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Old 11-26-2004, 01:24 PM   #1
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Canada's commitment to equality

TORONTO (CP) - Denying millions of dollars worth of retroactive pension payments to widowed gays and lesbians is an irrational and unconstitutional violation of their rights and Ottawa's commitment to equality, Ontario's highest court ruled Friday.

In a strongly worded decision, the Appeal Court sided with a landmark lower-court ruling that the federal government was wrong to refuse the Canada Pension Plan back payments, estimated at about $80 million, when it extended equality rights to same-sex couples in 2000.

"Excluding many of those who were intended to be included is not rationally connected to the objective of the law, which is to end the discriminatory exclusion of same-sex partners from CPP benefits," the court said in its unanimous written ruling.

Gay activists were delighted.

"I always knew that Canadians were interested in fair play and I think the courts have borne that out," said George Hislop, 77, one of five lead plaintiffs in the case.

"The charter says we are all equal and you can't be a little bit equal. You've got to be there all the way."

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Old 11-26-2004, 01:24 PM   #2
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Old 11-26-2004, 01:43 PM   #3
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the cynic in me can't help but wonder if this will be appealed to the supreme court, though.
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Old 11-26-2004, 04:35 PM   #4
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id be surprised if this was appealed, if only the present federal supreme court is unlikely to overturn it.
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Old 11-26-2004, 06:48 PM   #5
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Very good. I just wish we understood the concept of equality as well.
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Old 11-27-2004, 04:59 AM   #6
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That's great. I wonder if any libraries in Toronto are hiring........just kidding.
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Old 11-27-2004, 06:37 AM   #7
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Old 11-27-2004, 11:16 AM   #8
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Thanks Anitram!

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