Welfare Rights Are Women’s Rights, Consultation Report

In the Fall of 2000, the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) obtained intervener status before the Supreme Court in the Gosselin v. Québec (Attorney General) case. The Gosselin case is about a welfare regulation in force in Québec in the 1980’s that provided drastically reduced benefits (170$ a month) for persons under thirty years of age who were considered able to work. The Court’s decision could very well determine whether basic welfare benefits are a right covered by the right to security of the person set out in section 7 of the Canadian Charter and by the right to financial assistance set out in section 45 of the Québec Charter. The Court will also have to rule on whether the government has the right to deny last resort assistance to people on the basis of discriminatory distinctions such as age.

Read this Paper as a PDF.