Effective date: October 1, 2005
Application: All appeals and challenges involving the Charter and/or Constitution.
Policy subject: Reconsiderations and appeals
To establish guidelines for responding to appeals based upon the Charter and/or Constitution.
Constitution of Canada is set out in the provisions of the Constitution Act, 1982 (“Constitution Act”), and under Section 52 is “the supreme law of Canada.” This means that any law in Canada that is inconsistent with the Constitution is void from the time it is enacted.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is included in Part I of the Constitution Act. The purpose of the Charter is to guarantee the rights and freedoms enshrined within it, subject only to restrictions that would be considered reasonable for a democratic society to function properly. For WCB purposes, the most relevant provisions of the Charter include Sections 7, which provides the right to life, liberty and security of the person, and 15, which outlines “Equality Rights” (freedom from discrimination on the basis of sex, age, disability, etc.).
Genuine Charter/Constitutional Issues are those that raise legitimate Charter/Constitutional question, as to whether a specific WCB policy discriminates against a customer on the basis of disability, race, sex, etc. A further example would be the guaranteed protection of aboriginal rights under Section 35 of the Constitution Act (i.e., hunting, fishing, tax exemptions for reserves). However, if a customer states, for example, in their written appeal request that their Charter/Constitutional rights have been violated simply because their claim for benefits was rejected, this would not be a genuine Charter/Constitutional issue.
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