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.


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.

February 27, 2018


The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), the ODSP Action Coalition and the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) will be at the Divisional Court - Superior Court of Justice to intervene in an appeal hearing on a case called Abbey v. Ontario on February 28, 2018.  ARCH Disability Law Centre (ARCH) and ISAC are representing the interveners. Read more.

April 19, 2016

A Modernised Court Challenges Program of Canada: A perspective from the Council of Canadians with Disabilities

The Court Challenges Program of Canada (“CCPC”) is essential to ensure access to justice for persons with disabilities in accordance with article 12 and 13 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. If persons with disabilities do not have the means to access the courts, the rights to equality guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and in human rights legislation are hallow and meaningless. Read more.

Promoting Human Rights

April 25, 2019

Canadian Human Rights Commission 2018 Annual Report Shows Little Improvement for Disabled Canadians

“Speak Out, as the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has titled its 2018 Annual Report, reads to us like a call to action to speak our truth on the discrimination that people with disabilities encounter in Canada,” states Jewelles Smith, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD). “Far too many of us face oppression and discrimination, while going to school, at work and doing the activities that many Canadians take for granted but for people with disabilities often mean navigating barriers, which are often systemic in nature,” states Pat Danforth, CCD 1st Vice Chair. Read more.

November 26, 2016

Strategies for Competent and Ethical Disability Law Advocacy

Featured panel speakers will include Ms. Morgan Rowe, Ms. Helen Ries, Dr. Jihan Abbas, and Mr. Charles Ng. Read more.

May 11, 2013

Yvonne Peters, Gwen Brodsky, Ravi Malhotra Discuss Inclusion After the Moore Case

Along with others, some members of the CCD Human Rights Committee share their views on the impact of the Moore case.  Read more.

January 29, 2013

CMHR to feature the most inclusive design in Canadian history

“The exciting thing for people with disabilities is not only that a space is being created for a new understanding of human rights, but that it will also be fully accessible,” Laurie Beachell, CCD national coordinator said. “As our understanding of human rights evolves, so will our understanding of access and inclusive design. The disability community is pleased to be part of something that can raise awareness about what inclusion really means.” Read more.

April 17, 2012

Constitutional Equality Rights: People with Disabilities Still Celebrating 30 Years Later

“CCD celebrates the anniversary of the Charter and all those who have been using it to remove barriers to the full and equal participation of people with disabilities,” states Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson. “April 17 is an important anniversary which we must celebrate every year.”

  Read more.

March 23, 2012

Factum in the Moore Case

CCD has intervened in this appeal because it is deeply concerned about the template for comparator group analysis adopted by the lower courts, reducing the right to accommodation to a right to the same treatment or same accommodation that others receive. The reasoning of the lower courts, if accepted by this Court, threatens to make the duty to accommodate meaningless, thereby profoundly eroding the human rights of persons with disabilities in a wide variety of settings. Read more.

Ending of Life Ethics

October 24, 2018

CCD to Launch Tracy Latimer Archives and Facebook Page

On the 25th anniversary of the tragic murder of Tracy Latimer, a young Canadian girl with Cerebral Palsy, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) announces it will be establishing the virtual Tracy Latimer archive and Facebook page. Read more.

September 4, 2018


The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) strongly call on the federal government to strengthen the monitoring system for medical assistance in dying (MAiD).  Read more.

July 12, 2018


Multiple news outlets are reporting that Robert Latimer has submitted a letter to the Minister of Justice seeking a pardon or a new trial following his conviction for the murder of his daughter Tracy in 1993. 

Latimer has been free on parole since 2010.  Contrary to some media reports, Latimer has been able to travel outside Canada since 2015, according to the Globe and Mail.

Disability rights activists are concerned that the pardon request is a “symptom and effect of the continuing devaluation of disabled people” as shown by the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia in 2016, according to Amy Hasbrouck, director of Toujours Vivant-Not Dead Yet.  She notes that individual choice is supposed to be key to the suspension of homicide laws in cases of assisted suicide and euthanasia.  “Yet Tracy was not given a choice.”

Dr. Heid Janz, Chair of CCD’s Ending-of-Life Ethics Committee, expresses profound dismay at the mainstream media’s continuing practice of disseminating entirely erroneous descriptions of Tracy Latimer’s condition. “Some reports on Latimer’s petition revived the decades’ old false description of Tracy Latimer as a bed-ridden quadriplegic,” Janz said. “But the fact, documented in all of Latimer’s trials, is that Tracy rode the school bus to her school program right up until the weekend that her father murdered her.”

  Read more.

July 28, 2017

CCD Alarmed by Blatant Disregard of MAID Legislation

Sheila Elson was offered Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) for her daughter who lives with spina bifida and cerebral palsy.  Read more.

January 25, 2017

Media Advisory: CCD Available to Comment on "Mary Kills People"

On January 26, 2016, CCD representatives will be available to talk to the media about how "Mary Kills People" portrays people with disabilities and euthanasia and whether the program violates the CRTC’s Equitable Portrayal Code. Read more.

June 15, 2016

Media Advisory - National Forum for Robust Safeguards in Bill C -14 - Ottawa: Thursday June 16

On Thursday June 16th, join a Community Forum for Robust Safeguards in Bill C-14 hosted by the National Disability Rights Community. We will let Parliamentarians know what is at stake for disabled Canadians and their families.  This event continues a national conversation, launched by the National Disability Rights Community. We are Canadians with disabilities, their families and supporters working to ensure that Bill C-14 protects vulnerable Canadians.  Read more.