The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) has been granted intervenor status in a Supreme Court of Canada appeal about Crown immunity. The case is Attorney General of Canada v Joseph Power.
The issue in Power is a narrow one: whether the Crown enjoys absolute immunity from a civil suit seeking Charter damages for the enactment of legislation declared unconstitutional. The government says it does have absolute immunity, and Power, who claims to have suffered damages flowing from unconstitutional legislation, says otherwise. The lower court applied a rule from an older Supreme Court of Canada case called Mackin v New Brunswick to conclude that Crown immunity is not absolute. The AG is appealing that lower court decision. The Canadian Constitution Foundation has been granted leave to intervene in that appeal.
The CCF is not taking a position on the merits of the case, but rather, focusing on the issue of whether or not the Crown is entitled to absolute immunity.

The government is not entitled to absolute immunity from damages if they enact unconstitutional legislation that is clearly wrong, in bad faith or an abuse of power. Suing the government for damages is one of the ways our system makes government accountable, and the government cannot be permitted to immunize itself the way they are attempting to in this case.

Crown immunity (Canada v Joseph Power)


CCF Launch: July 24, 2023
Jurisdiction: Supreme Court of Canada
Status: Ongoing
Next Key Date: Ongoing

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