CCD to Launch Tracy Latimer Archives and Facebook Page

October 24, 2018 – On the 25th anniversary of the tragic murder of Tracy Latimer, a young Canadian girl with Cerebral Palsy, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) announces it will be establishing the virtual Tracy Latimer archive and Facebook page. 

The goal of the archives and Facebook page are three-fold:

  • to honour Tracy Latimer and ensure that she is not forgotten,
  • to provide the public with access to the work that CCD and its partner organizations did to ensure that the courts received a perspective on Tracy Latimer’s life and death that is free from ableist bias, which views a life with disabilities as a life not worth living.
  • to raise awareness of euthanasia practices/MAiD and how they affect children with disabilities.

For many Canadians with disabilities, including me, the murder of  Tracy Latimer and the overwhelming media and public support for her father, was a nightmarish wake-up call, alerting us to the fact that many, if not most, of our fellow Canadians considered a life with disabilities as being a life not worth living. During Latimer’s appeal trial, I vividly remember tuning into a CBC news magazine show on the topic, “When is it Right to Kill Someone with Severe Disabilities?” and being overwhelmed with horror. For the first time, I became fully aware that, as a person with severe disabilities, I, too, would be viewed by many of my fellow Canadians as better off dead than disabled. – Heidi Janz, Ph.D., Chair, CCD Ending-of-Life Ethics Committee


The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is a social justice organization of people with all disabilities that champions the voices of people with disabilities, advocating an inclusive and accessible Canada, where people with disabilities have full realization of their human rights, as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) unites advocacy organizations of people with disabilities to defend and extend human rights for persons with disabilities through public education, advocacy, intervention in litigation, research, consultation and partnerships.  CCD amplifies the expertise of our partners by acting as a convening body and consensus builder.


January 1995—CCD and the Saskatchewan Voice won intervenor status in Latimer's appeal to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.

February 1995—Bob Richards, counsel for CCD and the Voice, explained to the Court of Appeal why it would be discriminatory for Latimer to receive a reduced sentence.

November 1995—CCD hosted a community meeting to plan a litigation strategy to protect the fundamental human rights of people with disabilities.


February 1996—The CCD Council agreed to work toward developing a book which would present the Latimer case, from a disability rights perspective, and would reach Canadians outside the disability rights movement.

February 1996—Eric Norman, Chairperson CCD, circulated an open letter to Canadians seeking support of CCD's position that a murder of a person with a disability be treated the same as any other murder.


November 1997—CCD Human Rights Committee member Catherine Frazee was present in the Court when Latimer's appeal was heard by the Supreme Court. Ms. Frazee was available to the national media to present the disability rights perspective on the case. Some CCD member groups organized events to commemorate Tracy's life.

February 1997—Following the Supreme Court's decision in Latimer's appeal, Irene Feika, a past CCD Chairperson, appeared on Mike Duffy's television show, Sunday Edition to present the disability rights perspective. The Globe and Mail also covered CCD's perspective.

December 1997—CCD and its member groups spoke out against a constitutional exemption for Latimer.

May 1998—Six disability rights organizations (CCD, Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL), DisAbled Women's Network (DAWN), People First, Saskatchewan Voice, and People in Equal Participation (PEP)) sought intervenor status in Latimer's appeal to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. CCD served as the secretariat.

November 1998—Members of CCD's Human Rights Committee provided a disability perspective to the national media.

December 1998—CCD published a booklet of writings by people with disabilities on the Latimer case. This booklet was made available to libraries, so that the general public has access to the disability rights perspective on the case. CCD also shared its information with Ruth Enns, a journalist with a disability, writing a book on the case to be published in 1999.


February 1999—Robert Latimer filed leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada and through the Latimer Watch, CCD informed the community of the grounds of the appeal. The six disability organizations involved in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal intervention (CCD, CACL, DAWN, People First, Saskatchewan Voice, PEP) agreed to seek intervenor status in the Supreme Court appeal. The intervention was granted by the Court.


20 March 2000--CCD Human Rights Committee Chairperson Hugh Scher presented to the Senate Subcommittee to Update "Of Life and Death" of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. He presented the disability rights arguments against amending the Criminal Code to create a third degree of murder for cases of so-called "compassionate" homicide.

18 January 2001 – The Supreme Court of Canada upheld Latimer’s conviction for murder.