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para. 118). In 2012, the BCLI published the study paper Human Rights and
Family Responsibilities: Family Status Discrimination under Human Rights
Law in British Columbia and Canada. The paper reviews research and
jurisprudence on the family status ground, summarizes the state of the law
and concludes with a call for further public consultation and policy development
to help clarify the scope of family status discrimination and to support
inclusive workplace design in Canada. Fraser concerned three retired
members of the RCMP who had participated in a job-sharing program following
the birth of their children. Job-sharing time was not eligible for pension
buyback, unlike other gaps in service, such as unpaid leave and time
on suspension, and the claimants argued that the policy breached their
s. 15 Charter rights based on the enumerated ground of sex and the analogous
ground of parental/family status. The decision contains a rich discussion
of adverse impact or systemic discrimination, clarifying both the legal
test and the evidence required to establish discrimination.1
Looking back, both Karen and I are keenly aware that BCLI’s work was
only marginally affected by COVID-19, even as we all had to alter how we
live and work. The BCLI/CCEL team is to be commended for its dedication
in leading our projects with thoroughness, diligence and care through the
early days of the pandemic. We are grateful to Kathleen Cunningham and
to the BCLI board for their commitment to BCLI through the early months
of COVID-19 and in easing the transition.
We also wish to thank our project partners, the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
and Inclusion BC, for their continued support and collaborative spirit. In
addition, we are grateful to our funders—the Ministry of Attorney General,
the Law Foundation of British Columbia, the Law Foundation of Ontario,
the Department of Justice Canada’s Victim Fund, the Notary Foundation of
British Columbia and the Vancouver Foundation—for seeing the value in
our work and championing it.
As we enter 2021, we look forward to developing new projects, expanding
our partnerships and digging into new areas that will contribute to equitable
and innovative approaches to modernizing laws for the benefit of people
throughout British Columbia.
For more information about our work, visit <www.bcli.org>. While
you’re there, make sure to sign up for our newsletters for regular updates.
You can also find us on social media: @BCLawInstitute (Facebook and Twitter),
@CCElderLaw (Twitter) and @CanCentreforElderLaw (Facebook).
1. The BCLI study paper on family status discrimination
was funded by the Law Foundation of British Columbia.
In 2017, the Canadian Human Rights Commission
provided funding to update the research. Both
papers can be found on BCLI’s website: <www.