Rights-Based Strategies to Address Homelessness and Poverty in Canada: The Constitutional Framework
70 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 1, 2013
This paper is the second part of a two-part research project that considers what the new paradigm of social rights and the re-unified system of human rights mean for the design and implementation of programs and strategies to address poverty and homelessness in Canada. The paper explores the extent to which a domestic constitutional framework exists for a rights-based approach to housing and anti-poverty strategies in Canada, compatible with, and informed by, the international human rights law and jurisprudence. Particular attention is paid to four Canadian constitutional provisions: 1) the commitment to provide public services of reasonable quality to all Canadians, under section 36 of the Constitution Act, 1982; the right to life, liberty, and security of the person, under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law, under section 15 of the Charter; and Canadian governments’ obligation, under section 1 of the Charter, to balance and limit rights in a manner that is reasonable and demonstrably justifiable. Funding for this paper was provided by the Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Community-University Research Alliance Project "Reconceiving Human Rights Practice".
Keywords: anti-poverty, Canadian constitutional law, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, international human rights law, housing
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