Analogous Grounds of Discrimination under the Canadian Charter: Too Much Ado about Next to Nothing

  • Dale Gibson


Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prohibits discrimination based on an open ended list of grounds. Ever since the section was proclaimed, courts have been wrestling with the question of which grounds of discrimination not specifically listed in s. 15 are nonetheless prohibited by it. It is now generally accepted that such grounds must be "analogous" to the listed grounds. However, there is no general agreement on what "analogous" means. Professor Gibson describes five distinct ways in which the courts have approached the question of analogousness before concluding that they might do better to avoid the question altogether.