ABlawg.ca Post Comment: Can the Homeless Find Shelter in the Courts?

In a recent ABlawg post, Joshua Sealy-Harrington argues that the Ontario Court of Appeal two-justice majority decision in Tanudjaja v Canada (Attorney General), 2014 ONCA 852 (CA) is less compelling than Feldman JA’s dissent–which would have recognized section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as granting positive rights. Sealy-Harrington points out that the wording of section 7 clearly anticipates the creation of positive rights, when viewed in comparison, for example, with the wording of section 9 (Section 7 gives us “the right to life, liberty and security of the person” as well as the right “not to be deprived thereof;” section 9 grants only the rights not to be subject to certain government action). The plaintiffs in the case, all Ontario residents struggling with homelessness or extremely precarious housing, sought declarations that the Ontario government was violating their Charter rights by failing to provide adequate housing. While the majority dismissed the case as too vague and political, Sealy-Harrington argues that the issue at bar was no more political or vague than many other questions courts routinely consider. This issue of whether we have a positive right to a minimum standard of housing is highly relevant in Alberta, where social housing is at such a premium as to be virtually inaccessible, and the rental vacancy rate is so low that affordable housing has all but ceased to exist. Sealy-Harrington’s post may be of interest to housing law practitioners across the province, and is available here. If the Supreme Court elects to hear the appeal which has been filed, it will be a case to watch.

About Andrew Lawrence

Andrew Lawrence is currently a law student at the University of Alberta, who volunteers at the Edmonton Community Legal Centre. Born in Alberta, he is passionate about helping low income Albertans find solutions to their legal problems.
This entry was posted in Civil Litigation, Housing Law, Social Benefits, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ABlawg.ca Post Comment: Can the Homeless Find Shelter in the Courts?

  1. mike plandowski says:

    ….so why, when offering the highest, and cash offer, would First National F. ….instead, …take only MLS$ ….from a PRE SELECTED BUYER, …who….first,…..they nudged to raise his offer to MLS$, …then, …to whom,…they gave a weeks extension for financing!

    Why am I supposed to presume that a mortgage co., can just do as they please, (throw away $6,000 MORE, all cash, … with Masters in Cambers approval. The borrower wants equity protected, a Realtor’s sacred mantra is that property should trade at market value, myself, wanting to live only an 2 r. trips. away from Calgary grandkids, instead of present 12.

    Realtor suggested a home inspection condition,….(saying latter,it didn’t make any difference as to possibly losing the deal),…gave only 4 hours to meet an offer deadline, …advising that it was quite acceptable for the $5,000 could arrive electronically the next day. She informed the buyer received a financing extension, and to my self about 4 weeks latter, …that my motivated offer was spurned.

    What gives? HOw is this game played? Are Mortgage Co., employees allowed to throw away a serious bid war, (mine was the highest), cash offer?????

    …and why would Court allow this???? First National, chose to ignore my general, innocuous questions(s), as to how a foreclosure sale would be handled.

    Subsequently I want to know the precise, final, steps taken, by all involved, , times, see all records of court applications, and know exactly why rules weren’t being followed.

    I assure you, no one seems to want to tell me!

    regards Mike Plandowski

  2. Herbert Hill says:

    Very excited to watch this case. It’ll be interesting to see it all play out and which direction it plays in.

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