CCF to appear in court TODAY in appeal of decision that found math test for teachers discriminatory

CCF to appear in court TODAY in appeal of decision that found math test for teachers discriminatory

TORONTO – The Canadian Constitution Foundation will be appearing as an intervener in the Ontario Court of Appeal in the case of Petrucci v. Ontario, 2021 ONSC 7386, which found legislation requiring teachers to pass a math proficiency test (MPT) constituted unconstitutional racial discrimination.

This case will consider the scope of the section 15 Charter right to equal protection under the law, and the question of whether a government requirement of a mandatory math proficiency test for Ontario teacher candidates constituted unjustified discrimination.

The Canadian Constitution Foundation been granted intervener status to argue about the interpretation of section 15 of the Charter.  The CCF will argue that the presence or absence of arbitrariness is a key consideration in the section 15(1) test, and that, if a government crafts and implements a law in a way that accommodates an impacted group’s actual capacities and needs, the law is not arbitrary and will rarely be discriminatory.

“We are looking forward to the hearing of the appeal in this important section 15 Charter case. The law on equality has evolved in a confusing and inconsistent way, and we are hoping to assist the Court of Appeal in bringing some clarity to the law,” said CCF Litigation Director, Christine Van Geyn. “The Divisional Court decision, in concluding that the math test was discriminatory against certain races, has taken adverse impact discrimination too far, and stretched theories of substantive equality beyond their limits. The conclusion reached by the Divisional Court is exactly what the dissent in Fraser warned about, when they wrote that ‘Substantive equality has become almost infinitely malleable, allowing judges to invoke it as rhetorical cover for their own policy preferences in deciding a given case. This discretion does not accord with, but rather departs from, the rule of law.’ We hope the Court of Appeal will correct this infinite malleability,” continued Van Geyn.

The hearing will be live streamed on Zoom at:

Passcode: 423332

The CCF’s Litigation Director, Christine Van Geyn, will live tweet the proceedings.

You can follow her on X under the username @cvangeyn

The Canadian Constitution Foundation is represented in its intervention by George Avraam, Jennifer Bernardo, and Rono Khan of Baker McKenzie LLP.