Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario

May 26, 2014 07:00 ET

Canadian & Ontario Governments Facing Appeal by Homeless Ontarians in Historic Rights Case

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.

Where: Ontario Court of Appeal, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto
When: Monday, May 26th 10:30 am - 4:30pm,
Tuesday, May 27th, 10:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesday, May 28th, 10:30am - noon
Who: Leilani Farha, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, applicant
Tracy Heffernan, ACTO, lawyer for the applicants
Fay Faraday, Faraday Law, lawyer for the applicants
Peter Rosenthal, lawyer for the applicants

Contact Information

  • To arrange interviews with the lawyers for the applicants,
    Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)
    Yutaka Dirks
    416-597-5855 x.5243 or 1-866-245-4182 x.5243