Promoting and claiming social and economic rights through an inclusive human rights practice


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The Toussaint case on right to life of irregular migrants and healthcare

The Tanudjaja Charter challenge to the failure to address homelessness

The National Housing Strategy Act and the right to housing in Canada

The 2019 Toronto Housing Charter and its Implementation Plan

Charter Committee on Poverty Issues Interventions

Social Rights In Canada Community-University Research Project


What's New

CCPI/CHC/FCJRC and AI/ESCR-Net file facta in Toussaint v Canada

Presentations to Dept of Justice and OGD on National Housing Strategy Act with NRHN and WNHHN

The progressive realization of the right to housing: Paper prepared for the National Housing Council

Three papers on implementing the right to housing under the National Housing Strategy Act

Co-ordinated Legal Action to challenge Canada and other States obstructing #TRIPS Waiver at the #WTO! Letter to Minister NG

CERA and National Right to Housing Network Make first SUBMISSION under the National Housing Strategy Act.

Charities liberated to engage in public policy after groundbreaking decn of Justice Ed Morgan in Canada Without Poverty v Canada

New Publications

Bruce Porter, La interdependencia de · los derechos humanos in Derechos sociales y el momento constituyente de Chile: Perspectivas globales y locales para el debate constitucional (Distrito Global, 2021)

Jackie Dugard, Franziska Sucker & Bruce Porter & Jamie Burton, Supporting the TRIPS COVID-19 waiver is an essential step to support international human rights (Open Global Rights, 2021)

Bruce Porter, Implementing the Right to Adequate Housing Under the National Housing Strategy Act: The International Human Rights Framework (2021) (en francais)

Jackie Dugard, Bruce Porter, Daniela Ikawa and Lilian Chenwi (eds) Research Handbook on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as Human Rights

Elizabeth McIsaac and Bruce Porter "Housing Rights: Ottawa takes an historic step forward"Literary Review of Canada,(November, 2019)

Martha Jackman & Bruce Porter "Social and Economic Rights" in P. Oliver, P. Macklem and N. Des Rosiers, The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution (New York, Oxford Univesity Press, 2017) at pp 843-866.

Martha Jackman and Bruce Porter (eds)  Advancing Social Rights in Canada (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2014)

From the Archives

1992 Alternative Social Charter 

See Further publications























Litigation Support: Poverty as Ground of Discrimination and Access to Justice:

Toussaint v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Challenge to Refusal to Waive Fees for Poor People Applying for Humanitarian and Compassionate Consideration:

Bulletin: Supreme Court of Canada to Decide Application for Leave to Appeal on November 3, 2011

SRAC supported the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues and several rights claimants in an historic challenge to the refusal of the Federal Government to provide for a waiver of fees for Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications for Permanent Residency under the Immigration Act for those who live in poverty.

Justice Snider of the Federal Court, dismissed the applications, finding two of the applications moot, and dismissing the application of Nell Toussaint, finding that poverty is not a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Charter.  This decision was then appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, where CCPI was again granted intervenor standing. 

At the Federal Court of Appeal, Nell Toussaint won the right to consideration of fee waiver request under section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in place at the time. Unfortunately, this decision will be of little use to claimants under the current IRPA, which has been amended by the Harper Government, in response to this litigation, to preclude fee waiver under section 25 of the Act. The Federal Court of Appeal proceeded to consider CCPI's constitutional and Charter arguments and to our dismay upheld the erroneous findings of Snider J. in the court below. Nell Toussaint was fighting for the vindication of her rights and those of others in her situation, not for a pyrrhic victory of permission to seek a fee waiver for herself, when the Court found against all of her claims to constitutional protection from discrimination and guarantees of access to justice in accordance with the rule of law. She has, to her immense credit, sought leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada in order to seek justice for others living in poverty and denied access to justice.. CCPI filed an affidavit in support of her application.

The Supreme Court's decision on the leave application will be released at 9:45 a.m. on November 3, 2011. See:


Application for Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada

CCPI Affidavit in Support of Application for Leave to the Supreme Court of Canada

Application for Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada

Respondent's Memorandum on Application for Leave to SCC

Applicant's Reply on Application for Leave to SCC


Appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal

Toussaint v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) FCA File No. A-408-09     

CCPI Memorandum of Argument for Application to Intervene FCA

Department of Justice Response

CCPI Response

Decision to Grant CCPI Intervenor Status

CCPI Memorandum of Fact and Law FCA

Federal Court of Appeal Decision


Federal Court (FC 873)

CCPI Memorandum of Argument for Application to Intervene

Decision on Intervention Application

CCPI Memorandum of Argument

Applicants' Expert Evidence

Gunther v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) (2009 FC 875)

Krena v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) (2009 FC 874)

Toussaint v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) (2009 FC 873)