You have a "Social Condition" courtesy the CHRC...

Hmmm - we need the lawyers on this - looks big enough to drive a Semi through though. From my perspective the addition of "Social Condition" as the next prohibited grounds for discrimination looks to be the CHRC's biggest Power Grab to date. An effort that, if successful, would make Martial Law seem like Anarchy. Ok that's a little over the top but only a little ;)

CHRC 2007 Annual Report - Learning from the Past and Looking to the Future

(Interesting - a couple of lines in the CHRC Report - yet clearly - the Department of Justice is struggling mightily with the concept of "Social Condition".)

Social Condition (CHRC Annual Report 2007):

The visible rise of social inequalities in Canada has sparked renewed debate over whether "social condition" should be added as the twelfth prohibited ground of discrimination within section 2 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
In 2007, the Commission began research to better understand the larger social and institutional implications of such an amendment.

Social Condition defined (Department of Justice):

Case law

"Social Condition" was interpreted for the first time in 1978 in La Commission des droits de la personne c. Centre Hospitalier St-Vincent-de-Paul de Sherbrooke [2]. The claimant was a part time employee at the hospital when she was asked to undergo a medical examination. In his report, the doctor indicated that the claimant suffered from alcoholism, that she had suicidal tendencies and that she should not be kept on as an employee.

The claimant then filed a complaint with the Québec human rights Commission alledging that she had been terminated contrary to the Québec Code on account of her social condition. According to Justice Toth, social condition should be interpreted with common sense.

He was of the view that social condition referred to social rank, referred to an individual's position in society and the social class they belonged to by birth, by their income, by the level of education or by their occupation.

In other words, Justice Toth concluded that social condition could be best assessed by the aggregate of all these factors in an individual's life that enables them to identify to a specific group in our society. Consequently, the court dismissed the claimant's position on the basis that the termination of employment was not on account of her social condition, but on account of a medical condition.

Off to a good start but read on - and be afraid, be very afraid.

Another issue to be resolved is whether or not the term 'social condition' in and of itself is the appropriate terminology when the protection really being sought is that of economic security guaranteeing a basic standard of living. Conversely, there is a great deal of concern about framing economic rights in such a way that it may usurp legislative sovereignty by allowing human rights Tribunals to order governments to create social security programs and to modify existing ones, such as the taxation system.

Why not? They've done a great job of usurping the Rule of Law.


More on Social Condition from the CHRC.

2. Issue 4 of the List of Issues regarding Canada's Fourth Periodic Report3: Inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights in human rights protection

During the previous dialogue held with the Committee, the State Party indicated that it would consider, as part of a comprehensive review of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Canadian Human Rights Commission's recommendation that the ambit of human rights protection in Canada be expanded to include economic, social and cultural rights.

In 2004 the Commission undertook a public consultation on the future directions of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The consultation document, Looking Ahead, noted the following with regard to the issue of adding social condition to the CHRA as a prohibited ground of discrimination:

There are also gaps in the [CHRA] that the Commission proposes be filled. Chief among them is the addition of "social condition" as a ground of discrimination. Since 1976, when Canada ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the government has had an obligation to look at poverty as a human rights issue. In many respects, Canada has fallen short in meeting this duty. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has commented on the persistence of poverty in our country for particularly vulnerable groups and has called on Canada to Aexpand protection in human rights legislation . . . to protect poor people . . . from discrimination because of social or economic status.

All provinces and territories now include either source of income or some form of social condition as grounds for discrimination in their respective human rights legislation.

However, in Canadian law the term "social condition" on its own is a broad and vague term which does not only refer to persons living in poverty, but also includes a wide range of groups in our society who do not require the same level of protection. One important safeguard may be to make it clear that to establish discrimination on the grounds of social condition, the victim must be a member of a socially disadvantaged group. In defining social condition in a federal context, it will be important to carefully consider the complexity of social programs, such as how the social benefit features of the income tax system could be shielded from undue interference as a result of human rights claims.

The Commission believes that more research is required on a definition of social condition and its potential impact on other statutes and social programs. As a starting point, the Commission believes the CHRA should be amended to eliminate discrimination on the basis of source of income.


Bye Bye Property Rights - not that they were ever enshrined in our Charter to begin with. The issue to me isn't whether source of income should or shouldn't be considered prohibited grounds for discrimination but rather how this would be enforced, under what circumstances? What traction would this give the CHRC? If provincial HRC's have source of income provisions or the like, then why is it necessary at the Federal level? It seems the thin edge of the wedge to the CHRC being able to dictate government policy by effectively introducing "Social Condition" one step at a time.

At any rate they seem to have a very exalted opinion of themselves:

It was also proposed that references to international human rights standards be added to the preamble and that the Commission be given the mandate to report on the government’s domestic implementation of its international human rights treaty obligations. The Commission supports these legislative changes. - I'll bet they do.

Seems like a lot of power for an agency few care for and fewer need, furthermore I don't much like the idea of being governed by the Frickin U.N.

It Gets really scary here:

Somehow you just knew that the CHRC has no intention of excercising the objective restraint shown by Justice Toth, with them "Social Condition" will be one more weapon to bludgeon society into socialist submission.

Key Question:
What are your views on the addition of these proposed amendments to the CHRA?

The Commission is therefore proposing that Parliament consider adding the ground of “social condition” to the Canadian Human Rights Act to respond to this need. Most provincial human rights codes include grounds related to poverty, such as “social condition” or “source of income.” The idea is that a person’s social condition must not be used to discriminate against him or her. For instance, financial institutions may assume that all people who have low paying jobs are an unacceptable risk for a loan.

Or, an employer may impose unnecessary job requirements that deny employment to capable people who have low literacy skills as a result of their social disadvantage.

The LS from SK  – (7:39 PM)  

OMG - let us introduce "Squatter's Rights" so when people go on vacation - anyone can move in and live there free forever.

What is wrong with the CHRC and the Harper government - are they so disconnected to reality or in a love affair with the UK and a Stalin/Leninist past that they cannot see the pitfals?

I can see my case for $Millions:

Me, for example - a poor humble farm boy was economically and socially disadvantaged because I did not have access to resources that would have let me be a Lawyer and then a Politician.

I was denied a God given right to eat at the same trough.

It was a deliberate plan to isolate people in Saskatchewan with a series of reserves, poor roads, poor transportation and air/rail/bus links. Cultural genocide.

Even today, Air Canada and WestJet as well as Official bilingualism discriminate against my being able to work in Ottawa due to designed and deeply inbred Ontario hatred against the West and have created systemic structural, cultural,religious and economic barriers and blockages.

How many heads of federal agencies are from the West?

I love it when a plan comes together.

Blazing Cat Fur  – (7:51 PM)  

I get the feeling that the phrase "Pull yourself up by your own boot straps" will be designated "Hate Speech" shortly.

dissident-in-toronto  – (7:02 AM)  

You could not make this up if you tried, you sure it is not an Aprils Fool's joke.?.:)

Blazing Cat Fur  – (8:10 AM)  

I wish it were, but it seems not. what I find odd is that the CHRC report says they began further investigations into the implementation of "Social condition" in 2007 - clearly this has been on their wish lish list a good deal longer.

Rose  – (10:02 AM)  

Their long term goals re: Social Conditioning, sounds like a chapter taken out of a communist how to control the masses manual. Can there be a shread of doubt that the HRCs in Canada are working behind the scenes to socially engineer their version of a perfect society. A society madeup of people who will need to be retarded, boarderline retarded or a moron to function as a member of said society.

Honestly; people advocating implimenting Social Conditioning are barking mad with power, cull these idiots out of our Federal agencies.

Good grief first agents of "Thought Crimes" and "Pre-crime" and now they want to ponder forcing society to employ and pander to those they deem "Discriminated Against" based on income and addiction? What a crack addict is being discriminated against if he's not allowed to pilot a plane, operate on a patient, drive taxi or a school bus. Someone earning barely enough to feed themselves should be allowed to takeout loans they can't pay back to buy a house they can't afford. Lord love a duck, where do these over sensitive head cases come from?

wild bill –   – (10:21 AM)  

This uh "social condition" is it as easy to cure with penicillin as other social conditions or do we need something civil backlash?

Blazing Cat Fur  – (5:04 PM)  

This is all about the equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity. It speaks to how deep the rot goes within our civil service and without via the NGO's and Universities.

Ian B –   – (5:55 PM)  

I love that- "unnecessary job requirements"- like, "the ability to do the job".

Blazing Cat Fur  – (6:07 PM)  

Or literacy - that'll go over well in the hazardous goods industries.

Anonymous –   – (2:57 PM)  

Hold up a second! Whoah there! If the government can't discriminate against me on the basis of social condition (which presumably means economic condition), how can they make me pay more taxes than a poor guy on a proportionate basis? Discrimination! I say we put it in and let hilarity ensue.

Occam's Carbuncle

Blazing Cat Fur  – (3:01 PM)  

I agree Occam, would make a lovely test case.

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