Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

section 15Section Fifteen of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedomssection 15(1)1515(1)s. 15section 15 of the Chartersection 15(2)Charter'' analysisequality clause
Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains guaranteed equality rights.wikipedia
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LGBT rights in Canada

CanadaGay rights in CanadaLGBT rights
In its jurisprudence, it has also been a source of LGBT rights in Canada.
The rights of LGBT Canadians are now as well protected as those of other Canadians largely due to several court decisions decided under Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (La Charte canadienne des droits et libertés) that was included in the Constitution of Canada in 1982, with Section 15 coming into effect in 1985.

Canada (AG) v Lavell

Attorney General of Canada v. LavellJeannette Lavell
In the Bill of Rights cases Attorney General of Canada v. Lavell (1974) and Bliss v. Canada (1979), Supreme Court Justice Roland Ritchie had said only the application, and not the outcome, of the law must be equal, thereby necessitating an explicit guarantee of equality under the law; and that legal benefits need not be equal, thereby necessitating an explicit guarantee of equal benefit of the law.
The Supreme Court's decision proved very controversial, later influencing the wording of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms during the drafting process.

Section 32 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

section 32paragraph 32(1)(a)section 32(2)
Though the Charter itself came into effect on April 17, 1982, section 15 was not brought into force until April 17, 1985, in accordance with section 32(2) of the Charter.
Section 32(2) was added in order to delay the enforcement of section 15 until government was given time to amend their laws to conform to the section.

Affirmative action

positive discriminationemployment equityaffirmative-action
As part of the Constitution of Canada, the section prohibits certain forms of discrimination perpetrated by the governments of Canada with the exception of ameliorative programs (affirmative action).
Subsection 2 of Section 15 states that the equality provisions do "not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability".

Law v Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Law v. CanadaLaw v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration)Law'' test
(Iacobucci J. in Law v. Canada, [1999])
The ruling is notable because the court created the Law test, a significant new tool that has since been used by Canadian courts for determining the validity of equality right claims under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Andrews v Law Society of British Columbia

Andrews v. Law Society of British ColumbiaAndrews v. Law SocietyAndrews'' test
The Court established a two-part test based on the one found in Andrews v. Law Society of British Columbia (1989): (1) Does the law create a distinction based on an enumerated or analogous ground?
Andrews v Law Society of British Columbia, [1989] 1 SCR 143 is the first Supreme Court of Canada case to deal with section 15 (equality rights) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Natural person

naturalnatural personsindividual
These rights are guaranteed to "every individual", that is, every natural person.
For example, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states a person cannot be denied the right to vote based on their biological sex, or Section Fifteen of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees equality rights, apply to natural persons only.

Canadian Bill of Rights

Bill of RightsBills of RightsCanada
The Canadian Bill of Rights of 1960 had guaranteed the "right of the individual to equality before the law and the protection of the law."

Section 29 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

section 29Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedomsreligious education
As with any other section, the equality rights section cannot invalidate another Constitutional provision (although they can assist in interpreting them), for example, rights or privileges guaranteed by or under the Constitution of Canada in respect of denominational, separate or dissentient schools (religious education).
Section 29 is not the source of these rights but instead reaffirms the pre-existing special rights belonging to Roman Catholics and Protestants, despite freedom of religion and religious equality under sections 2 and 15 of the Charter.

Egan v Canada

Egan v. CanadaEgan v. Canada (1995)his case
It stands today as a landmark Supreme Court case which established that sexual orientation constitutes a prohibited basis of discrimination under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Bliss v Canada (AG)

Bliss v. CanadaBliss v. Attorney General of Canada
In the Bill of Rights cases Attorney General of Canada v. Lavell (1974) and Bliss v. Canada (1979), Supreme Court Justice Roland Ritchie had said only the application, and not the outcome, of the law must be equal, thereby necessitating an explicit guarantee of equality under the law; and that legal benefits need not be equal, thereby necessitating an explicit guarantee of equal benefit of the law.
The decision in this case later influenced the equality rights in section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

R v Kapp

R. v. Kapp
In R. v. Kapp (2008), the problems with the dignity analysis were recognized and the dignity analysis was jettisoned.
R v Kapp, 2008 SCC 41 is a Supreme Court of Canada case dealing with an appeal from a British Columbia Court of Appeal decision that held that a communal fishing license granted exclusively to Aboriginals did not violate section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Halpern v Canada (AG)

Halpern v. Canada (Attorney General)Halpern v. Canada
2268 is a notable June 10, 2003 decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario where the Court found that the common law definition of marriage, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, violated section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Court of Appeal for Ontario

Ontario Court of AppealChief Justice of OntarioChief Justice of Upper Canada
Among the Court of Appeal's most notable decisions was the 2003 ruling in Halpern v Canada (AG) that found defining marriage as between one man and one woman to violate Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, legalizing same-sex marriage in Ontario and making Canada the first jurisdiction in the world where same-sex marriage was legalized by a court ruling.

Miron v Trudel

Miron v. Trudel
Miron v Trudel, [1995] 2 S.C.R. 418 is a famous Supreme Court of Canada decision on equality rights under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms where the Court found "marital status" was an analogous ground for discrimination (i.e., a characteristic which cannot legally be the basis for discrimination under section 15).

Vriend v Alberta

Vriend v. Albertacourt ruling onlyVriend
Vriend sought a declaration from the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench that the omission breached section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1982.

Nova Scotia (AG) v Walsh

Nova Scotia (Attorney General) v. WalshNova Scotia v. Walsh
Nova Scotia (AG) v Walsh, [2002] 4 S.C.R. 325 was a leading case decided by the Supreme Court of Canada on section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and matrimonial property.

M v H

M. v. H.a prominent ruling
On May 19, 1999, Justice Gloria Epstein—who was, at that time, of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice—ruled that the exclusion of same-sex couples from the definition of common-law spouse under section 29 of the Ontario Family Law Act was in violation of equality rights under section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and could not be justified under section 1 of the Charter, which allows only "such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society."

Corbiere v Canada (Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs)

Corbiere v. CanadaCorbiere v. Canada (Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs)
In Corbiere v. Canada [1999] McLachlin described this factor to be the most compelling and suggestive of discrimination if proven.
Corbiere v Canada (Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs) [[Case citation#Canada|[1999] 2 S.C.R. 203]], is a leading case from the Supreme Court of Canada where the Court expanded the scope of applicable grounds upon which a section 15(1) Charter claim can be based.

Lovelace v Ontario

Lovelace v. Ontario
However, Lovelace v. Ontario [2000] warned that the analysis should not be reduced to a balancing of relative disadvantages.
Lovelace v Ontario, [2000] 1 S.C.R. 950, 2000 SCC 37, was the leading decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on section 15(2) of the Charter, which shields affirmative action programs from the equality requirement of section 15(1).

Trociuk v British Columbia (AG)

Trociuk v. British Columbia
However, the absence of a pre-existing disadvantage does not necessarily preclude a claimant from succeeding as seen in Trociuk v. British Columbia [2003].
Trociuk v British Columbia (AG), 2003 SCC 34 is a leading Supreme Court of Canada decision on section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms where a father successfully challenged a provision in the British Columbia Vital Statistics Act which gave a mother complete control over the identity of the father on a child's birth certificate on the basis it violated his equality rights.

Lavoie v Canada

Lavoie v. Canada
In his application of the Law test for section 15, he noted that by creating the distinction between citizen and foreign national, Parliament was placing an additional burden on already disadvantaged group.

Gosselin v Quebec (AG)

Gosselin v. Quebec (Attorney General)Gosselin v. Québec (Attorney General)
In Gosselin v. Quebec (Attorney General) [2002] the court was sharply divided on this point.
Gosselin brought a class action on behalf of 75,000 individuals against the Quebec government for violation of her section 15 equality rights and Section Seven of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms right to life, liberty and security of the person.

Same-sex marriage in Ontario

Ontariolegalization of same-sex marriage in Ontariomarried in Ontario
On June 10, 2003, the Court of Appeal for Ontario confirmed that current Canadian law on marriage violated the equality provisions in Section Fifteen of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in being restricted to heterosexual couples.

R v Turpin

R. v. Turpin
The Court held that the requirement for a murder trial to be conducted in front of a judge and jury did not violate the right to trial by jury under s 11(f) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, nor the equality guarantee under s 15 of the Charter.