Supreme Court decision assinine

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“…the law is an ass – an idiot,” said Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, 1838.

When Canadian law, its judges, and lawyers are more powerful (and get paid more) than asses, it is well to consider judicial reform. Recently, a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Section 585 of Quebec’s Civil Code violates s. 15, the equality provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 585 states:

585. Married or civil union spouses, and relatives in the direct line in the first degree, owe each other support.

 A majority of Supreme Court justices said this portion of Quebec’s Civil Code violates the Canadian Charter because it does not provide support for common-law spouses. Some of these spouses may have been living together for 50 years, may have produced 1 or more children together, and may share every aspect of life as a couple.

 In the majority of the court’s opinions (as four different opinions were given), they said that this section violates the equality provision of the charter. Yet, a slim majority also said that this inequality is acceptable. To whom? Not to the woman who has been left with three children, children whose father is wealthy beyond comprehension. Not to the lawyers, who argued on behalf of this woman. And not to many Quebecois and Quebecoises who now face, in the word of Justice Rosalie Abella, a “catastrophic” situation.

One Quebec scoundrel has been able to avoid support through the machinations of a corrupted judicial system, but this province faces the likelihood of many more scoundrels avoiding responsibility to their common-law spouses. It is assinine.

 

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