Human rights lawyers hail Quebec tribunal’s finding that pension provision is discriminatory

Quebec pension provision is discriminatory

A legislative provision in the Act respecting the Quebec Pension Plan that financially penalizes disability claimants at age 65 was declared unconstitutional because it infringed the right to equality under the Canadian Charter, held the Administrative Tribunal of Quebec in a decision lauded by human rights advocates who say the ruling may ultimately affect thousands of people.

The long-awaited judgment demonstrates an openness by adjudicators to recognize economic and social rights, and is a clear signal that guidance from the Supreme Court of Canada, particularly in a series of 2020 decisions in Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 SCC 28 and Ontario (Attorney General) v. G, 2020 SCC 38, over the notion of substantive equality as opposed to formal equality is making inroads in lower courts and administrative tribunals, according to human law experts. In Fraser, the Supreme Court underscores that substantive equality underpins the court’s equality jurisprudence, and is at its heart the recognition that identical treatment may frequently produce serious inequality.

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