Past Cases

CLAS has represented clients and community groups at all levels of court. CLAS lawyers have been instrumental in developing the law in the areas of human rights, housing and income security, workers’ rights, mental health and access to justice. Some of our most memorable cases are listed below.

Human rights and equality

Armstrong v. British Columbia (Ministry of Health), 2010 BCCA 56: CLAS intervened on the test for prima facie discrimination.  

Blencoe v. British Columbia (Human Rights Commission), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 307: CLAS intervened on behalf of the Human Rights Coalition.

British Columbia v. Bolster, 2007 BCCA 65: CLAS successfully defended the right of a complainant to receive compensation from the government as a result of discrimination.

British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) v. British Columbia (Council of Human Rights), [1999] 3 SCR 868 [Grismer]: CLAS successfully represented the complainant in this seminal decision about discrimination in drivers licence testing and the test for undue hardship.

British Columbia (Workers' Compensation Board) v. Figliola, 2011 SCC 52: CLAS represented a group of workers to argue that they should be entitled to bring a discrimination complaint against the Workers’ Compensation Board’s chronic pain policy.  This case establishes fundamental principles for the workings of s. 27 of the Human Rights Code.

Fahlman, by his guardian ad litem Fiona Gow v. Community Living British Columbia et al, 2007 BCCA 15: CLAS successfully challenged CLBC’s policy for determining who was eligible for services.

Friedmann v. MacGarvie, 2012 BCCA 445: CLAS successfully represented the complainant in this leading case which affirms that sexual harassment in tenancy is prohibited by the Human Rights Code.

HMTQ v. Hutchinson et al, 2004 BCSC 1536: CLAS successfully challenged the discriminatory government policy which refused funding for family members caring for severely disabled relatives.

Ismail v. British Columbia (Human Rights Tribunal), 2013 BCSC 1079: CLAS successfully represented Lorna Pardy in a human rights complaint against Guy Earle and Zesty’s restaurant as a result of homophobic comments made to Ms. Pardy while she was a patron in the restaurant.

Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation v. Asad, 2010 BCSC 33: CLAS successfully represented a Muslim complainant who had been the subject of discriminatory racial profiling in the aftermath of 9-11.

Langtry Industries Ltd. v. British Columbia (Human Rights Tribunal), 2009 BCSC 1091: CLAS successfully represented a family from Nicaragua who had been discriminated against in their workplace. 

Lavender Co-Operative Housing Association v. Ford, 2011 BCCA 114: CLAS represented the complainant in this appeal, arguing that a housing co-operative’s rule restricting membership to one member of a family unit was discriminatory on the basis of marital status.  See our factum here.

Moore v. British Columbia (Education), 2012 SCC 61: CLAS successfully represented a father in his fight to have his son with dyslexia receive an equal education.  This leading Supreme Court of Canada case affirms every child’s right to an education. See our factum here.

School District No. 44 (North Vancouver) v. Jubran, 2005 BCCA 201: CLAS successfully represented a high school student who was the subject of homophobic bullying. The court affirmed that people are protected from the discrimination on the basis of a perception that they belong to a protected group.

Housing security

Barosso v. Frazer Plaza Ltd., 2011 BCSC 1448: CLAS successfully helped a group of tenants to overturn rent increases.

Berry and Kloet v. British Columbia (Residential Tenancy Act, Arbitrator), 2007 BCSC 257: CLAS successfully represented two tenants in a case which sets out the applicable principles for when a landlord can evict a tenant in order to conduct renovations.

Clements v. Gordon Nelson Investments Inc., 2010 BCSC 31: CLAS helped a group of tenants to overturn a decision of the Residential Tenancy Branch allowing rent increases.  This case clarifies the approach the Branch must take for determining whether a rent increase is permissible.

Doughty v. Whitworth Holdings Ltd., 2008 BCSC 801: CLAS represented a group of tenants facing illegal rent increases, successfully arguing that the Residential Tenancy Branch had failed to properly apply the Residential Tenancy Act.

Fernandez v. Sakr, 2012 BCSC 1024: CLAS successfully represented a tenant to challenge a monetary order issued against her after the Residential Tenancy Branch failed to ensure that her hearing met the most basic requirements of procedural fairness.

Mochizuki v. Whitworth Holdings Ltd., 2008 BCSC 802: CLAS successfully represented a group of tenants facing illegal rent increases in this case which affirmed the Residential Tenancy Branch’s duty to give adequate reasons for its decisions.

Ross v. British Columbia (Residential Tenancy Act, Dispute Resolution Officer), 2008 BCSC 1862: CLAS successfully represented this tenant in a case affirming the Residential Tenancy Branch’s obligation to adhere to principles of procedural fairness.

Income security

Gillis v. Canada (Attorney General), 2009 FC 504: CLAS successfully represented this veteran in challenging the assessment of his pension by the Veterans Review and Appeals Board.

Harley v. Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal, 2006 BCSC 1420: CLAS successfully represented a woman who had been denied income assistance on the basis of inadequate reasons by the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal.

Hudson v. British Columbia (Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal), 2009 BCSC 1461: CLAS successfully represented a woman who had been found ineligible for person with disability (PWD) benefits on the basis of inadequate reasons. This case clarifies the criteria to be applied to a determination of whether a person qualifies for PWD benefits.

Mental Health

Mazzei v. British Columbia (Director of Adult Forensic Psychiatric Services), 2006 SCC 7: CLAS intervened to argue that that Review Boards had jurisdiction to prescribe conditions to ensure the proper treatment of not criminally responsible accused.

R. v. Conway, 2010 SCC 22: CLAS intervened to argue that the Mental Health Review Board had jurisdiction to apply the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Workers' Rights

Honda Canada Inc. v. Keays, 2008 SCC 39: CLAS intervened on behalf of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities to argue that human rights protections are an implied term of every employment contract.  

Jozipovic v. British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Board), 2012 BCCA 174: CLAS successfully challenged WCAT’s policy with respect to the application of the “loss of earnings” method of calculating benefits.  

Kovach v. British Columbia (Workers' Compensation Board), 2000 SCC 3:  CLAS successfully argued on behalf of injured workers groups from B.C. and Ontario that workers must receive compensation for additional disability caused by negligent medical treatment. 

Squires v. British Columbia  (Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal), 2011 BCSC 556: CLAS successfully represented a worker in a challenge to a decision of the WCAT, on the basis that he was denied procedural fairness.

Access to Justice

Canada (Attorney General) v. Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society, 2012 SCC 45: CLAS intervened to advocate for a modern approach to public interest standing.