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  • August 2018 Human Rights Digest
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CHRR decisions are only available from Canadian Human Rights Reporter Inc.

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The Never-Ending Sex Discrimination in the Indian Act

The Supreme Court of Canada just closed another door on avenues to deal with the never-ending sex discrimination in the Indian Act. It ruled in Canada (Human Rights Comm.) and Matson v. Canada (Attorney General) that the Canadian Human Rights Act cannot be used to seek a remedy for sex discrimination in the Indian Act because complaints are a direct challenge to the legislation, not a challenge to discrimination in a public service. Legislating is not a public service. Consequently, there can be no human rights complaint.

The Court could have ruled otherwise. The Canadian Human Rights Commission argued that registration under the Indian Act is a service. If registration is denied because of the sex discrimination in the Indian Act...

What Was Said

SCC Rules Complainants Cannot Use the CHRA to Challenge Indian Act

“… the issue on appeal has, at times, been characterized by the parties and the courts below as being whether the Tribunal has the “jurisdiction” to consider direct attacks to legislation or whether the courts are the better forum to ascertain the validity of legislation. However, distilled to its essentials, the question before the Tribunal was whether legislative entitlements under the Indian Act fell within the definition of a service under the CHRA. As such, the Tribunal...

Human Rights Digest 19-5, August 2018