Charter challenge claims CERB and CRB discriminated against people with disabilities

  • December 7, 2021
  • Daniel Mulroy

On November 26, 2021, the Toronto Star published the article “CERB and CRB discriminated against Canadians with disabilities, new Charter challenge claims” (link). This article outlines the Charter challenge Ms. Valerie Jacob has launched, with the assistance of bakerlaw, claiming that the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (“CERB”) and the Canada Recovery Benefit (“CRB”) discriminated against her, as a worker with disabilities.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, Ms. Jacob, like many Canadians, lost her job and was told to stay home. However, Ms. Jacob was not eligible to receive CERB or subsequently CRB – because she did not earn $5,000 or more in the 12 months prior to CERB’s release, or in 2019.

Ms. Jacob was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis in 2001 and severe Crohn’s disease in 2016 – when her health is stable she is able to work roughly 15 hours per week. However, Ms. Jacob’s disability prevented her from meeting the $5,000 threshold for CERB. She was unable to go back to work during the pandemic, because she is immunocompromised, therefore preventing her from earning toward the $5,000 threshold for CRB.

Ms. Jacob’s Charter challenge argues that the $5,000 threshold violates her Section 7 and Section 15 Charter rights.

Bakerlaw has experience guiding clients through Charter, human rights and employment law cases.  Learn more here (link).

If you have experienced discrimination as a result of a disability, please contact bakerlaw here (link) to see if we can assist you.

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