Tuesday, December 18

Advocacy groups head to court to fight cancellation of the court challenges program

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a prominent Charter skeptic, and his justice minister, Rob Nicholson, were conspicuously absent from the commemorative festivities when the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms marked its 25th birthday on April 17.

And when Sharon McIvor, a First Nations woman from Merritt, BC, who fought to have her case challenging sex discrimination in the Indian Act, won, the federal government decided to appeal, (while eliminating funding for the Court Challenges program that would financially assist McIvor with taking her case forward. )

On December 6 - Harper issued a press release where he had the audacity to say: "We have also initiated measures to address the unequal treatment of aboriginal women. They deserve the same matrimonial property rights and human rights protections that apply to all other Canadian women."

REALLY? ...........Then why appeal the McIvor case?

NOW - A coalition of advocates for minorities, women and the disabled is seeking to join a court challenge to the widely criticized federal Conservative government's decision to cancel a decades-old program that provided money for equality-focused legal fights.

In an application to be filed Tuesday in Federal Court, the coalition argues the death of the court challenges program will damage efforts to ensure charter rights are respected.

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