Rights and Freedoms: socio-economic rights, social justice and poverty with Marie-Thérèse Toutant
On January 18th 2018, the Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law invites Marie-Thérèse Toutant to discuss and share her personal experience of the scope and the essence of people’s rights and freedoms. On the occasion of a discussion of the very polemical decision reached by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2012 in the Gosselin case, Marie-Thérèse Toutant will share her very own experience regarding poverty and social exclusion. In Gosselin, the Court was deciding whether a regulation providing for reduced welfare benefits for individuals under 30 not participating in training or work experience employment programs infringed on the right to equality and the right to security provided by the Charter. In a very divided judgment, the Court concluded that the regulation was not infringing on individuals’ right to equality and security.
Fighter, activist, irrepressible and energetic are terms that describe Marie-Thérèse Toutant from Sainte Julie in Montérégie. She made her life a fight to defend the rights of vulnerable members of society, more specifically people suffering from mental health problems, natural caregivers and the homeless. Actively engaged in the field of homelessness, she conducted interviews with people experiencing social exclusion to help them speak their voice and vision of the world. She has been very active in the homeless community for the past 18 years, in particular as President of the Montreal Natural Caregivers Group and the housing network “Chez Soi”, an organization on the south shore of Montreal. She is also a mother of four and has taken care of her husband who has suffered from schizophrenia over the past thirty years. In 2015, she received the Prix Hommage 40 ans de la Charte awarded by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse to 40 individuals whose lifelong commitment to human right sis exemplary.
Faculty of Law, Fauteux 302, at 1pm
57 Louis-Pasteur Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada