Litigation Research Support: Poverty as Ground of Discrimination - CCPI Intervention in Toussaint v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Challenge to Refusal to Waive Fees for Poor People Applying for Humanitarian and Compassionate Consideration
CURA researchers and partner the Social Rights Advocacy Centre has provided research and litigation support to the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues and several rights claimants in an historic challenge to the refusal of the Federal Government to provide for a waiver of fees for Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications for Permanent Residency under the Immigration Act for those who live in poverty.
Justice Snider of the Federal Court, dismissed the applications, finding two of the applications moot, and dismissing the application of Nell Toussaint, finding that poverty is not a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Charter.
Gunther v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) (2009 FC 875)
Krena v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) (2009 FC 874)
Toussaint v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) (2009 FC 873)
The decision was then appealed l to the Federal Court of Appeal
Toussaint v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) FCA File No. A-408-09
Nell Toussaint won the right to consideration of fee waiver request under section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in place at the time. Unfortunately the IRPA, which was amended by the Harper Government, in response to this litigation, to preclude fee waiver under section 25 of the Act. This means Nell Toussaint failed in her bid to win a right to fee waiver for others in her situation. The Federal Court of Appeal proceeded to consider CCPI's constitutional and Charter arguments and upheld what in the researchers' view were erroneous findings of Snider J. in the court below. CCPI has supported Ms. Toussaint in appealing the decision on the constitutional issues through public interest standing, to the Supreme Court of Canada. The consideration of whether poverty is an analogous ground of discrimination is long overdue by that Court. However, Mr. Toussaint's leave application to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was dismissed on Thursday, November 3, 2011.
Application for Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada
Application for Leave Denied Leave by Supreme Court of Canada