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March 18, 2014 - Poli Sci 3NN6

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Political Science
Greg Flynn

Started on: 3/21/14 4:53 PM C LASS N OTES FOR : P OLI S CI 3NN6 McMaster University, Winter 2014 T UESDAY , M ARCH 18, 2014 - State action that distinguishes between two groups of people - Based on questions of age, religion, etc. color creed. Are ones that would fall within the purview of section 15 - Andrews- Linked discrimination as being one where it is to those listed grounds under section 15, or similar to them - *** ANDREWS CASE à THREE STAGE TEST: to see whether there has been a violation of section 15 or not. n Test is straightforward and simple n The three stage test!egarding section 15? For research - c. Attempts to clarify “discrimination” post-Andrews Symes v. Canada - SYMES was a lawyer and a mother (Legal education and action fund) feminist organization pursuing cases dealing with feminist issues - Argued to the courts that she could not work without childcare - Sought to deduct childcare expense as a business expense as opposed to a daycare - Business expense can write it off against income (50%) - Daycare (17%) - PROBLEM: Revenue Canada declined her business expense and these were childcare expense and not a business expense. She sued the Gov’t of Canada, arguing a section 15 arguments where this was a difference of treatment between men and women. - Women disproportionally bared the cost of childcare because it is women that do not go to work if they do not have childcare. - Female members found that the law violated her gender right (social science evidence that women bear a disproportionate burden of the social cost of bearing and raising children, as such they would pay the cost of childcare to enter the work force, the effect of the law was to discriminate women and not allow them to fully participate as equals) - MAJORITY (men) focused solely on the section and said there’s no difference if it’s a man or a woman who pays the childcare cost. In married families where they pool income, it is not clear who pays for the cost of childcare. - Some confusion out of the minority’s decision of this differential treatment. Law v. Canada - 30 year old woman - Husband has died and she tried to claim survival benefits / pension under the Canada pension plan Angie © McMaster University 1 Winter 2014 Started on: 3/21/14 4:53 PM - Spouse who was 50 years of age at his death had been contributing to the Canada pension plan for years. Had no children, at this point in time Canada pension plan did not provide a pension plan for people under 35 who had no children. If fell under the category with children over the age of 35 could obtain an incremental pension. - Argument: actuarial - In order to ensure that the plan would be able to fund, they had to cut benefits somewhere and made allocations for people who had lost their spouses for 35+ but for those under, these people could go out and contribute. - Pension plan review tribunal who denied the claim - NO FIXED TEST for determining whether there is a violation of section 15, but what comes from Andrews as a reference point. - COURT: To try and differentiate different types of differential treatment. M&H - “What does essential human dignity mean?” - Lesbian partners, one was working inside and outside - Stay at home partner and the other worked - Separated (before same sex marriage was legal) - M claimed spousal support under common law - Family law defined spouses as opposite sex partners “man & woman” - Supreme court of Canada struck down this provision and gave the Canadian gov’t 6 months to change the law. 1990 - By striking down provisions in Family law act, had to strike down all other - Two persons living in a relationship of permance - Straw that broke the camels back - Difference in law between hetero or homosexual couple
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