International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
International Covenant on
Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights
Fifth Report of Canada
Covering the period
September 1999 – December 2004
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
FOREWORD
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was adopted by the United
Nations General Assembly on December 19, 1966. Canada acceded to the Covenant on May 19,
1976.
States Parties are required to report to the United Nations on measures they have taken to give
effect to the Covenant. Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights covers the period of September 1999 to December 2004. It was
prepared in close collaboration by the federal, provincial and territorial governments and
describes significant measures and initiatives taken by these governments with respect to the
Covenant during this period.
This report is published, in both official languages, in order to enable and encourage Canadians
to become familiar with measures adopted in Canada that implement the Covenant and to
broaden understanding of the obligations contracted by Canada through accession to this
important international treaty.
Copies of the report may be obtained free of charge from the Human Rights Program of the
Department of Canadian Heritage. This report is also available on the Human Rights Program
Web site at: http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/.
Human Rights Program
Department of Canadian Heritage
25 Eddy Street (15-11-B)
Gatineau QC
K1A 0M5
Tel: 819-994-3458
Fax: 819-994-5252
E-mail: [email protected]
©Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2005
Catalogue. No. CH37-4/6-2005E-PDF
ISBN 0-662-41257-5
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Table of Contents
Index of Articles............................................................................................. i
List of Acronyms.......................................................................................... iv
PART I – Introduction...................................................................................1
PART II – Measures Adopted by the Government of Canada ...................16
PART III – Measures Adopted by the Governments of the Provinces* ......34
British Columbia ................................................................................................. 35
Alberta ................................................................................................................ 42
Saskatchewan .................................................................................................... 50
Manitoba............................................................................................................. 58
Ontario................................................................................................................ 65
Québec ............................................................................................................... 74
New Brunswick ................................................................................................... 87
Nova Scotia ........................................................................................................ 91
Prince Edward Island.......................................................................................... 99
Newfoundland and Labrador ............................................................................ 105
PART IV – Measures Adopted by the Governments of the Territories* ...112
Yukon ............................................................................................................... 113
Northwest Territories ........................................................................................ 117
Nunavut ............................................................................................................ 121
Appendix – Review of Jurisprudence.......................................................124
__________________________________
* In geographical order, from west to east
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Index of Articles
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination Provisions
Alberta....................................................................................................................................... 42
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 17
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 58
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 87
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................. 105
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 117
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 91
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 121
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 99
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 74
Saskatchewan............................................................................................................................ 50
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
British Columbia....................................................................................................................... 35
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 18
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 58
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 87
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................. 105
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 118
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 91
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 121
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 65
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 99
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 75
Saskatchewan............................................................................................................................ 50
Article 6: Right to Work
Alberta....................................................................................................................................... 42
British Columbia....................................................................................................................... 35
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 19
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 58
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 88
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................. 105
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 91
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 121
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 66
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 99
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 76
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Saskatchewan............................................................................................................................ 51
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 113
Article 8: Trade Union Rights
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 78
Article 9: Right to Social Security
Alberta....................................................................................................................................... 43
British Columbia....................................................................................................................... 36
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 22
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 60
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 88
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................. 107
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 93
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 122
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 67
Prince Edward Island .............................................................................................................. 100
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 78
Saskatchewan............................................................................................................................ 52
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 113
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
Alberta....................................................................................................................................... 44
British Columbia....................................................................................................................... 37
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 23
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 60
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 89
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................. 108
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 118
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 94
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 68
Prince Edward Island .............................................................................................................. 101
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 79
Saskatchewan............................................................................................................................ 53
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 114
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
Alberta....................................................................................................................................... 47
British Columbia....................................................................................................................... 39
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 25
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 62
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 90
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................. 109
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 119
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 95
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 122
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 70
Prince Edward Island .............................................................................................................. 102
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 82
Saskatchewan............................................................................................................................ 55
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 115
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
Alberta....................................................................................................................................... 48
British Columbia....................................................................................................................... 39
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 29
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 62
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................. 111
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 119
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 96
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 122
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 71
Prince Edward Island .............................................................................................................. 103
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 83
Saskatchewan............................................................................................................................ 56
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 115
Article 13: Right to Education
Alberta....................................................................................................................................... 49
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 32
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 64
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................. 111
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 98
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 72
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 85
Article 15: Right to Participate in Cultural Life and Benefit from Scientific
Progress and the Protection of Authors’ Rights
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 32
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 64
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 120
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
List of Acronyms
AHRDS
AHTF
ALC
ASD
Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy
Aboriginal Health Transition Fund
Adult Learning Centre
Autism Spectrum Disorder
BC
BCFB
BSE
British Columbia
British Columbia Family Bonus
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy/Mad Cow Disease
CCTB
CCP
CEDAW
CHT
CHST
CIDA
CIHR
CMHC
CST
Canada Child Tax Benefit
Court Challenges Program
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women
Canada Health Transfer
Canada Health and Social Transfer
Canadian International Development Agency
Canadian Institute of Health Research
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Canada Social Transfer
EBSM
ECD
EE
EEPMP
ELI
ESA
Employment Benefits and Support Measures
Early Childhood Development
Employment Equity
Employment Equity Positive Measures Program
Early Literacy Initiative
Employment Standards Act
FAS
FASD
FPT
FVI
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Federal-Provincial-Territorial
Family Violence Initiative
GDP
GN
GNWT
Gross Domestic Product
Government of Nunavut
Government of the Northwest Territories
HRSDC
HRT
H&SS
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Health Reform Transfer
Health and Social Services (Nunavut)
ICESCR
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
IESA
IRPA
Income and Employment Supports Act
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
KDFN
KRF
Kwanlin Dün First Nation
Kids Recreation Fund
LICOs
LMAPD
Low-income cut-offs
Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities
MCSS
MCP
MHR
MIKE
MOHLTC
Ministry of Community and Social Services (Ontario)
Management Compensation Plan
Ministry of Human Resources (British Columbia)
Measuring and Improving Kid’s Environments
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Ontario)
NCB
NCBS
NGO
NHI
NLCA
NLCB
NS
NWT
National Child Benefit
National Child Benefit Supplement
Non-governmental organization
National Housing Initiative
Nunavut Land Claims Agreement
Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit
Nova Scotia
Northwest Territories
OCCS
ODA
ODARA
ODSP
OECD
OSC
Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families
Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment
Ontario Disability Support Program
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Out of School Care
PEI
PWA
Prince Edward Island
Parental Wage Assistance
QPIP
Québec Parental Insurance Plan
RN(NP)
RRAP
RSV
Registered Nurse (Nurse Practitioner)
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
Respiratory syncitial virus
SARS
SCPI
SDP
SEP
SUFA
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative
Social Development Priority
Shelter Enhancement Program
Social Union Framework Agreement
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
TAQ
TFF
TSA
Tribunal administratif du Québec
Territorial Formula Financing
Territorial Supplemental Allowance
YES
Youth Employment Strategy
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Part I
Introduction
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1.
The present report outlines key measures adopted in Canada from September 1999 to
December 2004 (with occasional references to developments of special interest that have
occurred since) to enhance its implementation of the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
2.
In order to improve the timeliness and relevance of reporting to UN treaty bodies, effort
has been taken to keep this report concise and focused on selected key issues where there
are significant new developments and where information is not already provided within
reports under other conventions to which Canada is a party. Where detailed information
is available in other reports, these reports are referred to but, with few exceptions, the
information is not repeated in this report.
3.
The key areas addressed in this report are as follows: social policy issues, employment,
poverty, homelessness, health care, disability issues, early childhood development and
child care, and family violence.
4.
These issues were identified for inclusion through the Continuing Committee of Officials
on Human Rights, the principal federal-provincial-territorial body responsible for
intergovernmental consultations and information sharing on the ratification and
implementation of international human rights treaties.
5.
The views of non-governmental organizations were also sought with respect to the issues
to be covered in this update report. More than 200 NGOs were invited to provide their
views; the following organizations responded to this invitation: the Canadian Federation
of Students, the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues, Disability Rights Promotion
International, La Ligue des droits et libertés, KAIROS — the Aboriginal Rights
Committee and the Canadian Social Development Program, and the National AntiPoverty Organization. The issues identified by NGOs included: access to and funding for
post-secondary education, measures to ensure the equal and effective enjoyment of
economic, social and cultural rights by Canadians with disabilities, employment, social
security, poverty, health, housing and homelessness.
6.
Information on jurisprudence of relevance is appended to the present report.
7.
The following statistical and reference documents are being submitted with the present
report:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Introduction
A Profile of Disability in Canada, 2001 ― Participation and Activity Limitation
Survey;
Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2001 — initial findings: Well-being of the non-reserve
Aboriginal Population;
Ethnic Diversity Survey: portrait of a multicultural society (2002);
Three Year Review: Social Union Framework Agreement (SUFA), June 2003;
Women and Men in Canada: A Statistical Glance — 2003 Edition;
the 2004 Government of Canada report on Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with
Disabilities;
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
•
•
Evaluation of the National Child Benefit Initiative: Synthesis Report, February 2005;
Canada at a glance: 2005.
8.
The Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
and Canada’s previous reports were provided to all federal departments and provincial
and territorial governments. Canada’s reports are available to the public on the Web site
of the Department of Canadian Heritage at http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdphrp/docs/index_e.cfm.
9.
Detailed information about the implementation of human rights in Canada and Canadian
federalism can be found in Canada’s Fourth Report on the ICESCR
(http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/docs/cesc_e.cfm), as well as Canada’s Core
Document (http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/docs/core_e.cfm).
The Canadian economy
10.
Overall, the Canadian economy performed solidly, with sustained economic growth, low
and stable inflation and interest rates, and improved resilience to economic shocks.
11.
The Canadian economy grew 2.8 percent in 2004, up from two percent in 2003, as robust
growth in domestic consumers’ incomes allowed them to increase their purchases of
Canadian goods. Exports of commodities, such as energy and base metals, have also
increased strongly. These two positive factors have helped offset the negative impact of
the sharp rise in the Canadian dollar since the end of 2002 on Canada’s exports of
manufactured goods.
12.
As outlined in Canada’s Fourth Report under this Covenant, the federal, provincial and
territorial governments introduced measures in the mid- to late-1990s to eliminate the
deficits recorded and to bring their fiscal situations under control in order to ensure the
long-term sustainability of Canada’s economy and social programs. While governments
were subsequently able to begin reinvesting in social programming to varying degrees,
the rising costs of social programs continued to put fiscal pressure on provinces and
territories despite the austerity measures implemented over the past decade.
13.
Canada’s federal budgetary surplus was $9.1 billion in 2003-2004, marking the seventh
consecutive year of balanced budgets or better. A balanced budget or better is expected
for 2004-2005. The federal debt has declined by over $61 billion over the last eight
years. This debt reduction, coupled with Canada’s strong economic growth, has resulted
in a significant decline in the federal debt-to-GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio, from
its peak of 68.4 percent in 1995-1996 to an expected 38.8 percent in 2004-2005.
14.
After recording small deficits in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, the overall fiscal situation of
the provinces and territories is expected to continue to improve in 2004-2005. All but
four of the 13 provincial and territorial jurisdictions are expected to be in balance or
better in 2004-2005.
Introduction
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
15.
According to estimates of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD), on a total government basis, Canada was the only G-7 country to post a surplus
in 2002 (0.3 per cent of GDP), 2003 (0.6 percent of GDP) and 2004 (1.3 percent of
GDP), and is the only one expected to do so both in 2005 and 2006. Canada’s total
government sector has also achieved the sharpest decline in the debt burden among
G-7 countries since the mid-1990s. According to the OECD, Canada had the lowest debt
burden of the G-7 in 2003 and 2004 and this is expected to continue for the next two
years. The OECD estimates that Canada’s net financial liabilities fell to 32.2 percent of
GDP in 2004, down from 69.3 percent in 1995.
Employment
16.
There were 1.2 million unemployed people in Canada during 2004. That number has
declined from the 1.6 million peak registered in 1993.
17.
Employment in Canada has been on the rise:
•
A total of 283,000 new jobs (1.8 percent growth) were created in 2003. However, job
growth was slower than 2002, when 585,000 new jobs were created (3.9 percent
growth). A series of economic shocks (e.g. SARS, BSE, forest fires in B.C and the
Ontario electricity blackout) and the rapid appreciation of the Canadian dollar against
the U.S. dollar, had a negative impact on the Canadian economy and labour market.
•
In 2004, employment increased by 226,000 (1.4 percent growth). Canada’s labour
market may be a little stronger than these data suggest. Full-time work grew
two percent to account for all new jobs in 2004, while part-time employment fell.
Furthermore, both the employment (62.7 percent) and participation rates
(67.6 percent) are at record levels as the economy nears its sustainable rate of output
and employment growth.
Federal transfers to provinces and territories
18.
In Canada, provincial and territorial governments provide and fund health and social
programs and services. The Government of Canada provides fiscal transfers to provincial
and territorial governments on an ongoing basis to pay a portion of the costs of these
programs and services. Significant developments pertaining to health and social
programs are documented in the respective provincial and territorial sections of this
report. This section updates information in the Introduction to Canada’s Fourth Report
on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights regarding
transfer payments.
19.
Transfers are provided by way of four major programs: Equalization, Territorial Formula
Financing (TFF), the Canada Health Transfer and the Canada Social Transfer. There are
also a number of targeted transfers: Health Reform Transfer, Wait Times Reduction
Transfer, Diagnostic and Medical Equipment Fund, etc.
Introduction
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
20.
Through Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing, the Government of Canada
provides support to eligible provinces and the three territories to ensure comparable
levels of services to their citizens (e.g. health care, social assistance, social services and
education).
21.
In October 2004, Canada’s First Ministers1 agreed to change both Equalization and TFF.
The new framework:
•
•
•
•
ensures a total minimum payment of $10 billion for Equalization and of $1.9 billion
for TFF for 2004-2005,
guarantees that payments for 2004-2005 to provinces and territories will be no lower
than the amount announced in Budget 2004,
sets a base level of $10.9 billion for Equalization and $2 billion for TFF in 20052006, which will grow at 3.5 percent a year thereafter until 2009-2010, and
launches a public review of Equalization and TFF by an independent panel of experts
to advise on the allocation among provinces and territories.
22.
Under the new framework, the overall level of Equalization and Territorial Formula
Financing will be guaranteed and not subject to fluctuations from changes to economic
data. Therefore, this approach will provide stable, predictable and growing levels of
funding.
23.
The independent panel of experts has been established to advise on how the legislated
Equalization and TFF levels should be allocated among provinces and territories in 20062007 and after. This review will, among other things, evaluate current practices for
measuring fiscal disparities among provinces and territories; examine alternative
approaches, such as those based on aggregate macroeconomic indicators or expenditure
needs; review the evolution of fiscal disparities among provinces and the costs of
providing services in the territories to help governments and citizens evaluate the overall
level of support for Equalization and TFF; and advise whether the Government of Canada
should establish a permanent independent body to advise it on the allocation of
Equalization and TFF within the framework of legislated levels.
24.
In May 2005, the Council of the Federation, which is comprised of all 13 provincial and
territorial Premiers, established the Advisory Panel on Fiscal Imbalance to examine and
make recommendations on the balance between the constitutional responsibilities of
governments and the ability to fund services resulting from these responsibilities.
25.
As agreed at the February 2003 First Ministers’ Meeting, the Canada Health and Social
Transfer (CHST) was restructured into two new transfers effective April 1, 2004: the
Canada Health Transfer (CHT) in support of health; and the Canada Social Transfer
(CST), a block transfer in support of post-secondary education, social assistance and
social services, including early childhood development, and early learning and child care.
1
“First Ministers” includes the Prime Minister of Canada, provincial premiers and territorial leaders.
Introduction
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
26.
There were significant increases to transfers in 2004 as a result of federal-provincialterritorial agreements and discussions on health, early childhood development and early
learning and child care. As a result of the 2003 Health Accord (see below), the
Government of Canada is providing $31.5 billion over five years in increased support to
provinces and territories ($14 billion through the CHST/CHT/CST; $16 billion through a
new Health Reform Transfer (HRT) (which has been rolled into the CHT effective
April 1, 2005); and $1.5 billion in targeted funding for diagnostic and medical
equipment). The Government of Canada is also investing $1.05 billion in early learning
and child care related initiatives through Budgets 2003 and 2004, flowing primarily
through the CST. Under the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Agreement, the
Government of Canada is providing $500 million per year to provinces and territories for
investments in ECD programs and services. For 2004-2005, total health and social
transfers (cash and tax) provided under the CHT, the CST, the HRT and the Wait Times
Reduction Transfer are $43.2 billion.
Significant cross-jurisdictional initiatives
Health care
27.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments continue to collaborate on many health
and social programming initiatives that serve to implement the provisions of the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
28.
Following the September 2000 First Ministers Agreement on Health Renewal and Early
Childhood Development, the Government of Canada created the Commission on the
Future of Health Care in Canada in April 2001. The Commission's mandate was to
engage Canadians in a national dialogue on the future of the health care system in
Canada, and to make recommendations to enhance the system's sustainability. The
Commission released its final report in November 2002, including recommendations
premised on strong leadership and governance, a responsive, efficient and accountable
system, and strategic investments to address priority concerns. The Commission’s report,
Building on Values: The Future of Health Care in Canada, is available online at
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/care/romanow/hcc0086.html.
29.
The February 2003 First Ministers’ Accord on Health Care Renewal set out an action
plan to ensure Canadians have timely access to quality health care on the basis of need
and not ability to pay. The plan builds on the converging recommendations made by
national and provincial studies of health care. Additional information on the Health
Accord can be found at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/hca2003/accord.html
30.
On September 16, 2004, Canada’s First Ministers signed a “10-Year Plan to Strengthen
Health Care”, which commits governments to:
•
Introduction
achieve meaningful reductions in wait times in priority areas such as cancer, heart,
diagnostic imaging, joint replacements, and sight restoration;
6
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
•
•
•
•
•
•
continue and accelerate work on Health Human Resources action plans and/or
initiatives to ensure an adequate supply and appropriate mix of health care
professionals;
provide first dollar coverage by 2006 for certain home care services, based on
assessed need;
establish a best practices network to share information and find solutions to barriers
to progress in primary health care reform;
develop and implement the national pharmaceuticals strategy;
further collaboration and cooperation in developing coordinated responses to
infectious disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies through the new
Public Health Network (see below);
report to their citizens on health system performance.
31.
Additional information on the 10-Year Plan can be found online at http://www.hcsc.gc.ca/english/hca2003/fmm/index.html.
32.
In September 2005, the federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Health
announced the creation of the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network, which will be the
key mechanism for intergovernmental collaboration on public health.
33.
The Network will assist governments and other public health partners in providing a high
quality, efficient and responsive public health system for Canadians. It will enhance the
ability of governments to coordinate and collaborate in public health, including preparing
for and responding to future public health challenges, opportunities and threats. The
Network includes an initial series of six Expert Groups on the following issues:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Communicable Disease Control;
Emergency Preparedness and Response;
Canadian Public Health Laboratory;
Surveillance and Information;
Non-Communicable Disease and Injury Prevention and Control; and,
Health Promotion.
Health of Aboriginal peoples
34.
On September 15, 2004, First Ministers and the Leaders of the Assembly of First
Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis National Council, the Congress of
Aboriginal Peoples and the Native Women’s Association of Canada reached an
agreement to work together to develop a blueprint to improve the health status of
Aboriginal peoples and health services in Canada through concrete initiatives for:
improved delivery of and access to health services to meet the needs of all Aboriginal
peoples through better integration and adaptation of all health systems; measures that will
ensure that Aboriginal peoples benefit fully from improvements to Canadian health
systems; and a forward-looking agenda of prevention, health promotion and other
upstream investments for Aboriginal peoples.
Introduction
7
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
35.
Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers responsible for Health and Aboriginal Affairs
have been tasked to work in partnership with Aboriginal Leaders to develop the blueprint.
They will explore practical ways to clarify roles and responsibilities of the various parties
and report back to the First Ministers and Aboriginal Leaders.
Social Union Framework Agreement
36.
The Social Union Framework Agreement (SUFA) was signed by federal, provincial and
territorial governments in February 1999. Information on the SUFA can be found in the
Introduction to Canada’s Fourth Report under the ICESCR.
37.
The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministerial Council on Social Policy Renewal (the
Council) conducted a review of the SUFA in 2003. Overall, the review found that SUFA
continues to provide a useful framework for governments in their efforts to respond to the
social policy needs of Canadians. The Council concluded that governments have
demonstrated a commitment to SUFA and its undertakings: to improve mobility; to
inform Canadians through public accountability and transparency; to work in partnership
to improve social programs for Canadians; and to avoid and resolve disputes. The
Council recommended that governments work together to ensure that the services
provided to Aboriginal peoples are delivered in a way that meets their pressing needs
wherever they live, both on and off reserve. The Council also recommended that
governments continue to use the principles set out in SUFA (equality, diversity, fairness,
individual dignity and responsibility, sustaining social programmes and services) to guide
the development of new social policies and programming. The Council recognized that
challenges still remained and would continue to emerge as governments address the
social priorities of Canadians. The Council recommended that governments should
review SUFA and its implementation again by 2008.
38.
The complete results of the review and supplemental information on the SUFA can be
found at http://www.socialunion.gc.ca/menu_e.html.
Child-related initiatives
National Child Benefit
39.
Through the National Child Benefit (NCB) initiative (see Canada’s Fourth Report on the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), the Government of
Canada provides income support for low-income families with children through the NCB
Supplement, as part of the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). In turn, provinces and
territories, as well as First Nations, have the flexibility to adjust social assistance or child
benefit payments by an amount equivalent to the NCB Supplement, which is used to fund
new or enhanced provincial and territorial programs benefiting low-income families with
children.
Introduction
8
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
40.
The NCB Progress Report: 2003, released in April 2005, by
Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services, confirms that
government investments for low-income families with children continue to increase:
•
Federal support to low-income families had risen from $5.6 billion in 2001-2002 to
$5.7 billion in 2002-2003. Federal investment is projected to reach $6.4 billion in
2004-2005.
•
Provincial and territorial governments and First Nations have also increased their
expenditures for low-income children and families, from $723.4 million in 2001-2002
to $764.2 million in 2002-2003. This funding supports programs and services,
including child benefits and earned income supplements, child/day care initiatives,
early childhood services and children-at-risk services, youth initiatives, and
supplementary health benefits.
41.
The Impact of the NCB on the Incomes of Families with Children: a Simulation Analysis
Report shows that the NCB is making a difference. For example, in 2001, the NCB was
responsible for preventing an estimated 40,700 families with 94,800 children from living
in low income. This represented an 8.9 percent reduction in the number of low-income
families. These families with children saw their average disposable income increase, on
average, by $2,200 or 9.2 percent as a direct result of the NCB. The NCB was also found
to reduce the depth of child poverty, with low-income families with children seeing their
income rise, on average, 12.3 percent closer to the low-income cut off.
42.
The Evaluation of the National Child Benefit Initiative: Synthesis Report compiled
evidence from a number of evaluation studies. The report indicates that the NCB
initiative has had a positive impact on low-income families with children:
•
•
•
43.
Reduction of child poverty: the Evaluation Synthesis Report reiterates previous direct
outcome indicators findings which show that the NCB is preventing a significant
number of families with children from living in low income;
Increased attachment to the labour market: the NCB is making work financially more
attractive than social assistance. This improvement was associated with a reduced
dependency on social assistance among families with children;
Reduction of overlap and duplication: the flexibility of the NCB is reducing overlap
and duplication through federal/provincial/territorial co-ordination and integration in
the delivery of child benefits.
The 2003 Progress Report and the Evaluation Synthesis Report are available at
www.nationalchildbenefit.ca.
Early Childhood Development Agreement
44.
In September 2000, the Government of Canada and the provincial and territorial
governments reached an agreement on early childhood development (ECD).
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45.
Under the ECD Agreement, provincial and territorial governments are:
•
expanding and improving programs and services for children under six and their
families, in four key areas: promoting healthy pregnancy, birth and infancy;
improving parenting and family supports; strengthening early childhood
development, learning and care; and strengthening community supports.
•
investing in a range of ECD programs, including child care, parent resource centres
and education programs, prenatal programs and education, supports for children at
risk or children with disabilities and their families, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
Disorder.
46.
Governments are working together, where appropriate, on research and knowledge
related to early childhood development, sharing information on effective practices that
improve child outcomes and disseminating the results of research.
47.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments are committed to release annual reports to
the public on how they are investing funds and making progress in enhancing early
childhood development programs and services. Reporting began with a baseline report
for 2000-2001.
48.
Information on respective governments’ investments in early childhood development
programs, as well as the Web address for their progress reports, can be found under
Article 10 in each government’s section of this report.
Early learning and child care
49.
On March 13, 2003, federal, provincial and territorial First Ministers Responsible for
Social Services agreed on a framework for improving access to affordable, quality,
provincially and territorially regulated early learning and child care services.
50.
The objectives are: to promote early childhood development and to support the
participation of parents in employment or training by improving access to affordable,
quality early learning and child care programs and services. For the most part, the
funding supports early learning and child care programs and services in such settings as
child care centres, family child care homes, preschools and nursery schools. The types of
investments being made include capital and operating funding, fee subsidies, wage
enhancements, training, professional development and support, quality assurance, and
parent information and referral.
51.
The Multilateral Framework includes an agreement by governments to work together to
develop an evaluation framework for early learning and child care programs and services.
Governments also agreed to pursue evaluation studies based on the evaluation framework
where appropriate. Once completed, the evaluation framework could serve as a
tool/guide in determining the effectiveness and outcomes of initiatives in early learning
and child care.
Introduction
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
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52.
Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services have agreed on a
national vision and four principles to guide the development of early learning and child
care: quality, universally inclusive, accessible and developmental. Ministers have agreed
that any approach will require flexibility, so that each jurisdiction can design and deliver
programs and services to best meet their respective priorities and circumstances, as well
as clear accountability, so that citizens can track governments’ progress over time.
Housing
53.
Canadians are among the best-housed people in the world. The vast majority live in
comfortable dwellings that contribute to their quality of life. Most have access to
housing of acceptable size and quality at affordable prices. However, approximately
1.7 million or 16 percent of all households are in core housing need. Canada’s Fourth
Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(paragraph 333) describes the Core Housing Need model used to determine whether a
household’s housing is considered adequate, suitable and affordable.
54.
According to the 2001 Census, Canada’s total housing stock comprised 12.5 million
dwelling units, of which just under 11.6 million were occupied as a primary residence.
The number of persons per dwelling is low by international standards, having fallen from
3.9 persons per household in 1961 to 2.6 persons in 2001. The predominant form of
dwelling is the single detached home, accounting for 57 percent of occupied dwellings.
In Canada, most households can afford adequate and suitable housing through the private
market. Almost two thirds (66 percent) of Canadian households own their own homes.
55.
Most administrative arrangements relating to social housing programs and delivery are
governed by federal-provincial-territorial agreements on social housing. As of
December 31, 2004, the portfolio of federally assisted housing units totalled
633,000 units.
56.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments have been negotiating the management of
existing federal social housing resources. As of December 2004, new arrangements had
been entered into with nine provinces and territories. The new arrangements maximize
the impact of expenditures and improve service by streamlining administration, reducing
overlap and directing resources to lower-income Canadians in need.
57.
In 2001, the federal, provincial and territorial governments committed to take action to
stimulate the supply of affordable housing in response to low rental vacancy rates and
rising rents and agreed on a framework for a new Affordable Housing Initiative for urban
and remote areas. The Government of Canada is investing $680 million under this
initiative, and bilateral agreements have been signed with all provinces and territories in
this regard. Provinces and territories have the flexibility to design and deliver programs
that are best suited to their affordable housing needs. As of December 31, 2004,
approximately $360 million has been committed in support of some 16,000 units across
Canada, and approximately 4,000 units have been announced for future development.
Introduction
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58.
In 2003, the Government of Canada announced an investment of an additional
$320 million for affordable housing. As of December 2004, bilateral agreements for this
second phase were in place for Québec and British Columbia. Discussions are under way
with the remaining provinces and territories.
59.
Also in 2003, the federal Housing Renovation Programs (Homeowner Residential
Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP), RRAP for Persons with Disabilities, Rental
and Room House RRAP, RRAP Conversion, Emergency Repair Program, Home
Adaptation for Seniors’ Independence and Shelter Enhancement Program) were renewed
for three years. Nine of the thirteen provinces and territories cost-share these federal
renovation programs or equivalent provincial programs thereby increasing the number of
households that can be assisted across Canada. These programs provide assistance to
convert non-residential properties to residential properties, to bring homeowner and
rental and rooming house units up to minimum level health and safety standards, to
complete emergency repairs on homes in rural areas, to make housing accessible for
persons with disabilities, and to repair, rehabilitate and improve shelters for victims of
family violence, as well as acquiring or building new shelters or second stage housing
where needed. A recent evaluation of the renovation programs confirmed the value of
these programs in contributing to the preservation of adequate, affordable housing for
Canadian households (see Government of Canada section for number of benefiting
households). Enhancements to the programs were introduced in 2003 and included an
increase in maximum assistance limits.
60.
Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for housing met in
November 2004 and discussed a longer-term framework for housing in Canada to guide
future investments. The Government of Canada launched national consultations early in
2005 with communities and housing experts on current and future housing policies,
programs and delivery approaches.
61.
In addition to direct housing measures, federal, provincial and territorial social assistance
programs such as income support for senior citizens or general welfare provide either
explicit (through a shelter component) or implicit support to the housing costs of
assistance recipients. This is the principal means by which low-income households
receive housing subsidies.
Persons with disabilities
62.
The federal, provincial and territorial governments are working together in supporting
equal opportunities for Canadians with disabilities to develop skills and meet educational
goals. For example, the Government of Canada has introduced a new grant of up to
$2,000 a year for students with permanent disabilities and, in 2003, the government
launched a Special Education Program to improve the quality of education and the level
of support services for qualifying First Nation children with moderate to profound special
education needs. In 2004, the Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT) launched
the NWT Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities, which outlines actions in the areas of
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
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education, employment, income, disability supports and housing. In 2005, the
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 came into force in Ontario and
provides for enforceable accessibility standards in the areas of goods, services, facilities,
accommodation and employment.
63.
In 2004, Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements for Persons with
Disabilities (LMAPD) replaced the Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities
initiative. Through LMAPD, the Government of Canada contributes $223 million
annually, recently increased from $193 million, in funding to provincial programs and
services to improve the employment situation of Canadians with disabilities by enhancing
their employability, increasing the employment opportunities available to them, and
building on the existing knowledge base.
64.
Information on federal, provincial and territorial government programs and supports for
persons with disabilities can be found in the respective government sections of this
report.
Aboriginal people
Canada-Aboriginal Peoples Roundtable
65.
On April 19, 2004, the Prime Minister of Canada hosted the first Canada-Aboriginal
Peoples Roundtable meeting with more than 20 federal ministers and some 70 Aboriginal
leaders from every region of Canada representing national organizations, youth, elders,
and various professions. This included 34 indigenous women leaders. The purpose was
to strengthen relations between Canada and Aboriginal peoples and to identify clear goals
for moving forward in a relationship of collaboration and partnership.
66.
The Roundtable also established a basis for future collaborative work with Aboriginal
people, the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, the private sector
and the voluntary sector to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal Canadians.
Aboriginal land claims and agreements
67.
On February 15, 2005, the Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Act received Royal
Assent. This will bring into force the first combined comprehensive land claim and selfgovernment agreement in the Northwest Territories and the second such agreement in
Canada.
68.
Under the Tlicho Agreement, the Tlicho Government will be created and it will own a
39,000 square kilometre block of land, including the subsurface resources. The Tlicho
Government will also receive approximately $152 million over a period of 14 years and a
share of resource royalties annually from development in the Mackenzie Valley. Tlicho
community governments will be created in four Tlicho communities.
Introduction
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
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69.
On February 19, 2005, the Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) became the tenth Yukon
First Nation to sign a Final and Self-Government Agreement negotiated under the Yukon
Umbrella Final Agreement. Under these agreements, the Kwanlin Dün First Nation will
retain approximately 1,040 square kilometres of land as settlement lands, including
35 square kilometres within the City of Whitehorse. It will also receive about $30 million
in compensation.
70.
Unique provisions in the Kwanlin Dün First Nation Final Agreement include the
commitment to establish two Special Management Areas: Kusawa Park, and Lewes
Marsh Wetland Habitat Protection Area. Kwanlin Dün First Nation will have a role in
the management of these areas, as well as specific rights for fish and wildlife harvesting,
and economic and employment opportunities. The Final Agreement also provides
guaranteed wildlife harvesting rights and participation in decision-making bodies dealing
with renewable resources management on non-settlement land within KDFN traditional
territory.
71.
On January 22, 2005, representatives from the Labrador Inuit Association, the
Government of Canada, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador signed the
Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. The Agreement, a modern-day treaty, is the first
of its kind in Atlantic Canada. The Agreement sets out details of land ownership,
resource sharing and self-government. The Agreement provides for the establishment of
the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area (Settlement Area) totalling approximately
72,500 square kilometres of land in northern Labrador, including 15,800 square
kilometres of Inuit-owned lands, known as Labrador Inuit Lands. The Settlement Area
also includes an adjacent Ocean Zone of 48,690 square kilometres. The Agreement also
provides for the establishment of the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve,
consisting of approximately 9,600 square kilometres of land within the Settlement Area.
Under the Agreement, the Government of Canada will transfer $140 million to the
Labrador Inuit, as well as $156 million for implementation of the Agreement. The
Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act, received Royal Assent on June 23, 2005.
72.
Additional information on Aboriginal land claims and agreements can be found in the
following provincial sections of this report: Alberta (Smith’s landing (Salt River) and
Fort McKay land claims), British Columbia (the status of ongoing treaty negotiations),
and Québec (agreements with the Mohawk and Cree communities).
73.
Information on Aboriginal land claims can also be found in Canada’s Fifth Report on the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Other significant developments
74.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments have established numerous programs and
supports for Aboriginal people in the areas of employment, social security, child welfare
and health. For example, in Manitoba, the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry – Child Welfare
Initiative, is a unique system that returns to First Nations and Métis peoples the right to
develop and control the delivery of their own child and family services in a manner
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consistent with First Nation and Métis cultural traditions and beliefs. In Saskatchewan,
the newly created Department of First Nations and Métis Relations works with First
Nations and Métis people on issues that include education and participation in the
economy as well as lands and resources.
75.
Details on government initiatives can be found in the respective government sections of
this report.
International cooperation
76.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) announced its Framework for
Social Development Priorities (SDPs) in September 2000. CIDA is focussing its
investments on four social development areas — basic education, child protection, health
and nutrition and HIV/AIDS — during the period of 2000 through 2005. The Framework
document outlines financial investment targets for each area: health and nutrition are to
double and investments in basic education, child protection and HIV/AIDS are to
quadruple by 2005. Between 2000 and 2002, specific action plans were released for each
of the SDPs to outline directions that investments would take. Gender is a crosscutting
theme in each. The SDP action plans are at various stages of maturity. Monitoring to
date indicates that CIDA will meet the overall investment target of $2.8 billion
(Canadian) and could exceed that figure. A formal evaluation is scheduled after
completion of the five-year period and a report on the results is expected in late 2006.
77.
CIDA’s HIV/AIDS Action Plan supports developing-country government health
strategies, promotes awareness and education, and supports vulnerable populations
affected by HIV/AIDS. As part of this action plan, Canada’s contribution to UNAIDS
more than tripled between 2000-2004 from US$2,280,302 to US$6,955,597, making it
the sixth largest donor globally in the latter year.
78.
On May 13, 2004, Parliament passed The Jean Chrétien Pledge to Africa Act, which
permits generic versions of patented medicines to be exported to developing and least
developed countries, helping their peoples to live longer and better lives and raise
families. Canada was the first country to take concrete measures to implement the 2003
Decision of World Trade Organization members on the Agreement on Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and Public Health.
Introduction
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Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
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Part II
Measures Adopted by the
Government of Canada
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
General
Persons with disabilities
79.
In 2002 and 2004, the Government of Canada, in consultation with disability
organizations, Aboriginal organizations, academic experts and disability researchers,
released reports assessing Canada’s progress towards achieving full inclusion for
Canadians with disabilities. These reports present information about Canadians with
disabilities, their families, the challenges they face in fully participating in Canadian
society, as well as federal programs and initiatives that address these challenges. The
reports can be found at: http://sdc.gc.ca/en/gateways/nav/top_nav/program/odi.shtml.
80.
In addition to regularly reporting on progress, the Government of Canada is building the
knowledge base on disability so that more can be known about disability and inclusion.
For example, the federal government conducted the 2001 Participation and Activity
Limitation Survey and is planning a follow-up survey in 2006. This is a major survey of
Canadians with disabilities that provides a comprehensive national picture of many ways
in which disability affects the lives of Canadians with disabilities.
81.
The Government has continued to invest in direct supports for Canadians with
disabilities, in matters within its jurisdiction. For example, the Veterans Independence
Program, a national home-care program primarily for veterans, has seen an increase in
expenditures from $171.2 million in 2001-2002 to $201 million in 2003-2004 and are
expected to continue upwards until 2010; and the 2004 federal budget introduced a new
disability supports tax deduction to better address the expenses incurred by individuals in
obtaining the disability assistance needed for work and school.
82.
To support the work of the disability community to advance inclusion, the Government
makes direct investments to build the capacity of disability organizations. For example,
the Social Development Partnerships Program — Disability Component, created in 1998,
continues to fund national non-profit groups that work on social development for people
with disabilities.
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
83.
As outlined in Canada’s Fourth Report on the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights (www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/cesc_e.cfm), the Government
of Canada initiated a review of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the policies and
practices of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 1999. The final report of the
Canadian Human Rights Act Review Panel, tabled in June 2000, contained
165 recommendations on issues ranging from structural and process changes to the
addition of new grounds of discrimination. In particular, the Review Panel recommended
the inclusion of social condition as a prohibited ground for discrimination. The Review
Panel recommendations are currently under consideration. The Review Panel’s report is
available at http://www.justice.gc.ca/chra/en/index.html.
Government of Canada
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84.
The new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) referenced in Canada’s Fourth
Report on the ICESCR, became law on June 28, 2002. Included in the new legislation
and regulations are provisions on:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
strengthened family reunification, including an expanded definition of the family
class, one-year-window provisions for refugees, and ensuring that the best interests of
the affected child are taken into account;
a modern and balanced selection system for skilled workers, focussed on flexible and
transferable skills as opposed to an occupation-based model;
objective, transparent and flexible criteria to assess a person’s right to retain
permanent resident status;
strengthened refugee protection, by consolidating multiple protection grounds
extending beyond the 1951 Geneva Convention, ensuring prompt and fair processing
of refugee protection claims made in Canada;
enhancing the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement program;
a streamlined immigration appeal system; and
maintaining the safety of Canadian society and respect for Canadian norms of social
responsibility, including new inadmissibility provisions, though penalties for
trafficking and smuggling, and clearer detention grounds.
85.
In addition, the IRPA requires that all decisions taken under the Act are consistent with
the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that the Act be applied in a manner
that complies with international human rights instruments to which Canada is a signatory.
Canada remains committed to ensuring the successful integration and settlement of
refugees.
86.
The Court Challenges Program (CCP), funded by the Government of Canada, provides
funding for test cases of national significance in order to clarify the rights of official
language minority communities and the equality rights of historically disadvantaged
groups. An evaluation of the CCP in 2003 found that it has been successful in supporting
important court cases that have a direct impact on the implementation of rights and
freedoms covered by the Program. The individuals and groups benefiting from the CCP
are located in all regions of the country and generally come from official language
minorities or disadvantaged groups, such as Aboriginal people, women, racial minorities,
gays and lesbians, etc. The Program has also contributed to strengthening both language
and equality-seeking groups’ networks. The Program has been extended to March 31,
2009. The evaluation report is available online at http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/emcr/eval/2003/2003_02/index_e.cfm.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
87.
Canada reports more fully on its implementation of this article in its reports on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
(CEDAW). Canada’s reports on CEDAW, an update paper and the statement made by
the Head of Delegation during Canada’s 2003 appearance before the CEDAW treaty
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body are available at www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/docs/cedaw_e.cfm. In addition,
information prepared for the anniversary of the Fourth United Nations World Conference
on Women, including Canada’s response to the United Nations’ questionnaire for
Beijing+10, can be found at www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/pubs/unquestionnaire04/index_e.html.
These documents provide information on Canada’s efforts to achieve equal rights and
improve the situation of women.
88.
A Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Status of Women was established in 2004.
As of June 2005, the Committee has released reports on funding of women’s
equality-seeking organizations, gender-based analysis and pay equity. The reports are
available on the Standing Committee’s Web site (www.parl.gc.ca/committee/
CommitteeHome.aspx?Lang=1&PARLSES=381&JNT=0&SELID=e17_&COM=8997).
Article 6: Right to Work
89.
Under the Employment Insurance Act, the Canada Employment Insurance Commission
has established Employment Benefits and Support Measures (EBSM) that provide active
measures designed to assist unemployed Canadians return to work. EBSM assistance can
include support for training, work experience, self-employment and job search. Between
2000 and 2004, of those participating in EBSMs, 45.2 percent were women; seven
percent were Aboriginal people; 4.2 percent were persons with disabilities; and
5.1 percent were visible minorities.
Employment Equity and Workplace Diversity
90.
In the period 2000-2004, Canada had a labour force of 17 million people, of which
10 million belonged to the four groups designated under the federal Employment Equity
Act: women, Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities and persons with disabilities. The
Act supports the goal of improving the representation of the four designated groups in a
large number of workplaces across Canada. Between 2000 and 2004, the Act applied to
450 federally regulated employers (with 640,000 employees), the federal public service
(over 60 departments with 150,000 employees), the federal government special operating
agencies (35 agencies with 60,000 employees), federal contractors (1,000 provincially
regulated organizations with 1.2 million employees), and to Indian bands. The Act
requires federally regulated employers to move toward a more representative work force
by developing and implementing an employment equity plan. The plan, based on an
analysis of the employer’s workforce and a review of the employment systems to identify
barriers, must contain flexible numerical goals (not rigid quotas) for the hiring and
promotion of designated group members in those occupational groups where there is
under-representation.
91.
Between 2000 and 2004, the representation of designated group members in the federal
Public Service had evolved as follows, continuing to improve in all areas over the 1994
figures (see previous report): 3.3 percent in 2000 and 4.1 percent in 2004 for Aboriginal
people; 5.5 percent in 2000 and 7.8 percent in 2004 for persons in a visible minority
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group; 4.7 percent in 2000 and 5.7 percent in 2004 for persons with disabilities; and
51.4 percent in 2000 and 53.1 percent in 2004 for women.
92.
The government has provided financial support to help departments and agencies
implement employment equity across the federal Public Service. The Employment Equity
Positive Measures Program (EEPMP) ended in March 2002 after providing support for
close to 170 projects under its four components: the EE Intervention Fund; the EE
Partnership Fund; the EE Career Development Office; and, the EE Enabling Resource
Centre for Persons with Disabilities. The EEPMP also developed an e-tool to foster
continued sharing of positive practices and lessons learned among departments and
agencies.
93.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) is developing three
workplace equity strategies to further enhance employment equity: a Racism-Free
Workplace Strategy, a Workplace Integration Strategy for Persons with Disabilities and a
Workplace Integration Strategy for Aboriginal Peoples.
94.
An evaluation of the employment equity program for private sector federally-regulated
employers was completed by an independent contractor in April 2002, and yielded
positive results, but revealed weakness in the area of education. The Racism-Free
Workplace Strategy is being designed to address the gap in education.
Aboriginal people
95.
Since April 1999, the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy (AHRDS),
renewed until March 31, 2009, has been helping Aboriginal communities strengthen the
ability of Aboriginal people to compete in the Canadian job market. The Strategy is
helping Aboriginal people increase their self-sufficiency, build stronger communities,
and develop long-term employment.
96.
Delivered through 80 Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement Holders,
the Strategy has been designed with flexibility to meet the needs of individual Aboriginal
communities and to respect the wide-ranging cultural diversity of those communities
while ensuring accountability measures are in place.
97.
As part of the Government of Canada’s response to the recommendations of the Royal
Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the AHRDS was given a five-year, $1.6-billion
budget to help Aboriginal communities and organizations take on the responsibility of
developing and implementing their own employment and human resource programs. The
Strategy has been extended for five years at the same funding levels.
98.
The largest share of the total funding goes towards the delivery of employment programs
and services. In meeting the labour market needs of Aboriginal people throughout
Canada, the direct involvement of Aboriginal organizations and the emerging network of
partnerships are among the Strategy’s strongest hallmarks. HRSDC, the lead department
of the Strategy, works in partnership with five national Aboriginal organizations – the
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Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (formerly known as Inuit Tapirisat
of Canada), the Métis National Council, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, and the
Native Women’s Association of Canada.
Visible minorities
99.
In June 2000, the Government of Canada endorsed an Action Plan prepared by the Task
Force on the Participation of Visible Minorities in the Federal Public Service. The
resulting Embracing Change Initiative, described in Canada’s 15/16 Report on the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
(http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/docs/cerd_e.cfm) is a focused effort to make the
Public Service of Canada reflect the country’s reality with respect to diversity.
100.
There has been progress: over 5,200 visible minorities joined the workforce between
2000 and 2004. The number of visible minority executives has more than doubled, from
103 to 208. The rate of external recruitment was 5.7 percent in 1999-2000 and has
increased to 10.1 percent. Overall, visible minority employees received 8.1 percent of all
promotions in 2004, up from 6.3 percent in 2000. But challenges remain: visible
minority representation in the public service workforce was 7.8 percent in 2004, well
below the workforce availability figure of about 10.4 percent for visible minorities based
on the 2001 Census. At one in 10, external recruitment of visible minorities among new
entrants to the public service is also well below the Embracing Change benchmark of one
in five.
Persons with disabilities
101.
The Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public
Service came into effect in June 2002. The Policy requirements were strengthened to
reflect the legal requirement to accommodate persons with disabilities to the point of
undue hardship. The federal government is now developing a revised Employment
Equity Policy that will, as required by law, extend the duty to accommodate to all groups
protected by the Canadian Human Rights Act. A Directive on the Duty to Accommodate
will set out requirements at a more operational level than the policy.
Women
102.
Since March 2004, women’s salaries have averaged $52,037, compared to men who
earned $60,259. Women, therefore, earned 86.4 percent of men’s salaries, representing a
variance of 13.3 percent in wages. This variance is influenced in part by the distribution
of men and women in employment categories and the entry into force of collective
agreements. In fact, between April 2002 and March 2003, recruitment outside the Public
Service was aimed at filling clerical support positions (a female dominated group) and in
the computer sciences category (a male dominated group). Among the people hired from
outside the Public Service, the average female salary was 92 percent of the average male
salary, indicating a variance of eight percent, which is essentially the same as the
previous year.
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Youth
103.
The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is outlined in Canada’s Fourth Report under this
Covenant. Each year since 1997, YES has helped over 80,000 young Canadians find
employment.
104.
As a result of evaluation findings, YES programs were realigned in 2003-2004 to better
meet the needs of the labour market. The revised YES programs will:
•
•
•
•
•
•
105.
be more responsive to the changing needs of the labour market;
improve access to programs and services, particularly youth who face barriers to
employment;
provide youth with the skills to help them obtain and maintain employment;
be more flexible and offer tailored, client-centred employment services to youth;
build on existing partnerships and community collaboration to provide a broader mix
of supports particularly to youth facing barriers;
be more effective by ensuring that work experiences are career related and help
advance participant’s skills to create experts in their fields.
To address identified gaps such as outreach, support services and skills enhancement
activities, YES has been realigned into three new programs: Skills Link, Career Focus
and Summer Work Experience. Skills Link provides funding to community organizations
to help youth facing barriers to employment develop the knowledge and work experience
they need to find a job. Career Focus offers post-secondary graduates a range of work
experience and skill-building opportunities to broaden their skills and enhance their
employability. Summer Work Experience helps students find career-related summer jobs
by providing wage subsidies to employers.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
106.
In addition to relevant information included in the Introduction to this report, information
on initiatives of the Government of Canada in relation to social security can be found in
Canada’s most recent reports on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as
Canada’s Fourth Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights. These reports are available at http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdphrp/docs/index_e.cfm.
107.
The Government of Canada does not provide social assistance benefits directly to
individuals. As discussed earlier in this report, the federal government provides funding
to provincial and territorial governments through the Canada Social Transfer.
Information on new developments pertaining to their implementation of this right may be
found in Parts III and IV of this report.
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Family-related benefits
108.
Information on the National Child Benefit (NCB) initiative is included in the Introduction
to the present report.
109.
The Government of Canada contributes to the NCB initiative through a supplement to its
Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) system. The NCB Supplement provides extra support
to low-income families with children by topping up the monthly payments they receive
under the CCTB system (see previous report).
110.
The Government of Canada has steadily increased its investment in the NCB
Supplement. Under the current investment plan for the NCB, the annual federal
investment to support Canadian families with children through the combined base benefit
of the CCTB and the NCB Supplement is projected to reach $10 billion by 2007-2008.
This will bring maximum annual federal child benefits for a two-child family to an
estimated $6,259 by July 2007.
111.
In 2003, the Government of Canada introduced the Child Disability Benefit to recognize
the special needs of low- and modest-income families with a child with a disability. As
of July 2005, the maximum annual Child Disability Benefit will be $2,000 per eligible
child. The Child Disability Benefit is delivered as a supplement to the CCTB.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
112.
The Early Childhood Development Activities and Expenditures: Government of Canada
Report 2003-2004 outlines activities and expenditures undertaken by the federal
government in support of young children and their families since implementation of the
September 2000 federal/provincial/territorial Early Childhood Development (ECD)
Agreement (see the Introduction to the present report). It provides information on a
range of programs and supports for young children and families that are designed and
delivered by the Government of Canada, including Maternity and Parental Benefits, the
Child Care Expense Deduction, the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program, and the
Community Action Program for Children. The report, which is available online at
http://www.socialunion.ca/ecd_e.html, provides a comprehensive overview of the
Government of Canada’s investments in early childhood development between
April 2000 and March 2004, in the areas of healthy pregnancy, birth and infancy;
parenting and family supports; early learning and child care; and community supports.
113.
Under the 2002 Federal Strategy on Early Childhood Development for First Nations and
Other Aboriginal Children, which complements investments under the ECD Agreement,
the Government of Canada is providing an additional $320 million over five years to
enhance programs and services to help address the early childhood development needs of
Aboriginal children.
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A Canada Fit for Children
114.
On April 22, 2004, the Government of Canada formally transmitted to the United Nations
its plan of action for children — A Canada Fit for Children. Developed in response to
commitments made at the U.N. General Assembly Special Session for Children in
May 2002, this is a policy framework for action on children’s issues over the next
decade. It identifies specific ways to promote and protect the rights of all children and
lays out a roadmap to guide Canada's collective efforts for and with children, both in
Canada and throughout the world.
115.
The development of A Canada Fit for Children involved nation-wide consultations with a
broad range of stakeholders representing all ages and all sectors of society, including
Aboriginal people as well as children and youth themselves. It reflects a consensus on
goals, strategies and opportunities for action on key priorities within four central themes:
supporting families and strengthening communities; promoting healthy lives; protecting
from harm; and promoting education and learning. Canada’s next report under the
Convention on the Rights of the Child will provide additional information on this plan of
action.
Family violence
116.
The most recent performance report for the Family Violence Initiative (FVI) of the
Government of Canada indicates that there has been steady progress in addressing family
violence in all its forms. Linkages have been strengthened with non-governmental
organizations (including professional associations, academic institutions, family violence
research centres, and those representing ethnocultural communities), front-line service
providers, and private sector organizations concerned with family violence issues. This
has contributed to a more collaborative, informed and multidimensional approach to
addressing family violence.
117.
The performance report concluded that the FVI has made substantial progress in meeting
the following performance expectations:
•
•
•
•
strengthen the Initiative’s horizontal management approach beyond informationsharing and networking among member departments to a greater emphasis on
collective activity;
advance partnerships, including collaboration with potential partners, with a renewed
emphasis on strengthening existing links, including those with provincial and
territorial governments;
focus on the unique needs and circumstances of specific populations (Aboriginal
peoples, people living in rural and remote communities, persons with disabilities and
ethnocultural populations) through added emphasis on strengthening ties and
increasing partnerships with national and community-based representative
organizations;
increase responsiveness to diversity, for example through programming, research and
data collection;
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•
•
118.
119.
refine information dissemination strategies through the National Clearinghouse on
Family Violence; and
address any resource/reallocation needs through cooperative cost-sharing
arrangements between member departments.
According to Statistics Canada, there has been an overall decline in violence as it relates
to women, family and spousal violence. In particular:
•
Comparisons between the 1999 General Social Survey and the 1993 Survey on
Violence Against Women point to a decline in the rate of spousal violence against
women over time. About 12 percent of women reported being assaulted by a spouse
in the five-year period prior to the 1993 survey, compared with eight percent who
reported violence during a similar time period in 1999, a drop which is statistically
significant. There was also a slight, but statistically significant, decline in the severity
of assaults between these two time periods.
•
Rates of spousal violence have dropped in 2001 and 2002, following a steady increase
between 1998 and 2000. For both women and men, annual rates of spousal homicide
have declined by about one-half during the past three decades.
•
Since 1974, there has been a decline in the overall rate of family homicides recorded
in Canada and in family homicides as a percentage of total homicides.
As part of the FVI, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and its provincial and
territorial partners provided over $73.9 million in funding for the Shelter Enhancement
Program (SEP) from 2000 to 2003. The SEP assists in repairing, rehabilitating and
improving existing shelters for women, children and youth as well as men who are
victims of family violence, and in the acquisition or construction of new shelters and
second stage housing where needed.
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
Measures to reduce poverty
120.
The Government of Canada has taken a comprehensive policy approach to addressing
poverty, with a particular emphasis on child poverty. This approach includes the joint
intergovernmental initiatives mentioned in the Introduction to this report (equalization
and transfer payments, National Child Benefit; Early Childhood Development
Agreement; early learning and child care initiatives; affordable housing initiatives, health
care) and financial supports and benefits for families and children.
121.
While Canada has no official measure of poverty, the Government of Canada typically
uses Statistic Canada’s after-tax low-income cut-offs (LICOs) as a proxy. For the
population as a whole, Canada has seen its low-income rates decreasing, in recent years,
from 15.7 percent in 1996 to 11.5 percent in 2003, which represents a decrease of
approximately one million Canadians living in low income over this period. Low-income
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rates have also been on the decline for those groups more likely to experience low
income. For example, the low-income rate for seniors has decreased from 9.8 percent in
1996 to 6.8 percent in 2003, and for children, the low-income rate went down from
18.6 percent in 1996 to 12.4 percent in 2003.
Persons with disabilities
122.
The Government of Canada provides support directly to persons with disabilities through
such instruments as the Canada Pension Plan and tax measures such as a new Child
Disability Benefit. In addition, in 2003, the federal government created a Technical
Advisory Committee to advise the government on how to improve tax fairness for
persons with disabilities and those who care for them. In 2004, this Committee produced
the report Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities, and in 2005, the federal
government committed to act on virtually all of the report’s recommendations. The
report can be found at: http://www.disabilitytax.ca/main-e.html.
Right to adequate housing
123.
As detailed in Canada’s Fourth Report on the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, housing in Canada is governed by an extensive framework of
legislation, policy and practice spanning all levels of government. At the federal level,
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada’s national housing
agency.
124.
CMHC’s housing finance mandate is to promote housing affordability and choice and to
contribute to the well-being of the housing sector in the national economy. CMHC
provides mortgage loan insurance to lenders across Canada (including on reserve and in
the North) and guarantees timely payment of interest and principal on Mortgage-Backed
and Canada Mortgage Bond, thereby ensuring a steady source of funds for Canadian
home buyers.
125.
For those whose needs cannot be met in the marketplace, CMHC provides housing
subsidies to support Canada’s social housing stock for low-income Canadians as well as
to provide housing assistance for those with special/distinct needs under targeted
initiatives.
Improving housing affordability and choice
126.
As low-income households are predominantly tenants, the private-sector rental stock
plays an important role in meeting their shelter needs. Private rental accommodation
provides the largest supply of affordable housing in Canada. In 2001, the average gross
rent (the total of all payments for rent and utilities, including electricity, oil, gas, coal,
wood or other fuels, water and other municipal services) for all non-farm, non-reserve
rental dwellings was $649 per month. Just under 60 percent of all rental stock in Canada,
or about 2.26 million dwellings, were renting for less than this average gross rent in 2001.
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127.
Through mortgage loan insurance, homeowners have access to the lowest possible
mortgage rates with a down payment as low as five percent, permitting more Canadian
households access to homeownership. The introduction of innovations by CMHC over
the past several years has included a flexible down payment product which permits a
variety of down payment sources that are arm’s length to the purchase transaction, an
insured line of credit product, rental and homeowner refinance products, and a
streamlined progress advance process. Policy enhancements have been made to
mortgage portability, second homes and mortgage qualification for self-employed
borrowers. CMHC also introduced enhancements to facilitate affordable housing through
partnerships and recently introduced energy efficient incentives for homeowner and
rental unit construction and renovations. These innovations have resulted in improved
housing choice, access and affordability for Canadians.
128.
The mandate of the Canadian Centre for Public/Private Partnership in Housing (see
previous report) was revised in 2003 to offer more tools for non-profit and private sector
housing proponents who are planning to develop housing that is affordable, innovative, or
community-based. The more affordable the proposed housing, the more Partnership tools
there are available. Tools include seed funding, training, consultation services, interestfree proposal development loans and more flexible mortgage loan insurance to facilitate
the financing of affordable housing. The Centre facilitated the production of some
22,800 affordable housing units between 2000 and 2004.
Assisted housing
129.
The Introduction to this report provides additional information on housing assistance.
Under CMHC’s On-Reserve Non-Profit Rental Housing Program, which provides
assistance in the form of subsidies for new rental housing, funding was committed for
some 5,300 new units over the period 2000 to 2004.
130.
From 2000 to 2003 inclusive, over 79,400 units were committed under the Residential
Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP). Rental RRAP, which helps to rehabilitate
existing rental and rooming house accommodation (a stock that typically houses
individuals “at risk” of homelessness) committed some 25,000 units, RRAP for Persons
with Disabilities some 7,900 units, and RRAP On-Reserve made commitments for over
6,900 units.
131.
In addition, some 15,300 units received assistance under the Emergency Repair Program,
and upgrades to over 15,800 units were made under Home Adaptations for Seniors’
Independence. As well, repairs to existing units and new units were completed under the
Shelter Enhancement Program.
Measuring housing needs
132.
CMHC’s electronic database for assessing housing conditions shows that, in 2001, there
were 1.7 million households in core housing need. This represents about 16 percent, a
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decrease from 18 percent in 1996, of all households in Canada, with around two thirds of
these being renter households.
133.
As in the past, the vast majority of households in core housing need in 2001 had
affordability problems, rather than (or combined with) suitability or adequacy problems.
Of all households in core housing need, 75 percent had only affordability problems,
16 percent had affordability problems combined with suitability and/or adequacy
problems, while a further nine percent experienced either suitability and/or adequacy
problems.
134.
Tenure differences are important; only seven percent of all owners, in contrast with
29 percent of all renters, were experiencing core housing need because of affordability.
This contrast is associated with broad income differences between owners and renters.
As a result, although renters constitute only 33 percent of all households in Canada, they
make up some 64 percent of all households in core housing need.
135.
The second most frequently cited problem for people in core housing need in 2001
related to adequacy. About eight percent of all occupied dwellings in Canada were in
need of major repairs in 2001. These figures have fallen dramatically over the past
several decades. Most of the households living in these dwellings could afford to remedy
these conditions themselves. While seven percent of all owners were living below
adequacy standards, only two percent of all owners were actually in core housing need
while experiencing adequacy problems. Though somewhat worse off, renters followed a
similar pattern; while nine percent of all renters were living below adequacy standards,
only four percent of all renters were actually in core housing need and experiencing
adequacy problems.
136.
The third and least likely cause of core housing need in 2001 was crowded living
conditions (suitability problems). The role of this factor continues to diminish. As with
the other factors, tenure differences are evident, although, for both owners and renters,
the majority of households living below suitability standards could have found suitable
housing in their area for less than 30 percent of their income. While four percent of all
owners were living below the suitability standard, only 0.4 percent of all owners were
actually in core housing need because of suitability problems. While 11 percent of all
renters were living below the suitability standard, only four percent of all renters were
actually in core housing need because of suitability problems.
137.
In Canada, it is not feasible to measure housing need on the basis of waiting lists. Given
the plurality of provincial, municipal and community organizations providing assisted
housing, many people seeking this accommodation sign onto as many lists as possible.
Despite some attempts to consolidate these lists, there continues to be a serious problem
of over counting. Moreover, households on waiting lists typically are not without shelter.
People who become homeless qualify for assistance programs in the form of emergency
shelter or hotel accommodation, through general social assistance programs rather than
housing programs. At the same time, they are more likely to have high priority for social
housing, as most providers use a point-rating system, which relies on such criteria as
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affordability, adequacy, suitability, household size, refugee status, imminent eviction and
domestic violence.
Homelessness
National Homelessness Initiative
138.
Since its creation in December 1999, the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI) has
achieved the following:
•
•
•
•
139.
created over 10,000 new emergency, transitional and supportive housing beds for the
homeless;
funded over 900 projects for the purchase, construction or renovation of sheltering
facilities;
funded over 500 projects for the purchase, construction or renovation of support
facilities, including food and clothing banks, drop-in centres and soup kitchens;
funded over 1,200 projects to improve or establish new support services, including
training, skills development, counselling, and the provision of materials, such as
clothing and/or blankets, for homeless people and those at risk.
While progress has been achieved, the following challenges have been identified:
•
•
•
Cooperation: Community service providers have voiced concerns about the lack of
cooperation and coordination between the NGOs and the various levels of
government.
Funding concerns: Service providers are requesting a stable source of funding for
their programs.
Long-term strategies: The NHI’s goal is to move beyond emergency relief and to
focus on more long-term strategies for eradicating homelessness (improved housing,
literacy, education, skills development, and mental health care).
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
140.
Information on significant federal-provincial-territorial initiatives in the area of health
care is provided in the Introduction to the present report.
Public Health Infrastructure
141.
Following recommendations from leading public health experts in the wake of a SARS
outbreak, in September 2004, the Government of Canada announced the launch of the
Public Health Agency and the appointment of Canada's first Chief Public Health Officer.
The Public Health Agency focusses on public health issues of importance, ensures clear
federal leadership in the case of a health emergency and provides coordinated, coherent
response to public health issues domestically and internationally. It will enhance efforts
to prevent chronic and infectious diseases and injuries, respond to public health
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emergencies and disease outbreaks, work to keep Canadians healthy and help reduce
pressures on the health care system.
142.
Since its creation, the Agency established measures to deal with public health
emergencies including:
•
•
•
•
•
•
inclusion of health within the National Security Policy,
development of a National Health Emergencies Management System,
renewal of the Quarantine Act,
development of the National Smallpox Contingency Plan,
strategic review of the National Emergency Stockpile System, and
development of the Health Emergency Response Team concept.
143.
The Government of Canada is establishing six National Collaborating Centres for Public
Health. Building on regional expertise, the centres will provide national focal points for
key priority areas in public health and contribute to the development of a pan-Canadian
public health strategy mentioned in the Introduction to this report. The overarching
mission for these Centres is to build on existing strengths, create linkages and foster
collaboration among researchers, the public health community and other stakeholders to
contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of Canada’s public health infrastructure.
The Centres, located across Canada, will facilitate the generation and sharing of
knowledge that can inform the development of programs, policies and practices that
affect the health of Canadians.
144.
The six centres will work on the following priority areas in public health:
•
•
•
•
•
•
145.
Determinants of Health
Public Policy and Risk Assessment
Infrastructure, Info-structure and New Tools Development
Infectious Diseases
Environmental Health
Aboriginal Health
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) was created in June 2000 as the
Government of Canada’s agency for health research. With an annual base budget of
$662 million, CIHR supports the work of over 9,100 Canadian health researchers who
have met internationally accepted standards of excellence. CIHR is funding research in
priority areas, including: Aboriginal health and skills development; access to health care;
gender and health; child and youth health; and solidifying Canada’s place in the world.
Women
146.
In 1999, Health Canada released its Women’s Health Strategy. The Strategy provides a
framework to guide legislative, policy and program work towards improving the health of
women in Canada and creates a vision for a multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary, determinants
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of health approach with operational and horizontal policy commitments to address
women’s health issues.
147.
Health Canada is redeveloping the Women’s Health Strategy to influence the vision for
future work. The development of a renewed plan of action on women’s health, with
targeted objectives, will focus research, policy and program work from a gender,
diversity and life-course perspective. It will take into account emerging knowledge and
the voices of civil society to meet the needs of women for today and tomorrow.
Aboriginal people
148.
In September 2004, a special meeting with the First Ministers and Aboriginal leaders was
held to discuss joint actions to improve Aboriginal health, and adopt measures to address
the disparity in the health status of this population (see Introduction to this report). In
support of the agreed upon directions, the Government of Canada announced total
funding in the amount of $700 million for a series of new federal commitments that will
address urgent and critical aspects of a longer-term plan:
•
$200 million for an Aboriginal Health Transition Fund (AHTF) to enable
governments and communities to devise new ways to integrate and adapt existing
health services to better meet the needs of Aboriginal people. The AHTF comprises
three funding areas: pan-Canadian; provincial and territorial; and regional and local
initiatives.
•
$100 million for an Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative to increase the
number of Aboriginal people choosing health care professions; adapt current health
professional curricula to provide a more culturally sensitive focus; and improve the
retention of health workers serving Aboriginal people. This initiative will help build a
workforce that will meet the unique health service needs of Aboriginal peoples.
•
$400 million for health promotion and disease prevention programs focusing on
diabetes, suicide prevention, maternal and child health, and early childhood
development. The Government of Canada has demonstrated strong commitment to
working with Aboriginal organizations and communities to address the disparity in
health status between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada.
149.
The First Nations infant mortality rate has been steadily decreasing since 1979, when it
peaked at 27.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, 2.5 times the Canadian rate. In 2000, the First
Nations infant mortality rate had dropped to 6.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared
with 5.5 per 1,000 for Canada.
150.
Health Canada is currently working with Aboriginal organizations, women, academic
experts and stakeholders to develop an action plan to address the health issues of
Aboriginal women and girls, and to articulate a vision of wellness.
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Persons with disabilities
151.
Understanding that health is more than the absence of disease and encompasses the
physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual capacity to live fully, the federal government
invests in approaches, which will protect and improve the health of people with
disabilities and all Canadians. The Government of Canada funds public health
protection, health promotion and many health research projects that benefit people with
disabilities and contributes to the funding of provincial and territorial health care systems.
In addition, the federal government provides direct supports through programming. For
example, the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability provides national
leadership, support, encouragement and information to organizations and individuals with
disabilities to promote health through active living. In 2002, the federal government
launched a strategy for assessing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder and other
operational stress injuries; and the First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care
Program offers an array of home-care services to First Nation and Inuit people with
chronic and acute illnesses.
Article 13: Right to Education
152.
As outlined in the Introduction to the present report, the Government of Canada provides
funding to the provinces and territories in support of post-secondary education through
the Canada Social Transfer.
153.
New federal investments in education include the introduction of a Canada Learning
Bond and enhancements to the Canada Education Savings Grant. These investments,
enacted through the Canada Education Savings Act, which came into effect on July 1,
2005, are intended to promote access to learning opportunities by encouraging Canadian
families to save for their children’s post-secondary education. Up to 4.5 million children
from low- and middle-income families will benefit from the additional Canada Education
Savings Grant rates.
154.
The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation has extended eligibility for its bursaries
and scholarships to individuals considered to be protected persons such as Convention
refugees.
Article 15: Right to Participate in Cultural Life and Benefit from
Scientific Progress and the Protection of Authors’ Rights
155.
Established in 1998, the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI) supports community and
home initiatives for the revitalization and maintenance of Aboriginal languages leading to
an increased number of speakers, the expansion of the areas in which Aboriginal
languages are spoken in communities and inter-generational transmission of the
languages.
156.
ALI is delivered through collaborative efforts of the Department of Canadian Heritage
and three national Aboriginal organizations and their affiliates: the Assembly of First
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Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council. Outputs of this
initiative include language strategies; instruction; courses and teaching programs;
resource materials; audio and video recordings; transcriptions, translations and other
documentation; surveys and promotion materials.
157.
In December 2002, recognizing the need for enhanced safeguards for First Nations, Inuit
and Métis languages, the Government of Canada announced that it would contribute
$172.5 million over 11 years to preserve, revitalize and promote Aboriginal languages
and cultures. The three-phased action plan for this commitment included: extension of
ALI, which will sunset in 2006; establishment of a Task Force on Aboriginal Languages
and Cultures to make recommendations to the Minister of Canadian Heritage; and
creation of a national Aboriginal languages and culture entity.
158.
The Task Force completed its examination of a broad range of measures to renew and
sustain Aboriginal languages within the context of a national strategy and presented its
report to the Minister in June 2005. The report, entitled Towards a New Beginning: A
Foundational Report for a Strategy to Revitalize First Nation, Inuit and Métis Languages
and Cultures, is available online at www.aboriginallanguagestaskforce.ca. The
Government is currently assessing the recommendations, which will inform its strategy to
support the preservation, revitalization and promotion of the languages and cultures of
Aboriginal peoples of Canada.
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Part III
Measures Adopted by the
Governments of the
Provinces
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
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British Columbia
General
Aboriginal people
159.
Details on the British Columbia Treaty Commission can be found in Canada’s Fifth
Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
160.
As of July 12, 2005, there were 55 First Nations participating in treaty negotiations: six
were at stage 2 of negotiations, three at stage 3, 41 at stage 4 and five at the final stage.
161.
Since September 2002, the process for negotiating agreements in British Columbia for
management of resources has resulted in signed agreements with 83 First Nations,
providing a total of $77.8 million and 12.8 million cubic metres of timber over the term
of the agreements, in exchange for provisions that promote a stable operating
environment.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
162.
In February 2002, an independent task force on pay equity created a report entitled
Working Through the Wage Gap. The task force reviewed models of pay equity
legislation and accepted submissions from individuals, employers and trade unions. It
found that both complaints-based and pro-active approaches can be administratively
difficult and cumbersome for both complainants and employers — most specifically for
small employers. The report was tabled in the legislature on March 7, 2002. While the
report recommended that the right to equal pay for work of equal value be moved to the
Employment Standards Act, the Government’s preference is to maintain the current
protection in human rights legislation, which provides protection for equal pay for similar
or substantially similar work.
Article 6: Right to Work
163.
In 2004, the Ministry of Human Resources (MHR) contributed $3.25 million to the
“Vancouver Agreement demonstration project,” which offers employment services for
residents facing multiple barriers to employment. The three-year project will assist up to
700 long-term unemployed individuals move toward sustainable employment, using
innovative approaches, such as integrated case co-ordination services.
Aboriginal people
164.
Since its inception in 2002-2003, the Aboriginal Employment Partnership Initiative
established seven job-training agreements between government, employers and
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Aboriginal organizations to ensure better access to jobs for Aboriginal persons and
improved cultural awareness in private sector companies.
165.
The First Citizen’s Fund provided business expansion or start-up loans to Aboriginal
businesses resulting in 330 new or sustained jobs.
Persons with disabilities
166.
MHR increased the earnings exemptions for Persons with Disabilities to $400 per month
and Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers to Employment to $300 per month. As a
result, the percentage of persons with disabilities with employment income increased
from 11 percent in 2002-2003 to 12.1 percent in 2003-2004.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
167.
The number of total cases in receipt of social assistance has fallen by 33 percent from
157,845 (with 252,162 recipients) in June 2001 to 105,769 (with 148,638 recipients) in
December 2004. Due to strong job growth, this trend continued through 2003 and 2004
with year over year declines of 7.9 percent and 7.0 percent respectively.
Family-related benefits
168.
In the July 2003 to June 2004 program year, an estimated 200,400 British Columbian
families received combined National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) and BC Family
Bonus (BCFB) payments for the support of an estimated 362,700 children, receiving
$495.9 million in benefits. The BCFB expenditure for fiscal year 2003-2004, including
the BC Earned Income Benefit, was $132 million.
169.
Reductions in the maximum BCFB rates have allowed estimated total reinvestment
expenditures for provincial child services (NCB initiatives) in 2003-2004 to increase to
$303 million. This includes expenditure on the BC Earned Income Benefit, child care,
children's dental and optical benefits (Healthy Kids), social housing and early childhood
and children at risk services. From January 2001 to December 2004, British Columbia
experienced a 53 percent reduction in the number of children in social assistance families.
Persons with disabilities
170.
Within total social assistance cases, the number of persons receiving disability assistance
has increased by 26.7 percent over the period from June 2001 to December 2004, from
42,899 to 54,347 cases.
171.
MHR introduced new legislation in September 2002, which changed the definition of
persons with disabilities to focus on functional limitations consistent with human rights
case law and to include mental disorders.
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172.
In 2002, a new client category was introduced for persons with disabilities who are
considered to have multiple barriers. These individuals are exempt from the requirement
to find work, exempt from time limits and receive higher levels of assistance.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
173.
Child, Family and Community Service Act amendments were passed in 2002-2003, to
allow a social worker to apply for a court order to transfer custody of a child in
continuing care to a person other than the child’s parent (family or others significant to
the child) when the plan is in the child’s best interests, and adoption is not desirable.
Also in 2002, agreements were brought into force, as an alternative to bringing a child
into care, that allow a parent to enter into a written agreement with a person chosen by a
child’s parent to care for the child when the parent is unable to do so. A government
social worker continues to work with the family and child so the child can return home as
soon as possible.
174.
The Community Services Interim Authorities Act, passed in 2002-2003, provides for
interim authorities to assist in planning for the establishment of permanent authorities to
be responsible for community service delivery for adults with developmental disabilities,
and child and family development. The province is moving to a community-based model
enabling a sustainable, more integrated system to best meet the needs of vulnerable
people.
175.
The Youth Justice Act (British Columbia) was passed in 2003 and came into force in
2004. It consolidated provisions of the Young Offenders (British Columbia) Act and
youth provisions of the Correction Act into a comprehensive provincial statute written
specifically for youth. It is consistent with the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act and is
up-to-date with current practice.
176.
As a result of the Child Care Operating Funding Program, introduced in April 2003, the
number of child care spaces eligible for government funding increased from 45,000 to
77,000. To support the creation of child care spaces in rural areas of the province, the
required financial contribution for project costs was decreased in April 2003. British
Columbia continues to invest federal Early Learning and Child Care funding in existing
child care programs and services to increase quality, affordability, sustainability and
accessibility of child care across the province.
177.
From 2002 to 2003, the Ministry of Children and Family Development enhanced the
types of supports available to provide families with the skills and assistance they need to
help them care safely for their children, including the use of family group conferences to
draw on the full resources of a family and to help them become healthier.
178.
In 2003-2004, Aboriginal organizations and agencies were increasingly involved in
responding to child welfare concerns within their own communities. This included
transferring 217 children from the care of the Ministry of Children and Family
Development to the care of an Aboriginal agency with authority for child welfare
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services, planning for at-risk Aboriginal children, and developing and providing services
for Aboriginal children and families having difficulties.
179.
In 2003-2004, the number of Aboriginal communities with Early Childhood
Development programs increased to 37, compared to 25 in 2001-2002. Initiatives
focussed on areas such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder prevention; community
capacity building; parenting and family support; healthy pregnancy, birth and infancy;
and early childhood development for Aboriginal children under six and their families.
180.
“Success By 6” early childhood coalitions provide support for parents and improve early
learning for young children. This partnership initiative between the non-profit sector, the
corporate sector, and the government, influences strategic investment and involvement
through community-driven projects across British Columbia to enhance outcomes for
children under age six.
181.
The most recent progress report on the Government of British Columbia’s Early
Childhood Development activities highlights the progress made and activities undertaken
in four priority action areas: healthy pregnancy, birth and infancy; early childhood
development, learning and care; parenting and family supports; and community supports.
The report is available online at
www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/early_childhood/annual_reports.htm. See the Introduction to the
present report for additional information on the Early Childhood Development
Agreement.
Family violence
182.
In 2004, a three-year violence prevention strategy was introduced, which includes a
significant public education and awareness campaign, as well as a specific focus on
Aboriginal women, immigrant and visible minority women, and women with disabilities.
183.
In 2002-2003, the Government began funding the “Violence is Preventable” project,
which links elementary and high school students with Children Who Witness Abuse
counsellors and programs to ensure young people affected by domestic violence receive
the support services they require.
184.
The “Healthy and Respectful Relationships” project trains high school students to
become peer facilitators to assist other students learn skills to prevent violence.
185.
The Mobile Access Project is a three-year pilot project that began in March 2004 and
provides mobile overnight services for women who work in the street-level sex trade in
the Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver. The project aims to reduce violence against
women sex trade workers, and improve their access to basic and preventive health
services. As part of a job training/employment development approach, the service is
staffed, in part, by women who are current and/or former sex trade workers.
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Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
Homelessness
186.
In 2000, the province issued “Local Responses to Homelessness, a Planning Guide for
BC Communities”, to assist municipalities to address the problem of homelessness.
187.
Through the Emergency Shelter Program, homeless persons receive shelter, food and
other services to meet basic needs. As part of a new provincial government initiative
(Premier’s Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Heath and Addictions), funding was
increased in 2004 by 40 percent.
188.
The Premier’s Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Illness and Addictions was
announced by the Premier at the 2004 Union of BC Municipalities Convention. The
Task Force, composed of seven mayors and three Cabinet ministers, is chaired by the
Premier. Since December 2004, the Province has approved a total of 533 new
transitional housing units and shelter beds and appropriate support services to help people
break the cycle of homelessness and become self-reliant and independent. The capital
funding for the new projects is from the second phase of the Canada-British Columbia
Affordable Housing Agreement.
189.
Throughout 2003-2004, the Ministry of Children and Family Development provided a
variety of services to assist high-risk youth wanting to exit homelessness and/or the
street. In addition to traditional in-care options, dedicated youth support services
including street outreach, safe housing and Youth Agreements were provided throughout
the province. Youth Agreements provide comprehensive supports to high-risk youth
aged 16-18 and are designed to assist youth in addressing their risk factors and to help
them transition to independence, return to school, and/or gain work experience and life
skills. In 2003-2004, the Ministry increased its overall use of such agreements to well
over 300 new Youth Agreements. Overall, services dedicated to targeting high-risk
youth in 2003-2004 were in excess of $21 million.
190.
“Justice for Girls” is a three-year project, which began in November 2004, aimed at
developing creative housing options for street-involved young women who live with
poverty, instability and violence.
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
191.
The British Columbia HealthGuide Program began in the spring of 2001 and provides
high quality health information and advice to all British Columbians to help people
manage their own health care conditions or concerns, any time of the day or night, using
a self-care approach. The program has four integrated components:
•
•
BC HealthGuide Handbook (also available in French);
BC HealthGuide OnLine — a medically approved Web site;
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•
•
BC NurseLine — a toll-free nursing call centre operating 24/7, with pharmacists
available from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm every day. Deaf/hearing-impaired service is
available, as well as simultaneous translation services in over 130 languages,
including 17 First Nations languages; and
BC HealthFiles — a series of over 170 one-page, easy-to-understand fact sheets about
a wide range of public and environmental health and safety issues. A number of the
BC HealthFiles have been translated into French, Punjabi, Chinese, and Spanish.
192.
The BC HealthGuide components are accessible to vulnerable groups in British
Columbia, including Aboriginal, multicultural/linguistic populations, older adults,
women and children, and populations with chronic diseases and those requiring palliative
care services.
193.
The Community Care and Assisted Living Act, proclaimed in May 2004, replaced the
Community Care Facility Act, to streamline, update and modernize the regulation of
residential community care and child day care facilities, emphasizing local decision
making in recognition of the province’s regional health care system.
194.
British Columbia has introduced a policy framework to guide the prevention, care and
treatment of HIV infection entitled: “Priorities for Action in Managing the Epidemics:
HIV/AIDS in BC (2003-2007).”
195.
British Columbia’s Tobacco Strategy integrates legislation, legal action, public education,
and a range of cessation and prevention programs to reduce tobacco use in the province.
This strategy has contributed to British Columbia having the second lowest smoking rate
in North America. The annual “Honour Your Health Challenge” brings together
Aboriginal service providers from around British Columbia for training in communitybased tobacco control programs.
196.
In June 2004, British Columbia introduced “Every Door Is The Right Door: A British
Columbia Planning Framework to Address Problematic Substance Use and Addictions,”
to assist health authorities, partner ministries, and key community groups in
strengthening their coordinated responses to problematic substance use.
197.
In August 2004, British Columbia released Crystal Meth and Other Amphetamines — An
Integrated BC Strategy, outlining priority actions to address issues of methamphetamine
use and production, through integrated and coordinated responses from all sectors.
198.
To support the implementation of the Mental Health and Addictions Information Plan for
Mental Health Literacy, introduced in 2003, British Columbia developed a partnership
with seven provincial mental health and addictions agencies (BC Partners for Mental
Health and Addictions Information) to provide evidenced-based information on mental
health and addiction issues for people with mental and substance use disorders, and their
families, professionals in a variety of service sectors and the general public. This onestop communication infrastructure provides a 24-hour Mental Health and Addictions
Information Line, a Web site (www.heretohelp.bc.ca) and a series of information sheets
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and practical toolkits to help individuals living with or at risk for mental disorders or
substance use disorders and their families to manage their health.
199.
New tertiary mental health facilities have been developed to replace outdated,
institutional facilities with modern, home-like facilities throughout the province. These
facilities are based on a new model of care and provide smaller, more home-like settings,
closer to clients’ home communities.
200.
Approved in February 2003, the five-year Child and Youth Mental Health Plan is
enabling significant enhancements to services for children and youth with mental
disorders and their families. Epidemiological research indicates 140,000 children and
youth have diagnosable mental disorders in British Columbia.
201.
British Columbia provides services to approximately 3,000 children and youth with
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. British Columbia has significantly
increased funding in this area. The budget for treatment and intervention for ASD in
2005-2006 is over $32 million (from $3.4 million in 1999-2000). Since 2002, British
Columbia has provided special funding to families of children diagnosed with ASD.
Families of children under age six are eligible to receive up to $20,000 annually to
purchase autism intervention. Families of children and youth ages six to 18 are eligible
to receive up to $6,000 annually to purchase out-of-school autism intervention.
(Educational programs and special education services are also provided through schools.)
In addition, the government provides other support services to children with ASD and
their families, including respite care, various therapies, family support and child care
workers.
202.
See Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
for information on initiatives related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and suicide
prevention.
Aboriginal people
203.
In 2002-2003, regional health authorities developed and implemented regional Aboriginal
Health Plans to ensure coordination and integration of Aboriginal health services into the
overall planning and delivery of health programs within the province.
Women
204.
The Provincial Women’s Health Strategy, released in October 2004, focuses on priority
areas for advancing the health of girls and women.
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Alberta
General
Aboriginal people
205.
In the period 2000-2004, Alberta was involved in the settlement of two First Nation land
claims. In 2000, the Smith’s Landing (Salt River) claim was settled. Nineteen thousand
acres of Crown land was involved, along with payments of $3 million from the province
and $28 million from Canada. In 2004, the Fort McKay claim was settled, involving
20,000 acres. No cash payment from the province was included, although the federal
government provided $41.5 million.
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
206.
Regarding supports for persons with disabilities, in June 2004, the Safety Codes Act was
amended to include provisions for barrier-free access and design. The amendments:
•
•
•
provide the community of persons with disabilities with a stronger voice in the
development and application of construction codes through the creation of a Barrierfree Sub-Council;
establish barrier-free design and access as a principle concern of the Act, allowing for
emphasis on barrier-free access and design provisions in the development of codes;
and
provide the community of people with disabilities with more opportunity to
participate in the decision-making process relating to the built environment.
Article 6: Right to Work
207.
The new Income and Employment Supports Act (IESA), implemented in 2004, enhances
training opportunities for low income and vulnerable client groups, and expands benefits
for clients moving into employment or training. In April 2005, a regulation change was
made to IESA to ensure 16 to 19 year olds requiring financial support can continue
attending education programs under the Alberta School Act.
208.
In April 2005, the publication Working in Alberta: A guide for internationally trained
and educated immigrants was released.
Aboriginal people
209.
Alberta
In September 2002, the First Nations Training-to-Employment Program was introduced
to help First Nations people become more competitive in the workforce by supporting
partnerships and innovative approaches between the Alberta government, private sector,
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and First Nations people. Since inception, the program has funded over 50 projects
involving approximately 500 First Nations people. Beginning in October 2003, Alberta
has posted the results of the Aboriginal Labour Force Survey for off-reserve Aboriginal
people on its Web site.
Persons with disabilities
210.
In December 2003, Alberta signed the Multilateral Framework for Labour Market
Agreements for Persons with Disabilities agreement with the Government of Canada.
The objectives of the Framework including enhancing employability and employment
opportunities for persons with disabilities.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
211.
Alberta is in a positive fiscal situation, which has allowed for reinvestment in programs
for seniors. Cash benefits and income thresholds for the Alberta Seniors Benefit program
have increased, and health insurance premiums for seniors have been eliminated effective
October 2004. New programs came into effect on April 1, 2005, which assist seniors
with dental and optical premiums, and provide stability for the education portion of
property taxes. These initiatives should ensure that seniors have the supports required to
achieve independence, safety, and well-being.
212.
In 2002, Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan premiums were increased to cover a greater
portion of health care costs.
213.
In 2002 and 2004, low-income Albertans, seniors and adults in interdependent
relationships experienced changes to benefits and subsidy thresholds that improved
access to services and health care supplies. In 2002, for example, the income thresholds
for the Premium Subsidy program were increased, which made it easier for individuals
and families to qualify for premium subsidy. In 2003, grant funding for the Alberta
Monitoring for Health Program (a program that provides financial assistance for diabetic
testing supplies) was increased. This allowed the program to be extended to all lowincome Albertans with diabetes, including those who manage the disease with oral
medication or diet. Through Alberta Works, Alberta Human Resources and Employment
provides people who are eligible for income support with health benefits for themselves
and their dependants. Benefits include premium-free Alberta Health Care, dental care,
eye care and glasses, prescriptions, essential diabetic supplies and emergency ambulance
services. Adults with dependents who leave income support may continue to receive
health benefits through the Alberta Adult Health Benefit. Children living in low-income
families are eligible for premium-free health benefits through the Alberta Child Health
Benefit. Parents must apply to receive this health coverage for their children. In 20032004, an estimated 66,901 children were enrolled in the program.
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Family-related benefits
214.
Children’s Services has increased benefits through National Child Benefit reinvestments
to expand the Child Care Bursary to include the Kin Child Care Program and a new
Advancing Futures Bursary Program.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
215.
The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act came into force November 1, 2004. This
Act replaces the former Child Welfare Act and provides for enhanced services to families
before they reach crisis. In addition, the Act enhances the rights and involvement of
children and youth in decision-making.
216.
The Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act came into effect August 1, 2004.
The development of this Act is a result of public consultation during the review of the
Child Welfare Act. This Act is a first in Canada and focuses on providing both family
and child focused supports.
217.
Alberta Human Resources and Employment implemented the Income and Employment
Supports Act in 2004, which provided a new mandate for the Alberta Child Health
Benefit and the Alberta Adult Health Benefit. The child health benefit is a premium-free
health benefit plan that provides basic dental, optical, emergency ambulance, essential
diabetic supplies and prescription drug coverage for children living in families with low
incomes. Adults who leave income support may continue to receive the same health
benefits through the Alberta Adult Health Benefit.
218.
The Income and Employment Supports Act also provided full legislative authority for the
Child Support Services Program, through which the Alberta government helps single
parents and parents living in blended families get the legal agreements or court orders
they need to obtain child support.
219.
A new Day Care Regulation, enacted in 2000 after a review eliminated regulations
already covered by other ministries, revised outdated standards and aligned the delegation
of authority with the new community delivery system of the Child and Family Services
Authorities Act. Effective August 1, 2004, the Day Care Regulation was amended to
include standards for out of school care facilities. The renamed Child Care Regulation
outlines the minimum requirements that Out of School Care (OSC) operators must meet.
Families of children attending Early Childhood Services OSC programs also became
eligible for a provincial child care subsidy.
220.
In December 2002, Children’s Services announced a three-part Child Care Initiative
intended to strengthen standards and best practices for child care and to help children
have a healthy start in life and provide them the support needed to reach their potential.
The Initiative includes:
•
Alberta
Respite Options for Families in Need
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•
•
Child Care Nutrition Program
Child Care Accreditation Program
221.
The respite care program assists families of children with disabilities in need of relief
care and also enables families to participate in counselling or treatment programs to
benefit their children.
222.
The funds directed to the child care nutrition program enhance the nutritional quality of
meals and snacks served to children in child care settings, and provide information about
preschool nutritional needs to parents of children in child care programs.
223.
The Alberta Child Care Accreditation Program focuses on improving standards and
promoting excellence in child care and helping parents choose the best child care for their
children. Day care centres and family day home agencies that choose to become
accredited receive financial support for staff recruitment, training and retention, and
ongoing support to sustain the delivery of high-quality early learning and child care
services to families across the province.
224.
The Kin Child Care Funding Program was launched in September 2003, to provide
eligible low-income families with $240 per month per child to pay relatives to care for
their children. This program provides families with flexible alternatives for child care
where options are limited, for example, in rural locations, or during non-traditional work
hours. To be eligible, parents must be working, seeking work, attending post secondary
education, have a special need, or have a child with a special need. The relative caregiver
must not reside in the child’s family home.
225.
The Advancing Futures Bursary Program was established in November 2003, to assist
those who have, or continue to be, under the care of Children’s Services. Through the
Advancing Futures Bursary Program, tuition, mandatory school fees and books, school
related expenses and living expenses for the academic term are provided to eligible
youth. Bursaries can be used to upgrade education, earn a degree/diploma/certificate or
learn a trade.
226.
The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale–Revised Edition, Infant Toddler
Environment Rating Scale, and Family Day Care Rating Scale were initiated as
performance measures.
227.
On July 13, 2004, $6 million was committed to support the establishment of 16 “parent
link centres” across Alberta. These Centres will create a network of resources to help
parents provide their children with the necessary supports to ensure that children come to
school ready to learn and able to develop to their full potential.
228.
The Government of Alberta’s annual progress report on Early Childhood Development
investments and outcomes is available online at
www.child.gov.ab.ca/whatwedo/earlysteps/page.cfm?pg=index. Information on the
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Early Childhood Development Agreement can be found in the Introduction to the present
report.
Family violence
229.
Children’ Services has increased its budget for family violence prevention by 60 percent
over the past four years. In 2000-2001, the budget was $12.5 million compared to
$20 million in 2004-2005.
230.
A survey conducted by Children’s Services between April 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004,
shows that clients of women’s shelters report that they are better able to keep themselves
and their children safer from abuse as a result of their shelter stay.
231.
Today’s Opportunities, Tomorrow’s Promise: A Strategic Plan for the Government of
Alberta, was released in 2003 and places a high priority on the prevention of family
violence and bullying. Through collaboration and coordination, government ministries
will work together on family violence and bullying prevention initiatives.
232.
In 2004, over 3,500 Albertans were consulted on the issue of family violence and
bullying at the Alberta Roundtable on Family Violence and Bullying. Recommendations
from the roundtable were incorporated into a final report Alberta Roundtable on Family
Violence and Bullying: Finding Solutions Together. This report highlights activities
currently underway and outlines the government’s long-term objectives. The goal is to
end family violence in Alberta. The report is available at www.child.gov.ab.ca. To
support these activities, a cross-ministry strategy has been developed that identifies the
implementation priorities for the report. This includes a provincial treatment framework,
public awareness and education, community incentive grants, sexual violence supports,
safe visitation, outreach services and transitional supports for victims. In 2004, a
$2 million community incentive grant program will help communities take action on
family violence and bullying.
233.
Alberta Human Resources and Employment introduced a new benefit in April 2004, for
people fleeing domestic violence. Individuals will be provided an additional $1,000 to
help them set up a new household and make a fresh start. Other emergency assistance,
such as covering the cost of travel to a place of safety, damage deposits, and a motel
when needed, will continue.
234.
The World Conference on the Prevention of Family Violence will be held in Banff,
Alberta from October 23-26, 2005. This Conference will showcase the latest research
and effective practices to prevent family violence. The conference and abstract
submission information can be viewed at www.wcfv2005.ab.ca.
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Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
Measures to reduce poverty
235.
The Income and Employment Supports Act, implemented in 2004, provides for the
following new benefits:
•
•
•
•
adults in upgrading courses or skills training can earn more money and receive full
benefits;
the household earnings exemptions for couples without children who are receiving
short-term assistance doubled from $115 per household to $115 per adult;
parents who have relatives baby-sit while they work, train or search for a job now
receive up to $150 per month to pay for the care of their child; and
people who live with relatives may receive a new shelter benefit of $100 a month.
236.
The Income and Employment Supports Act also integrated Income Support benefits with
Employment and Training benefits to provide a coordinated system of supports to assist
low-income Albertans.
237.
In April 2005, following consultation with stakeholders and interested members of the
public, the Alberta government announced the minimum wage would increase from
$5.90 to $7.00/hour, effective September 1, 2005.
238.
Alberta Human Resources and Employment will be conducting a review of Alberta’s
employment standards legislation in the coming year.
Homelessness
239.
Since 2000, Alberta Seniors and Community Supports has provided $15 million through
the Provincial Homeless Initiative to address homeless issues in seven major urban
municipalities. This initiative has resulted in funding partnerships between Alberta
Seniors and Community Supports, other levels of government, the non-profit and private
sectors, and community groups providing additional support services and more than
2,000 transitional and supportive housing units across the province. An additional
500 new spaces are in various stages of development. For the fiscal year 2004-2005, a
total of $3 million will be provided to Alberta’s seven municipalities under the Provincial
Homeless Initiative Funding.
240.
The department provides $14.1 million in annual operating funding for
17 emergency/transitional shelters and four service providers located primarily in
Alberta’s major urban centres. These 17 shelters provide more than 2,100 beds/mats for
the homeless and hard-to-house. In addition, the department provides direct
administration to a rural facility that provides adult males who are homeless, or are at risk
of becoming homeless, with temporary housing and support services to promote daily
living skills.
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241.
Even with such a collaboration of resources and funding, provincial operating
expenditures on shelters for homeless adults continue to rise. Under the Health
Sustainability Initiative, an inter-ministry group is reviewing the support service needs
and looking at better ways to coordinate the provision of services.
242.
A number of people occupying emergency shelters are employed full-time, seasonally, or
part-time, or have other forms of income and are unable to find affordable rental
accommodation. To increase the supply of affordable housing in the province and
combat homelessness, the Government signed the Canada-Alberta Affordable Housing
Agreement with the Government of Canada in June 2002. This agreement is on a
matching basis, with Canada and Alberta each contributing $67.12 million over four
years for new housing initiatives in high-growth, high-need communities. To date, more
than $106 million of funding has been allocated towards the creation of 2,368 affordable
housing units throughout the province.
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
243.
The cross-ministry Policy Framework for Services for Children and Youth with Special
and Complex Needs and Their Families was approved in July 2003. The partnering
ministries of the Alberta Children and Youth Initiative identified that families with
children and youth with special and complex needs often require services and supports
from several ministries and regional authorities. The Policy Framework is designed to
articulate the government’s approach regarding provision of services and supports to
these families. In response to needs identified by families with children and youth with
complex needs, ministries work together with regional authorities, boards, contract
agencies and communities to provide an easily identifiable, integrated response. The four
key policy directions are: Management of Integrated Service Delivery for Children and
Youth with Complex Needs and their Families; Cross-ministry Collaboration for
Children and Youth with Special Needs and their Families; Sustainability of
Services/Transition Planning; Cross-ministry Information Sharing. For more information
on the Policy Framework: http://www.child.gov.ab.ca/acyi/page.cfm?pg=
Children%20and%20Youth%20with%20Special%20and%20Complex%20Needs.
244.
In 2003-2004, Alberta established a Mobile Diabetes Screening Initiative, which provides
mobile screening for diabetes and related complications in off-reserve and remote
Aboriginal communities. Ten Aboriginal and remote communities have been provided
this expanding service in the first two years of operation.
245.
Alberta helped to initiate the Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy in 20032004. This Strategy is focused on working collaboratively with Aboriginal communities
to foster a community development approach in the prevention of youth suicide.
246.
In support of the federal-provincial-territorial First Ministers’ Communiqué on Early
Childhood Development, Alberta has implemented a variety of strategies to support the
health of children including healthy pregnancies, healthy birth outcomes and optimal
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childhood development. This has included enhanced public health services to young
children and parents, enhanced supports to parents with mental health concerns who are
expecting or raising young children, enhanced access to treatment services for women
who are at high risk of using alcohol and other substances while pregnant and the
implementation of the Alberta Perinatal Health Program.
247.
In 2002 the Alberta Public Health Act was amended to enhance the ability of the
Government to declare a state of public health emergency and, respond once a public
health emergency has been identified.
248.
Alberta released the Alberta Pandemic Contingency Plan in November 2003, in order to
be prepared for pandemic influenza. The plan includes five key areas: surveillance,
immunization, health services, communications and emergency preparedness.
Article 13: Right to Education
249.
Funded accredited private schools receive 60 percent of the base instruction rate provided
to public schools, but do not receive funding for transportation, administration, operation
and plant maintenance, or English Second Language funding. Government contributes to
the pensions of public school teachers, but not for private school teachers. Private school
authorities do however, receive full funding for Early Childhood Services programming,
learning resources, home education, severe disabilities, and for 60 percent of teacher
salary enhancement, Early Literacy Initiative, SuperNet Access, and Alberta Initiative for
School Improvement funding.
250.
The implementation of the Renewed Funding Framework for the public system resulted
in a slight increase in funding for private schools as the base instruction rate increased,
but does not represent any specific change in policy.
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Saskatchewan
General
Aboriginal people
251.
A significant development in Saskatchewan has been the creation of the Department of
First Nations and Métis Relations as a stand-alone Department, effective October 1,
2004. The Department provides the Government with a more focused approach to its
work involving First Nations and Métis people. It works with First Nations and Métis
people on a variety of issues, including education and participation in the economy, and
in fulfilling the Province's commitments with respect to lands and resources.
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
252.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code was amended in November 2001. Information
respecting the amendments can be found in paragraphs 265-268 of Canada’s Fifteenth
and Sixteenth Reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Racial Discrimination.
253.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code does not contain “social condition” as a
prohibited ground of discrimination, but it has contained “receipt of public assistance” as
a prohibited ground since 1993. Annual Reports of the Saskatchewan Human Rights
Commission indicate that complaints based on the ground of receipt of public assistance
made up 2.1 percent of complaints received in 2001-2002, 1.6 percent of complaints filed
in 2002-2003, and 0 percent of complaints in 2003-2004.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
254.
The Government of Saskatchewan chose to implement pay equity in 1997 through a
policy framework model. Since inception, this initiative has resulted in approximately
60,000 public sector employees taking part in job evaluation projects. Public sector
employees include those working in government departments, Crown corporations,
treasury board agencies, boards and commissions, the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied
Science and Technology and regional colleges, and in the health sector. Since 2000,
approximately 17 projects have been completed. Seven of these projects were completed
in 2003-2004, impacting approximately 29,900 employees. The wage gap within
organizations that have implemented pay equity under the policy framework has been
reduced for those organizations.
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Article 6: Right to Work
255.
In January 2005, Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate was 5.6 percent, down from
6.3 percent in January 2004.
256.
In 2003-2004, 28,135 people participated in employment interventions and services
available through career and employment services offices dispersed across the province,
and available on the Internet at http://www.sasknetwork.ca. Of the 28,135 who
participated, 45.5 percent were women, 34 percent self-declared as Aboriginal persons,
12.9 percent self-declared as having a disability, and 4.7 percent self-declared as a
member of a visible minority.
257.
Saskatchewan Community Resources and Employment uses an Employment Services
Model that focuses on employment for all to the degree possible. This model includes a
diversionary “Jobs First” program, which refers people to employment programs before
they apply for income support. It was introduced in 2001-2002, with a telephone-based
contact centre that is the first point of contact for employment and income programs. The
Model enables a full array of service, assessment and program/skill development options,
with appropriate income support measures, including the Transitional Employment
Allowance that assists individuals in moving toward full participation in the community
and labour force. Employment supports such as reliable child care are also important in
assisting individuals in securing and sustaining employment. See Article 10 for
information on Child Care Saskatchewan.
Employment equity and Workplace Diversity
258.
Work continues with other arms of government at both provincial and federal levels to
create a more representative workforce. For example, work has been done with the
Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations to identify job opportunities in the
health care system, and to assist clients of Saskatchewan Community Resources and
Employment in securing employment within this sector. Aboriginal people are of
particular interest in this initiative.
259.
Within Executive Government, representation of identified equity groups has increased
over the last decade, as the following chart indicates. Figures are based on voluntary
self-identification on completed workforce survey forms (22.4 percent of the survey
forms were not completed).
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Representation in the Public Service
March 31, 1992
Desired Representation
in the Workforce*
July 31, 2004
Aboriginal Persons
3.1%
10.6%
12.2%
Persons with
Disabilities
2.4%
3.0%
9.7%
1.9%
(March 31, 1994)**
2.5%
2.8%
26.8%
36.7%
45.0%
Members of Visible
Minority Groups
Women in
Management***
* These figures reflect the equity group representation goals set by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
for all employers, based on representation in the provincial population.
** Members of visible minority groups were added as a designated group for employment equity purposes in 1993
and were surveyed in 1994.
*** Management and Professional levels, and Senior Executives.
Aboriginal people
260.
In February 2000, the Aboriginal Representative Workforce Council was established
through the Aboriginal Employment Development Program. The Council brings together
First Nations and Métis organizations, public and private training institutions,
governments and private industry to develop strategies for delivering training linked to
employment for Aboriginal people.
Persons with disabilities
261.
Saskatchewan has committed funds for employment supports in the workplace for
persons with disabilities. This began in the 2002-2003 fiscal year, with significant
enhancements in 2003-2004. Community-based organizations that work with persons
with disabilities are engaged in providing enhanced service delivery capacity such as job
coaching, training and adaptive equipment.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
262.
The Building Independence Strategy includes eight diverse income support programs
aimed at assisting low-income families to move from social assistance into the labour
market. As a result of this strategy, the social assistance caseload continues to decrease
year over year. Since reaching an all-time high in 1994, the social assistance caseload
has decreased by 29 percent, with approximately 30,000 fewer beneficiaries. Since the
strategy was introduced in 1997, over 7,300 families and almost 16,000 children no
longer rely on social assistance. In 2004, Saskatchewan enhanced this strategy by
increasing the benefits and scope of the Saskatchewan Employment Supplement, the
Saskatchewan Child Benefit and the Family Health Benefits.
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263.
Saskatchewan has maintained basic benefit rates since 2000 and increased the rates for a
number of special needs items, focussing on those that support employment and persons
with disabilities. Some allowances, such as utilities and special needs (for example,
adapted equipment and specialized nutrition), are provided at actual cost.
264.
In 2003, the Transitional Employment Allowance was introduced. It is a flat-rate basic
income support program for persons participating in pre-employment programming or
making a transition to self-sufficiency by continuing some supports until individuals are
established in employment.
265.
Support for persons with disabilities to enter and remain in the labour force to the fullest
extent possible has been built into the Province’s programs and services. For example, in
2003-2004, supplementary health coverage was extended to individuals with disabilities
who were leaving social assistance to assume employment. The Province also works
with community-based organizations to enhance the array of programs and services
available to persons with disabilities.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
266.
In 2003-2004, as a result of a five-year federal-provincial agreement, Saskatchewan
launched Child Care Saskatchewan. At the end of the second year of the Agreement, the
following has been accomplished: development of 700 additional licensed day care
spaces; additional operating funding to enable redress of wait lists at licensed day cares; a
$1 million increase to child care subsidy rates; and additional spaces in Kids First, a
program that provides early learning and care opportunities for children in vulnerable
circumstances.
267.
The most recent progress report of the Government of Saskatchewan on Early Childhood
Development initiatives is available online at www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/braches/ecd/
ECDPub.shtml. Information on the Early Childhood Development Agreement can be
found in the Introduction to the present report.
268.
Amendments were made to The Labour Standards Act effective June 14, 2001, increasing
parental leave provisions and providing Saskatchewan workers with job protection to
allow them to take full advantage of the benefits offered by the Government of Canada’s
Employment Insurance Program. The amendments provide a couple with job protection
for 52 weeks for the birth mother or primary caregiver and 37 weeks for the birth father
or spouse of the primary caregiver.
269.
The Labour Standards Act was again amended in 2003 to ensure that Saskatchewan
people can fully access federal Employment Insurance benefits when caring for loved
ones who are gravely ill or dying, whether or not the loved ones are dependent on them.
An employee continues to be entitled to up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for a
serious personal injury or illness, and up to 16 weeks of job-protected leave while
receiving Employment Insurance compassionate care benefits to care for a gravely ill or
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dying family member, but no more than 16 weeks in total between the two types of jobprotected leave in a period of 52 weeks.
Family violence
270.
Violence against women and children is recognized as a serious and complex social issue
that requires a comprehensive, integrated response, involving government, communities
and individuals. While work has continued to move toward an integrated, multifaceted
approach to interpersonal violence, there is recognition that more needs to be done. The
level of interpersonal violence continues to grow, particularly for women, children and
youth, and in the Aboriginal community. Associated with it are individual, community
and human services costs. Since 2000, the focus has been broadened from family
violence to violence between individuals who know each other, in a broader range of
interpersonal relationships.
271.
Eighty percent of the population of Saskatchewan has access to Victims Services through
17 funded programs that work in cooperation with the police. The programs offer direct
services and support to over 16,000 victims of crime annually. In 2003, a client survey
showed a satisfaction rate of 85 percent. Funding is also provided for three specialized
programs, two for female victims of sexual assault and one for victims of domestic
violence. In addition, through an Aboriginal Family Violence Initiative, funding is
provided to eight community-based programs that assist urban Aboriginal families. The
comprehensive, holistic programs are developed to meet specific community needs and
are administered by Aboriginal people. An evaluation of this strategy is underway.
There are also research projects underway. One tracks the criminal justice response to
cases involving spousal violence. Another involves participation with Research and
Education for Solutions to Violence and Abuse (RESOLVE), in a multi-site project that
examines criminal and civil justice system responses to situations of family violence.
272.
The Emergency Protection for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Act came
into force on October 1, 2002. The Act allows police, child protection staff and other
designated persons to apply to a Justice of the Peace, on an emergency basis, for an
Emergency Protection Intervention Order. Orders are directed at those who place a child
under 18 years of age at risk of sexual exploitation, and can contain conditions
prohibiting contact with the child and keeping the person from entering stroll areas. It
also expands search and seizure powers in child sexual abuse cases.
273.
One of the four goals of the Action Plan for Saskatchewan Women - Moving Forward,
released in October 2003 through the Status of Women Office, Saskatchewan Labour, is
“Safety for all Saskatchewan girls and women in their homes, schools, institutions,
workplaces and communities.” The Action Plan identified current and future actions
under the objectives of improved workplace health and safety, improved access to
support services for women and children who experience violence, and reduced violence
against women and sexual exploitation of children.
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274.
In 2003, a Domestic Violence Treatment Options Court was established that allows
offenders who have pled guilty and accepted responsibility for their actions to pursue
treatment prior to sentencing.
275.
In February 2005, Saskatchewan Learning introduced the Saskatchewan Anti-Bullying
Strategy as part of a Caring and Respectful Schools initiative.
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
Measures to reduce poverty
276.
Saskatchewan is responding to child and family poverty through a number of provincial
initiatives including the Building Independence Strategy, work on the development of an
Early Learning and Care Strategy and the introduction of HomeFirst, the Province’s
affordable housing strategy.
277.
Since the introduction of the Building Independence Strategy in 1998, low-income
families have seen their after-tax disposable incomes increase. By the end of 2005, the
disposable annual income of a single parent family with two children receiving social
assistance will have increased by about $2,240, and a single parent, two-child working
family will see their disposable income increase by about $5,400.
Homelessness
278.
In Saskatchewan, seven human services departments are working together, and in
partnership with the Government of Canada and municipal governments and community
organizations, to coordinate a response to the multiple problems around homelessness,
including the lack of access to physical shelter. The response includes support services
related to health and housing independence, income support programs and other social
services.
279.
Since the launch of the National Homelessness Initiative in December 1999, the
Government of Canada has invested $17.2 million in Saskatchewan. Partners, including
the provincial government, municipal governments and community organizations have
cost-matched the federal contribution through existing and new initiatives.
280.
Projects that have been developed to respond to homelessness can be divided into three
categories:
•
•
•
Emergency and Second Stage — improved and expanded emergency shelter spaces;
Research — needs assessments for services and facilities, improving understanding of
the problem of homelessness and the special nature of homelessness in
Saskatchewan; and
Continuum of Services — community centres with services provided by
Saskatchewan Community Resources and Employment and community organizations
to support the homeless, draw them into programming and help them maintain homes.
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281.
Remaining challenges include: addressing overcrowding of Aboriginal households in the
inner city, in the north and on reserve; developing interventions to prevent youth from
becoming homeless, while supporting their need to become independent adults;
developing appropriate housing and supports for people referred to as “hard to house”;
and creating supportive housing for people with disabilities.
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
282.
The Action Plan for Saskatchewan Health Care, released in 2001, recognizes the
importance of Primary Health Care. Currently 23 percent of the Saskatchewan
population is being served by Primary Health Services Teams, an increase of eight
percent from 2002-2003. The goal is for 25 percent of the population having access to a
primary health care team by 2006. Services include prevention, health promotion, early
intervention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, supportive services, and palliative care
services. Each team consists of one or more physicians, home care workers, mental health
and public health personnel, physiotherapists and pharmacists and a Registered Nurse
(Nurse Practitioner) (RN(NP)) or a Registered Nurse who is working towards licensure as
an RN(NP). Since April 2004, 40 RN(NPs) have been licensed to work in Saskatchewan.
They can assess, diagnose and prescribe for common medical disorders and refer clients
to other members of the Primary Health Care Team for additional care. A province-wide,
24-hour, toll-free HealthLine was also implemented in August 2003 to provide quick
access to health expertise of trained Registered Nurses.
283.
A comprehensive plan for children’s mental health services is being developed. A first
round of consultations has been held, and an advisory group with representation from
provincial, federal and community child serving sectors has been formed to support
development of the plan.
284.
In 2004-2005, new funding was committed toward a Cognitive Disability Strategy
targeted to four communities. Priority components include strengthening Fetal Alcohol
Spectrum Disorder (FASD) prevention and intervention; improving access to assessments
and diagnoses; and strengthening direct supports based on need. Services such as respite
care, parent aids, and independent living supports will become available to a wider
population.
285.
Information on FASD and suicide prevention initiatives in Saskatchewan can be found in
Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Aboriginal people
286.
Efforts are being made in several health regions to accommodate a demand for culturally
appropriate health service delivery to Aboriginal people. A Northern Health Strategy
Working Group has been established and is focusing on the project, Shared Paths, for
which the group received over $3 million in funding through the Government of Canada
Primary Health Care Transition fund. The Shared Paths project is forming technical
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advisory committees in four priority areas identified by the members of the working
group: mental health and addictions, perinatal and infant health, chronic disease, and oral
health. Information technology and human resource issues are also being considered.
This project is in place until 2006.
287.
An Aboriginal Working Group was established in January 2003 to provide advice for
successful implementation of the Provincial Diabetes Plan in First Nations, Aboriginal,
Métis and Inuit communities. A Northern Healthy Communities Partnership has been
formed in Northern Saskatchewan and will include mental health promotion and
substance abuse prevention initiatives in addition to addressing diabetes and a range of
other health issues.
288.
The Province contributed $11.2 million to building of a new All Nations Healing
Hospital in Fort Qu'Appelle. This is a unique, community-centred facility where
traditional values and concepts are integrated with health care services. The culturally
sensitive design elements accommodate an approach to health care that recognizes the
relationship between mind, spirit, body and community, and integrates traditional values
and concepts with health services.
289.
Saskatchewan Health has been collaborating with First Nations communities, Health
Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Regional Health Authorities on
emergency management planning for pandemic influenza and other disasters and
emergency events. Work with municipalities and others is proceeding on a West Nile
Virus protection, preparedness plan, and response plans.
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Manitoba
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
290.
“Social condition” is not a protected ground in the Manitoba Human Rights Code
(http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/h175e.php); however, aspects of "social
condition" are covered by the broad definition of “discrimination” in the Code — for
example, “source of income” is a protected ground. During the reporting period, the
Manitoba Human Rights Commission formally resolved 10 complaints on the basis of
“source of income”: one in 2000; two in 2001; none in 2002; three in 2003; four in 2004.
Also, 10 matters were resolved at the pre-complaint stage: three in 2001; four in 2002 and
three in 2004.
291.
The Manitoba Human Rights Commission has requested that “social condition” be added
as a protected ground under the Code and, in 2004, it hosted a “Round Table Discussion”
on the issue with representatives of non-governmental organizations involved in poverty
and human rights issues. Discussions with the government continue.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
292.
The rights of Aboriginal women with respect to real property off reserve are covered by
provincial family property and domestic violence legislation. On June 30, 2004,
Manitoba’s family property regime was extended to common-law partners, both same
and opposite sex (The Common-Law Partners’ Property and Related Amendments Act,
http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2002/c04802e.php).
Article 6: Right to Work
293.
The legislated minimum hourly wage in Manitoba was increased during the reporting
period: as of April 1, 2005, it is $7.25, compared to $6.00 in 2000.
294.
Work incentives to encourage recipients of social assistance to find employment included
not counting a certain portion of their earnings when calculating social assistance. In
2003-2004, 13.4 percent of recipients made use of the work incentive provisions.
295.
In 2003-2004, Manitoba allocated $6.7 million to settlement services and adult English as
a Second Language services. A strategy designed to improve labour market outcomes for
new immigrants, including recognition of skills and abilities of immigrants to Manitoba,
is being developed.
296.
A new Policy Framework for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition was released
November 2001. In June 2003, The Adult Learning Centres Act was passed
Manitoba
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(http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/a005e.php). Adult Learning Centres (ALCs)
have the potential to improve the education and employment outcomes for women and
for Aboriginals. Based on self-declaration, statistics indicate that approximately
33 percent of participants at ALCs are Aboriginal and about 66 percent of ALC learners
are women.
Aboriginal people
297.
New measures to foster increased employment for Aboriginal peoples include:
•
•
•
•
•
The first Aboriginal Agricultural Initiatives Co-ordinator was appointed in June 2003.
Self-sufficiency in food production was promoted in northern communities.
The Hydro Northern Training Initiative — the first large scale Aboriginal human
resource strategy in northern Manitoba, planned, designed and implemented through
joint consultation and full participation of the communities involved to prepare
northern Aboriginals for employment opportunities on proposed hydroelectric
generating stations projects. Over five years, 1,115 individuals will be trained.
Taking into account factors such as attrition, this is expected to result in over
790 construction and related jobs on these projects.
Aboriginal apprenticeship community based training began in September 2002. As of
December 2004, there were 702 active self-declared Aboriginal apprentices. Fifteen
percent of all active apprentices in Manitoba are Aboriginal — an increase of about
17 percent over the number reported in April of 2004.
Approval and funding for new educational programs including: intakes of
25 additional Aboriginal students in the Bachelor of Social Work ACCESS Program
for each of three years beginning in 2003, a part-time Master of Social Work distance
education program for 20 students working with child welfare agencies serving
Aboriginal communities; a diploma in Aboriginal Self-Governance Administration to
be offered by the University College of the North.
Persons with disabilities
298.
In 2003-2004, 4,525 persons with disabilities received vocational services; of these 1,697
received training funds to support education and employment-related plans. Manitoba
signed the Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements for Persons with
Disabilities in December 2003 and the Canada-Manitoba Labour Market Agreement for
Persons with Disabilities — covering 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 — in April 2004. In
2003-20004, Manitoba and the Government of Canada embarked on an evaluation of
programming to assess program and service effectiveness. An Evaluation Framework
and Methodology Report, which sets out the evaluation questions to be addressed and
methodologies, was completed in March of 2005. A request for proposals is being
developed, and the formal evaluation is expected to begin in the fall of 2005 and to be
completed by the summer of 2006.
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Article 9: Right to Social Security
299.
In June of 2004, legislation creating a single system of income assistance in Manitoba
came into effect (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/e098e.php).
300.
In 2003-2004:
•
•
•
•
301.
Improvements to benefits in 2003-2004 included:
•
•
•
302.
Income assistance and support services were provided to an average monthly
caseload of 31,446 for provincial Employment and Income Assistance; 1,150 for
Municipal Assistance; and 32,091 for Health Services (including children in care and
persons with disabilities).
Income Supplement benefits were provided to 12,741 seniors under 55 PLUS and
1,153 families under the Child Related Income Support Program;
An average of 11,568 children were subsidized each four-week reporting period
under the Child Care Subsidy Program; of these, an average of 2,469 (or 21 percent)
were children of parents supported by Employment and Income Assistance.
Under shelter allowances programs, 3,076 elderly renters received average monthly
benefits of $74.00 per household and 991 family renters received average monthly
benefits of $129.00 per household.
Increasing basic income assistance rates by $20 per month per adult for non-disabled
single adults and childless couples and for all adults in the persons with disabilities
and aged categories, effective January 2004. This change benefited 27,915 adults and
increased their income assistance by $240 per year per person.
Not reducing income assistance benefits for persons with disabilities (including
children) who live in the community and receive a lump-sum payment — such as an
inheritance or life insurance settlement — if a trust fund is set up to purchase
equipment or services to improve quality of life (effective April 2003). These trust
funds can accumulate up to a lifetime limit of $100,000.
Increasing board and room rates by two percent for individuals requiring care and
supervision or living in residential care facilities, in July 2003, and again in
October 2004.
In 2003-2004, the National Child Benefit Supplement was fully restored, allowing
$13.7 million annually to flow through to Manitoba families on income assistance (see
the Introduction to this report for information on the National Child Benefit).
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
303.
Improvements to maternal/parental benefits in 2003-2004 included:
•
Manitoba
amendments to Manitoba’s Employment Standards Code
(http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/e110e.php) to provide for up to eight
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•
304.
weeks of unpaid compassionate care leave and to provide better protection for
workers returning from maternity, parental or compassionate care leave;
basic foster care rates were increased by 2.5 percent effective July 1, 2003. Seven
hundred and fifty-four foster children were supported by the Subsidy Program for
special social needs.
Significant new investments or initiatives in child care included:
•
•
•
•
child care funding increased by $6 million (including nearly $1 million from the
Government of Canada);
new operating grant funding for 788 child care spaces;
increased funding for the Child Care Subsidy Program and for child care centres,
homes and nursery schools;
Growth in child care spaces since 2000-2001
2000-2001
2001-2002
2002-2003
2003-2004
23,022
24,009
24,777
25,634
$58,288.0
$64,681.6
$67,878.8
$62,739.1* (not including children with disabilities)
305.
In 2003-2004, implementation of the recommendations of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry
– Child Welfare Initiative continued. Through this Initiative, which is nationally
recognized for its historical significance, Manitoba has given First Nations and Métis
people province-wide authority and responsibility for their own child and family services
system. The Child and Family Services Authorities Act
(http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/c090e.php) came into force November 24,
2003. Case transfers are to be completed in 2005. For more information, see Canada's
Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
306.
The 2003 Manitoba progress report on Early Childhood Development is available online,
at http://www.gov.mb.ca/healthychild/ecd/ecd_reports.html. The report showcases the
province’s Child Day Care program and highlights other investments to strengthen early
childhood development, learning and care in Manitoba. See the Introduction to the
present report for information on the Early Childhood Development Agreement.
Family violence
307.
New initiatives respecting family violence in 2003-2004 included:
•
•
•
Manitoba
Amendments to The Domestic Violence and Stalking Prevention, Protection and
Compensation Act (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/d093e.php) to extend
civil protective remedies to situations where family members have not lived together
and to dating relationships.
The Domestic Violence Front End Project, which has dramatically reduced the
amount of time required to prosecute domestic violence offences.
Re-organization and amalgamation of victims services for the province.
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•
•
•
•
Establishment of “A Women’s Place” Legal Clinic.
The Family Violence Prevention Program Web site:
http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childfam/family_violence_prevention.html.
A comprehensive review and improvement of the emergency children's shelter
system in Winnipeg, in collaboration with the Children’s Advocate.
Supported Living Program activities to increase the safety and well-being of persons
with disabilities living in the community through training, information and funding of
initiatives.
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
308.
In addition to the increases in benefits discussed under Article 9, the mechanism for
enforcing family support obligations was improved by passing The Inter-jurisdictional
Support Orders Act (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/i060e.php) and legislative
improvements to the government-run Maintenance Enforcement Program
(http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/f020e.php).
Right to adequate housing
309.
The Affordable Housing Initiative (http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/housing/ahi.html), noted in
the Introduction to the present report, will create approximately 2,500 affordable new
homes and rental units in Manitoba. Under this initiative, Manitoba has entered into a
five-year agreement with the City of Winnipeg under which the City will contribute over
$17 million in support of affordable housing. Also, eight project proposals totaling
$5.62 million in New Rental Supply funding are being developed.
310.
In 2003-2004, $3 million in funding for programs such as the Neighbourhood Housing
Assistance and $2 million as the provincial contribution to the federal/provincial
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program continued to contribute to housing
revitalization in declining neighbourhoods in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson.
Homelessness
311.
The Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative
(http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/housing/whhi.html), a partnership between Manitoba, Canada
and the City of Winnipeg, to address declining housing stock, homelessness and the
revitalization of Winnipeg’s older neighbourhoods, was extended for an additional five
years in November of 2003. Under the Initiative, over $31 million has been committed to
support the repair, rehabilitation and construction of over 1,100 units of housing and
100 rooms or beds, and to provide assistance to homeless individuals and families, or
those at risk of becoming homeless.
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
312.
New initiatives in health care for vulnerable groups include:
Manitoba
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The Northern Healthy Foods Initiative was established in the City of Thompson.
The Provincial Mental Health Advisory Council was reconstituted as a consumer and
family member body.
The following were established: the Mental Health Education Resource Centre of
Manitoba; the Provincial Special Needs Unit — a specialized unit for high-risk
complex individuals not adequately served by or eligible for existing services; the
Early Intervention in Psychosis program; and a Program of Assertive Community
Treatment, which has been identified as a best practice in Canada.
The Manitoba Women’s Health Strategy was released in 2000
(http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/women/index.html); Women's Health Consultations
were held; and the Manitoba Cervical Cancer Screening Program was established.
A Strategy for Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias in Manitoba was released in
2002 (http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/documents/alzheimer.pdf).
Advancing Age: Promoting Older Manitobans was released in 2003
(http://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/advancingage.html) and new personal care home standards
were developed.
Programs, training and resources respecting fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and 'atrisk' pregnant women were established. See Canada’s Fifth Report on the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights for details on these programs.
A Children's Therapy Initiative was established to provide co-coordinated, regionally
based services that allow children to reach their full potential, and a permanent
Applied Behaviour Analysis program was established for pre-school children with
autism.
Manitoba has the highest rate in Canada for individuals newly diagnosed with end
stage renal disease, at 17.6/100,000. Further expansion of renal health/dialysis
services continues to occur in order to address increasing volumes.
The Northern and Aboriginal Population Health and Wellness Institute was
established in 2004. It has begun work in the areas of suicide, traditional healing and
diabetes.
313.
Incidence and prevalence of diabetes in Manitoba is expected to continue to increase due
to an aging population, enhanced screening, etc. It is expected that it will take 10 or more
years before the impact of provincial policy, programs and services will result in
decreased incidence of diabetes.
314.
Manitoba collects population level information on the incidence of alcohol use during
pregnancy, through a provincial postnatal screen of all births and an in-depth interview
with mothers seen in a home visiting program (the “Families First” program). The
provincial screen indicates the incidence of drinking during pregnancy in 2003-2004
varies in different regions of the province and ranges from nine to 28 percent of women
indicating alcohol use during pregnancy. Data from the in-depth Families First
assessment indicates that 65 percent of families referred to the program report alcohol use
during pregnancy. It is anticipated that the provincial screening tool will be useful in
identifying trends in incidence of alcohol use during pregnancy.
Manitoba
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Persons with disabilities
315.
During the reporting period:
•
•
•
•
a position of Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities was established;
“Full Citizenship: A Manitoba Provincial Strategy on Disability” was released in
2001 (http://www.gov.mb.ca/access/);
the Disabilities Issues Office was established in December 2003; and
two Round Tables on Disability Issues were hosted to provide people with disabilities
with an opportunity to present feedback and suggestions concerning government
policy and programs.
Article 13: Right to Education
316.
New initiatives in education include:
•
•
•
•
•
The Safe Schools Charter was passed in June of 2004
(http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2004/c02404e.php).
Legislation was passed in June 2004 that ensures that all children, especially those
with special needs, receive appropriate educational programming
(http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2004/c00904e.php).
Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives into Curricula: A Resource for Curriculum
Developers, Teachers and Administrators was released in 2003, initiating the
workshop Incorporating Aboriginal Perspectives: A Theme-Based Curricular
Approach.
The Aboriginal Education Action Plan was developed in 2004 to increase access to
and completion of post-secondary education, increase successful entry into and
participation in the labour market and improve the research base for Aboriginal
education and employment. Data tracking is fundamental to this initiative.
(http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/abedu/action_plan/index.html).
The University College of the North was established in July 2004, with a mandate to
serve the educational needs of Aboriginal and northern Manitobans, and to enhance
the social and economic well-being of northern Manitoba
(http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/u055e.php).
Article 15: Right to Participate in Cultural Life and Benefit from
Scientific Progress and the Protection of Authors’ Rights
317.
In 2003-2004, the Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, with financial assistance
from the Department of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, established the Minister’s
Advisory Council on First Nations and Indigenous Arts and Cultural Activities and the
Minister’s Advisory Council on Métis Arts and Cultural Activities. Three Aboriginal
Artists’ Roundtables have been held.
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Ontario
General
Persons with disabilities
318.
In 2001, the Ontario government enacted the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001,
(ODA, 2001) aimed at improving opportunities for, participation by, and standard of
living for people with disabilities. The Act includes provisions to increase equal access
in employment (section 8), access to government goods, services (section 5) and facilities
(section 4) as well as to modes of communication including the Internet (section 6) and
publications (section 7).
319.
On June 13, 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (Bill 118),
came into force. The new legislation, which is more comprehensive, improves on the
ODA 2001 by providing for the establishment of enforceable accessibility standards in
the areas of goods, services, facilities, accommodation (housing, premises) and
employment. The standards apply to a variety of public and private sectors in the
province to improve the standard of living for people with disabilities and the general
community.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
320.
Historically, the difference in salaries between men and women can be attributed in part
to the undervaluation of work principally done by women. Since the implementation of
the Pay Equity Act, progress has been made in closing the gap in salaries. Recent
Statistics Canada reports show that the wage gap has been reduced for full-time female
workers in Ontario by approximately six percentage points since l987. Among full-time,
full-year workers in Ontario, the gap has gone down from 36 percent in 1987 to
30 percent in 2002.
321.
All public sector employers are required to achieve and maintain pay equity, as are all
private sector employers with 10 or more employees. The Pay Equity Act originally
provided for a proxy comparison method for public sector jobs, which was subsequently
struck from the Act in 1996. A court challenge resulted in the reinstatement of the proxy
method. Funding however, was capped. A subsequent court challenge resulted in the
Ontario government coming to a settlement in May 2003, which has benefited women in
many of the lowest paid public sector jobs. The settlement required that $414 million be
paid over three years to about 100,000 women.
322.
Information on the Pay Equity Commission can be found on its Web site:
www.gov.on.ca/lab/pec/index_pec.html.
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Article 6: Right to Work
323.
The annual average Ontario labour force participation rate of 68.4 percent in 2003 was
the highest level since 1991. The province created 160,500 net new jobs in 2003. At
year-end, employment in Ontario had reached almost 6.3 million, representing
39.5 percent of all employment in Canada.
324.
Between 2000 and 2004, the government took several steps to increase the quantity and
quality of the labour supply in Ontario. Collectively, these steps increased employment
opportunities for all Ontarians, including Aboriginal people, youth and visible minorities.
Actions undertaken included:
•
Apprenticeship investments:
increased funding of apprenticeships to 2007-2008 to support increased
participation;
investments in a pre-apprenticeship training initiative to help prepare individuals
for careers in the skilled trades; and
investments in the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund Program, which provides
funding to the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology, to acquire up-to-date
equipment, update facilities and to support increased apprenticeship placements.
•
Investments in employment programs:
Job Connect links Ontarians, primarily unemployed youth between the ages of 16
to 24, to employment and training opportunities; and
Literacy and Basic Skills Program helps learners gain the literacy and numeracy
skills they need to improve their employment.
•
Assistance to internationally trained individuals to gain the skills and recognition they
need to increase their opportunity to work in their occupations, including investments
in bridge training projects and sector-based projects that assess existing competencies
and provide training and Canadian work experience. Also, the Government has
launched an academic credential assessment service to develop information materials,
assessment methods, tools, and supports, to remove barriers to labour market access.
Women
325.
Ontario
The Information Technology Training for Women program, initiated in 2000, enables
women to secure employment, training and certification in the information technology
sector. The target is low income, disabled, unemployed or underemployed and new
immigrant women. With funding for 2004-2006, about 156 women will be trained. To
date, about 310 women have been trained through this program; 83 percent of those
enrolled have graduated and about 78 percent of the graduates have secured jobs.
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326.
The Women in Skilled Trades program provides pre-apprenticeship training geared to
increase the number of women qualified for high demand skilled trades and technology
jobs. The target population is low-income women who are unemployed or underemployed and who are unable to enter the skilled trades area because of a lack of math
skills, computer competency and hands-on experience on technical equipment. With
funding for 2004-2005, 104 women will be enrolled in six pre-apprenticeship training
programs, including specialized programs for Aboriginal women.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
327.
The Government of Ontario provides employment and financial assistance through the
Ontario Works program and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) (see
previous report). The following changes have been made to income and social assistance
programs and benefits during this reporting period.
328.
To help people move to employment:
•
•
The government no longer treats grants, bursaries or registered education savings plan
funds as income and/or assets in Ontario Works or the ODSP.
The government has restored health benefits (i.e., Extended Health Benefit) for
Ontario Works recipients transitioning to work so that high medical costs do not
become a disincentive to employment.
329.
In December 2003, the government repealed the lifetime ban on social assistance
recipients in situations of fraud. There was concern that the policy was overly punitive
and failed to emphasize a person’s right to live with dignity and to be treated fairly and
with compassion.
330.
In 2004, the government restored the pregnancy nutritional allowance for pregnant
women on social assistance. It allows pregnant women to receive an additional
$40/month or $50/month (non-dairy) in addition to any special diet amounts for which
they are eligible.
331.
Other changes to the Ontario Works and ODSP policy include increasing the exemption
amount for gifts and voluntary payments from $4,000 to $5,000 per year per beneficiary
(ODSP only), and exempting money that children save from working part-time and after
school.
332.
In 2003-2004, about $4.57 billion or seven percent of Ontario’s operating budget was
spent on social assistance programs. Approximately 3.5 percent of the Ontario budget
was spent on the Ontario Disability Support Program and 2.7 percent was spent on the
Ontario Works program.
333.
As of December 2004, Ontario Works had a caseload of 188,745 while the ODSP income
support program had a caseload of 206,884. Since 2001-2002, the total social assistance
caseload has levelled off. A three percent increase to social assistance benefits provided
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through the Ontario Works and ODSP payments was implemented in early 2005. The
rate increases were the first since 1993. Nearly 400,000 individuals and their families
(over 660,000 beneficiaries) would benefit from the rate increases, which would provide
an additional $100 million in income support.
Family-related benefits
334.
In 2000, annual benefits to single parents provided through the Ontario Child Care
Supplement for Working Families (OCCS) were increased by $210 per child to $1,310
annually. This is expected to increase the labour force participation of single parents and
reduce the depth of low income among single-parent families.
335.
The (OCCS) is Ontario’s main reinvestment under the National Child Benefit (NCB)
initiative (see the Introduction to the present report). Since the program’s inception in
1998, the employment income of OCCS recipient families has increased by 32 percent,
compared to 19 percent for all families with children in Ontario. This indicates that
OCCS recipients have strengthened their attachment to the labour force, which is one of
the objectives of the NCB initiative.
336.
In 2004, Ontario announced that social assistance recipients would be able to keep the
Government of Canada’s July 2004 increase to the National Child Benefit Supplement
(NCBS) for one year. In the past, the Government of Canada’s yearly increase to the
NCBS was deducted from social assistance payments. This will result in an additional
$10 million in income support to low-income families in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
337.
Under the Early Childhood Development — Addiction Treatment For Pregnant Women
Project Implemented in March 2002, 17 locations in the province were funded to provide
services for substance involved pregnant and parenting women and their children under
six years of age. Project activities include public education, substance abuse treatment,
child care, teaching life skills and parenting skills, facilitating client linkages with and
access to health care, housing and social services.
338.
The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA, 2000) extended the length of parental leave
from 18 weeks to 35 weeks if the employee also took pregnancy leave, or 37 weeks if the
employee did not.
339.
The ESA, 2000 also created a new entitlement to “emergency leave.” Eligible employees
are entitled to take up to 10 days of unpaid leave because of medical reasons or the death,
illness, injury or urgent matter concerning a child, spouse, same-sex partner or other
specified relative. This benefit is available to employees whose employer’s regular
workforce is at least 50 employees.
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340.
In 2004, the ESA, 2000 was amended to create an entitlement to “family medical leave.”
Employees are entitled to take an unpaid leave of up to eight weeks to provide care or
support to a seriously ill specified family member.
341.
In 2003-2004, Ontario’s share of federal funding under the Multilateral Framework on
Early Learning and Child Care was $9.7 million. This funding was provided to
municipalities to repair, rebuild and strengthen the foundation of the child care system
across the province. Ontario’s share in 2004-2005, $58.2 million, is being utilized to
further stabilize the existing child care system and create up to an additional
4,000 subsidized child care spaces.
342.
The government’s first priority in expanding early learning and child care will be to
provide a full day of learning and child care for children four and five years old. The
province is also working towards:
•
•
343.
a new model for distributing subsidies, based on income, making more Ontario
families eligible for help; and
a new College of Early Childhood Educators to set high professional standards and
support quality care.
The most recent Government of Ontario progress report on the Early Childhood
Development investments and outcomes is available online at
www.children.gov.on.ca/CS/en/programs/EarlyYearsInitiatives/default.htm. Information
on the Early Childhood Development Agreement can be found in the Introduction to the
present report.
Family violence
344.
In 2001, $26 million was allocated to create 300 new beds in emergency shelters for
women and refurbish another 136, with a corresponding increase in program funding to
provide counselling and other supports for these beds. In addition, $4.5 million over five
years in new funding was allocated to create a province-wide Assaulted Women’s
Helpline to provide women in crisis with information and support 24 hours a day,
365 days of the year.
345.
In December 2004, the government announced its multi-ministry, multi-year Domestic
Violence Action Plan, to address domestic violence against women and children, with a
new emphasis on prevention and better community supports for abused women and their
children. It includes an investment of $66 million over four years and a wide range of
initiatives including:
•
•
•
•
Ontario
a public education and prevention campaign;
training for front-line workers, professionals, families, neighbours and friends to
recognize early signs of abuse and provide referrals;
investments in community supports for victims;
improvements to Ontario’s criminal and family justice system;
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•
improved access to French-language services and targeted initiatives to address the
unique needs of Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, seniors, ethnocultural/racial, rural/farm/northern communities.
346.
The Plan also includes additional investments for community-based services to address
violence against women, including $3.5 million annually for housing support services
and $3 million annually as an operating increase for shelters and counselling services.
347.
An additional $25 million over five years has been committed to the Aboriginal Health
and Wellness Strategy, which provides family violence and primary care services offand on-reserve.
348.
In 2002, Ontario piloted the Safety Bail Pilot program, which provides the opportunity
for victims of domestic violence to be interviewed by trained police and victim services
staff prior to bail hearings in order to provide more detail about the history of violence in
the relationship. The program provides early support and safety planning opportunities to
victims of domestic violence, assists in distinguishing high and lower risk cases, and
provides a better foundation for Crown counsel and the courts to make decisions
respecting bail.
349.
Ontario has also introduced the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA),
an actuarial risk assessment tool used by frontline police officers in cases involving male
on female assault. The ODARA predicts the likelihood of a further report of domestic
violence. Ontario is evaluating the usefulness of the tool in the context of bail hearings. A
clinical version of the ODARA is also being used by health professionals to advise
women of their risk of further assault.
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
350.
In 2003, the government introduced an initiative to raise the general minimum wage from
$6.75 to $8.00 per hour over four years. In February 2004, the first increase was
implemented, raising the general minimum wage from $6.75 to $7.15 per hour; in
February 2005 it was raised to $7.45 per hour. Further increases will take effect in
February 2006 and 2007, raising the general minimum wage to $7.75 and $8.00 per hour
respectively.
Homelessness
351.
In 2004, homelessness prevention programs were streamlined and enhanced by
$2 million. The programs are expected to meet one or more of the following objectives:
(1) to move people off the street and into shelters, (2) to move people from emergency
hostels to permanent housing, (3) to prevent homelessness by supporting people to retain
permanent housing.
352.
In 2004, the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) announced a three
percent increase to agencies that have not received a funding increase in several years.
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This includes domiciliary hostels that provide housing for vulnerable adults and
emergency shelters. Effective July 2004, the maximum per diem payable to emergency
hostel operators increased by three percent to $39.15/day for board and lodging.
353.
Also, MCSS announced a $2 million Emergency Energy Fund, which provided one-time
emergency assistance to deal with payment of energy utility arrears, security deposits and
reconnection fees. In addition, it provided $50,000 of emergency energy assistance to
First Nations individuals living on reserve.
354.
The Mental Health Homelessness Initiative created 3,600 units of supportive housing for
persons with a mental illness who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. On
January 2, 2005, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) announced
500 supportive housing units under service enhancements to keep persons with mental
illness out of the criminal justice correctional systems.
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
355.
In the 2004 budget, Ontario announced an increase of $120 million over the next four
years for the community mental health sector. This four-year strategy will result in the
provision of much needed services (Crisis Management, Case Management, Assertive
Community Treatment Teams and Early Intervention) to an additional 78,000 people by
2007-2008.
356.
Public Health Emergencies in Ontario has been strengthened through better coordination
with a newly established Emergency Management Unit, the addition of specialized
infectious disease experts to an on-call rotation, development of better alert systems for
practitioners, and the creation of a Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee.
Other components — Regional Infection Control Networks, an agency and the
integration of the Public Health Laboratories within the Public Health Division — are in
progress.
357.
The MOHLTC has developed problem gambling services for specific populations. Since
2001, MOHLTC has completed implementation of services tailored to respond
specifically to the needs of women, youth, ethnocultural communities and older adults. In
addition, MOHLTC has worked with Aboriginal organizations to develop a culturally
sensitive and easily accessible network of services for Aboriginal communities.
358.
Ontario has also pioneered two Participatory Action Research studies to look at cultural
aspects of problem gambling. Over $1 million has been invested to better understand
gambling in a cultural context within Aboriginal and ethnocultural communities.
359.
Ontario has invested in a comprehensive tobacco control strategy that will reduce tobacco
use through legislation, programs and mass media. This strategy is population-based, but
programs and policies will also focus on priority populations that are at high risk for
smoking initiation (e.g., children and youth) or have high rates of tobacco use
Ontario
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(e.g., Aboriginal peoples). Funding for this strategy increased almost four-fold in 20042005, for a total investment of $40 million.
360.
A new Ontario College Graduation Diploma in Autism and Behavioural Science will
begin in 2005. The program includes intensive behavioural intervention training and
applied behavioural analysis. The program is expected to prepare approximately
180 instructor therapists and group leaders annually for regional autism programs. The
program is expected to be offered through nine Ontario colleges (including one French)
and also through e-learning.
361.
Ontario is creating an Academic Chair and new University Graduate Fellowships to
Masters, Doctoral and/or Post-Doctoral students focussing specifically on autism and
child development, in 2005. This will allow Ontario to generate and sustain a critical
mass of research dedicated to increasing knowledge about autism, as well as ensure there
are more practicing professional psychologists serving children with autism. The Ontario
Council on Graduate Studies will administer a $3.625 million endowment fund to support
the Academic Chair and graduate fellowships.
362.
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Ontario's first new medical school in over
30 years, will begin operations with 56 students starting in August 2005. The new
medical school will ensure that students can study and live in Northern Ontario. The
focus of the medical school is family medicine, which will include a concentration on the
health needs of Aboriginal communities.
Aboriginal people
363.
In 2004, Ontario renewed the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy for a third fiveyear term and increased annual funding for the Strategy by $5 million, bringing total
annual funding to $38.55 million. This enhanced funding supports improvements in
access to primary care, mental health and family healing services, and community
outreach/health promotion activities in Aboriginal communities throughout Ontario.
364.
Information on initiatives related to the prevention of suicide among Aboriginal youth
can be found in Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights.
Article 13: Right to Education
365.
Ontario
To make postsecondary education more accessible and affordable, Ontario has frozen
college and university tuition for two years in all programs, beginning September 2004.
Ontario has awarded $48.1 million in funding to colleges and universities to offset the
loss of revenues due to the first year of the freeze. The government is currently
developing a long-term plan to ensure a high-quality, accessible and accountable
postsecondary education system.
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366.
In 2003, Ontario created over 70,000 new university undergraduate first-year spaces to
accommodate the increased demand resulting from Ontario’s shift to a new four-year
secondary school curriculum, and increasing participation rates.
367.
In 2004-2005, Ontario extended student loans to protected persons, for example, persons
found to be Convention Refugees or persons in need of protection by the Immigration
and Refugee Board.
368.
Effective January 1, 2003, the Income Tax Act was amended by the Ontario Legislature to
end the Equity in Education Tax Credit. This provision provided a limited tax credit for
parents paying education costs for children attending secular or faith-based independent
schools in Ontario. The government’s policy is that public money should not be used to
fund private school education.
369.
The Ontario public school system offers quality education to all Ontario residents without
discrimination on a non-denominational basis. Roman Catholic schools receive full
public funding under the Constitution as part of the public education system. Other
religious schools receive some non-direct tax support (charitable donations credits,
property tax exemption, if non-profit) but are essentially funded through private sources.
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Québec
General
Aboriginal people
370.
In 1999 and 2002 respectively, laws were enacted to ensure the implementation of
agreements between the Government of Québec and the Mohawk and Cree communities
of Québec (see Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights for additional information).
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
371.
The Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms includes social condition as a
prohibited ground of discrimination.
372.
Between January 1, 2000 and March 31, 2004, the Commission des droits de la personne
et des droits de la jeunesse investigated 264 complaints of discrimination based on social
condition, which accounted for somewhat less than seven percent of all complaints the
Commission investigated during this period (4,049). Most of the social condition
complaints were in the area of access to housing. During the same period, the
Commission intervened in the Gosselin case (see Appendix 1) before the Supreme Court
of Canada and started nine other court proceedings. Five judgements on the merits were
handed down. They solidify progress made during the preceding period, particularly
concerning the discriminatory nature of denying housing to a person based on the fact
that he or she is a social assistance recipient.
373.
In the autumn of 2003, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la
jeunesse published a report on its 25 years of enforcing the Charter and made several
recommendations for strengthening the Charter (http://www.cdpdj.qc.ca/).
374.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a collective agreement that allows for
retroactive salary adjustments but restricts them to persons employed by the city at the
time of the signing of the collective agreement does not contravene the Charter of Rights
and Freedoms: Tremblay vs. Syndicat des employées et employés professionnels-les et de
bureau, section locale 57, [2002] 2 S.C.R. 627.
375.
In Université Laval vs. Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse,
27, J.E. 2005-280 (C.A.), the Québec Court of Appeal declared Université Laval liable
for the loss sustained by employees as a result of systemic discrimination based on
gender. It did not impose a single remuneration system with the same rate for everyone,
but rather left it up to negotiations as called for by the collective agreement.
Québec
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376.
The Court of Appeal declared that an elderly person had been a victim of exploitation
prohibited by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and ordered compensation in Vallée
vs. Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, J.E. 2005-781
(C.A.).
377.
In four different cases, the Tribunal des droits de la personne found discrimination on the
basis of age in the termination of a lease and ordered compensation: Commission des
droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse vs. Gagné, J.E. 2003-496 (T.D.P.Q.);
Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse vs. Lacombe, J.E.
2003-1464 (T.D.P.Q.) (appeal rejected on demand (C.A., 2003-08-01), 500-09-013666370); Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse vs. Poulin, J.E.
2004-719 (T.D.P.Q.); Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
vs. Poirier, J.E. 2004-1016 (T.D.P.Q.). The tribunal concluded that there was
discrimination based on the status and situation of the family in Commission des droits de
la personne et des droits de la jeunesse vs. Jacques, J.E. 2004-1520 (T.D.P.Q.).
378.
In two cases, Québec tribunals found discrimination in hiring based on age (Commission
des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse vs. Nicolet (Ville de), [2001] R.J.Q.
2735 (T.D.P.Q.) and Montreal Newspaper Guild, Local 111 and Gazette (The), A
Division of Southam Inc., [2004] R.J.D.T. 1182 (T.A.)) and in another, due to sexual
harassment, which is prohibited by the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms
(Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse vs. Caisse populaire
Desjardins d’Amqui), [2004] R.J.Q. 355 (T.D.P.Q.) (appeal dismissed on motion, (C.A.,
2004-01-23), 200-09-004700-040).
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
379.
The Pay Equity Act was adopted in 1996. This law affects 45,000 companies of which
35,000 employ between 10 and 49 people. According to a 2002 survey carried out on
behalf of the Pay Equity Commission, 39 percent of 3,899 businesses employing between
10 and 49 people have completed their pay equity procedure. Of these, 30 percent
indicated they had to provide salary adjustments. The average salary adjustment, as the
result of pay equity procedures, was 8.1 percent. Three businesses out of five calculated
the adjustment impact to be 1.5 percent or less of total salary expenditure.
380.
According to a survey conducted in the autumn of 2003, 62 percent of businesses
employing between 10 and 49 people had completed their pay equity efforts. Over all,
64 percent of Québec businesses of all sizes covered by the Pay Equity Act have
completed their work.
381.
In areas where the work force is predominantly female, the legislator recognized that the
absence of predominantly male job classes did not mean there was no gender-based
salary discrimination. Therefore, the Commission was mandated to adopt regulations on
how to proceed in companies with no job classes that are predominantly male. The
purpose of the Regulation respecting pay equity in enterprises where there are no
predominantly male job classes is to provide two job classes that are typically male-
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dominated to companies where no such classes exist, so they can complete their pay
equity exercise. The regulation came into effect in May 2005.
382.
In 2004, article 11 of the Pay Equity Act was amended to enable an employer and several
certified associations to develop an agreement to establish a distinct pay equity program
for the employees represented by these certified associations.
383.
On January 9, 2004, the Superieur Court declared Chapter IX of the Pay Equity Act
unconstitutional. This chapter of exceptions allowed employers to be exempt from pay
equity procedures if the company could claim that it had already completed a pay equity
or salary relativity program before the said Act came into effect in November of 1996.
This decision invalidates all Chapter IX exemptions granted by the Commission for
companies that were affected by this remedy. As a result, affected companies will have
to conform to all the regulations of the Pay Equity Act.
Article 6: Right to Work
384.
The increase in the number of highly skilled jobs in Québec has been maintained over the
last 10 years, growing by more than 25 percent. Highly qualified work now represents
one in three jobs.
385.
At the end of the 2000-2004 period, the unemployment rate was eight percent, with
continued disparities among the different regions of Québec. For the first time, the
workforce reached four million, 46 percent of whom are women.
386.
In May 2002, the Government of Québec adopted the Politique d’éducation des adultes
et de formation continue and an action plan to institute an ongoing culture of learning for
the period 2002-2007. Efforts have been made to increase basic training for the less
educated segments of the population, as well as work-related ongoing training and
workplace learning. Specific measures have been developed for particular population
groups, e.g. youth. Specific strategies have been implemented by Emploi-Québec, the
governmental employment agency, to improve the situation for female workers, persons
with disabilities, workers 45 years and older, and immigrants.
387.
Since 2003, Emploi-Québec has also been offering an automated service, Placement en
ligne, matching job offers with job seekers. This service benefits both employers as well
as people looking for a job. Labour market information is a second service available on
the Internet, which helps young people with career choices. These two sites have proven
very successful.
388.
The Act respecting income support, employment assistance and social solidarity was
amended to require “Individualized Integration Programs” to be subject to minimum
work standards, except for exemptions established by regulation.
389.
In 2002, a law was adopted to promote the establishment of a retirement plan for child
care service employees.
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390.
During the period in question, the An Act respecting labour standards was amended on
several occasions in order to make it illegal for children to perform work disproportionate
to their abilities or likely to be damaging to their education, their health or their
development and to recognize that a employee has the right to a workplace free from
psychological harassment and the right to lodge a complaint to have this right respected.
Employment equity and Workplace Diversity
391.
The Act respecting equal access to employment in public bodies, which came into effect
on April 1, 2001, is aimed at public organizations that employ 100 people or more in the
municipal sector, education, health and social services, as well as other public bodies,
such as government agencies, post-secondary educational institutions and the Sûreté
Québec for its police staff. As of March 31, 2004, 617 organizations were subject to the
Act. Their first requirement was to conduct a staffing analysis to determine the number
of people making up each of the groups affected by the legislation: women, Aboriginal
people, visible minorities and ethnic minorities.
392.
By March 31, 2004, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
had received 564 staffing analyses. One hundred and eighty-five organizations were
informed by the Commission that their target group numbers did not reflect the
representation of competent persons within that group in the applicable recruitment area.
These organizations now must develop an access-to-equality program and submit it to the
Commission within 12 months.
393.
Since 1989, 240 companies with more than 100 employees that have received contracts
or subsidies worth more than $100,000 from the Government of Québec were required to
develop an access-to-equality program. Of this number, 14 companies have not met their
obligations and were subject to government sanctions: they cannot bid on a contract or
apply for a subsidy as long as they have not respected the terms of their initial
commitment. By March 31, 2004, 175 companies were required to establish an accessto-equality program.
394.
Between January 1, 2000 and March 31, 2004, the Commission des droits de la personne
et des droits de la jeunesse investigated 2,543 complaints involving discrimination in the
area of work. The most frequent grounds of discrimination in these complaints were
disability, sex, race, colour or ethnic or national origin, as well as age. The incidences
where discrimination occurred most were in dismissals, hiring and work conditions.
During this time, a large number of files were closed during the investigation period due
to a freely negotiated settlement by the two parties. These settlements took the form of
monetary compensation, cessation of the offending act or a corrective action. The
Commission took 71 cases to court during the same period. Forty-three decisions were
rendered.
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Persons with disabilities
395.
In 2004, the National Assembly began revising legislation affecting persons with
disabilities, in particular the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their
rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration, to promote the
creation of training and information programs that would improve the academic,
professional and social integration of persons with disabilities. The Act respecting equal
access to employment in public bodies was also amended to add persons with a disability
to the groups targeted. This measure will come into effect on December 17, 2005.
Article 8: Trade Union Rights
396.
The creation of the Commission des relations du travail in 2001 simplified access to
redress with regard to collective work relations, and also reduced waiting times, notably
with regard to accreditation. These measures will have a positive impact on freedom of
association, guaranteed by Article 3 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as on
the right to fair and reasonable work conditions, recognized by Article 46 of that Charter.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
397.
More and more, income support measures are aimed at promoting the economic and
social independence of individuals and families. Such measures encourage individuals to
get involved in activities that will foster social integration, their integration into the
working world and their participation in society. Between January 2000 and
December 2004, the number of social assistance recipients fell by 11.9 percent. This
decrease can be explained by an improved economic situation during the period under
study as well as public policies and actions promoting integration to the world of work.
The average social assistance benefit went from $593 in 2000 to $667 in 2004. As of
March 31, 2004, the Government of Québec was supporting 398,040 adult recipients
living in 354,624 households. More than $3 billion was spent on financial assistance
measures in 2003-2004, including the Programme d’assistance-emploi, the Fonds d’aide
à l’action communautaire and the Fonds québécois d’initiatives sociales. The right to
social security was reinforced by the enactment of the Act to combat poverty and social
exclusion. In 2003, social assistance was improved primarily by the indexing of benefits
and by legislative and regulatory changes, specifically by ending the reduction in benefits
for people sharing housing.
398.
In 2004, the government announced that, as of January of 2005, the Work Premium
would replace the Parental Wage Assistance program (PWA). Unlike the PWA program,
the Work Premium is a tax credit and is accessible through filing of an annual income tax
return. All low- and medium-income workers can benefit, regardless of their assets or
whether they have children. Theoretically, 536,000 households could benefit from the
Work Premium, compared to the 30,000 households who benefited from the PWA
program. In addition, the Work Premium is better harmonized with other income support
programs.
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399.
The Individualized Integration, Training and Employment Plan is available to everyone
looking for work, whether or not they receive employment assistance, employment
insurance or other public income support. This program enables the individual to develop
a personalized job search itinerary by choosing the best means for returning to work. It
also offers the necessary support for success. The plan allows an individual to benefit
from more than one measure or employment service. An analysis of a group of
participants who used the public employment service, between April 1, 2003 and
March 31, 2004, showed that 41 percent used the Individualized Plan as the basis for
their return to work. This represents no less than 70 percent of all activities undertaken
by members of the group studied. Among those who used the Individualized Plan,
38 percent were receiving employment assistance benefits, 43 percent were receiving
employment insurance benefits, while 19 percent were receiving no public income
support. An evaluation of the principal employment measures available in an
Individualized Plan indicates that the results were clearly more significant in the case of
people at the greatest remove from the labour market, particularly recipients of
employment assistance. These people reaped the most positive results both in terms of
work and income and in quality of life.
Family-related benefits
400.
In the 2000-2004 period, the Government of Québec stopped reducing Québec family
benefits by the sum equivalent to the increase in the federal government’s investment in
the National Child Benefit. In the 2004-2005 budget, the Government of Québec
announced it was reforming the program of direct support to families by launching a new
refundable tax credit for child assistance. This tax credit replaces the family benefits
program, the non-refundable tax credit for dependent children and the tax reduction for
families. Through this measure, the government is investing an additional $547 million
for minor children. Low- and middle-income families will benefit from a notable
increase in disposable income.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
401.
Québec does not participate in the Multilateral Framework on Early Learning and Child
Care. Nevertheless, beginning in 1997, and starting with not-for-profit day-care centers
and child care agencies already in existence, Québec created a network of early childhood
centers that offer educational child care services for children four years and younger.
The services were offered at a reduced price for the general population and free of charge
for parents receiving social assistance benefits. There were 82,000 spaces in 1997,
whereas, in 2005, there are 187,000 spaces at reduced rates in the network of early
childhood centers. The goal is to reach 200,000 spaces in 2006.
402.
The Act to amend various legislative provisions concerning de facto spouses was enacted
in 1999. It modified laws and regulations with regard to the definition of a de facto
partnership in order for de facto unions to be recognized regardless of the sex of the
persons involved.
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403.
Adopted in 2002, the Act instituting civil unions and establishing new rules of filiation,
created a new institution, the civil union, for persons of the same sex or of different sex
who wish to publicly commit to a life together and to respect the rights and obligations
associated with this state (see Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights). In 2004, certain parts of the Québec Civil Code were
amended to enable couples who were joined together in a civil ceremony to continue their
life together under the matrimonial regime and to authorize the celebrant to proceed with
their marriage despite the bond that already links them together.
404.
The Act to amend the Civil Code and the Code of Civil Procedure as regards the
determination of child support payments was enacted in 2004, with a view to more equal
treatment for all children.
405.
The National Public Health Program 2003-2012 and, in the area of youth, the Stratégie
d’action pour les jeunes en difficulté et leur famille (2002), stress the importance of early
and preventive intervention, particularly for the most disadvantaged, and the need to
make use of the skills of individuals and the resources of local communities. Other
noteworthy youth protection measures include the adoption of the Orientations
gouvernementales and the Action Plan in the area of sexual aggression (2001), as well as
the Multisectoral Agreement for children who are victims of sexual abuse, of physical
mistreatment or of a lack of care threatening their physical health (2001). Agreements
for the complementarity of services favour child development. For example, the
Agreement for the Complementarity of Services between the health and social services
network and the education network deals with all aspects of intervention with respect to
the development of young people, e.g., fostering health and well-being, education,
prevention, adjustment and rehabilitation services. The reason behind the framework
agreement between early childhood centers and local community services centers was to
better structure and harmonize educational child care services, health services and social
services for children and their families, particularly the most vulnerable and the most
disadvantaged.
406.
The Act respecting parental insurance was enacted in 2001. This law created a system
that provides all eligible workers with maternity, paternal and parental benefits upon the
birth of a child, as well as benefits upon the adoption of a minor.
407.
To ensure that this legislation will come into effect, in May 2004, the Government of
Canada and the Government of Québec concluded an agreement in principle on the
Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP), whereby Canada agrees to partially reduce
employment insurance premiums to allow Québec to implement and partially finance its
new system. The QPIP will replace maternity, parental and adoption benefits paid
through the federal employment insurance program. The Québec system is more
inclusive than the federal system since it extends eligibility to self-employed workers as
well as salaried workers who have not accumulated 600 insurable work hours. It offers a
higher rate of benefits and will cover a higher maximum insurable income. Finally, the
QPIP will create a paternal benefit, reserved exclusively for the father, lasting up to five
weeks.
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408.
Two important studies have been carried out on child care services. One was produced
by the Institut de statistique du Québec in collaboration with the Ministère de l’Emploi,
de la Solidarité sociale et de la Famille, entitled “Grandir en qualité”. The other was
carried out as part of a longitudinal study on child development in Québec. The results
are similar: the quality of child care offered by the Early Childhood Centres is better than
what is provided by private day-care centers.
409.
In 2004, the Government of Québec published its Ongoing Quality Improvement Plan in
Educational Child care. It has two main points:
•
•
410.
A quality commitment made by each child care center in order to identify measures
needed for quality improvement, to inform parents of these measures and to report to
parents on the achievement of its goals.
A Certification System (ISO formula) based on the experience of the Conseil
québécois d’agrément.
The government also produced a set of child care service guides in areas such as child
safety, health and education.
Un Québec digne des enfants
411.
The action plan Un Québec digne des enfants is a follow-up to the extraordinary United
Nations Special Session on Children, which took place in New York City in May 2002.
In its action plan, the Government of Québec lays out its priorities for the next 10 years to
improve support for the health, well-being, development and success of children. The
ultimate goal of the actions announced in the plan is to offer an environment where every
child has an equal opportunity for self-fulfillment.
Family violence
412.
The Orientations gouvernementales en matière d’aggression sexuelle and the action plan
adopted in 2001 contain measures for victims of sexual aggression, who are mostly
women and children. More than 85 percent of victims know their aggressor. Sexual
aggressors are almost exclusively men. More than 60 measures have been identified.
These Orientations gouvernementales reaffirm the socially unacceptable and criminal
nature of this form of violence against persons. They improve the response to the many
needs of children and adult victims of sexual aggression and pave the way for concerted
government action.
413.
In 2004, the Government of Québec made public its Government Action Plan 2004-2009
on Domestic Violence. This action plan will revise the domestic violence intervention
policy, Prevention, Detection, Intervention, that was adopted in 1995. The action plan
commits to 72 measures, over half of which are new. Particular attention was paid to the
development of actions that placed high priority on the safety and protection of victims,
especially young people most vulnerable to domestic violence, such as young women,
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Aboriginal women, women with a disability, immigrant women and women from ethnic
communities. The action plan encompasses the resources of more than 10 organizations
and departments.
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
Measures to reduce poverty
414.
The Act to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion was unanimously adopted by the
National Assembly in 2002. The purpose of this Act is to encourage the government and
all of Quebec society to plan and implement measures to combat poverty, eliminate the
causes of poverty, reduce its effects on individuals and families, counter social exclusion
and aim for a Québec without poverty. This law led to the national strategy to combat
poverty and social exclusion, which has as its primary objective to progressively reduce
poverty in Québec to the level of industrialized nations with the least amount of poverty
by 2013. To attain this goal, a government action plan to combat poverty and social
exclusion was made public in April of 2004. The five-year action plan focuses on four
major objectives: improving the well-being of people living in poverty; preventing
poverty and social exclusion by developing people’s potential, encouraging society as a
whole to commit to reduce poverty; ensuring that actions taken are consistent and
coherent. An investment of $2.5 billion is anticipated over a period of five years to put in
place measures to significantly increase the disposable income and improve the living
conditions of low-income households. Québec will produce an annual report as well as a
five-year report on activities that have taken place in the framework of the government’s
action plan.
Right to adequate housing
415.
Between January 1, 2000 and March 31, 2004, the Commission des droits de la personne
et des droits de la jeunesse investigated 551 complaints of discrimination in the area of
housing. The most frequent grounds of discrimination cited were race, colour, ethnic or
national origin, as well as age and social condition. During this time, a large number of
these files were closed while the investigation was being carried out after a settlement
was freely negotiated by the two parties. During the same period, the Commission took
30 cases to court. Eighteen decisions were rendered.
Homelessness
416.
Over the last few years, more than 300 projects have been launched to assist the
homeless. Projects relate to construction, prevention, temporary housing and social and
professional reintegration. To a large extent, these projects were supported by federal
funding from the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative.
417.
On March 12, 2002, the Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ) handed down a
decision that provided for last-resort financial assistance to homeless and itinerant people,
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who were previously inadmissible (C.R. c. Québec (Ministre de la Solidarité sociale),
[2002] T.A.G. 737 (T.A.G.).
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
418.
On September 15, 2004, Canada’s First Ministers agreed to a 10-year plan aimed at
improving health care (see the Introduction to this report). Québec concluded a bilateral
agreement with Canada entitled “Asymmetrical Federalism that respects Québec’s
Jurisdiction”. According to this agreement, Québec supports the overall objectives and
general principles outlined in the 10-year plan, but will exercise its own responsibilities
with respect to planning, organizing and managing health services.
419.
As far as capitalization is concerned, over the last five years, the Government of
Québec’s capitalization expenditures have totaled $4.530 billion, for an annual average of
$906 million.
420.
With respect to operations, the Government of Québec has invested significant sums for
the development of services for Québecers, in addition to the costs stemming from the
normal increase in expenses that the health system must absorb, such as salary increases,
energy costs and building maintenance. Therefore, since 2000, nearly $900 million has
been added to improve access and quality of services offered to the various client groups.
Major investments were made in the area of primary health care, prevention, as well as
services for the elderly. Youth and persons with a physical or intellectual disability are
also targeted by these investments.
421.
The creation of local networks combining health services and social services is an
organizational and clinical effort designed to bring services closer to the people and to
improve access to the health and social services network. The Public Administration Act,
enacted in 2001, brought in a new management framework focused on results and
increased accountability. The effect of this new results-based management requirement
was the implementation of new provisions amending the Act respecting Health Services
and Social Services, which introduced management and accountability agreements
between the department and the Local Health and Social Services Network Development
Agencies.
422.
The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse was involved in
several studies. One examined the psychological dimension of the numerous harassment
complaints it has received. Another, in collaboration with the Canadian Human Rights
Commission, examined the theme of work in transition and the potential resulting
damage to one’s psychological health.
423.
The Public Health Act, adopted in 2001 to deal with public health emergencies and
threats, specifies the powers of public health officials to investigate and intervene.
Ministerial declaration of a health emergency and the obligations stemming from such a
declaration were also specified, as were provisions for the addition of new diseases for
compulsory declaration and a provision to facilitate the announcement of health threats.
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424.
Intervention plans for emerging diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
(SARS), West Nile Virus and the influenza pandemic have been developed. In the case
of West Nile Virus, emergency legislation was adopted which specifies that annual plans
must be approved by the National Assembly in order to comply with environmental
requirements in the use of larvicides.
Aboriginal people
425.
For the Cree, Inuit and Naskapi nations, with whom Québec has signed agreements, the
Government of Québec will assume responsibility for providing health and social
services. For the other Aboriginal communities, the federal government provides health
and social services on reserves, either directly or through band councils.
426.
Regional health and social services officials make sure that the related work of the three
Aboriginal nations respect the main departmental directions and priorities and that they
have developed a strategic plan that addresses the specific issues and priorities of each
nation. One of the underlying principles of the government’s activities is the
consolidation of health services and social services that are better suited to the culture of
the Aboriginal nations and that address identified needs.
427.
More particularly, during the period in question, a complementary agreement on the
implementation of Chapter 14 of the James Bay Agreement, dealing with health, was
signed on March 31, 2005, by the Government of Québec and the Cree Nation. This
agreement calls for a financial framework, including additional investments in these
areas.
428.
Finally, the Government of Québec has undertaken a study of the state of the health of
the Inuit population. The results will be made public in the autumn of 2005.
Persons with disabilities
429.
Québec
With respect to intellectual disability, the policy entitled De l’intégration sociale à la
participation sociale, published in June 2001, targets the operation of a network of
integrated services that offers persons with intellectual disabilities, their families and
other members of their milieu, the range of services they need. This network will provide
them with tools to support the optimal development of their potential and their social
integration. Services are to be offered in collaboration with community players. The
policy also recognizes that it is essential to provide better support to families and other
caregivers of the intellectually disabled and to reinforce intersectoral collaboration. Also,
more specifically for people with pervasive development disorders, the document Un
geste porteur d’avenir — Des services aux personnes présentant un trouble envahissant
du développement, à leurs familles et à leurs proches, published in February 2001,
updates the 1998 proposals and a new action plan.
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430.
As for physical disability, the document entitled Pour une veritable participation à la vie
de la communauté – Orientations ministérielles en déficience physique : Objectifs 20042009 was published in November of 2003. It addresses all elements making up the
continuum of services to the physically disabled. The policies promote the concept that
people with significant and persistent disabilities should be able to participate fully and
completely in community life.
Youth
431.
A Stratégie d’action pour les jeunes en difficulté et leur famille was adopted in 2002.
This strategy includes the Programme de soutien aux jeunes parents, provision for a
complete, communal and continuous range of psychosocial services for young people and
their family by all local community service centers. There will also be an evaluation and
application of the measures contained in the Youth Protection Act.
Article 13: Right to Education
432.
In Québec, school financing is linked to the status of the school as a public or private
educational institution. The denominational status of all public primary and secondary
educational institutions was repealed in 2000, shortly after the creation of the linguistic
school boards. The education vision of the school must respect the freedom of
conscience and of religion of the pupils, the parents and members of the staff. A public
school cannot adopt a particular vision or outlook of a religious nature, no matter what
the religion.
433.
Private teaching establishments, whether francophone, anglophone or known trough
another designation, are governed according to the provisions of the An Act respecting
private education. These institutions are only granted a private school permit if they
possess appropriate human resources, namely qualified teachers; they conform to the
provisions of the Régime pédagogique de l’éducation préscolaire et de l’enseignement
primaire et secondaire; and they have adequate material and financial resources. No
private school is recognized on the basis of its religious character. To obtain financing, a
private school must be recognized by the department of Education.
434.
Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions are the only denominations that benefit from
confessional education in the school system. This is permissible due to provisions in the
Québec Charter of Rights and Freedoms and in particular to the notwithstanding clause
of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which cannot be used for a period of
more than five years at a time.
435.
On May 4, 2005, the Department of Education announced that the government would
make use of the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
and of the Québec Charter of Rights and Freedoms for a limited period of time, namely
from July 2005 to 2008. Starting in the autumn of 2008, a single program of ethics and
religious culture will be offered to all pupils at the primary and secondary levels,
replacing the current Roman Catholic, Protestant and moral education programs. To that
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end, on June 15, 2005, the National Assembly amended the statutes with the adoption of
Loi modifiant diverses dispositions legislatives de nature confessionnelle dans le domaine
de l’éducation.
436.
Québec
The Act respecting financial assistance for education was amended several times during
the period in question in order to make general improvements to the system and to extend
access to financial assistance beyond Canadian citizens and permanent residents to
legally recognized Convention refugees and persons in need of protection.
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New Brunswick
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
437.
In June 2004, the New Brunswick Legislature adopted amending legislation adding
“political belief and activity” and “social condition” as two new grounds of prohibited
discrimination under the New Brunswick Human Rights Act. The amendment, which
came into effect on January 31, 2005, includes a definition of social condition and
provides an exemption for social condition discrimination that is required or authorized
by an Act of the Legislature. A limitation, specification, exclusion, denial or preference
on the basis of social condition shall be permitted, despite any provision of the Act, if it is
required or authorized by an Act of the Legislation.
438.
Social condition is defined as inclusion in “a socially identifiable group that suffers from
social or economic disadvantage on the basis of his or her source of income, occupation
or level of education.”
439.
While it is too early to assess the impact of these amendments, the New Brunswick
Human Rights Commission does believe it will have an impact on caseload and has
published two guidelines that explain the implementation of these two new grounds of
prohibited discrimination, available on the Commission Web site at:
•
•
http://www.gnb.ca/hrc-cdp/e/Guideline-Political-Belief-Activity-DiscriminationNew-Brunswick.pdf
http://www.gnb.ca/hrc-cdp/e/Guideline-Social-Condition-Discrimination-NewBrunswick.pdf
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
440.
There has been little or no impact of existing pay equity legislation in New Brunswick in
recent years. There have been five enquiries with New Brunswick Employment
Standards Branch since 2001. However, the provision of Equal Pay for Equal Work
under the New Brunswick Employment Standards Act has not been tested before the
board in recent years.
441.
In July 2002, New Brunswick convened a Wage Gap Roundtable to look at the wage gap
in its entirety and to identify its causes and possible solutions. The Roundtable submitted
its final report in December 2003. Closing New Brunswick’s Wage Gap: An Economic
Imperative recommended that Government develop a five-year action plan of voluntary
actions and an evaluative framework to measure change over time. The government
accepted the report and the action plan is currently being developed.
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442.
In 2004, women’s average wages in Part I of the New Brunswick Public Service
represented 98.1 percent of wages earned by men. This represents a 0.9 percent increase
in wages earned by women since 2003. In 2004, the wage gap in New Brunswick was
15.5 percent based on average hourly earnings.
Article 6: Right to Work
443.
Between 2000 and 2004, New Brunswick made significant changes to its employment
program delivery structure, shifting away from a central approach to a more regional and
client centred delivery model. Employment programs and services were also transformed
to allow implementation of a standard system of case management and career
counselling. Changes were focused on making programs and services more client
centred and on assisting clients to obtain long-term sustainable employment.
444.
During this time, New Brunswick worked with over 90,000 clients through employment
interventions, assisting over 60,000 persons to find employment. Nearly
130,000 services (e.g., employment counselling, job search, resume writing) were
provided to these clients, wherein over 57,000 involved formal skills development or job
exposure.
445.
New strategies were developed and implemented in partnership with other provincial and
federal departments with input from business and communities where possible.
Strategies pertain to Social Assistance Clients, Older Workers, Immigrants, Aboriginal
Persons, Seasonal Workers, Women, Post-secondary Graduates and Youth. Several of
these employment initiatives have been ongoing throughout this timeframe, with work
expected to continue in all areas.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
446.
There was a commitment in the December 2004 New Brunswick Speech from the Throne
to raise social assistance rates. The rates are being raised six percent over three years —
one percent in May 2005, one percent in October 2005, two percent in October 2006 and
two percent in October 2007.
447.
A disability supplement of $250 per year was introduced in October 2000 and increased
$250 per year until it reached $1,000 per year in October 2003.
448.
In New Brunswick, the social assistance caseload declined from 28,200 in
December 2000 to 25,400 in December 2004.
Family-related benefits
449.
New Brunswick continues to pass on the National Child Benefit to its social assistance
recipients. This has increased disposable income for the poorest families and still
allowed New Brunswick to reach record lows in its social assistance caseload.
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450.
New Brunswick introduced a Prenatal Benefit Program for low-income expectant
mothers as part of its Early Childhood Development (ECD) investments. Beginning in
the fourteenth week of their pregnancy, expectant mothers with net family income less
than $21,000, are eligible for the maximum financial benefit of $81.44 per month. The
objective is to improve the health of low-income pregnant women and their newborns.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
451.
Job protection for Parental Leave was extended to the mother for up to 17 weeks, and Job
Protection for Child Care for one or both parents was extended to a combined 37 weeks
through changes to the Employment Standards Act. Family Responsibility Leave was
also added to the Act. It allows for job protection for a maximum of three days leave to
allow for the health, care or education of the person in a close family relationship with
the employee. Compassionate Care Leave has been introduced, allowing for up to eight
weeks to allow an employee to care for a critically ill person in a close family
relationship.
452.
For this reporting period, ECD dollars were used to provide additional financial
assistance to increase the number of available spaces for early intervention, integrate
daycare services and reduce waiting lists for these services. ECD dollars also allowed
New Brunswick to improve accessibility to full-time integrated daycare services for
working parents of children with special needs under the Support Worker Program.
453.
ECD dollars have also been used to enhance Child Day Care Services. The Quality
Improvement Funding Support Program offers financial assistance to assist child day
care facilities to improve the availability and quality of child care services. In addition,
the Training Initiative is a joint effort of the provincial government and the child day care
sector to identify and address the training and professional development needs of those
employed in the child care sector.
454.
Effective September 2004, New Brunswick increased the family income threshold for a
full day care subsidy under the Day Care Assistance Program from $15,000 to $22,000.
As well, the subsidy rate was increased by $3.50 per day for full-time care and $1.50 per
day for school aged children to $22.00 per day for children under the age of two, $20.00
per day for children over the age of two, and $10.00 per day for after-school care. It is
expected New Brunswick will create 1,500 additional child care spaces by making day
care more affordable and accessible for low-income families.
455.
The most recent progress report on the New Brunswick Early Childhood Development
Agenda investments and outcomes is available online at www.gnb.ca/0017/children/ecde.asp. Information on the Early Childhood Development Agreement can be found in the
Introduction to the present report.
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Family Violence
456.
The Ministers’ Working Group on Violence Against Women was established in
December 2000, to give advice to the Minister responsible for the Status of Women. The
advice of the Working Group was substantially reflected in the three- year action plan
entitled A Better World for Women. Among the notable accomplishments of a Better
World for Women:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
An abuse information page is in all New Brunswick phone books.
An Attitudinal Survey was completed. This will be used as a baseline to measure
change over time.
A Directory of Services was compiled and has been distributed to all family
physicians, regional offices, transition houses, etc.
The Woman Abuse, Child Abuse, and Adult Victims of Abuse Protocols have been
updated.
Training of service providers, both government and community, has taken place
around the province on the Woman Abuse Protocols.
Transition house funding has been increased to 100 percent of approved operating
costs.
Funding has been provided to prevention programs for youth.
Abuse information is being provided through immigrant settlement services in the
larger centres (Saint-John, Fredericton, and Moncton).
A Violence Prevention Web site has been launched which is a New Brunswick
content Web site on violence prevention and resources.
457.
A successor action plan, “A Better World for Women: Moving Forward 2005-10” was
launched in May 2005 and represents an investment of $7.6 million.
458.
The impact of the initiatives contained in A Better World for Women will be measured
through a second attitudinal survey scheduled for 2009.
459.
In December 2001, the Department of Family and Community Services launched the
Children's Support Program (Child Witness of Family Violence). Under this program
funding is provided for one child support worker in each of the province's transition
houses. The objective is to prevent the inter-generational cycle of family violence. Crisis
intervention, play-based strategies and psycho-educational interventions are provided to
pre-school children living in these transition houses in order to foster healthy child
development and support mothers in addressing the needs of their children.
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
460.
As outlined under Article 9, there was a commitment in the December 2004 Speech from
the Throne to raise social assistance rates and a Disability Supplement for certified
disabled social assistance clients was introduced in October 2000.
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Nova Scotia
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
461.
The Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on “source of income”.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
462.
In 2001, Nova Scotia women who worked full-time earned, on average, 71.6 cents for
every dollar earned by men working full time. In 2003, women in Nova Scotia earned
69.1 percent (for ALL workers the ratio is 64.4 percent) of what males earned where both
worked full-time, full-year. Among paid female employees in the province, 35 percent
earned less than $10 per hour in 2003, compared to 22 percent of paid male employees.
Since 1996, there has been a decrease in the ratio of female to male earnings.
463.
Matters related to Aboriginal women are discussed within the context of the Mi’kmaqNova Scotia Tripartite Forum. For example, a study was conducted of Aboriginal
women in Arts and Crafts, which resulted in a proposal and plan for developing business
skills for Native Craftswomen. A statistical report on Aboriginal women in Nova Scotia
was prepared to inform the work of various Tripartite Forum committees. The Nova
Scotia Native Women’s Association is a partner in the Tripartite process.
Article 6: Right to Work
464.
Employment supports are provided to more than 10,000 income assistance clients each
year. Last year, 43 percent of these clients participated in educational or training
programs, 31 percent began employment as a result of the supports and 26 percent
enhanced their employability through career development activities. Only 25 percent of
clients require the full amount of income assistance.
Employment equity and Workplace Diversity
465.
The Public Service Commission is responsible for the administration of employment
equity for the public service of Nova Scotia. As demonstrated below, there was a slight
decrease in the total number of members of affirmative action groups in the public
service between 2000 and 2005. In 2000, the number of these employees represented
7.82 percent of the total civil service; in 2005 they represent 7.24 percent.
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Affirmative action group
466.
2000
2005
Aboriginal persons
49
49
African Nova Scotians
200
187
Other racially visible groups
72
83
Persons with disabilities
471
400
In 2005, there are approximately 6,481 women in the public service and the following is
a breakdown of the pay plan distribution for women in 2005.
Pay Plan
# of Women
% of Women
1,676
93%
Heath Services
262
95%
Technical
343
28%
1,016
51%
Clerical
Professional
MCP*
534
45%
* Management Compensation Plan positions
467.
While women are under-represented in some occupational categories, 45 percent of MCP
level employees are women. In 1993, women occupied only 30 percent of management
positions with the Nova Scotia Public Service.
468.
The Nova Scotia Public Service Commission has established the Diversity Talent Pool,
the Diversity Accommodation Fund, and the Diversity Round Table. In 2004-2005, the
Affirmative Action Casual Inventory, which provided members of the designated
affirmative action groups with entry level casual public service opportunities, was
renamed the Diversity Talent Pool. Since September 2004, 24 designated group
members have been placed in casual positions within the Public Service. The talent pool
is promoted as the best place to find candidates for casual positions. Presentations about
the pool have been made to organizations representing designated groups and at career
fairs at the Black Cultural Centre and the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre. In 2005-2006, the
pool will be “on-line” to encourage applications from designated groups for all positions
within Government.
469.
Job seekers with disabilities face additional challenges, such as access to technical aids
and equipment, or workplace accommodations. The Diversity Accommodation Fund
helps the Government hire persons with disabilities who may need some job
accommodations.
470.
The Valuing Diversity Round Table provides strategic advice, information, and expertise
to the Government. In particular, the Round Table will provide advice and guidance in
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matters relating to the Affirmative Action Policy and its application, initiatives and tools
to support the Diversity Initiative, templates and methodologies that will assist
Government to implement affirmative action plans, and employment system reviews.
Aboriginal people
471.
The Mi’kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Tripartite Forum’s Economic Development
Committee has put forward a number of initiatives focused on enhancing Aboriginal
skills and employment, including Open for Business, an initiative focused on Aboriginal
youth and developing entrepreneurship and business skills. Also, the Government,
through the Economic Development Committee, has supported an Aboriginal Youth
Business Summit.
472.
On November 20, 2003, the Government entered into an agreement with Michelin North
America (Canada) Inc., the Government of Canada and the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia to
enhance Aboriginal participation in the workforce.
Persons with disabilities
473.
In April 2004, a new federal/provincial agreement was signed to replace the existing
Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities initiative. This new Agreement,
the Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities,
will ensure that Nova Scotia can continue to support labour market programs for adults
with disabilities through a broad range of more flexible programs and services, from
skills development to encouraging employment readiness, from supporting a person at
work, to ensuring that a person is able to remain working.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
474.
Between 2000 and 2005, the number of people on income assistance in Nova Scotia
declined from 35,000 to 32,000. The total program expenditure, however, increased,
because of additional support services such as training, pharmacare and special needs, as
those individuals who continue to receive income assistance have more complex barriers
to employment requiring multiple, long-term interventions.
475.
The Government increased social assistance rates in 2004 and 2005, which represented a
two-year, annualized increase of $4.6 million. Single adult renters will receive an
additional $50 per month, while single adults boarders will receive an additional $25 per
month. Starting October 2005, the personal allowance will be $190 per month and the
shelter allowance will range from $260-$535 per month for individuals to $550-$600 per
month for families.
476.
In August 2001, the Government introduced a new Employment Support and Income
Assistance Program, which represented the most significant change to Nova Scotia’s
welfare system in more than 30 years. The program provides for a person’s basic needs
while encouraging and supporting them in their efforts to become self-sufficient. People
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receiving assistance develop a personal plan that outlines their barriers and strengths to
employment and the necessary steps they must take to get a job. Other improvements
include enhanced benefits for pharmacare, child care, transportation, work related items
(e.g. work boots), integrated child benefits and training.
Family-related benefits
477.
The Government of Nova Scotia has made some important strides in addressing child
poverty as part of the National Child Benefit (NCB) (see Introduction to the present
report). Nova Scotia has expanded and strengthened programs and services to help lowincome families. In 2002-2003, the total spending on NCB programs was $30.9 million.
See Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
for additional information on the Nova Scotia Child Benefit.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
478.
Nova Scotia provides funding for child care to promote healthy development of children
and to support working parents needing child care. As of June 2005, there are
approximately 60,000 children six years of age and younger, and there are approximately
12,000 licensed child care spaces serving children aged 13 years and younger. This
includes approximately 9,300 full day spaces in 220 centres (105 non-profit and
115 commercial), and 3,200 part day spaces in 148 centres (77 non-profit and
71 commercial).
479.
Since 2001, Nova Scotia has contributed more than $77 million as part of the Early
Childhood Development (ECD) initiative. Direct funding to regulated child care in Nova
Scotia is approximately $19 million per year. Nova Scotia provides funding for child care
through two streams, subsidized child care for families in need and financial assistance to
child care centres in the form of infrastructure grants/loans to support expansion of child
care and operating costs of centres.
480.
The most recent Government of Nova Scotia progress report on Early Childhood
Development investments and outcomes is available online, at
http://www.gov.ns.ca/coms/families/early_childhood.html. Information on the Early
Childhood Development Agreement can be found in the Introduction to the present
report.
Family violence
481.
In April 2002, the Government launched a process to redesign its family violence
programs (Transition Houses, Women’s Centres, and Men’s Intervention Programs).
The Government’s response lays out a plan for working with service providers to meet
specific community needs. It is available online at
http://www.gov.ns.ca/coms/families/community_outreach.html.
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482.
The Government funds nine transition houses for abused women and children. Statistics
indicate that annual admissions to transition houses decreased from 1,037 in 1992-1993
to 869 in 2002-2003, however, family violence remains a significant issue. A report was
prepared in January 2004 and may be found online, at htt://www.gov.ns.ca/coms/
families/pdf/Womens_Centres_Mens_Intervention_Program_Jan2004.pdf.
483.
As part of the Domestic Violence Intervention Act, which was passed in 2003, victims of
family violence now have access to emergency-protection orders that preserve financial
and physical well-being. Emergency protection orders can range from 30-day orders,
which provide for temporary possession of the home or bank accounts, to orders that
direct an individual to have no contact with the victim.
484.
Other Government initiatives include:
•
•
•
Regional plans are being developed by the fall of 2005 for women’s centres, men’s
intervention programs and transition houses, to provide more outreach and
information services.
A Deputy Minister’s Leadership Committee on Family Violence has been
established, including the Deputy Ministers of the Departments of Justice, Health,
Education and Community Services.
The Advisory Council on the Status of Women works to reduce violence against
women in communities, workplaces and families.
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
Measures to reduce poverty
485.
Combating poverty requires action on many fronts. The majority of people receiving
income assistance need literacy programs, academic or skills developments and the
Community Services Employment Supports focuses on these needs. In 2004, 43 percent
of those receiving support services participated in educational or training programs.
486.
Information on the Employment Support and Income Assistance Program can be found
under Article 9.
487.
In June 2004, the minimum wage in Nova Scotia was increased to $6.50 per hour. It was
raised again in May 2005 to $6.80 per hour. It is estimated that in 2005, about
21,900 Nova Scotians work for minimum wage. The increase will benefit those who need
it most by increasing their gross yearly income by about $624 with the first increase, and
an additional $728 with the second.
Homelessness
488.
Under the Government of Canada’s Supporting Community Partnerships Initiatives
(SCPI), organizations and agencies received approximately $6.6 million under Phase One
(1999-2002) of the Initiative and an additional $6.5 million has been allocated to the
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province under Phase Two (2003-2006). The Province contributes to the operating costs
and the establishment of many of the projects funded by SCPI, such as approximately
$6.5 million to support homeless related facilities in 2003-2004.
489.
In September 2002, Nova Scotia entered into an Affordable Housing Agreement with the
Government of Canada in which each level of government committed to $18.63 million
in funding to create or renovate 850 to 1,500 units over five years. See Canada’s Fifth
Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights for additional
information.
490.
The second phase of the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement was signed
in March 2005. In this phase, the total investment in affordable housing in Nova Scotia
will reach $56.18 million by 2008 and will be used to create new rental housing and
homeownership options, and to rehabilitate or convert aging housing stock. As of
March 31, 2005, approximately 330 dwelling units have been constructed or renovated
through funds made available under this agreement.
491.
Also, since 2001-2002, the Nova Scotia Housing Development Corporation has funded
approximately 16 projects. Approximately $11.8 million in assistance was provided in
2003-2004 to help nine projects, including a 30-unit assisted living project and two
properties for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.
492.
In addition to the initiatives under the Affordable Housing Agreements, Pendleton Place,
a shelter for individuals with mental health and substance abuse problems, opened in the
fall of 2004.
493.
An enhanced partnership between the government and shelter operators was announced
in May 2005 to make the best possible use of existing resources and to provide enhanced
supports for those with mental health and substance abuse issues so that anyone seeking
shelter can be accommodated in the existing system. Nova Scotia will also be working
with the Government of Canada in this area.
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
494.
There is a provincial funding commitment to support the skills assessment, recruitment,
placement and retention of internationally educated health professionals (physicians)
through the Clinical Assessment for Practice Program (CAPP). Further information on
this program can be found online at http://www.capprogram.ca/index.html.
495.
The Nova Scotia Diversity and Social Inclusion in Primary Health Care Initiative is a
three-year plan, started in 2003 and funded by Health Canada’s Primary Health Care
Transition Fund. It highlights issues and facilitates the development of culturally
inclusive policies and the first provincial guidelines for culturally competent primary
health care in Canada, with participation from provincial District Health Authorities, the
IWK Health Centre, Community Health Boards, Health Canada, communities including
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First Nations, African Canadians, Acadians/Francophones and immigrants, providers,
researchers and community-based organizations.
496.
The Office of the Provincial Medical Officer of Health has the responsibility to protect
and promote the public’s health in the following areas:
•
•
•
497.
communicable disease control
environmental health
emergency preparedness and response.
In 2003, the Province instituted a provincial SARS Response Plan to deal with any cases,
which occurred in Nova Scotia.
Aboriginal people
498.
The Tui’kn ( Mi’kmaq word for passage) initiative, which consists of local health-care
teams including a doctor, a dietician, a pharmacist, a nurse and a health educator, was
established in 2004 to improve health status and outcomes, build on the strengths of each
of five Cape Breton First Nations communities, improve coordination and integration of
services and work toward sustainability through increased accountability and community
capacity building. It was based on a similar program started in Eskasoni, and studies
showed that 89 percent of Eskasoni residents felt that the quality of health-care services
in their community improved during the program. There was also a significant decrease
in the number of times area residents visited the doctor or went to the emergency room.
499.
In addition, the Province is involved in the collaborative development of an Aboriginal
Health Blueprint. This is part of a series of commitments made by First Ministers at their
September 2004 meeting.
Women
500.
The Healthy Balance Research Program is exploring the relationships between women’s
health and well-being and their paid and unpaid work, including caregiving. Four
research streams are being conducted: a Nova Scotia population-based survey, focus
groups, secondary data analysis and caregiver portraits. The goal is to bring to the policy
arena a message about the importance of building a caring society and a healthy balance
for women. Voices of women traditionally under-represented in research (African Nova
Scotian women, Aboriginal women, immigrant women, women with disabilities) are
included through Equity Reference Groups who advise on culturally appropriate
methodology and dissemination strategies. This five-year project, started in April 2001, is
funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as a Community Alliance for
Health Research. The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women and the
Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health are lead partners.
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Youth
501.
In 2005, new provincial prenatal education and support standards and youth health center
standards that address accessibility issues for vulnerable groups were introduced. Also,
the Healthy Beginnings Enhanced Home Visiting initiative provides increased support for
families who need additional support in the early years.
502.
Funding has been committed to provide universal access to breakfast programs for
elementary school children.
503.
In April 2003, the provision of health care services to youth in correctional facilities was
centralized. The IWK Health Centre provides health services to youth at the NS Youth
Centre in Waterville through an interdisciplinary health team including nurses,
psychologists, social workers, a physician and psychiatric services. In addition, a
Sexually Aggressive Youth Treatment program has begun for youth who are in the
correctional centre as well as in the community. Psychiatric and psychological
assessments for the courts are conducted in the community, in the hospital or in the youth
centre depending on the clinical need of the youth.
Article 13: Right to Education
504.
An amendment to the Governor in Council Education Regulations in 2004 allows a
student with special needs to be funded to attend a designated special education private
school.
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Prince Edward Island
General
Aboriginal people
505.
The Mi’kmaq Confederacy Aboriginal Justice Program is a partnership between Lennox
Island and Abegweit First Nations, the Aboriginal Women’s Association of Prince
Edward Island (PEI) and the Native Council of PEI, which is cost shared through PEI
Office of the Attorney General and Justice Canada. The overall purpose of the
Aboriginal Community Justice Program is to facilitate a greater involvement of
Aboriginal people in the administration of justice and to reduce and prevent crime and
victimization using a holistic approach to justice, prevention and rehabilitation.
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
506.
Information on the Prince Edward Island Human Rights Act can be found in Canada’s
Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
507.
PEI has the lowest male-female wage gap in Canada for several reasons, one of which is
the number of workers who are covered by federal or provincial public sector pay equity
initiatives. The PEI Pay Equity Act was proclaimed in 1988 and was limited to public
sector employers. As part of the implementation of the Act, the province of PEI adopted
a gender neutral classification system intended to avoid recreating wage differentials in
male dominated or female dominated occupations. Pay adjustments were made to
employees in affected positions and the Act was repealed in 1995.
508.
The provincial government has provided financial and consultation support to the PEI
Aboriginal Women’s Association to enable the organization to stabilize operations, build
capacity and nurture leadership particularly with young Aboriginal women.
Article 6: Right to Work
Employment Equity and Workplace Diversity
509.
Amendments to the Civil Service Act in 1998 identified the development of a public
service that is representative of the province’s diversity as one of the purposes of the PEI
Public Service Commission. As a result, the Diversity and Employment Equity Policy
was developed in May 2002. A significant and important initiative for the future growth
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and development of the PEI Public Service, this policy will also result in increased
productivity and public satisfaction.
510.
Building on the diversity policy, the Government has initiated the following measures:
•
•
•
•
An inventory of individuals from designated groups (Aboriginal peoples, persons
with disabilities, visible minority members, women in leadership, and women and
men in non-traditional occupations) is being maintained to find placement
opportunities for groups that are under- represented in the public sector and help
candidates in finding meaningful and longer-term employment opportunities.
Diversity work placements have been created for members from designated groups to
foster increased equal employment opportunities and partnerships have been formed
with other government agencies to assist in the placement process.
The PEI government works continuously to identify and recruit students from
designated groups who can be hired for summer employment.
The Public Service Commission encourages designated group members and students
to self-identify as belonging to one of the designated groups. This information assists
the Commission in monitoring statistics and determining progress.
Persons with disabilities
511.
In April 2004, PEI entered into the Canada-Prince Edward Island Labour Market
Agreement for Persons with Disabilities to improve the employment situation of persons
with disabilities. The employment and vocational component of the Disability Support
Program is partially funded by this cost-shared agreement.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
512.
The number of people receiving Social Assistance in PEI declined steadily from 1994 to
2004. The caseload declined from 6,103 to 3,927 (35.6 percent) in this period of time.
In 2004-2005, the caseload rose to 4,330 reflecting an increase of approximately nine
percent.
513.
Benefit levels have been increased consistently during the period covered by this report.
These increases represent an approximate $7 million (25 percent) increase in the value of
benefits. Food, clothing, household, personal and shelter allowances have all seen slight
increases and a new travel allowance of $20.00 per month was introduced.
Family-related benefits
514.
Total provincial National Child Benefit (NCB) investments in PEI for 2004-2005
amounted to $3.6 million. Re-investments have included Early Childhood Services &
Children-at-Risk Services, as well as a new Healthy Child Allowance which has been
increased regularly to match increases in NCB rates — from $28 per month per child in
2000 to $59 per month per child in 2004. This allowance helps children participate in
community sports and cultural activities.
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Persons with disabilities
515.
The Government of PEI implemented a Disability Support Program in 2001 to improve
access to disability supports and reduce barriers to participation in the labour market for
people with disabilities. The program provides financial assistance to eligible clients
who experience a significant and prolonged disability. Approximately 1,200 Islanders
receive benefits that average approximately $500 month. The program separated access
to disability supports from eligibility for income support through social assistance.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother And Child
516.
In 1999, the Government announced the development of a five-year strategy for children
in prenatal to early school years. The Premier’s Council on Healthy Child Development
was established in March 2001, to monitor the implementation of the Healthy Child
Development Strategy. The Strategy focuses on improving outcomes for children in four
key areas: good health, safety and security, success at learning, and social engagement
and responsibility. The Council’s most recent annual progress report, including
information on investments under the Early Childhood Development Initiative (see the
Introduction to the present report) is available online, at
http://www.gov.pe.ca/hss/hcd/index.php3?lang=E.
517.
Since its initial pilot phase in 2001, the Measuring and Improving Kids’ Environments
(MIKE) program provides program support, training and development to early childhood
centres across the province. MIKE aims to increase the levels of quality and inclusion in
licensed early childhood programs in PEI by focusing on increasing capacity of staff to
provide higher quality services for all children within their programs.
518.
While the program is voluntary, in 2003, 95 percent of all full-day licensed early
childhood centres were participating. Results from the baseline data collection showed
16 percent of participating centres scoring “excellent” on the Early Childhood
Environment Rating Scale - Revised, 27 percent were “good”, 47 percent were “minimal”
with 10 percent “inadequate.” During the follow-up assessments, improvements were
made — 31 percent received an “excellent” score, 51 percent “good” and 18 percent
“minimal”.
519.
The Province has been gradually increasing its support for children with special needs.
In 1999, the budget for special needs children in licensed early childhood education
centres was $639,000; in 2004, the budget was $1,153,446. The focus of investing in
healthy child development continues to be a government priority.
520.
In 2000, Prince Edward Island signed the Early Childhood Development Initiative to
support families and communities in their efforts to ensure young children can fulfill their
potential to be healthy, safe and secure, ready to learn, and be socially engaged and
responsible. PEI signed the Multilateral Framework on Early Learning and Child Care in
2003 to improve access to affordable, quality regulated early learning and child care
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programs and services. See the Introduction to the present report for additional
information on these two initiatives.
Family Violence
521.
During this reporting period, Prince Edward Island has renewed both its five-year
strategy on family violence prevention and the mandate of the Premier’s Action
Committee on Family Violence Prevention. In addition, a Deputies Coordinating
Committee on Family Violence Prevention was mandated to coordinate a corporate
government response to the family violence prevention strategy.
522.
Government initiatives have resulted in increased:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
523.
reporting of family violence to authorities;
demand for public education and awareness on family violence and the impact on
children;
demand for professional training on family violence and the impact on children;
recognition by corporate sector on the linkages between family violence, the
workplace, productivity, and associated economic costs;
awareness of the importance of risk assessment;
momentum for an enhanced response to family violence intervention and prevention
across community and government sectors;
recognition by municipal governments of their role and responsibility to provide an
effective response to family violence prevention;
recognition of family violence and the impact on children as a safety issue for all
levels of government, community, and law enforcement agencies;
mandatory reporting to Child & Family Services in domestic violence involving
children.
The Government has introduced the following new initiatives:
•
•
Woman Abuse Policies and Protocols have been introduced throughout all Hospital
Emergency Rooms, Income Support programs, and justice services in the province
coupled with training on family violence and its impact on children for related
services/sectors throughout the implementation phase of the initiative.
The Workplace Family Violence Prevention Initiative has been introduced across all
government, corporate, community, and law enforcement sectors in the province
including signage in public/private washrooms displaying information on where to go
for help.
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
524.
Analysis of labour income data and National Child Benefit simulations indicate the both
the depth and incidence of poverty have declined substantially over the period from
1999-2003. In 2001, there was about a 10.5 percent decline in the incidence of poverty
and a 12.4 percent decline in the depth of poverty over the previous year.
Prince Edward Island
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525.
In 2004, PEI significantly reduced its budget for the Social Assistance Job Creation
Program. There was a significant 10 percent increase in the caseload over this same
period of time. Further reduction in this service is anticipated.
Homelessness
526.
Part of the National Homelessness Initiative developed by the Government of Canada in
2000, the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI) is governed on PEI by a
community committee with government and community partners defining priorities and
monitoring the agreement. Since 2000, five new emergency shelters have been
established as well as five support programs for parents, adults and youth.
527.
The province has established the Island’s first residential treatment centre for high-risk
children and youth as well as a place of safety supports (Tyne Valley Child Youth
Developmental Health Centre).
528.
The main challenges for Homeless on PEI are:
•
•
•
sustainability of SCPI funded shelters as these shelters;
services for youth who are homeless;
more transitional spaces (3-6 months).
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
529.
In 2000, the province opened a new Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility and
integrated all regional programs and services. Since then specialty services have been
implemented to meet new challenges for addicted persons. The provincial addictions
service now provides assessment, counselling, in-patient and out-patient detoxification,
early intervention programs, rehabilitation, aftercare, public education, family support,
and adolescent programs, as well as in-patient and out-patient gambling addictions
programs. In each of the health regions, services such as out-patient detox and outpatient rehabilitation, family counselling, smoking cessation and student assistance
programs and other youth services are offered.
530.
From 2000-2004, a new service delivery plan for mental health was implemented, and
provided the opportunity to increase the range of mental health programs, province wide.
The overall aim was to:
•
•
•
•
define and declare service priorities and specialized programs for a provincial system
response;
enhance follow-up for those clients with serious and persistent mental illness;
balance community and hospital based resources; and
connect initial, intensive and specialty treatment interventions.
Prince Edward Island
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531.
The model places emphasis on a crisis response system, and expansion of communitybased services, which include initial assessment, education, support, and linkages with
other service providers as well as consultation, treatment and ongoing support.
Provincial programs include child psychiatry, psychiatric consultation, and
psychogeriatrics for seniors, shared care with physicians and an enhanced Children’s
Mental Health Network for children from birth to 18 years and their families.
Aboriginal people
532.
The PEI Department of Health and Social Services is gathering information relative to
the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund, Aboriginal Blueprint process and the Aboriginal
Human Resource initiative (see the Introduction to this report). PEI is participating in the
Aboriginal Health Reporting Framework. The information gathering stage is not
complete and PEI will be considering the extent of strategic planning in the near future.
Women
533.
In 2000, the provincial government supported a social marketing campaign to increase
awareness of the importance for women to be regularly screened to prevent cervical
cancer. This was in response to PEI having one of the highest rates of cervical cancer
and lowest rates of screening.
534.
In January 2001, the provincial government supported establishment of the PEI Pap
Screening Program with the goal to reduce the incidence and mortality rates of cervical
cancer in PEI.
535.
In September 2001, a Pap Screening Clinic was established to provide Outreach Pap
Clinics in each of the health regions. The Pap Program held its fifth Pap Awareness
Campaign in October 2004. The Government continues to support initiatives to increase
access and participation in cervical screening.
536.
In 2001, Emergency Health and Emergency Social Services were combined under one
Director of Emergency Health and Social Services with sole signing authority for
emergency/disasters. This position works closely with the Chief Health Officer to ensure
that efforts to plan and respond to health and public health events are coordinated and
comprehensive. The outcome of this new direction is to focus the skills of medical
professionals on their areas of a response and to use the operational skills of others to
implement the mitigative, operational, financial and logistics of responses. This new
management system worked well in the SARS event where PEI had 12 suspect cases and
implemented isolation protocols, quarantined persons, and closed businesses, and used
personal and resources from health and social services to protect the health of the public.
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Newfoundland and Labrador
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
537.
There has been a recommendation made to government to include social condition as a
recognized ground of discrimination under the Province’s Human Rights Code. That
recommendation is currently under review by the Government.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
538.
The Government and unions (Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and
Private Employees, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Newfoundland and Labrador
Nurses Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Association of Allied
Health Care Professionals) negotiated a pay equity agreement in 1988. Pay equity has
been fully implemented as per the original agreement. Based on the methodology used in
the agreement, there has been a significant reduction in the wage gap between female and
male dominated positions.
539.
The implementation dates for the Pay Equity Agreements were also agreed through
negotiation, but subsequently, in 1991, legislation was enacted to delay the start of the
implementation from 1988 to 1991. In October 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada held
that the Government’s decision to delay the implementation of pay equity for three years
was reasonable and justifiable given the economic crisis that confronted the Province at
that time (see Newfoundland (Treasury Board) v. N.A.P.E. in the attached Review of
Jurisprudence).
Article 6: Right to Work
540.
A results-based accountability analysis of provincial employment programs, which
concluded in 2004, found that employment interventions showed strong results in
improving the labour market success of participants. The analysis included a major
survey, which found that nearly three quarters of participants in wage subsidy programs
and almost half of those individuals who participated in other employment programming
were employed at the time of the survey. The analysis also found that many individuals
who participated in these interventions had opted to further their education. Overall, the
level of participation of clients in the labour market increased after they participated in an
intervention.
541.
The Income and Employment Support Act, which came into force in November 2004 and
replaced the Social Assistance Act (1977), provides enabling legislation that will facilitate
the integration of employment interventions with the Income Support Program.
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542.
A new computerized client service management system was implemented, which
captures the assessment, intervention, including counselling, and follow-up on all clients
receiving case-managed employment and career services.
Employment equity and Workplace Diversity
543.
Under the Environmental Assessment process, the Government can require that
employment equity conditions be part of major projects that require the Government’s
approval to proceed.
544.
In 2002-2003, employment equity grants were provided to increase women’s
employment in the petroleum industry.
545.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is a member of the Marine Careers
Secretariat and is working towards increasing awareness of marine career opportunities
and increasing participation of under-represented groups including women, Aboriginals,
persons with disabilities and visible minorities.
546.
There has been an increase in the number of women participating in occupations related
to trades, transport and equipment occupations and occupations unique to primary
industry.
Persons with disabilities
547.
In April 2004, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador signed an agreement with
the Government of Canada entitled the Labour Market Agreement for Persons with
Disabilities. Signed under the Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements
for Persons with Disabilities (see the Introduction to the present report), the agreement
has a strong focus on increasing the labour market participation of persons with
disabilities; a more transparent reporting framework; a reduced administrative burden,
and increased flexibility through the provision of advanced annual payments by the
Government of Canada, based on an annual plan. An additional $411,000 will be
provided in 2005-2006 under this Agreement to help persons with disabilities enter the
workforce and maintain employment.
Youth
548.
The Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment is redesigning its youth
services with a focus on developing preventative strategies to help youth decrease their
reliance on Income Support and to integrate them into the workforce. As well, the
Department has developed and partnered on a number of innovative youth programs that
are particularly focused on youth living in rural areas. These include:
•
The establishment of the Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Advisory Committee,
which is comprised of 15 youth and four mentors from across the province and
advises government on significant issues related to youth.
Newfoundland and Labrador
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•
•
•
549.
A year-round Student Work and Service program, which is targeted to at-risk youth
who are outside the mainstream educational system, provides them with a work
placement and a tuition voucher.
A Social Worker Recruitment Program, administered by the Regional Health Boards,
provides fourth year social work students an opportunity to work in rural
Newfoundland and Labrador for their last summer work placement.
The Rural Practice Work Experience for Medical Students Program, administered by
the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Boards Association, provides incentives for
medical students to gain work experience while working in rural areas of the
Province.
The 2005 budget highlighted the need for focused efforts regarding youth on income
support and ways to ensure self-reliance. Beginning with an extra $500,000 in 20052006, a total of $2 million over three years will be provided for an aggressive approach to
job recruitment and placement.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
550.
The social assistance rates for Newfoundland and Labrador increased by two percent in
2000-2001 and by one percent in 2001-2002. Families without children and single
income support clients will be provided with a two percent increase in their income
support benefit rates, incrementally over 2005-2006: one percent on July 1, 2005, and
another one percent on January 1, 2006. The number of cases accessing services has
declined slightly in the past four years. The decline in the caseload has largely been a
result of families with children (including single parents) leaving the caseload.
551.
A change was made in the Regulations to allow funds held by recipients in Registered
Education Savings Plans for their children to be considered exempt for the purposes of
determining eligibility for Income Support. This change is intended to encourage postsecondary education for the children of Income Support recipients.
552.
Applicants for Income Support are now permitted to retain funds held in a Registered
Retirement Savings Plan up to $10,000 for a period of 90 days and not have these funds
considered in a determination of eligibility for Income Support. After the 90-day period,
the funds would have to be liquidated to the approved asset level of $500 for a single
person and $1,500 for a family.
Family-related benefits
553.
Beginning September 2005, the Stay in School Incentive Allowance will be established
to offset the loss of child benefits for families receiving income support and to encourage
youth to complete high school.
554.
The impact of the Canada Child Tax Benefit and National Child Benefit Supplement (see
Introduction the present report) on families with children has been to reduce the number
of children living in low-income, reduce the depth of poverty and reduce overlap and
Newfoundland and Labrador
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duplication in the delivery of services for children living in low-income families. With
the introduction of the federal child benefits, the Department of Human Resources,
Labour and Employment introduced the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit to
assist children living in low-income families.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
555.
Through the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Initiative that was introduced in
Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001, two initiatives were supported that specifically
target pregnant women and families with children under one year of age. The first, the
Mother Baby Nutrition Supplement (the former Mother Baby Food Allowance)
continues to provide $45.00 per month to pregnant women and up to the child’s first
birthday. The initiative has been expanded to include families with an annual income of
$22,397 (previously, only women in receipt of Income Support were eligible). Beginning
in 2004, an additional benefit of $90.00 has been provided to pregnant women in the
month their child is born. The service has also improved in its delivery with the
establishment of a central administration office, and a toll-free number, and the provision
of referral information to interested participants (e.g. referral to Public Health Nurses or
community pre- and post-natal services where they exist).
556.
The second relevant initiative was an increase in the number of Healthy Baby Clubs.
These community-based programs operate out of family resource centres and work
closely with pregnant women and teens who may be at greater risk of poor birth
outcomes. The service provides weekly food supplements (milk, eggs and oranges),
nutritional and lifestyle information, hands-on experience with nutritious food
preparation, regular peer group sessions, and one-on-one support/service from
paraprofessional and professionals.
557.
Information on initiatives to address Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects
(FAS/FAE) can be found under Article 6 in Canada’s Fifth Report on the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
558.
The National Child Benefit investments that were started in 1998-1999, contribute
approximately $2.7 million annually in child care services. This funding supports: the
subsidy program, family child care agencies, infant care centres in high schools, the
Certification System for Early Childhood Educators, training for Early Childhood
Educators, Child Care Consultant positions, and annual equipment grants for licensed
child care settings. Through the ECD, the province further supports child care by
providing approximately $3.2 million in: enhancements to the child care subsidy
program, child care staff positions at the provincial and regional levels, an Educational
Supplement to Early Childhood Educators, and annual equipment grants to family child
care providers.
559.
The annual progress report (2002-2003) of Newfoundland and Labrador on Early
Childhood Development is available online, at
http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/publications/default.htm. The report provides an
Newfoundland and Labrador
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update of ECD funded programs and services, and includes information on the health and
well-being of youth and children and child care services. Information on the Early
Childhood Development Agreement can be found in the Introduction to the present
report.
Family violence
560.
There have been a number of initiatives introduced to address family violence in
Aboriginal communities:
•
•
•
•
•
increasing the number of female officers in Aboriginal communities;
training for key police personnel in Aboriginal communities, to improve
understanding of cultural differences;
partnering with Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and
Labrador, to develop information for women in all Aboriginal communities in
Labrador;
instituting Restorative Justice in Labrador, which better reflects the sensitivities of
culture, gender and race; and
placing a full-time police officer in Labrador, to deal with alcohol and substance
abuse through education and strong community development.
561.
The Government has established a Justice Minister’s Committee on Violence Against
Women, to address specific issues, such as the need for family violence legislation.
Other initiatives include an increase in funding to transition houses and shelters for
coordination and direct services and a provincial public awareness strategy including
information kits, Violence Prevention Web sites, special days and events, print and
electronic advertising on violence prevention, educational resources on specific topics.
562.
In April 2005, the Government announced the establishment of a Child Victim Services
Program to assist child victims/witnesses involved in the criminal justice process.
563.
In partnership with the Health and Community Services Boards, the Department of
Health and Community Services developed a risk management system to be used
throughout the province with children in need of protective intervention and with their
families. The system incorporates the best practices of child welfare in the country and
an assessment instrument accepted nationally and internationally.
Article 11: Right to An Adequate Standard of Living
Measures to reduce poverty
564.
Since 2000, the overall child poverty rates for Newfoundland and Labrador have
decreased both on a before and after-tax basis. The overall poverty rate (Low-Income
Cutoffs After-Tax) for Newfoundland and Labrador has decreased from 12.8 percent in
2000 to 9.6 percent in 2002. The child poverty rate decreased from 17.6 percent in 2000
to 12.9 percent in 2002.
Newfoundland and Labrador
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565.
Poverty rates remain a concern and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
continues to take steps to improve the lives of low-income individuals, including children
and their families. The decrease in both the overall and child poverty rates can in part be
attributed to the federal National Child Benefit and Newfoundland and Labrador Child
Benefit programs and initiatives that reduce reliance on income support and increase
attachment to the labour market. The number of children living in families receiving
Income Support in the province has declined significantly, from 25,000 in 2000 to 20,200
in 2003.
566.
The Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment partnered with the Single
Parents Association to help single parents return to work and provide them with other
supports to help them get and maintain employment. A summary evaluation of the
Single Parent Employment Support Program Pilot Project found that the program was
successful in supporting clients to overcome barriers to employment, such as financial
disincentives, child care and lack of confidence. In 2005-2006, a second supported
Employment Program for Single Parents will be introduced in a region outside the capital
area.
567.
From 2000-2004, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador introduced a number
of initiatives to address poverty in the province, including increasing the first child rate
for the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit (NLCB) by $12 in 2003-2004 and
2004-2005 and indexing the NLCB and the Senior’s Benefit to the Consumer Price
Index; as well as initiatives discussed under Article 10 aimed specifically at pregnant
women, mothers and children.
568.
The Poverty Reduction Strategy was announced in April 2005 in which the Department
of Human Resources, Labour and Employment will lead in the development of a
comprehensive, integrated approach that will address the connections between poverty
and gender, education, housing, employment, health, social and financial supports, and
tax measures, as well as the link between women’s poverty and their increased
vulnerability to violence.
Homelessness
569.
With respect to homelessness initiatives, please see paragraphs 210-213 of Canada’s
Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. New measures
introduced since that time include the development of the province’s first affordable
rental-housing development to provide rental units for independent seniors. With the
support of both the federal and provincial governments, under the Shelter Enhancement
Program, a new shelter and resource facility for women and their children who are
escaping domestic abuse and violence was opened in May 2004.
Newfoundland and Labrador
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Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
570.
Investments under the Early Childhood Development initiative included significant new
investments in health care for children and parents, including healthy baby clubs and
early intervention services for children with delay and developmental disabilities.
571.
In 2003-2004, the Department of Health and Community Services engaged in intensive
province-wide consultations on mental health across the province. Over 800 individuals
took part in the three-month process and the findings have provided the basis for the
development of a mental health strategy. As well, the Department, following an intensive
public consultation, approved a provincial primary health care renewal framework,
Moving Forward Together: Mobilizing Primary Health Care. This framework supports
four goals: (1) enhanced access to, and sustainability of, primary health care, (2) an
emphasis on self-reliant and healthy citizens and communities, (3) promotion of a teambased, interdisciplinary and evidence-based approach to services provision and
(4) enhanced accountability and satisfaction of health professionals. Provincial supports
included the establishment of the Office of Primary Health Care, the Primary Health Care
Advisory Council, linkages with local college and university programs and professional
associations, and the development of provincial working groups to support
learning/problem-solving and capacity building for health care providers.
572.
Measures to deal with public health emergencies include: addressing local emergency
issues such as education for food and water borne outbreaks; working with regional
authorities on water safety and implementing vaccination programs; and the preparation
of a provincial and regional pandemic and influenza response plan. As well, the
Department of Health and Community Services established a Provincial Task Force on
the Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases. The mandate was to renew the
province’s preparedness in health institutions and ambulance services, to prevent and
control communicable diseases.
Article 13: Right to Education
573.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has been applying gender-based
analysis to new curriculum development to ensure more appropriate consideration of
women and issues of concern to women.
574.
In June 2004, the Government commissioned a White Paper on Public Post-Secondary
Education to examine post-secondary concerns, affordability and accessibility, and to
identify initiatives that will enhance the employment prospects of graduates. The final
report is available online at http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/whitepaper/.
Newfoundland and Labrador
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Part IV
Measures Adopted by the
Governments of the
Territories
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
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Yukon
Article 6: Right to Work
Employment Equity and Workplace Diversity
575.
Under the Yukon First Nation Final Agreements, there is a requirement for the Yukon
Government to prepare plans, in consultation with First Nations, aimed at reaching a
public service representative of the Yukon population. A territory-wide plan was
developed, and individual plans for the traditional territories of some of the signatory
First Nations are being implemented.
576.
The First Nations Training Corps, which is now part of the Workplace Diversity
Employment Office, has been substantially expanded to meet the demand for training. In
addition, significant effort has been made to increasing training available to First Nation
government employees, and to providing training on land claims and cultural orientation
to government employees throughout the Yukon.
577.
The Workplace Diversity Employment Office was established in 2004-2005 to focus on
two equity groups: people with disabilities and people of Yukon Aboriginal ancestry. The
office incorporates and builds on the success of the First Nations Training Corps and a
new training and work experience program for people with disabilities has been initiated.
578.
An intra-government partnership between two branches of the Yukon Government was
established in 2002 to provide both on-the-job training and classroom opportunities for
those receiving income assistance.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
579.
Yukon
Social assistance rates in Yukon have remained unchanged since 1992. From 2000 to
2004, the number of people accessing social assistance decreased approximately
19 percent. From 2003 to 2004, the number of people accessing social assistance showed
a levelling off trend. The number of social assistance recipients has declined. The level
of assistance available has increased through the provision of expanded and specialized
case management services for clients, including clients with disabilities and those with
serious employment barriers; for example, the provision of disability supports such as
individual support agreements for day programming (families who care for their disabled
relative can access funding to pay for day activity programming offered by local
agencies), supported employment (clients are able to be placed in jobs for training and/or
placed in subsidized employment positions), support for unpaid care givers (families are
provided limited funding to arrange respite), assessments (software programs can
confidentially evaluate a client’s ability and readiness for employment providing the
opportunity for more specialized case management in assisting the client overcome
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barriers to employment), and restorative goods and services (funding is available to pay
for disability supports that might be required such as hearing aids, walkers, etc.).
580.
In 2000-2001, an additional $100 was given to beneficiaries of the Senior’s Pioneer
Utility Grant. As a result of amendments made to the Pioneer Utility Grant Act in 20032004, the payment to beneficiaries was increased from $600 to $750 per year and indexed
for inflation, and the eligibility requirements were broadened by lowering to 55 the age at
which surviving spouses are eligible.
581.
Proposed changes to the Territorial Supplemental Allowance (TSA) for persons
permanently excluded from the workforce include: increase the current rate an additional
$125/month, establish new process to ensure consistent and fairer determination of
“disabled” for everyone, allow more earnings for persons with disabilities in the work
force to be retained, and increase the exemption level to mirror level in Canada Pension
Plan Disability Benefits program. As of June 2005, TSA has increased the allowance
level from $125 to $250 for individuals with severe and prolonged disabilities. In
addition, individuals who are permanently excluded from the labour force can also earn
up to $3,900 in income per year as part of the change to the TSA regulation.
Family-related benefits
582.
In Yukon, the National Child Benefit Supplement (see the Introduction of this report) is
counted as income on social assistance budgets. The savings incurred by the Government
as a result are reinvested in other programs such as:
•
•
•
Supplementary Health benefits: Children’s Drug/ Optical
Early Childhood /Children at Risk Services: Children's Recreation Fund; Healthy
Families; Food for Learning
Child benefits and earned income supplements: Yukon Child Benefits
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
583.
As a result of on-going financial support received under the Early Childhood
Development Agreement, the Healthy Families Program has doubled the number of
families served since the beginning of the program in 1999 and the Child Development
Centre continues to expand its services. The following key initiatives have also been
supported:
•
•
•
•
•
Yukon
early childhood education and care programs;
child care work environments;
support for families;
professional standards, quality and accountability, sustainability and funding of
quality programs; and
communication and public awareness of child care educators and the
programs/services they provide.
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584.
The most recent progress report of the Government of Yukon on Early Childhood
Development activities and expenditures is available online at
www.hss.gov.yk.ca/prog/fcs/index.html. Information on the Early Childhood
Development Agreement can be found in the Introduction to the present report.
585.
In June 2003, the Minister of Health and Social Services was directed by Cabinet to
undertake a full revision of the Yukon Children’s Act. This revision is using a unique
approach. The project is being lead jointly by co-chairs representing the Council of
Yukon First Nations and the Yukon government. Over a period of two years, the
consultation process will allow Yukoners the opportunity to share their views on the Act
with the project team members who will be travelling to every Yukon community.
586.
Funding was provided in 2003 through the Primary Health Care and Transition Fund for
co-ordination of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FASD) prevention and early diagnosis, and
information technology improvements.
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
587.
Advanced Education provides funding to social assistance clients to assist them in
obtaining training opportunities not normally covered under the social assistance
regulations.
588.
The Kids Recreation Fund (KRF) assists children and youth who are unable to actively
participate in organized recreation programs because of financial hardship. The KRF
helps parents with the cost of registration fees and /or special clothing, supplies and
equipment.
Homelessness
589.
The following projects have received funding support from the federal Homelessness
Initiative:
•
•
•
•
The Salvation Army’s Shelter program provides valuable, non-judgmental emergency
housing to a basically disenfranchised population;
Yukon Family Services Outreach Program offers referral services and informal
counselling to youth who spend a lot of time on the streets;
Option for Independence provides residential support to persons with FASD to assist
them to live as independently as possible within a safe environment.
An outreach van responds to the problems of youth addictions and homelessness by
offering advice and support several evenings a week.
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
590.
Yukon
The Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act came into force on May 2,
2005. The legislation is comprised of three schedules that are separate but interrelated
pieces of legislation: the Adult Protection and Decision-Making Act, the Care Consent
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Act, and the Public Guardian and Trustee Act. The new legislation provides a variety of
tools and protections for people who have diminished capability to make their own
decisions (e.g. financial, personal, health care). Different tools in the legislation are
designed to assist people with different needs, for example, Supported Decision-Making
Agreements, Representation Agreements, court-ordered guardianship, adult protection,
substitute decision-making for care decisions, advance care directives, Capability and
Consent Board and Public Guardian and Trustee.
591.
Between 2000 and 2004, the Government developed or increased resource allocations to
the following initiatives:
•
•
•
•
contributions to support families with autistic children;
increased funding for the Child Development Centre for services to children with
developmental delays;
funding for the Council of Yukon First Nations to help support their First Nations
Health Programs staffing requirements; and
opening additional beds in long-term care/continuing care facilities for seniors or
others requiring such care.
592.
Through the Canadian Northwest FASD Partnership, the governments of Manitoba,
Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon,
are working together to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome and to raise public awareness of
the impact of FAS and related disorders. The partners share best practices, expertise and
resource materials in the development of joint strategies and initiatives on FAS. For
more information, see www.faspartnership.ca. Additional information on Yukon
initiatives related to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can be found in Canada’s Fifth Report on
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
593.
The Yukon Government has updated its emergency health and emergency social services
plan. Guidance for Local Authorities have been developed on the deliberate release of
chemicals and biological, radioactive and nuclear agents. The Government participates
in a coordinated national network involved in emergency planning, training and response,
and coordination lead by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
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Northwest Territories
General
594.
In June 2001, the Ministerial Committee on the Social Agenda sponsored a conference to
initiate discussions on the development of a social agenda for the Northwest Territories
(NWT). Social Agenda - A Draft for People of the NWT, prepared in April 2002 by a
working group with representatives from Aboriginal and public governments as well as
non-governmental organizations, includes key recommendations aimed at changing the
overall system within which leaders make policy decisions and service providers deliver
programs. The Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT) response to these
recommendations, Doing Our Part - The GNWT's Response to the Social Agenda, was
released in October 2002. Implementation has included a very successful Homecare
program and the Seniors Action Plan. Progress reports on implementation of the
recommendations are published annually. These documents are available at:
www.hlthss.gov.nt.ca/Features/Initiatives/initiatives.htm.
595.
In June 2002, the GNWT introduced an Action Plan for Seniors Programs and Services
that identified specific actions to improve seniors programming across departments and at
the community level in areas such as income support, housing, transportation, health and
continuing care, employment, retirement, and elder abuse. A status report was released
in June 2003. Both documents are available at:
www.hlthss.gov.nt.ca/Features/Initiatives/initiatives.htm. Action Plan implementation
includes extended health care benefits for seniors, a Seniors Information Line, Seniors
Handbook, promotion of active living (participation in the 2005 Seniors Games was a
highlight) and an Interdepartmental Committee for Coordination of Seniors’ Programs
and Services.
Persons with disabilities
596.
In May 2001, the Premier tasked the Disability Steering Committee Partnership with
developing an interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional framework that would guide the
development of effective programs and services, and promote the full inclusion of
persons with disabilities throughout the Territories. In 2004, the Government launched
the NWT Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities, which presents action items for each
of the five areas identified by the Partnership: education, employment, income, disability
supports, and housing. Successes include a pilot employment project in the North Slave
region, the Disability Information Line, Supported Living and other programs. The
Action plan is available at: www.hlthss.gov.nt.ca/content/Publications/Reports/
DisabilityReport/2004/DisabilityActionPlanDec2004.pdf.
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Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
597.
The Human Rights Act received assent on October 30, 2002, and entered into force on
July 1, 2004. Social condition is a prohibited ground of discrimination in the Act. Other
prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, colour, ancestry, nationality, ethnic origin,
place of origin, creed, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,
marital status, family status, family affiliation, political belief, political association, and a
conviction for which a pardon has been granted. Additional information is available in
Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
598.
Amendments to the Public Service Act came into effect on July 1, 2004, which provide
that employees within an establishment in the public service must not, on the basis of sex,
be paid at a lesser rate than other employees who perform work of equal value. The
position of Equal Pay Commissioner was created and mandated to investigate and assist
in the resolution of complaints filed under these provisions.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
599.
The GNWT announced an investment of $2 million each year, over three years, to
implement initiatives for early childhood development. Two documents, Framework for
Action: Early Childhood Development and Early Childhood Development: An Action
Plan form the blueprint for actions the GNWT will take to expand and enhance early
childhood development initiatives. These activities are focused in four key areas: health
and wellness and risk prevention; parenting and family supports; child development; and
community support and community building. The two documents are available at:
http://www.learnnet.nt.ca/EarlyChildhood/index.html.
600.
The GNWT announced, in February 2002, an increase by up to 60 percent of daily
contributions by the government to licensed day care programs, a rise in child care
subsidies to low-income parents and an adjustment of program criteria to better meet the
needs of those who work shifts or during summer months.
601.
Changes to the Labour Standards Act, which entered into force in April 2001, extended
the amount of time employees in the Northwest Territories can take off work to match the
new federal parental benefits. These changes apply to eligible parents who work in the
private sector. Government employees were already eligible for the extended leave.
Family Violence
602.
The Protection Against Family Violence Act, which came into force on April 1, 2005,
provides for 24-hour access to emergency protection orders when there is an act, or threat
of family violence. It also provides victims of family violence with long-term protection
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orders. Anyone who has lived, or is living, in a family or intimate relationship with the
accused will be able to apply for protection under this Act.
603.
In October 2004, the Government of the Northwest Territories released its Framework for
Action in response to the NWT Action Plan on Family Violence prepared by the
Coalition Against Family Violence. The Framework lists actions to be undertaken by the
Government in each of the areas identified by the Coalition: Policy and Legislation;
Working Together; Capacity Building; Training; Prevention; Education and Awareness;
Services; and Monitoring, Evaluation and Accountability. The Framework is available
at : http://www.gov.nt.ca/research/publications/pdfs/GNWT_response_FAMVIOL.pdf .
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
604.
The Childcare Subsidy Program provides financial support to lower income families to
assist them with their child care expenses so that they can participate in the labour force,
or pursue educational and training opportunities in the Territories.
605.
The minimum wage in the Northwest Territories increased, in December 2003, from
$6.50 to $8.25. While the previous minimum wage differed for youth under 16 years of
age and workers in off-road communities, the new minimum wage is the same for
everyone regardless of their age or location of work.
Right to Adequate Housing
606.
Results of a survey measuring housing needs indicate there was a decrease in the number
of NWT households in core need between 2000 and 2004. Some 2,726 households
(20 percent) were found to be in core need in 2000. In 2004, this number had decreased
by 466, and the proportion of households in core need dropped by four percent.
607.
Beginning April 2002, the Government of the Northwest Territories introduced a
common income assessment tool to be used with all residents applying for public housing
and income assistance. The harmonization initiative introduced a graduated rent scale
geared to income and designed to bring greater equity to the public housing program and
provides for an increase in the amount of money clients receiving income assistance can
earn without losing benefits.
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
608.
In February 2002, the Government released an action plan to reform and improve the
health and social services system that identifies 45 action items with specific deliverables
and timelines for improvements in services to people, support to staff, system-wide
management, support to trustees and system-wide accountability. Between 2002 and
2004, 39 action items were either completed or become part of the ongoing work of the
health and social services system. Status reports on the implementation of the Action
Plan are issued biannually. They are available, along with the Action Plan, at:
http://www.hlthss.gov.nt.ca/Features/Initiatives/initiatives.htm.
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609.
In November 2002, the GNWT commissioned a discussion paper to research best
practices in public health legislation across Canada, to outline the shortcomings with the
current Public Health Act, and to identify a workable approach for new legislation.
Article 15: Right to Participate in Cultural Life and Benefit from
Scientific Progress and the Protection of Authors’ Rights
610.
The Official Languages Act was amended in 2003, in response to the Final Report of the
Special Committee on the Review of the Official Languages Act. Changes included: the
formal designation of a Minister Responsible for the Official Languages Act; the
establishment of an Aboriginal Languages Revitalization Board, to focus on promotion
and revitalization of Aboriginal languages; the establishment of an Official Languages
Board, to focus on issues of service delivery; provisions to address the role of a
Languages Commissioner; and the clear designation of 11 official languages.
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Nunavut
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination
Provisions
611.
Nunavut passed its Human Rights Act on November 4, 2003. Pursuant to the terms of the
legislation, the Act came into effect on November 5, 2004. Nunavummiut cannot, under
the Act, be discriminated against on the basis of lawful source of income. Information on
the Act can be found in Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
612.
The Human Rights Act recognises and acknowledges the right to equality and prohibits
discrimination based on sex, marital status, family status and pregnancy as well as on
lawful source of income, all of which have the potential to alleviate and prevent
discrimination against women. The Act also protects males and females alike against
discrimination by virtue of planning to adopt a child, a common occurrence in Nunavut.
613.
See also Nunavut’s submission under Article 3 of Canada’s Fifth Report on the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Article 6: Right to Work
Employment Equity and Workplace Diversity
614.
The obligations under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA), Article 23,
continue to be in the forefront of programs and services to the people of Nunavut. As
well, the new mandate of the Nunavut government, as set out in Pinasuaqtavut is focused
on improving the health, prosperity, and self-reliance of Nunavummiut.
615.
Article 23 of the NLCA refers to specific objectives related to Inuit employment within
government. This article states that the objective is to increase Inuit participation in
government employment in the Nunavut Settlement Area to a representative level. The
Inuit organizations and the territorial and federal governments have a legal obligation to
cooperate in the development and implementation of employment and training as set out
in the Agreement.
616.
Accordingly, the Government of Nunavut (GN) created the Inuit Employment Division
within the Department of Human Resources in 2003. The division’s mandate is to assist
government departments in developing their Inuit Employment Plans. The division is
also responsible for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on progress in the
implementation of the Plans. The overall beneficiary representation (under the NLCA) in
the GN has increased from 44 percent in 1999 to 46 percent in 2004.
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617.
The GN has developed successful initiatives and programs toward increasing beneficiary
representation in the GN:
•
Sivuliqtiksat — A two-year Senior Management Development Program that prepares
beneficiaries to assume management roles in the public service. As of December 31,
2004, 19 interns had participated in the program and four had assumed management
positions.
•
Akitsiraq Law School — This program, in partnership with the University of
Victoria, is the first Canadian Law school focusing on the educational needs of Inuit
in Nunavut. Eleven students are expected to graduate from the four-year program in
June 2005.
•
Summer Student Program — In addition to the GN Priority Hiring Policy, priority
hiring has been extended to Nunavut beneficiary high school and college students. In
2004, 130 summer students were placed, of whom 105 were beneficiaries.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
618.
The total social assistance caseload overall has remained relatively unchanged from 1999
to 2003. Some significant changes occurred in the caseloads for some communities, and
there was only an overall increase of 1.8 percent since 1999.
619.
There was a 10 percent increase to the social assistance food scale that came into effect
on June 1, 2004, with a further five percent increase on April 1, 2005. These increases
are included in the regular social assistance payments that clients receive, and are an
enhancement to the food allowance portion of Income Support benefits to acknowledge
the high cost of food purchases in Nunavut.
Family-related benefits
620.
There have been no changes to the way Nunavut deals with the National Child Benefit
program since 1999. The National Child Benefit Supplement is considered unearned
income and deducted from social assistance payments. Reinvestments from this
reduction go toward funding the Nunavut Child Benefit and the Territorial Working
Family Supplement.
Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
621.
Please refer to Article 6 of the Nunavut section of Canada’s Fifth Report on the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
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Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
622.
Health and Social Services (H&SS) operates a midwifery clinic in one of the
communities. The services of this clinic, which are available to a large surrounding area,
blend conventional and traditional Inuit midwifery practices. The Department is
preparing a comprehensive maternal/child strategy, which will include the expansion of
midwifery services and the training of more Inuit midwives.
623.
H&SS has worked to reduce the number of respiratory syncitial virus (RSV) cases which
cause serious illness in infants and children. The Department has developed a
standardized clinical protocol for assessment, care and follow-up of children infected
with RSV. Campaigns to promote breastfeeding and anti-smoking initiatives are being
developed. Collaborative work is underway with the Department of Education to address
issues related to communicable diseases (including RSV) in children’s day care facilities.
624.
Since 1999, the Department has been administrating various community-based wellness
programs on behalf of Health Canada. These programs, which support a variety of
wellness initiatives for Inuit, women, and children include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
625.
Brighter Futures, which supports community-based wellness initiatives;
Building Healthy Communities — Mental Health Crisis Management;
Building Healthy Communities — Solvent Abuse Program;
Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative;
Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program;
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (see Canada’s Fifth Report on the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights);
National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program;
First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program;
Tobacco Control Strategy.
It is the Government of Nunavut’s policy to have an all-inclusive Territorial Emergency
Response Plan representing input from all departments. The Government has developed
a Pandemic Influenza (Pan Flu) Response Plan and an Airport Contingency Plan for
Smallpox and has also contracted the development of an overall Territorial Smallpox
Emergency Response Plan, which will complement the Pan Flu Plan and be the template
for other extreme disease related health emergencies. The Department of Health and
Social Services is represented on a National Committee whose primary function is to
develop a framework for an all hazard health emergency management plan.
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Appendix – Review of Jurisprudence
Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-discrimination Provisions
In Canada (House of Commons) v. Vaid, the Supreme Court considered whether the Canadian
Human Rights Act was applicable, because of the Constitution, by reason of a parliamentary
privilege of the House of Commons and its members on questions of employment. The
respondent, Satnam Vaid, was the driver of the president of the House of Commons. He filed a
complaint of discrimination based on race with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The
Court concluded that the Canadian Human Rights Act applied to all employees of federal
administration, including those that work for Parliament. However, considering that Mr. Vaid’s
complaints of alleged discrimination and harassment are within the context of his allegation of an
indirect dismissal, they fall under the procedure for filing grievances as established by the
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and they should be handled in compliance
with that grievance procedure. The grievance system established by the Parliamentary
Employment and Staff Relations Act coexists with the settlement mechanism established by the
Canadian Human Rights Act. The purpose of section 2 of the Parliamentary Employment and
Staff Relations Act is to avoid duplication (overlapping). Nothing in Mr. Vaid’s complaints
justified that they should be considered outside of their particular labour relations context.
In the matter of Gosselin (Guardian of) v. Québec (Attorney General), the Supreme Court of
Canada ruled that sections 72 and 73 of the Québec Charter of the French Language, which
exclude children from English instruction on the basis of the language in which their parents
received their instruction, are valid and do not infringe sections 10 and 12 of the Québec Charter
of Human Rights and Freedoms. The appellants alleged that the basic criterion for determining a
child’s language of instruction, that is, the language in which the parents were educated, was part
of the child’s “civil status”, which is a prohibited ground of discrimination under section 10 of
the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Since the appellants are members of the
French language majority in Québec, their objective in having their children educated in English
does not fall within the purpose of section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Section 23 establishes a complete code with regards to minority language educational rights, and
it attains its objective of protecting and developing the linguistic minority in each of the
provinces by contributing to the establishment of favourable conditions for the development of
the anglophone community in Québec and of the francophone communities in the other
provinces. There is no hierarchy amongst constitutional provisions. Equality guarantees cannot
therefore be used to invalidate other rights expressly conferred by the Constitution. All parts of
the Constitution must be read together. It cannot be said that in implementing section 23, the
Québec legislature has violated the equality rights contained in either section 15(1) of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or sections 10 and 12 of the Quebec Charter.
Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men
Newfoundland (Treasury Board) v. N.A.P.E: In 1988, the government of Newfoundland and
Labrador signed a Pay Equity Agreement recognising that it had under paid female employees in
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the health care sector. The Public Sector Restraint Act, introduced in 1991 to avert a financial
disaster, had the affect of postponing the commencement of the pay equity increase and
eliminated the obligation to pay the 1988 to 1991 arrears. At issue before the Supreme Court of
Canada was whether the Newfoundland government, by postponing pay equity payments, was
violating equality rights of section 15 of the Charter. The Court did not, however, make any
pronouncement on the female health care employees pay equity rights since they had been
acquired by contract, rather the question was whether the government was discriminating against
women by targeting pay equity compensation in its budget cuts. The province argued that a
government financial crisis of the sort it went through, justified limiting Charter rights under
section 1 of the Charter. The Supreme Court unanimously agreed there had been discrimination
but that addressing the fiscal crisis was a pressing and substantial objective and that the measure
was done to avert a serious financial crisis which justified the infringement of section 15. The
exceptional financial crisis called for an exceptional response. According to the Court, to
establish a financial crisis the government must prove that it had reasonable basis to believe that
the fiscal health of government as a whole (not isolated to one department or program) was in
jeopardy.
Article 6: Right to Work
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
In Lavoie v. Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada was unanimous in its finding that the Public
Service Employment Act was discriminatory as it provided Canadian citizens with preferential
treatment in federal Public Service employment and therefore, violated the appellants’ right of
equality under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.2 Employment was
deemed vital to one’s livelihood and self-worth, and there was no apparent link between one’s
abilities and citizenship. The majority of the Supreme Court found however, that the
discrimination was reasonable under section 1 of the Charter (reasonable limits prescribed by
law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society), because it was reasonable
for the federal government to encourage residents to become Canadian citizens through federal
hiring preferences. The minority held that the law section infringed section 15 of the Charter in a
way that marginalizes immigrants from the fabric of Canadian life and that the violation of
section 15 was not justified under section 1 of the Charter.
In Archibald v. Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal dealt with a legislation requiring the
farmers of a designated area (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and parts of British Columbia) to
sell their wheat and barley to the Canadian Wheat Board and prohibiting to sell it themselves to
customers in domestic and export markets. The Court concluded that the legislation does not
infringe on their right to equality. The appellants have not demonstrated a cognizable analogous
ground (analogous to those “immutable or constructively immutable personal characteristics”
mentioned in section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms). Residence and
location of a farm within the designated area were not an immutable characteristic, nor a
constructively immutable one. Furthermore, the effect upon the individual is not linked to the
essential factors of dignity or personal identity. The Court stated that it accepts that in some
2
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the “Charter” are used interchangeably in this review of
jurisprudence.
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circumstances, freedom of association may protect a right not to associate, however there is no
violation of the freedom of association because only the associational aspects of activities are
protected and not the activities themselves. As to the mobility rights protected by section 6 of
the Charter, the Court stated that those rights are subject to laws of general application in force in
a province and the impugned legislation is such a law of general application. Application for
leave to appeal was denied by the Supreme Court.
In Rombaut v. New Brunswick (Minister of Health and Community Services), the appellants
challenged the constitutional validity of a provision under the Medical Services Payment Act,
which allowed the provincial government to control the number and distribution of doctors in the
province. The appellants were family physicians who alleged that their Charter rights to
association, mobility, liberty and equality were violated. The Court of Appeal recognized the
provincial government’s inherent right to legislate and limit expenditures in the area of health
care. It held that the appellants had no constitutional right to earn a livelihood in New
Brunswick, nor did the freedom of association protection guarantee their right to practice
medicine free of government intervention.
Human Rights Legislation
Québec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Maksteel Québec
Inc. involved a man who had plead guilty to criminal charges. He served his sentence, was
paroled and returned to work to find that he had been dismissed and replaced. The complainant
alleged that his dismissal was not justified and was due to his being convicted, such as to
constitute unlawful discrimination based on a criminal record under section 18.2 of Québec’s
Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. The Supreme Court of Canada recognised that “the
right of individuals with criminal convictions to employment and to re-enter the labour market
are important values in our society” and the Court held that section 18.2 reflects these values by
protecting employees, whose criminal record is not related to their employment, from
discrimination. The Court concluded that in this case, the complainant could not prove that the
reason for his dismissal was the fact of his conviction and not his inability to work due to his
incarceration.
In Québec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Montréal
(City); Québec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Boisbriand
(City), M was refused a job as a gardener-horticulturalist, and H was refused a job as a police
officer, because the pre-employment medical exam in both cases revealed an anomaly of the
spinal column. T was dismissed from his position as a police officer because he suffered from
Crohn's disease. The medical evidence in each case indicated that the individuals could perform
the normal duties of the position in question and that they had no functional limitations. All
three filed complaints alleging that they were discriminated against on the basis of handicap.
The Supreme Court of Canada stated that a liberal and purposive interpretation of the Québec
Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and a contextual approach support a broad definition of
the word “handicap”, which does not necessitate the presence of functional limitations and which
recognizes the subjective component of any discrimination based on this ground. The ground
“handicap” must not be confined within a narrow definition. Instead, courts should adopt a
multidimensional approach that considers the socio-political dimension of “handicap”. The
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emphasis is on human dignity, respect and the right to equality rather than merely on the
biomedical condition. A “handicap” may exist even without proof of physical limitations or
other ailments.
Article 7: Right to Just and Favourable Working Conditions
Human Rights Legislation
Lambert v. Québec (Procureur général) involved a social assistance beneficiary registered in the
Stages en milieu de travail (STM) [internship] program. In order to participate in the STM, the
claimant had to conclude a contract under which he would receive $100 per month, four percent
of his salary in vacation pay and his normal monthly benefits. Everything would be paid to him
by the Department of Income Security. Section 24 of the Act respecting income security
provided that programs such as STM would not be subject to the requirements of the Act
respecting labour standards, the Labour Code and collective agreements. The claimant’s
internship was terminated after five weeks because of his “disruptive behaviour”. Mr. Lambert
complained to the Commission des normes du travail on the ground that he was the victim of
discrimination by reason of his social condition as a social assistance beneficiary and that he was
consequently deprived of the minimum wage to which he would have been entitled if he had not
been a social assistance beneficiary participating in an STM. The Québec Court of Appeal ruled
that the distinction made between workers who were not social assistance beneficiaries and those
participating in the STM was not based on the ground of social condition. The terms of
participation in the STM did not violate beneficiaries’ human dignity. These programs were
designed to improve the economic situation of beneficiaries by providing them with training that
could lead to paid employment.
In Syndicat de la fonction publique du Québec v. Québec (Attorney General), the Superior Court
of Québec had to deal with the issue pay equity between men and women. Since 1997, the
purpose of the Pay Equity Act is to redress differences in compensation due to systemic gender
discrimination. This legislation has precedence over any employment contract and applies to
every employer whose enterprise employs 10 or more employees, including the government.
Under Chapter IX of the Act, employers can ask the Commission de l’équité salariale to approve,
under certain conditions, a pay equity or salary relativity plan completed before the adoption of
the Act. Consequently, the employer would not have to undertake a new pay equity process
under the general provisions of the Act. The Court rules that Chapter IX maintained, for a
number of employed women, a situation of systemic pay discrimination, precisely what the Pay
Equity Act aimed to redress. Chapter IX of the Act therefore infringes on the dignity and
equality rights of employed women as guaranteed under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms and section 10 of the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
The case was not appealed.
Article 8: Trade Union Rights
In Dunmore, the Supreme Court of Canada declared unconstitutional provisions of the impugned
legislation excluding agricultural workers from the protection of the labour relations regime in
Ontario. The Court suspended this declaration for a period of 18 months to allow amending
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legislation to be passed if the legislature sees fit to do so. The Supreme Court recognized that
the constitutional protection of freedom of association has a collective aspect. That is, it may
protect certain union activities that are central to freedom of association even though they are
activities of a group and cannot be characterized as the actions of individuals. History has shown
and Canada's legislatures have recognized that a posture of government restraint in the area of
labour relations will expose most workers to a range of unfair labour practices. In order to make
the freedom to organize meaningful, in this very particular context, section 2(d) of the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms (freedom of association) may impose a positive obligation on
the state to extend protective legislation to unprotected groups.
In R. v. Advance Cutting & Coring Ltd, the appellant contractors and construction workers were
charged with hiring employees who did not have the required competency certificates, or with
working in the industry without such certificates, contrary to the Quebec Construction Act. The
Act required the appellants to become members of one of a list of union groups in order to obtain
the certificates. They argued that such an obligation was unconstitutional because it breached
their right not to associate, which they claimed was a component of the guarantee of freedom of
association in section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Supreme
Court of Canada found that an implied negative right not to associate existed. They held
different views as to whether the right was infringed by the legislation and whether the
infringement was justified under section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 v. Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship
Commission, Safeway Ltd, the employer, and the Union had negotiated a buyout package for
senior employees. The Alberta Court of Appeal held that certain employees who were ineligible
to the employee buyout program because they had not worked sufficient hours due to their
disabilities were discriminated against. The Court concluded that the Union had a duty to
accommodate by making reasonable efforts to avoid the discriminatory effects of the buyout
provision on the complainants. Neither the Union nor Safeway would have been subjected to
undue hardship if they had met their duty to accommodate the complainants. The provision was
not reasonable, nor justifiable.
Article 9: Right to Social Security
Canada Pension Plan
In Hodge v. Canada (Minister of Human Resources Development), Ms. Hodge was refused a
survivor’s pension under the Canada Pension Plan because she was not covered by the
definition of “spouse”. In fact, she had definitively terminated the relationship with her de facto
spouse and was no longer living with him when he died. Ms. Hodge alleged that she suffered
discrimination in comparison with married couples who had separated and who received a
survivor’s pension on the death of the spouse. The Court found that Ms. Hodge was no longer a
“spouse” from the time when she terminated the de facto relationship with her spouse and the
comparison group for the purpose of reviewing compliance with the right to equality was rather
the group of divorced spouses, who did not receive a survivor’s pension on the death of their exspouses. The Supreme Court of Canada found that the definition of spouse for the purposes of
the survivor’s pension was constitutionally valid.
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In Granovsky v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration), the applicant suffered a
work-related accident in 1980 and was then assessed to be temporarily totally disabled. The
disability became permanent in 1993 and he then applied for a Canadian Pension Plan (CPP)
disability pension. His application was refused because he had not made the required
contributions to the CPP for the minimum qualifying period. He could not bring himself within
the “drop-out” provision, made available to applicants who suffered from severe and permanent
disabilities, under which periods of disability are not counted in the recency of contribution
calculation. The applicant alleged that the contributions requirement fails to take into account
the fact that persons with temporary disabilities may not be able to make contributions for the
minimum qualifying period because they are physically unable to work. The Supreme Court of
Canada stated that a section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms analysis
(equality rights) should proceed on the basis of three broad inquiries. Mr. Granovsky’s claim
fails at the third step (whether the differential treatment brings into play the purpose of section
15, i.e., does the law, in purpose or effect, perpetuate the view that persons with temporary
disabilities are less capable or less worthy of recognition or value as human beings or as
members of Canadian society?) because he has not demonstrated a convincing human rights
dimension to his complaint. The differential treatment afforded by the “drop-out” provision
ameliorates the position of those with a history of severe and permanent disabilities. Drawing
lines is an unavoidable feature of the CPP and comparable schemes. Parliament did not violate
the purpose of section 15 of the Charter by seeking to benefit individuals with a history of severe
and prolonged disability.
Hislop v. Canada (Attorney General) involved a class action lodged by same-sex partners whose
partners had died between 1985 and 1998 and who were denied survivor benefits under the
Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The CPP was adopted in order to give Canadians “an opportunity
to retire in security and with dignity in the hope that it would cover the widest possible range of
citizens”. In this spirit, in 1998, the Government had amended the CPP so as to include samesex partnerships in the survivor benefits provisions. However, to be eligible for the benefits, the
partner had to have died on or after January 1, 1998. The Ontario Court of Appeal held that this
cut-off date discriminated against same-sex partners based on their sexual orientation and so
were treated differently in comparison with heterosexual couples. The Court of Appeal found
that the legislative provisions which established the cut off date for benefits were discriminatory.
The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal.
Bear v. Canada (Attorney General) involved the Minister’s refusal to permit the applicant to
make retroactive contributions to the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP). The applicant was an
employee of a First Nations reserve and as a result had been engaged in tax-exempt Indian
employment, which made her ineligible for contributions to the CPP. The CPP regulations were
amended in 1988 to allow the exempted employees to make contributions. The applicant applied
in 1992 to make retroactive contributions from 1966, when she started her employment on the
reserve, to 1988. The Federal Court of Appeal concluded that the applicant had been subjected
to differential treatment on the basis that she was Indian and worked on a reserve. However, the
Court held that this did not amount to discrimination since the distinction was not one that
affected the applicant’s human dignity, but rather was based on the good faith policy that CPP
contributions should be paid from taxable income.
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Employment insurance benefits
In Canada (Attorney General) v. Lesiuk, the Federal Court of Appeal dealt with whether the
700 hours of work in order to be eligible for employment insurance benefits violated equality
rights under section 15 of the Charter. Ms. Lesiuk claimed that the requirement negatively
impacted mothers with the care of children who could not work as many hours as those without
parental responsibilities. The Court accepted that being in a parent-and-child relationship
constituted an analogous ground of discrimination. However, the evidence did not support
Lesiuk’s submission of discrimination since it established that the majority of women with
children exceeded the 700-hour requirement. Moreover, the court could not conclude that not
meeting the hour requirement affected a person’s human dignity so as to constitute
discrimination. As a result, there was no violation of the respondent’s right to equality. The
Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal.
Worker’s Compensation
Nova Scotia (Worker’s Compensation Board) v. Martin involved two appellants who suffered
from chronic pain related to injuries they had sustained at work. Both appellants had received
temporary benefits; however, they were denied permanent disability benefits because chronic
pain was excluded from compensation under the compensation regime. The Supreme Court of
Canada recognised that the Workers Compensation scheme discriminated against workers who
suffered from chronic pain on the basis of the nature of their physical disability. This
discrimination violated section 15 of the Charter and could not be justified under section 1 of the
Charter. The offending provisions were declared invalid.
Social assistance
In Gosselin v. Québec (Attorney General), Ms. Gosselin instituted a class action challenging the
constitutionality of paragraph 29(a) of the Regulation respecting social aid (Québec) because it
infringed the rights of claimants under 30 years of age to security of the person and equality,
protected by sections 7 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Paragraph
29(a) of the Regulation had the effect of reducing by approximately two-thirds the amount of
welfare benefits paid to claimants under 30 years of age who were capable of working and lived
alone. The Regulation came into force in 1984 and was repealed in 1989. The majority of the
Supreme Court of Canada found that the scheme did not infringe the Charter. As far as
section 15 was concerned, the judges unanimously recognized that the provision imposed
different treatment on the basis of the beneficiary’s age, a prohibited ground of discrimination
under section 15 of the Charter. However, in the view of the majority, the scheme did not have a
discriminatory effect because the measure reflected the goal of assisting young claimants under
30 years of age; that is to say that by encouraging them to work or to obtain training that would
enable them to obtain employment, the government adopted a policy that took the needs of
young claimants into account. As for section 7 of the Charter, which provides that a person may
not be deprived of the right to life, liberty and security of the person except in accordance with
the principles of fundamental justice, the majority of the Court found that there was no
infringement of this kind in the case and that the circumstances did not justify a new application
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of section 7 that would impose on the State a positive duty to guarantee an adequate standard of
living.
In Falkiner v. Ontario (Ministry of Community and Social Services), the applicants were single
mothers who received social assistance. They had each lived with a member of the opposite sex
for less than one year. Their partners were not the fathers of their children. The relevant
Regulations were amended to classify these partners as spouses. As a result of this classification,
the applicants lost their entitlement to social assistance. The applicants argued that this was
discriminatory and deprived them of life, liberty and security of the person (sections 7 and 15 of
the Charter). On the issue of whether the relevant Regulation violated section 15 of the Charter,
the Court stated that “the definition of spouse has subjected the respondents to differential
treatment on the basis of three prohibited grounds of discrimination: sex, marital status and
receipt of social assistance.” The law created different consequences in practice for women who
are found to be in spousal relationships than for men because of the tendency established in the
evidence for the male person to be the recipient of the cheque and thus in control. The evidence
established that the overwhelming majority of persons affected — i.e. whose benefits have been
terminated — are women, and most of those are single mothers, one of the most disadvantaged
groups in Canada. The Court of Appeal accepted that social assistance receipt was a ground of
discrimination recognised in the Charter. The definition of spouse failed the proportionality test
under section 1 of the Charter because the stated purpose to treat married and unmarried spouses
equally was not rationally connected to an overbroad definition of spouse, which caught “nonmarriage like” relationships and did not minimally impair the right to equality.
In M.B. v. British Columbia, the British Columbia Court of Appeal concluded that that the social
assistance benefits were not deductible from an award for damages (for sexual assault). An
award for damages was meant as a means of repairing a wrong, not as wage replacement and so
M.B. was not in a position of double recovery for the same loss. In discussing whether social
assistance could fall under the charitable donation exception to the double recovery rule, the
Court explained that social assistance is not charity but rather, in keeping with the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights, the British Columbia Benefits Act “can be taken as a recognition by the Legislature of a
general obligation to relieve poverty and the right of those in need to receive adequate support
for their health and well being.”
Broomer v. Ontario (Attorney General) involved an application for an interlocutory declaration
that legislation, which imposed a lifetime ban from receiving social assistance after being
convicted of fraud was of no force and effect. The applicants argued that the lifetime ban
violated sections 7, 12 and 15 of the Charter and that they should obtain a suspension from its
application to them. One of the applicants, Broomer, was in receipt of Ontario Disability
Support Program (ODSP) payments as well as Workers Compensation Board (WCB) payments
but failed to report both payments received monthly to the WCB. He was charged with fraud
and convicted and banned from assistance for life and the Court imposed restitution to be
deducted from the remaining social assistance his family received (his wife applied for benefits
for her and their three children). Without Broomer’s benefits, the family’s monthly income was
about 165$ short of its expenses plus debt. The applicants Duke and Beauparlant were in similar
situations. This was an application for interim relief from having to make restitution, pending the
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outcome of a constitutional challenge to provincial legislation. As a result, the Court was asked
to declare certain regulations of no force and effect for the applicants in advance of the
constitutional validity of the legislative scheme being reviewed. The Court was of the view that
this relief should not be granted lightly, but where the imposition of the ban was “penalizing
innocent individuals, especially children…” it would cause irreparable harm and encroach on
fundamental rights and so could rightfully be restrained. Citing Falkiner and its recognition of
social assistance receipt as an analogous ground, the Court recognized that there was prima facie
discrimination since the government was imposing a burden on social assistance recipients and
their families that others did not suffer. Although not addressing the constitutional validity of the
legislation, because there was a prima facie violation, the Court granted the interlocutory
injunction restraining the Government from making deductions regarding the applicant’s
repayment orders.
In Shubenacadie Indian Band v. Canada (Canadian Human Rights Commission), the Federal
Court of Appeal confirmed a decision rendered by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal which
found that the Indian Band had discriminated against the complainants on the grounds of race
and marital status, contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Indian Band authorized the
payment of social assistance for the registered Indians and their children but refused to pay social
assistance in respect of the non-Indian spouses living on the reserve with their Indian spouse.
The Government of Canada had undertaken to reimburse the Band for any payments for basic
social assistance made to non-Indians, such as the complainants, who were living on reserve.
Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child
In Sharpe, the Supreme Court of Canada had to deal with whether the offence of possessing
child pornography in section 163.1(4) of the Criminal Code was, in terms of section 1 of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (rights and freedoms are subject to reasonable limits
prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society), consistent
with the right to freedom of thought and expression in section 2(b) of the Charter, and consistent
with the right to liberty in section 7 of the Charter. The Court held that section 163.1(4) of the
Criminal Code, although prima facie inconsistent with section 2(b), was justified under
section 1; and that it also followed that there was no violation of section 7. The Court concluded
that Parliament's objective in passing section 163.1(4) was to criminalize possession of child
pornography that poses a reasoned risk of harm to children. This objective is pressing and
substantial. Over and above the specific objectives of the law in reducing the direct exploitation
of children, the law in a larger attitudinal sense asserts the value of children as a defence against
the erosion of societal attitudes toward them. Possession of child pornography increases the risk
of child abuse. The Court concluded that in broad impact and general application, the limits
section 163.1(4) imposes on free expression are justified by the protection the law affords
children from exploitation and abuse. The majority of the Court declared that section 163.1 must
be read as incorporating two exceptions for the possession of two categories of material that raise
little or no risk of harm to children. Three judges refers to many instruments that emphasize the
protection of children, namely the Convention on the Rights of the Child, its Optional Protocol
on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and article 10(3) of the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
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In Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law v. Canada (Attorney General), a
majority of the Supreme Court of Canada upheld section 43 of the Criminal Code, which
provides a limited justification in cases where a parent or person acting in the place of a parent
uses reasonable force in the correction of a child. According to the Court, limitations in the
statutory and case law provided adequate procedural safeguards to protect the right to
fundamental justice and the provision did not authorize the use of force likely to cause harm.
The requirement that any force used must be reasonable also ensured that criminal liability
would apply in appropriate cases. Further, provided that any force met the statutory
reasonableness requirement, it could not be said that it amounted to cruel or unusual treatment or
punishment. Finally, taking into account the need to provide a safe environment for children, the
need for appropriate guidance and discipline, and the fact that, absent of the justification,
Canada’s criminal law of assault would apply even to the most minor application of force, the
justification did not offend the constitutional prohibition on discriminatory measures.
In Renvoi relative au project de loin C-7 sure le system de justice penile pour les adolescents, the
Québec Court of Appeal considered the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Youth
Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). The Court found that some of the provisions of this Act respecting
sentencing, more specifically those relating to the presumption that an adult sentence would be
imposed and those concerning the exception to the rule that the identity of a violent young
offender would not be disclosed violated the young person’s right to security of the person under
section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court also found that the YCJA
was not inconsistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child or the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Notwithstanding the creation of the presumption applied
to the young offender, the Court expressed the view that [TRANSLATION] “nothing in these
provisions prevents the court rendering the decision from emphasizing the rehabilitation and
reintegration into society of the young person and imposing the least restrictive sentence possible
in compliance with sections 3 and 38 interpreted in light of article 3 of the Convention (on the
Rights of the Child)”. Consequently, the provisions in question may be interpreted in a way that
satisfies the objectives of international agreements. There was therefore no inconsistency with
international law.
In Falkiner v. Ontario (Ministry of Community and Social Services), the applicants were single
mothers who received social assistance. The relevant Regulations were amended to classify the
partners with whom they lived as spouses. The Court of Appeal accepted the evidence that the
effects of the Regulation disproportionately burden women particularly, because most sole
support parents are women. See summary under article 9.
In Broomer, the Court granted relief from the application of a lifetime ban from receipt of social
assistance in part because of the effect such a ban had on the recipients family, placing his wife
and children in a situation of great social and financial insecurity. See summary under Article 9.
In Nova Scotia (Attorney General) v. Walsh, Ms. Walsh had been in a long-term common law
relationship; however, she did not have access to equalization provisions (equal division of the
value of the couples’ property) in the province’s Matrimonial Property Act (MPA) because it
was only available to married couples. Ms. Walsh cohabited with B. for approximately 10 years.
She applied for spousal support, child support and a declaration that the definition of “spouse” in
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section 2(g) of the MPA was unconstitutional for failing to provide her with the presumption,
applicable to married spouses, of an equal division of matrimonial property and so violated her
equality rights (section 15 of the Charter) on the ground of her marital status. In coming to the
conclusion that there was no violation, the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada felt that the
point of view that should be adopted is not when relationships break down but rather when they
are entered into. The decision to marry or not is a personal one and should be free to couples.
Evidence showed that persons knowingly enter into common law relationships by choice and as
a result do not wish to be submitted to the marital regime and the obligations that flow from it.
Any presumption that all couples intended to be subject to the same legal obligations would
cancel out the couple’s freedom to arrange their relationship and obligations as they see fit. The
exclusion from the MPA of unmarried cohabiting persons of the opposite sex is not
discriminatory within the meaning of section 15 of the Charter. The distinction does not affect
the dignity of these persons.
Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health
In Auton (Guardian ad litem of) v. British Columbia (Minister of Health), the petitioners,
including four child petitioners who were diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum disorder,
had requested funding for Lovaas Autism Treatment from the provincial government and had
been denied such funding. The unequal treatment is said to lie in funding medically required
treatments for non-disabled Canadian children or adults with mental illness, while refusing to
fund medically required ABA/IBI therapy to autistic children. The Supreme Court of Canada
stated that the government must provide the services authorized by law in a non-discriminatory
manner. Here, however, discrimination has not been established. First, the claim for
discrimination is based on the erroneous assumption that the Canada Health Act (CHA) and the
relevant provincial legislation (Medicare Protection Act) provided the benefit claimed. Second,
on the facts here and applying the appropriate comparator, it is not established that the
government excluded autistic children on the basis of disability. The legislative scheme does not
promise that any Canadian will receive funding for all medically required treatment. All that is
conferred is core funding for services provided by medical practitioners, with funding for noncore services left to the Province’s discretion. Thus, the benefit here claimed — funding for all
medically required services — was not provided for by the law (as required by section 15 of the
Charter). The Court also looked to the reality of the situation to see whether the claimants had
been denied benefits of the legislative scheme other than those they have raised. This brings up
the broader issue of whether the legislative scheme is discriminatory, since it provides non-core
services to some groups while denying funding for ABA/IBI therapy to autistic children. If a
benefit program excludes a particular group in a way that undercuts the overall purpose of the
program, then it is likely to be discriminatory: it amounts to an arbitrary exclusion of a particular
group. If, on the other hand, the exclusion is consistent with the overarching purpose and
scheme of the legislation, it is unlikely to be discriminatory. The legislative scheme in the case
at bar, namely the CHA and the MPA, does not have as its purpose the meeting of all medical
needs. It follows that exclusion of particular non-core services cannot without more be viewed
as an adverse distinction based on an enumerated ground. Rather, it is an anticipated feature of
the legislative scheme.
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In the matter of Chaoulli, it was alleged that the failure of the Québec public health system to
provide quality health care in due time, combined with the effects of section 15 of the Health
Insurance Act (Québec) and section 11 of the Hospital Insurance Act, which prohibit
reimbursement by private insurances for services covered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du
Québec, infringes the rights to life, liberty and security and that this infringement is not in
compliance with the principles of fundamental justice (section 7 of the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms) as well as the right to life, personal security, integrity and freedom that is
guaranteed by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (Quebec). In June of 2005, the
Supreme Court of Canada, in a divided decision (4-3), invalidated legislative provisions that
prohibited Québec residents of insuring themselves in the private sector for services covered by
the Québec public health care system. The majority ruled that the delays in accessibility to
health care in the Québec public health care system did infringe on the right to life and the
integrity of the person as protected by the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and
that the prohibitions raised, even though they undertake an urgent and real objective, which is to
preserve the integrity of the Public Health care system, are not justified, and the Court is of the
opinion, in light of the experiences of certain Canadian provinces and of a certain number of
western countries, that many avenues are available to the Québec government to reach this
objective. The Court was unable to reach a majority opinion on the question of the compatibility
of these prohibitions with section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
guaranteeing that they cannot infringe on the right to life, liberty and security of the person
except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
In Lalonde v. Commission de Restructuration des Service de Santé, the Health Services
Restructuring Commission of Ontario had recommended that the Hôpital Montfort, the only
French-language teaching hospital in the province of Ontario, should become primarily an
ambulatory care centre providing only certain types of care. The respondents applied to have the
Commission’s directives set aside. The Ontario Court of Appeal recognized that the principle of
the protection of minorities is a “fundamental structural feature” that emerges from both the
explicit guarantees and unwritten principles of the Canadian Constitution. The constitutional
principle of protection of minorities and the principles governing the interpretation of language
rights favour a large and liberal interpretation of the French Language Services Act — which
imposes on the Government of Ontario a duty to provide services such as those provided at the
Montfort, unless it is “reasonable and necessary” to limit them. In light of these rules of
interpretation, the government of Ontario did not show that it was reasonable and necessary to
limit the services provided at the Montfort.
In Irshad (Litigation Guardian of) v. Ontario (Minister of Health), the Ontario Court of Appeal
discussed the recession in 1994 in Ontario, like in the rest of Canada, and the changes that were
then made to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), a provincial health care plan available to
residents of Ontario. The Ontario Court of Appeal accepted the Ontario’s position that the
definition of “residency” for the purpose of eligibility draws a distinction between persons who
are ordinarily resident in Ontario and who are entitled, or will shortly be entitled, to stay in
Ontario on a permanent basis; and those who, while ordinarily resident in Ontario are not,
because of their immigration status, entitled to remain permanently in Ontario. This distinction
is described as one based on “residency status” and the Government of Ontario contended that
residency status is not one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination enumerated in section 15
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of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (equality rights) and is not an analogous
ground to that list. The requirement that persons who are ordinarily resident in Ontario have an
immigration status that permits them or will shortly permit them to remain permanently in
Canada is a logical corollary to the requirement that a person intends to make his or her
permanent home in Ontario. As to the three-month waiting period, apart from the prescribed
exceptions, the waiting period applies to all new residents of Ontario, regardless of their
citizenship, former place of residence, or immigration status. Nothing in the regulation prevents
new residents of Ontario who are not from another province from obtaining health care coverage
for the three-month waiting period. All of the appellants who were adversely affected by the
waiting period could have obtained alternate health care coverage. Indeed, those new
immigrants who are most likely to be unable to obtain health care coverage for the three-month
period (e.g. refugees) are exempt from the waiting period.
In the Broomer decision, one of the applicants, Beauparlant, was suffering from a manic
depression and as part of the lifetime ban that was imposed on him lost his drug card and could
no longer buy medication. An interim declaration was granted to exempt him from the
regulation insofar as it prevented him from having a drug card. See summary under Article 9.
Article 13: Right to Education
In Solski (Guardian of) v. Québec (Attorney General) (S.C.C.) (29297) (Casimir No. 1),
Cezary Solski and Isabelle Solski, Québec residents, want their two children to attend an English
public secondary school. They became Canadian citizens in May 1997. Section 72 of the
Charter of the French Language requires that instruction be conducted in the French language in
kindergartens, elementary and secondary schools, in public establishments and in subsidized
private establishments. There are exceptions to this rule, notably for “children where the mother
or the father is a Canadian citizen and they have attended or are attending a primary or secondary
school in English in Canada, and the same is true for their brothers and sisters, provided that that
instruction constitutes the major part of the primary or secondary instruction received by the
child in Canada” (sub. 73(2) of the Charter of the French Language). The person designated by
the Minister of Education of Québec refused to hear the claims of the applicants on the grounds
that the children had not received a “major part” of their education in English. The Supreme
Court of Canada was to determine if section 73.2 of the Charter of the French Language was
inconsistent with section 23(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which
stipulates “Citizens of Canada of whom any child has received or is receiving primary or
secondary school instruction in English or French in Canada, have the right to have all their
children receive primary and secondary school instruction in the same language”. In a
unanimous decision, the Court ruled that the requirement that the “major part of the elementary
or secondary instruction received in Canada” found in sub. 73(2) of the Charter of the French
Language does not infringe on the rights guaranteed by section 23(2) of the Canadian Charter.
However, those guaranteed rights must receive a teleological interpretation that is broad and
compatible with the continuance and development of the two official linguistic communities.
The expression “major part” (sub. 73(2) of the Charter of the French Language) must be read
down: the adjective “major” must receive a qualitative as opposed to a quantitative
interpretation. One must evaluate if the child received a major part — not necessarily the largest
part — of his instruction in the language of the minority. To evaluate if the global instruction of
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the child satisfies the requirements as per section 23(2) of the Canadian Charter, the
interpretation must take all relevant factors into account — both objective and subjective — that
show a “commitment to instruction in the minority language”. The relevant factors include the
time spent in each program, at what stage of education the choice of language of instruction was
made, what programs are or were available, and whether learning disabilities or other difficulties
exist. The relevance of each factor will vary with the facts of each case.
Article 15: Right to Participate in Cultural Life and Benefit from
Scientific Progress and the Protection of Authors’ Rights
Cultural life
In Henry Vlug- and -Canadian Human Rights Commission- and -Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal had to deal with the inaccessibility to deaf
and hard of hearing people of the audio portion of television programming, and the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) policy to use an incremental approach to captioning, with the
result that some, but not all, of its English language network and Newsworld television
broadcasts are captioned. The Human Rights tribunal was not persuaded that the CBC has
satisfied the burden on it to establish that the costs associated with captioning the remaining
television shows in its broadcast schedule would constitute an undue hardship. The Tribunal
ordered the CBC’s English language network and Newsworld to caption all of their television
programming, including television shows, commercials, promos and unscheduled news flashes,
from sign on until sign off. The Tribunal held that the inability to access late breaking news
stories — or weather warnings — can hardly be characterized as insignificant. Even access to
television commercials cannot be characterized as trivial, as advertising has a significant place in
the fabric of popular culture.
Protection of intellectual property rights
In Harvard College v. Canada (Commissioner of Patents), Harvard applied for a patent on an
invention called “transgenic animals”, being genetically altered animals containing a cancerpromoting gene (oncogene). Harvard sought to protect both the process by which the animals
were produced and the end product of the process. The process claims were allowed by the
Patent Examiner, while the product claims disallowed. The sole question before the Supreme
Court of Canada was whether the words “manufacture” and “composition of matter,” within the
context of the Patent Act, are sufficiently broad to include higher life forms. The majority of the
Supreme Court held that the best reading of the words supported the conclusion that higher life
forms are not patentable. Also, since patenting higher life forms would involve a radical
departure from the traditional patent regime, and since the patentability of such life forms is a
highly contentious matter that raises a number of extremely complex issues, clear and
unequivocal legislation is required. The current Act does not clearly indicate that higher life
forms are patentable. The Court does not possess the institutional competence to deal with issues
of this complexity, which presumably will require Parliament to engage in public debate, a
balancing of competing social interests and intricate legislative drafting.
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In Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser, Monsanto patented a glyphosate-resistant gene and cell,
creating canola plants that were resistant to the herbicide Roundup. Schmeiser, a farmer, never
purchased or obtained licence to plant Roundup resistant canola. He found that he had some
Roundup resistant canola on his land, saved seed from the crop and planted it in all of his canola
fields the following year. He sold the canola plants for feed. Monsanto brought an action against
Schmeiser for patent infringement. The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal of
Monsanto in part. The majority of the Court held that by collecting, saving and planting seeds
containing Monsanto’s patented gene and cell, Schmeiser infringed section 42 of the Patent Act.
Therefore, Schmeiser deprived Monsanto of the full enjoyment of its monopoly and employed or
possessed the patented invention in the context of their commercial or business interests. The
Court was also of opinion that infringement by use did not require use of the patented genes or
cells in their isolated, laboratory form. The propagation of the plants was a use notwithstanding
that plants were living things that grew by themselves. Under the Act, an invention in the
domain of agriculture was as deserving of protection as one in mechanical science.
At issue in Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Canadian Assn. of
Internet Providers was the compensation of musical artists and composers whose works were
downloaded from the Internet. The Society of Composers was asking for the right to collect
royalties from Canadian Internet Service Providers. The Providers argued that they offered the
means to have Internet access but in no way regulated the content of the Internet or provided the
means for the communication of musical works. As a result, the Providers claimed that they
were not infringing the Copyright Act, which provides that persons who only supply “the means
of telecommunication necessary for another person to so communicate” cannot be considered
parties to a communication in violation of copyright. The Supreme Court of Canada pondered
whether or not the legislature intended there to be copyright liability attached to every Internet
communication with a “real and substantial connection” to Canada. The Court held that the
means necessary for access to the internet such as connection equipment, connectivity services
and software, etc. were covered by the Copyright Act so long as the Internet provider acted as a
conduit and was not involved in activities related to the content of communications. The
Supreme Court concluded that those who provide Internet infrastructure should not be
considered as users for the purposes of the Copyright Act but rather as intermediaries.
List of cases
Archibald v. Canada (C.A.), [2000] 4 F.C. 479. Application for leave to appeal denied by the
Supreme Court of Canada.
Auton (Guardian ad litem of) v. British Columbia (Minister of Health), 2004 S.C.C. 78.
Bear v. Canada (Attorney General), [2003] 3 F.C. 456. Application for leave to appeal denied by
the Supreme Court of Canada.
Broomer v. Ontario (Attorney General), [2002] O.J. No. 2196 (Ont. Sup.Ct. J.)
Canada (Attorney General) v. Lesiuk, [2003] 2 F.C. 697 (F.C.A.).
Canada (House of Commons) v. Vaid, 2005 S.C.C. 30
Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law v. Canada (Attorney General), [2004] 1
S.C.R. 76.
Chaoulli c. Québec (Procureur général), [2005] S.C.C. 35.
Dunmore v. Ontario (Attorney General), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 1016.
Appendix
138
Canada’s Fifth Report on the United Nations’
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Falkiner v. Ontario (Director, Income Maintenance Branch, Ministry of Community and Social
Services), (2002), 212 D.L.R. (4th) 633 (Ont. C.A.).
Gosselin v. Québec (Attorney General), [2002] 4 S.C.R. 429.
Gosselin (Guardian of) v. Québec (Attorney General), 2005 S.C.C. 15
Granovsky v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration), [2000] 1 S.C.R. 703.
Harvard College v. Canada (Commissioner of Patents), [2002] 4 S.C.R. 45.
Henry Vlug- and -Canadian Human Rights Commission- and -Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, T.D. 6 /00 (2000/11/15).
Hislop v. Canada (Attorney General), [2004] O.J. No. 4815 (Ont. C.A.).
Hodge v. Canada (Minister of Human Resources Development), [2004] 3 S.C.R. 357.
Irshad (Litigation Guardian of) v. Ontario (Minister of Health), (2001-02-28) ONCA C31680.
Application for leave to appeal dismissed by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Lambert c. Québec (Procureur général), [2002] J.Q. no. 364.
Lalonde v. Commission de restructuration des services de santé, 2002 CanLII 28552 (ON C.A.).
Lavoie v. Canada, [2002] 1 S.C.R. 769.
M.B. v. British Columbia, 2002 BCCA 142.
Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser, [2004] 1 S.C.R. 902.
Newfoundland (Treasury Board) v. N.A.P.E., 2004 SCC 66.
Nova Scotia (Attorney General) v. Walsh, [2002] 4 S.C.R. 325.
Nova Scotia (Worker’s Compensation Board) v. Martin, [2003] 2 S.C.R. 504.
Québec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Montréal (City);
Québec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Boisbriand (City),
[2000] 1 S.C.R. 665.
Québec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Maksteel Québec
Inc., [2003] 3 S.C.R. 228.
R. v. Advance Cutting & Coring Ltd., [2001] 3 S.C.R. 209.
R. v. Sharpe, [2001] 1 S.C.R. 45.
Renvoi relatif au projet de loi C-7 sur le système de justice pénale pour les adolescents, [2003]
J.Q. no. 2850.
Rombaut v. New Brunswick (Minister of Health and Community Services), 2001 NBCA 75.
Shubenacadie Indian Band v. Canada (Canadian Human Rights Commission) (Re MacNutt)
Chief and Council of the Shubenacadie Indian Band v. Attorney General of Canada,
representing the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Canadian Human
Rights Commission, [2000] F.C.J. No. 702 (F.C.A.). Application for leave to appeal denied by
the Supreme Court of Canada.
Syndicat de la fonction publique du Québec Inc. v. Québec (Attorney General), Québec Superior
Court, no. 200-05-011263-998, February 4, 2004.
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Canadian Assn. of Internet
Providers, [2004] 2 S.C.R. 427.
Solski (tuteur de) c. Québec (Procureur général), [2005] S.C.C. 29297 (Casimir no 1)
United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 v. Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship
Commission, [2003] A.J. No. 1030, 2003 ABCA 246.
Winnipeg Child and Family Services v. K.L.W., [2000] 2 S.C.R. 519.
Appendix
139
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