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MARL, along with other concerned groups and individuals in Manitoba, strongly believes that Charter rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms belong to all people in Canada. We are gravely concerned about Bill 24, the Social Services Appeal Board Amendment Act.

The Social Services Appeal Board primarily hears appeals from individuals receiving Employment and Income Assistance. This legislation would prohibit the Board from considering appeals or constitutional challenges based on federal Charter rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

In short, the Bill would limit access to justice to some of the most marginalized Manitobans in this critically important administrative tribunal.

The provincial government introduced Bill 24 in the spring of 2018. Prior to Bill 24, the Public Interest Law Centre, in a coalition with Winnipeg Harvest, The Canadian Mental Health Association (Winnipeg and Manitoba) and Inclusion Winnipeg, intervened in a case entitled Stadler v Director of St Boniface, which was released in November 2017. The case decision asserted that the Social Services Appeal Board does have an active role to play in ensuring access to justice and encouraging vulnerable individuals to exercise their Charter rights. There is legal precedent set by this case, and Supreme Court cases, that suggests that Bill 24 goes against federally protected Charter rights. The Stadler Case proved that Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms belongs to all of us, in every legal setting.

Please like on Facebook: Charter Rights For All to support the campaign.

Check out the responses from candidates in the July 17, 2018 by-election in St Boniface from a question from the campaign.

Read Bill 24 here.

Categories: Human Rights, Policy
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