May 26, 2014 07:00 ET
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 26, 2014) - Today, lawyers for a group of homeless and inadequately housed Ontarians appear at the Ontario Court of Appeal to argue for the opportunity to have their landmark legal challenge against the federal and provincial governments heard.
Joined by housing advocates from the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA), the individuals filed the case in 2010, seeking a Court order requiring Federal and Provincial governments to implement a national housing strategy. They argued that Canada and Ontario have violated their rights under section 7 and section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by creating and maintaining conditions that lead to and sustain homelessness. To support the claim, witnesses including physicians, academics and international human rights experts provided almost 10,000 pages of evidence.
In May of 2013, the governments of Canada and Ontario argued that the case should be struck down before any of this evidence was heard. The Ontario Superior Court agreed with the government and dismissed the case. If the decision is allowed to stand, homeless Canadians may never have the chance to have a Canadian court review evidence detailing how their human rights to adequate housing have been violated.
The Court of Appeal has given standing to an unprecedented eight intervenor groups at the three-day hearing. Amnesty International, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), the Colour of Poverty campaign, and several legal clinics will assist the Court, underscoring the importance of allowing this case to proceed.
To arrange interviews with the lawyers for the applicants,contact:Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)Yutaka Dirks416-597-5855 x.5243 or 1-866-245-4182 x.5243www.acto.ca/en/cases/right-to-housing/
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