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Constitutional Law

Goldblatt Partners has an exciting constitutional law practice that has involved both challenges under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and traditional division of powers disputes.

We have been actively in involved in Charter litigation since the Charter’s earliest days, and have represented parties and interveners in many important Charter cases before a various tribunals and at all levels of the courts.

Our labour lawyers have been involved in many of the leading Charter cases in the labour and employment law field, advocating for employees’ freedom of expression and freedom of association. These cases include Lavigne v. OPSEU, UFCW, Local 1518 v. K Mart Canada Ltd., Dunmore v. Ontario (Attorney General), Health Services and Support-Facilities Subsector Bargaining Association v. British Columbia, Ontario (Attorney General) v. Fraser, Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Attorney General of Canada and Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan.

Our lawyers have also been at the forefront of many equality rights cases, including the first Supreme Court of Canada decision to deal with the Charter’s equality rights provision, Andrews v. Law Society of British Columbia. Some of our other equality rights cases include Jane Doe v. Metropolitan Toronto (Municipality) Commissioners of Police, Nova Scotia Workers’ Compensation Board v. Martin and Lovelace v. Ontario.

Our labour lawyers were among the first to use the Charter to attempt to advance the equality rights of gay and lesbian employees in grievance arbitration cases, such as Carleton University and C.U.P.E., Local 2424. In more recent years, we have represented clients in every major case in which the Supreme Court of Canada has dealt with the Charter equality rights of gay men and lesbians including, among others, Egan v. Canada, Vriend v. Alberta, M. v. H., and Little Sisters Book & Art Emporium v. Canada (Minister of Justice). We were also counsel in the equal marriage cases in British Columbia (Egale Canada Inc. v. Canada), Ontario (Halpern v. Canada) and in the reference to the Supreme Court of Canada (Reference re Same-Sex Marriage). In addition, we have advocated for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in Charter cases before lower courts and tribunals, including Rosenberg v. Canada, Kane v. Ontario and Vancouver Rape Relief Society v. Nixon.

Our firm has also litigated many  other types of Charter cases, including cases involving freedom of expression, freedom of religion and the right to life, liberty and security of the person (see, for example, Carter v. Canada). Our criminal law litigators have also argued numerous cases involving the Charter rights of accused persons.

On the more traditional division of powers front, we have represented clients in variety of cases, some also involving Charter claims, including Reference re Employment Insurance Act ss. 22 and 23, Egale Canada Inc. v. Canada and Reference re Same-Sex Marriage.