne v. Collège Notre-Dame Decision Maud contested the decision of Collège Notre-Dame refusing her admission on the basis of her reduced mobility.

24 Commission des droits de la personne v. Collège Notre-Dame Questions to Consider: The college did not offer to adapt its academic program or its facilities for Maud. But what about students who are temporarily injured or ill? Should the school adopt special measures for them? If a school has a sports-studies program, whose main goal is to train high-level athletes, should it be allowed to have an admissions policy that excludes students with physical disabilities? According to the court, it was possible for the college to adopt accommodation measures to help Maud get around and participate in activities. What do you think those measures would be? In your opinion, would this decision also apply to students with mental disabilities?

25 THE END


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