Human Rights Archives

Human Rights

November 15, 2011

Factum in the D.A.I. Case

In the D.A. I. case, the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to consider whether people with intellectual disabilities should be allowed to testify in court. Specifically, the question before the Court is whether people with intellectual disabilities are required to demonstrate an understanding of the concept of a “promise to tell the truth” in order to be permitted to testify. CCD was been granted intervener status in this case.  CCD argued that courts should not impose a test to allow people with disabilities to testify that is not imposed on others. Courts should focus scrutiny on the testimony given by individuals not the individuals themselves. Read more.

May 27, 2010

Factum in the Caron Case

Fighting a case in court is costly and CCD learned this lesson during its litigating against VIA Rail in support of accessible passenger trains. The Caron case focuses on the court's power to award interim costs while a case is in progress rather than waiting until its conclusion. An interim award provides a litigant with some of the resources it needs to present its case to the court.

CCD, working in coalition with other organizations (LEAF, Charter Committee on Poverty and the Poverty and Human Rights Centre), is intervening in the Caron case. Read more.


June 23, 2022

Supreme Court of Canada Rules Charter Challenge to Forced Psychiatric Treatment Laws Can Continue

June 23, 2022, (Vancouver, BC) Today the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the BC government’s five-year legal campaign aimed at stopping the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) – a nationally respected disability rights organization – from challenging BC’s outdated and unconstitutional forced psychiatric treatment laws. The court not only rejected the government’s appeal, but also confirmed that CCD has the legal right to bring the case forward. In an extraordinary move, the Court also ordered that the government pay for all legal costs associated with this unnecessary delay.“The Supreme Court unanimously and decisively resolved the standing question in CCD’s favour,” says Michael Feder, a lawyer with the law firm McCarthy Tétrault who argued the case on behalf of CCD. “This ruling has broad importance for access to justice and for ensuring discriminatory and other unconstitutional laws can be challenged in court.” Read more.

November 24, 2021

Immediate and Meaningful Action Required to Address Systemic Discrimination of Adults Who Have a Disability in Nova Scotia

The Beth MacLean decision has sent a powerful message across Canada about Nova Scotia’s systemic discrimination against people with disabilities. Following this landmark decision, the National Organizations are writing this letter in support of the Disability Rights Coalition’s call for immediate action to end the human rights emergency in Nova Scotia. Read more.

October 6, 2021


Nova Scotia lags well behind other Canadian provinces in providing community homes and supports for people with intellectual disabilities. Today’s ruling presents an opportunity to the new provincial government in Nova Scotia to acknowledge (1) that they have fundamentally wronged persons with disabilities for decades, (2) that systemic barriers to community inclusion for persons with disabilities are no longer tolerable in a free and democratic society, (3) that they stop fighting persons with disabilities in courts, and (4) that they will work with the community to address their human rights emergency. Read more.

January 25, 2019


The CCD is pleased by the Supreme Court's decision in S.A. v MVHC. Read more.

November 29, 2018

Update on the Charter Challenge to BC's Mental Health Act

In August 2018, the BC government brought an application to have the case dismissed, arguing that CCD did not have the legal status (“standing”) to defend the rights of people with mental disabilities in court. In October 2018, the BC Supreme Court decided that CCD did not have standing and dismissed the case before it got to trial. CCD has appealed the Court’s decision. Read more.

April 24, 2018

S.A. v. Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation

On April 25, 2018, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is intervening in a very important case before the Supreme Court of Canada. This case could have a significant  impact on persons with disabilities, affecting their autonomy, independence and inclusion. The case is called S.A. v. Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation. It raises the question: can absolute discretionary trusts, also known as Henson Trusts, be taken into account in eligibility criteria for social programs, like a housing subsidy or social assistance?  Read more.

Promoting Human Rights

April 17, 2024

Council of Canadians with Disabilities : 48 years strong and "On The Road to 50 Years"

In this Chapter I recount how COPOH, through skilled leadership and a fierce determination to change the course of history, persuaded Canada to become one of the first countries to accord persons with disabilities Constitutional protection of their equality rights.  I begin the Chapter with a brief background on the evolution of a disability rights analysis and its impact on the development of the disability rights movement as a political actor.  I then discuss the patriation of Canada's Constitution and how it affected Canadians with disabilities.  Finally, I describe some of the strategies used by people with disabilities to illustrate their passion and will to achieve recognition in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. ~ Yvonne Peters Read more.

March 21, 2024

Everyone has a responsibility to end racism

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Read more.

December 10, 2023

International Day of Human Rights

Today, December 10th, 2023, CCD commemorates International Human Rights Day.  The theme for this year is Freedom, Equality and Justice for All.  Read more.

July 6, 2022

Sad News: Passing of Jim Derksen

It is with sadness that we report that long time CCD volunteer Jim Derksen has passed away. 

Jim was a truly visionary leader, helping our organization meet challenges in a principled manner consistent with our human rights philosophy. Jim was a Chairperson of CCD, when it was called the Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped (COPOH).  He was also a National Coordinator of the organization.
  Read more.

April 9, 2022

Sad News

It is with sadness that we report that our fellow Council member John Rae passed away suddenly on the afternoon of April 8th in Toronto. Read more.

March 8, 2022

Celebrating International Women's Day

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) commemorates International Women’s Day. While celebrating the contribution of all women, we draw particular attention to women with disabilities who also contend with ableism and other forms of intersecting discrimination related to their particular identities. We celebrate the work that women with disabilities living in Canada are doing to promote access and inclusion.   Read more.

Ending of Life Ethics

November 25, 2021

An Open Letter from the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) Concerning the Canadian Psychiatric Association Position Statement on Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD)

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national human rights organization of people with disabilities working for an equitable, accessible and inclusive Canada, is very concerned about the approach taken on Medical Aid in Dying by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) in its Position Statement. CCD joins others in calling upon the CPA to reform its Position Statement on MAiD. Read more.

March 15, 2021

CCD Disappointed by House of Commons Yes Vote on Bill C-7 (Medical Aid in Dying)

The MAID regime that will be authorized by the Bill will put vulnerable people with disabilities in harm’s way by making it easier to access medical aid in dying.  While many people with disabilities cannot access the disability-related supports that they need to live dignified lives in the community, they will be able to get Medical Aid in Dying.  The Bill creates a separate track, whereby people with disabilities can access MAID, even if they are not at end of life. Even people experiencing a mental health crisis will have access to MAID.  “We are extremely concerned that people with disabilities experiencing a temporary crisis will accept MAID and die needlessly,” states Smith. Read more.

January 29, 2021

UN Human Rights Experts' Statement Condemning Medically-Assisted Death for People with Disabilities Not at End-of-Life Means that Canada is No Longer an International Leader in Human Rights

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national disability rights organization, is highlighting a recent statement by United Nations human rights experts condemning the growing trend towards legalizing Medically Assisted Death for people with disabilities who are not at end-of-life as “definitive evidence” that Bill C-7, the Liberal government’s proposed expansion of Canada’s MAiD law, is  a direct violation of Canada’s commitments as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Read more.

November 7, 2020

Disability-Rights Organizations' Public Statement on the Urgent Need to Rethink Bill C-7, The Proposed Amendment to Canada's Medical Aid in Dying Legislation

The Canadian disability-rights community remains united in denouncing Bill C-7 as an assault on the Equality Rights of people with disabilities. The flaws—and, indeed, the overt pro-MAID bias— which characterized the “consultation” process leading up to the tabling of Bill C-7 are well documented. In short, everything from the online questionnaire to the in-person consultations were geared toward a pre-determined outcome, namely, the expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying as a legally- and socially-sanctioned substitute for assistance in living that we see in Bill C-7.  Read more.

November 7, 2020


The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national disability rights organization, is vehemently denouncing the Trudeau government’s re-introduction of Bill C-7, a bill which extends access to Medical Aid in Dying to people who are experiencing intolerable suffering as a result of illness or disability, but whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. The bill was first introduced in early February, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada. Read more.