Liberals restore, expand court challenges program to include more rights
Tuesday February 7, 2017
| Toronto Star
The Liberal government is restoring and modernizing a program that gives financial support to those mounting expensive legal battles to clarify and protect their language and equality rights in court.
The program was established in 1978 and has played an instrumental role in many major constitutional challenges, including the fight for same-sex marriage, before it was abolished by the previous Conservative government shortly after coming to power.
The new program is slated to be up and running by the fall.
Report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
Monday September 19, 2016
| Report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
The Committee recommends enshrining the Court Challenges Program in legislation in order to enhance its sustainability and to ensure that any government seeking its cancellation would require the approval of Parliament.
Recognizing that the government is currently conducting consultations on the restoration of the Court Challenges Program and considering the time needed to enact legislation, the Committee recommends that the government immediately restore the Court Challenges Program through policy until such legislation can be brought into force.
2016 Federal Budget
Tuesday March 22, 2016
| 2016 Federal Budget
Chapter 5 > Reinstating the Court Challenges Program of Canada
The Court Challenges Program provides financial assistance for individuals and groups who wish to clarify their language and equality rights in Canada’s courts.
Budget 2016 proposes to provide new funding of $12 million over five years to support the Court Challenges Program of Canada. When combined with existing federal investments, total funding will be $5 million annually.
Although money is being allocated to it, the Court Challenges Program hasn’t formally be reinstated yet as of March 22 2016. A government standing committee is currently looking into formally reinstating the program; they are scheduled to make their recommendations at the end of May 2016.