Promoting Human Rights Archives

Promoting Human Rights

April 17, 2024

Council of Canadians with Disabilities : 48 years strong and "On The Road to 50 Years"

In this Chapter I recount how COPOH, through skilled leadership and a fierce determination to change the course of history, persuaded Canada to become one of the first countries to accord persons with disabilities Constitutional protection of their equality rights.  I begin the Chapter with a brief background on the evolution of a disability rights analysis and its impact on the development of the disability rights movement as a political actor.  I then discuss the patriation of Canada's Constitution and how it affected Canadians with disabilities.  Finally, I describe some of the strategies used by people with disabilities to illustrate their passion and will to achieve recognition in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. ~ Yvonne Peters Read more.

March 21, 2024

Everyone has a responsibility to end racism

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Read more.

December 10, 2023

International Day of Human Rights

Today, December 10th, 2023, CCD commemorates International Human Rights Day.  The theme for this year is Freedom, Equality and Justice for All.  Read more.

July 6, 2022

Sad News: Passing of Jim Derksen

It is with sadness that we report that long time CCD volunteer Jim Derksen has passed away. 

Jim was a truly visionary leader, helping our organization meet challenges in a principled manner consistent with our human rights philosophy. Jim was a Chairperson of CCD, when it was called the Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped (COPOH).  He was also a National Coordinator of the organization.
  Read more.

April 9, 2022

Sad News

It is with sadness that we report that our fellow Council member John Rae passed away suddenly on the afternoon of April 8th in Toronto. Read more.

March 8, 2022

Celebrating International Women's Day

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) commemorates International Women’s Day. While celebrating the contribution of all women, we draw particular attention to women with disabilities who also contend with ableism and other forms of intersecting discrimination related to their particular identities. We celebrate the work that women with disabilities living in Canada are doing to promote access and inclusion.   Read more.

February 17, 2021

Dear Health Ministers- Remember us? People with disabilities, the most vulnerable and ignored in the vaccine rollout?

The federal government is responsible for procurement of the vaccinations and has a duty to take leadership in regard to protecting vulnerable citizens. Provincial and territorial governments are responsible under human rights legislation to ensure that vaccines are delivered to people with disabilities in a timely manner and that folks with disabilities are in the vaccine delivery plans. We call on all levels of government in Canada to look at their vaccination plans and reconsider where at risk disabled Canadians, their families and caregivers fall into these plans. Read more.

January 7, 2021

Jewelles Smith Welcomed to CCD Staff

Roxana Jahani Aval, Chairperson, and Shari Hildred, National Coordinator, announced that Jewelles Smith  has joined the staff of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) as the organization’s first Communications and Government Relations Coordinator.   Read more.

December 17, 2020

Victims and Survivors of Crime Week 2020: Video Now Available

On November 27, 2020, IRIS and Warriors Against Violence Society hosted an event for Victims & Survivors of Crime Week entitled: Access to Justice for Indigenous, Racialized and 2SLGBTQ+ people with disabilities. There were over 150 attendees! You can now watch each of the panel presentations at: Read more.

December 3, 2020

December 3, 2020: Do Better Now Says the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD)!

The theme for 2020 is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world.  This is not some future task. The time is now. Read more.

November 13, 2020

CCD Concurs: Add Anti-Racism Pillar to Canada Health Act

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national human rights organization of people with disabilities working for an accessible and inclusive Canada, adds its voice to the Brian Sinclair Working Group’s call for the amendment of the Canada Health Act to make anti-racism the Act’s sixth pillar. Read more.

November 7, 2020

CCD Calls for Co-Creation of Solution to Address Anti-Indigenous Oppression in Health Care and Beyond

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) seeks to honour Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman, by pledging to serve as an ally supporting the long overdue work needed to remedy systemic anti-Indigenous racism and oppression, which is the result of Canadian colonialism and white supremacy.  As an ally, CCD urges all Canadians, and particularly Canadian leaders at all levels, to do their part to address anti-Indigenous oppression. Read more.

November 7, 2020

CCD Announces New Executive Committee

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national organization working for an accessible and inclusive Canada, is proud to announce the Executive Committee for 2020-22 that was elected by CCD’s member organizations:

Chairperson: Roxana Jahani Aval
Past Chair: Jewelles Smith
1st Vice Chair: Heather Walkus *New
2nd Vice Chair: Tracy Odell *New
Secretary: Ian Young *New
Treasurer: Pat Danforth
Member-at-Large on the Executive Committee: Frank Folino
  Read more.

November 6, 2020

New National Coordinator Joins Leading National Disability Rights Organization - CCD

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) welcomes a new National Coordinator, Shari Hildred. Read more.

April 25, 2019

Canadian Human Rights Commission 2018 Annual Report Shows Little Improvement for Disabled Canadians

“Speak Out, as the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has titled its 2018 Annual Report, reads to us like a call to action to speak our truth on the discrimination that people with disabilities encounter in Canada,” states Jewelles Smith, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD). “Far too many of us face oppression and discrimination, while going to school, at work and doing the activities that many Canadians take for granted but for people with disabilities often mean navigating barriers, which are often systemic in nature,” states Pat Danforth, CCD 1st Vice Chair. Read more.

November 26, 2016

Strategies for Competent and Ethical Disability Law Advocacy

Featured panel speakers will include Ms. Morgan Rowe, Ms. Helen Ries, Dr. Jihan Abbas, and Mr. Charles Ng. Read more.

May 11, 2013

Yvonne Peters, Gwen Brodsky, Ravi Malhotra Discuss Inclusion After the Moore Case

Along with others, some members of the CCD Human Rights Committee share their views on the impact of the Moore case.  Read more.

January 29, 2013

CMHR to feature the most inclusive design in Canadian history

“The exciting thing for people with disabilities is not only that a space is being created for a new understanding of human rights, but that it will also be fully accessible,” Laurie Beachell, CCD national coordinator said. “As our understanding of human rights evolves, so will our understanding of access and inclusive design. The disability community is pleased to be part of something that can raise awareness about what inclusion really means.” Read more.

April 17, 2012

Constitutional Equality Rights: People with Disabilities Still Celebrating 30 Years Later

“CCD celebrates the anniversary of the Charter and all those who have been using it to remove barriers to the full and equal participation of people with disabilities,” states Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson. “April 17 is an important anniversary which we must celebrate every year.”

  Read more.

March 23, 2012

Factum in the Moore Case

CCD has intervened in this appeal because it is deeply concerned about the template for comparator group analysis adopted by the lower courts, reducing the right to accommodation to a right to the same treatment or same accommodation that others receive. The reasoning of the lower courts, if accepted by this Court, threatens to make the duty to accommodate meaningless, thereby profoundly eroding the human rights of persons with disabilities in a wide variety of settings. Read more.

March 21, 2012

Supreme Court of Canada Hears Access to Education in Disabled Student's Case

“Access to education, including effective accommodation, is fundamental to ensuring that persons with disabilities will become full and equal citizens, able to participate equally in the workforce and all aspects of Canadian society,” said Dean Richert, Co-chairperson of CCD Human Rights Committee.  Read more.

May 16, 2011

Fundamental Disability Rights Case Goes to Supreme Court of Canada

On May Tuesday May 17th the Supreme Court of Canada will be asked to consider whether people with intellectual disabilities should be allowed to testify in court. Specifically, the question before the Court is whether people with intellectual disabilities are required to demonstrate an understanding of the concept of a “promise to tell the truth” in order to be permitted to testify. The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) has been granted intervener status in this case. Read more.

March 8, 2011

Factum in the Mowat Case

This case involves a woman, Ms. Donna Mowat, who filed a human rights complaint after she experienced sexual harassment at work. According to the Federal Court of Appeal, Ms. Mowat, whose sexual harassment complaint was largely successful, was entitled to only $4000 in compensation, although her legal fees to bring her complaint forward were nearly $200,000.

In this appeal, the Supreme Court was asked to decide if those who experience discrimination should be reimbursed for their legal costs relating to filing human rights complaints. The legal fees to file complaints and to have them heard by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal can be more than what is awarded as compensation to successful complainants. As a result of this, even when victims of discrimination win their cases, they are very often out of pocket several thousands of dollars.

The CCD argued that the human rights legislation must be accessible to people who experience discrimination. This is particularly important for people with disabilities who represent the largest proportion of complainants before the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Read more.

July 27, 2009

CCD Factum in the Moore Case

CCD intervened in the Moore case because the case is about ensuring the legal duty to accommodate persons with disabilities is interpreted in a manner that serves its remedial purposes. Specifically, CCD intervened in the appeal because of a concern that the comparator group analysis adopted by the learned Chambers Judge has the potential to undermine the rights of all persons with disabilities to accommodation in a variety of settings. CCD respectfully submitted that the Court erred in determining that to establish discrimination, a student with disability, seeking accommodation in public education, needed to demonstrate differential treatment of students with disabilities in special education. CCD argued that remedial purpose of the duty to accommodate means there is a constant comparison inherent in the duty to accommodate. The comparison is between persons with and without disabilities. Read more.

September 8, 2008

A Disability Rights Analysis of Canada's Record Regarding the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A Submission by CCD to the Human Rights Council in Relation to the 2009 Periodic Review of Canada

As an organization with unique expertise regarding the conditions that are necessary for people with disabilities to have full enjoyment of their human rights, CCD shared with the UN Human Rights Council its analysis of Canada's human rights record as it pertains to persons with disabilities. Read more.

November 1, 2007

The Canadian Human Rights Commission Strives to Design a New Business Model: What Does This Mean for Persons with Disabilities?

This paper provides an assessment of the new business model currently being used by the Canadian Human Rights Commission to manage human rights complaints and to promote human rights in Canada. It outlines the nature of the changes brought about by the new business model and considers the effectiveness of these changes in protecting and promoting the human rights of persons with disabilities. The report concludes with recommendations. Read more.

April 1, 2004

Integrated Case Factum

January 26, 2004

Twenty Years of Litigating for Disability Equality Rights: Has it Made a Difference?

This paper traces the evolution of disability equality rights; from demanding recognition and inclusion in human rights law, to becoming experienced litigatiors for a substantive vision of equality in Canada. Read more.

September 20, 2001

Brockie Case Factum

February 14, 2001

Chesters Case Factum

November 22, 1999

Lovelace Case Factum

August 1, 1999

Granovsky Case Factum

July 29, 1999

Grismer Case Factum

February 9, 1998

Orillia Case Factum

March 24, 1997

Eldridge Case Factum

June 8, 1996

Eaton Factum

January 1, 1996

Gibbs Case Factum

January 1, 1993

Thwaites Case Factum

May 25, 1987

Andrews Case Factum

January 1, 1984

Bhinder Case Factum