Friday, January 6, 2017

--Age will soon be included as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Alberta Human Rights Act. An application to include age as a discriminating factor was granted at a hearing in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench Friday after it was unopposed by the province. "We can now join the rest of Canada," said lawyer Allan Garber as he left the court with seniors' advocate Ruth Adria.----------While the application was granted, Justice Paul Belzil gave the province one year to work out certain exemptions before the change becomes law. Human rights acts in other provinces include necessary exemptions for such things as life insurance, where older people can be charged more, and senior residences which are permitted to exclude people based on age. Garber said he and Adria will be watching closely to ensure the exemptions are "for the benefit of seniors and not to their detriment."



Suit claims Alberta seniors lack rights; will be argued in Edmonton today



Poll

Are you a fan of the shootout in hockey?
  • Yes
  • No


Follow Medicine Hat News on Twitter@MedicineHatNews Follow Us



BY GILLIAN SLADE ON JANUARY 6, 2017.


gslade@medicinehatnews.com @MHNGillianSlade
A case alleging that rights of seniors in Alberta are not protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act is scheduled to be heard today in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton.
“The Charter Rights of over half a million Alberta seniors are being violated every day,” said Ruth Adria of Elder Advocates, who filed an originating motion March 17 of last year.
“To the best of my knowledge Alberta is the only province in Canada that still does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of age with respect to goods, services, rental accommodations and tenancies,” said Allan Graber, barrister and solicitor representing the plaintive.
The basis for the claim is that section four of the Alberta Human Rights Act violates section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section five of the AHRA violates section 15 of the Charter in that it deprives seniors of their right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination, said Adria.
“It’s an important issue and of course Ruth has been a tireless advocate for so many years on behalf of the elderly,” said Graber.
Older Albertans are not included under the human rights legislation and are therefore being continually discriminated against, the motion argues. Over the years Adria has made application based on violation of human rights for numerous seniors who have approached Elder Advocates. Each time she is told there is no specific protection for seniors in Alberta, said Adria.
For example, seniors are being placed in the dementia wing of a seniors residence because of their physical needs and not their cognitive ability, said Adria. The rules that apply to seniors driving vehicles is another. If a senior ends up in hospital after something like a fall, an assessment may mean they are not allowed to return home but must move into assisted living.
“You have no rights then. They simply say this is it. Even if family want to take them home they say you can’t,” said Adria. “When you become elderly you have no rights. People don’t understand that.”




NEW

Ageism to become discrimination in Alberta for first time

'We can now join the rest of Canada'

CBC News Posted: Jan 06, 2017 5:18 PM MT Last Updated: Jan 06, 2017 5:18 PM MT
Seniors' advocate Ruth Adria intends to use the Alberta Human Rights Act to fight for seniors rights once age is added as a prohibited ground for discrimination.
Seniors' advocate Ruth Adria intends to use the Alberta Human Rights Act to fight for seniors rights once age is added as a prohibited ground for discrimination. (CBC)
12 shares


Facebook



Twitter



Reddit



Google



Share



Email

Related Stories

Age will soon be included as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Alberta Human Rights Act.
An application to include age as a discriminating factor was granted at a hearing in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench Friday after it was unopposed by the province.
"We can now join the rest of Canada," said lawyer Allan Garber as he left the court with seniors' advocate Ruth Adria.
While the preamble to the act proclaims all people are "equal in dignity, rights and responsibilities with regard to" many qualities including age, age is not included as a prohibited ground of discrimination in respect to goods and services or tenancies, Adria's application said.
Alberta Human Rights Act
An excerpt from the Alberta Human Rights Act showing that age is not included in the grounds for discrimination under section four of the act. (CBC)
Garber said he was surprised the Alberta government did not oppose the application but said he had no doubt the application would be granted.
Age as grounds for discrimination has been an issue in Alberta for more than 30 years ever since the Alberta Human Rights Commission was formed in 1972, Garber said.
In 1984, the Human Rights Review Panel recommended age be included in the act but the province chose not to do so, he said.
In 2008, Adria wrote to the government asking age be included, but again the province refused, he said.

'Their rights are violated'

"Over half a million Alberta citizens, their rights are violated under the Charter," said Adria, chair of the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society. "They do not have equal benefit of the law or protection of the law."
Adria said she will use the change to challenge "unfair or invalid" driving tests and other issues facing seniors.
In an email, Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley thanked Adria for raising the issue.
Allan Garber
'We can now join the rest of Canada,' says lawyer Allan Garber. (CBC)
"We look forward to taking steps to expand the areas in which Albertans are protected from age discrimination," she said.
While the application was granted, Justice Paul Belzil gave the province one year to work out certain exemptions before the change becomes law.
Human rights acts in other provinces include necessary exemptions for such things as life insurance, where older people can be charged more, and senior residences which are permitted to exclude people based on age.
Garber said he and Adria will be watching closely to ensure the exemptions are "for the benefit of seniors and not to their detriment."



https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=795497040601511&id=100004236663889

I was at the Law Courts today. I will only write in general terms about what I saw as I am pretty fried right now. I got to Ruth's house and went with her to the Law courts. You have to go through the scanner and have a full body scan just like at the airport. We both looked for the place we had to go to. It was on the fourth floor. We took an elevator there. The place was full of police and citizens who all looked stressed. I began to feel stressed myself even though I had done nothing wrong. It's not a promising place to be and it felt like a laboratory with many human rats being tested.
In any case, we get to the fourth floor and then Mr. Garber arrives. I give him a hug (he is very huggable) and then he yaps a bit before getting ready for his case. I then wait outside the court room with Ruth. But then someone yaps to Ruth that she has to go on CBC and they can't interview her inside the law court for some odd reason.
Ruth goes downstairs with CBC. Here is the report: http://www.cbc.ca/…/edmo…/age-human-rights-alberta-1.3925515

I then go in to the court room since Ruth was busy. I yap with some other folks who were there to listen to the case who also knew Ruth. Then the case is beginning and Mr. Garber asks us where Ruth was. I told him she was downstairs and since he needed to introduce her to the Judge I went down to get her. Then we sat down. Then we sat up when the judge came in. He was a plain looking man without any sort of aura. I didn't feel that he looked like a judge but more like an internist at a hospital. In any case, we had the chatter from both lawyers and the scribbles I have in my book will be deciphered tomorrow.
I want to get Mr. Garber's side of the story and the transcript of the case for the blog. I will first start with Mr. Garber's legal statements that I hope to get from him. When it was all over there was agreement that despite 22 years of waiting we could darn well wait even longer for the GOA to do the work of mandating that age be a prohibited ground of discrimination meaning you can't discriminate against folks based on age whether old or young.
I had thought this case was for seniors but apparently it concerns both young and old. It is amazing to me that despite the recommendations made to the GOA in June 1994 , the GOA simply did not put in the prohibition against age discrimination until 2017.
https://archive.org/…/equal…/equalindignityri00albe_djvu.txt
"Equal in dignity and rights : a review of human rights in Alberta"
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
PUBLIC REVIEW
Room 801, 10011 - 109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 3S8
June 1994
Summary of Recommendations
Grounds and Areas of Discrimination
Existing Grounds and Areas
The Review Panel recommends that all the grounds listed in the
Act apply to all the areas of discrimination listed in the Act.
Age
The Review Panel recommends:
• that age be a protected ground in all areas of the IRPA, and that
the definition of age be deleted so there is protection for any
person regardless of age
• that the Alberta government formally endorse the UN Conven-
tion on the Rights of the Child.
****************************
What the heck is wrong with the MLAs that we are the last province to prohibit discrimination and why does the GOA need a year after 22 years of sitting on its butt to get going on this matter?
The MLAs can make legislation in a millisecond when it concerns the prospects of the NDP folks can't they? Remember the law they passed preventing donations by corporations and unions that benefited them? Why do they need to have a year to make legislation amendments to the act? Who knows? Such a poor performance by the GOA.
Then on top of the approval by the Judge (I can't remember his name) there was the small matter of the extra work Mr. Garber did since the GOA did not get its act together that the Judge did not seem too concerned about. I don't know if Mr. Garber will get the $7,000 he asked for since the Crown lawyer seemed rather reluctant to provide the money despite the fact that the GOA was not prepared for this case and had dilly dallyed for ages on the matter. I mean the case was filed last year and the GOA knew all about it and they are still yapping to the public that this was all last minute. The GOA knew that this application was filed on March 18, 2016 and yet Mr. Garber only knew that they were asking for a suspension just before he got to the court room so he was expecting a contesting of the case and did all the work for no pay. It's shameful. The GOA should jolly well pay up. Or do they like to run up costs for citizens just to teach us not to ask for things like prohibiting age discrimination?
In the end I was tuckered out and after leaving Ruth (still fresh) after countless interviews I came home. I have interviewed Mr. Garber and Ruth a bit on tape, but I was (as usual) not prepared and so my interview is very quick. I will have to learn how to be a journalist by copying the real journalists who were present at the Law Court with their cameras and tripods.
It seems a cell phone camera is too shaky. So many things to learn and so little time. But at least Mr. Garber made history today and at least the dumb GOA did not contest this amendment which the PCs never had any intention of doing in my opinion.
When I got home I took mum shopping at Southgate Mall for a coat and four T-shirts. Tomorrow I take Rebecca to buy her clothes. I won't have time to write about the case right now so you will have to read the CBC report. In any case, Ruth won, the GOA won in its suspension of the commencement of the amendment (as far as I can tell) for one year and who knows if they will prolong this even longer as they are wont to do being inefficient and disinterested? It's troubling to me that after 22 years, the GOA still needs another year to do what it should have done 22 years ago. Let us hope they don't mess up and put in restrictions to this prohibition to discriminate based on age.
Another article that talks about this matter is here:
http://medicinehatnews.com/…/suit-claims-alberta-seniors-l…/
I will have to leave the photographs, the video and the real meat of this case till the weekend when I will think about what Ruth has accomplished today with the help of Mr. Garber and Ally. Congratulations Ruth! Good job Mr. Garber!
Age will soon be included as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Alberta Human Rights Act.
CBC.CA

LikeShow more reactions
Comment
Comments
Edward Redshaw Would have loved to have been at the Court but I have limitations as I told Ruth. This getting old stuff is for the birds. Thank you Julie for being there. You are a good person, I congratulated Ruth-God Bless her and her work. The government has devious people who will try to defang the law. Watch out for them. I wish I could win a lottery and go after them big time regarding the deteriorating care in Long-Term Care Centres as a result of their disastrous funding system. Who knows what can happen if one Keeps the Faith.
LikeReply5 mins
Julie Ali Well one thing for sure is that the NDP will be out in the next election but we are still stuck with career bureaucrats who won't do the work of change. This is a problem that will not be altered by the political parties but only by the people of Alberta. How do we alter the GOA? I think we need to go public and expose the failures via social media. This is the only thing that the GOA cannot control--our voices, in our own media format.
LikeReply3 mins
Julie Ali
Write a reply...
Julie Ali The failures at the GOA are amply illustrated here where /Alberta Justice has to be investigated by the FOIP commissioner. What the heck?http://www.cbc.ca/.../foip-commissioner-orders... FOIP commissioner orders investigation of Alberta Justice

Private investigator will investigate whether ministry should be prosecuted

By Charles Rusnell, Jennie Russell, CBC News Posted: Oct 27, 2016 9:22 PM MT Last Updated: Oct 27, 2016 9:25 PM MT

No comments:

Post a Comment