Liberal cuts threaten guaranteed rights, commission argues

By Michelle Lalonde, Montreal Gazette, 09 October 2014

The Liberal government could face expensive lawsuits if it cuts or reduces certain social programs without taking into account the impact on human rights guaranteed in Quebec’s Charter, the Quebec Human Rights Commission warns. (...)

The Quebec Human Rights Commission submitted a 29-page brief earlier this week to Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and to the new committee the premier has put place to review all government programs and measures with an eye to cutting fat.

In the brief, Frémont advises the government not to undertake its austerity plan with only economic or budgetary considerations in mind. (...)

The Charter, he writes, is a fundamental law that takes precedence over other laws, and the state is bound by it. The program overhaul cannot adversely affect rights guaranteed under the Charter, such as the right to equality, regardless of race, skin colour, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, age, religion, political convictions, language, ethic background or nationality, income or disability. (...)

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Image: Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse