In the two decades since Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect, the right to equality has been one of the most hotly contested Charter rights, being disputed in over 350 reported court cases across Canada. It is a right that in very short order has become deeply engrained in Canadian legal, political, and social discourse. It has become a bedrock value, fundamentally reflecting and shaping how Canadians view themselves and their society.
Making Equality Rights Real critically assesses the state of equality jurisprudence from many angles. Collectively, these 13 essays attempt to advance substantive equality as section 15 of the Charter moves into its second generation. Each of the papers in this collection aims to deepen our understandings of the dynamics of inequality and oppression and so produce a richer more nuanced legal framework for eradicating discrimination and promoting substantive equality. With only two decades’ experience with Charter equality litigation, the project to secure substantive equality remains a work in progress.