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Top Five 2005: Auton (Guardian ad litem of) v AG of British Columbia

Each year Justice Stephen Goudge of the Ontario Court of Appeal identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on his comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

Auton (Guardian ad litem of) v AG of British Columbia, [2004] 3 SCR 657, 2004 SCC 78

“This case raises the issue of whether the Province of British Columbia’s refusal to fund a particular treatment for preschool-aged autistic children violates the right to equality under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms” [para. 1]. The Supreme Court of Canada examined the way that our equality principles operate under the Charter, and determined that the B.C. government had not discriminated against the autistic children by not providing treatment.  The province did not provide treatment for all medically required services, and therefore, the province’s failure to provide treatment in this case did not deny the autistic children a benefit that would be available to non-autistic children. The full decision is available here.

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