On March 1, 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada held that a decision by the Canadian Parliament in 2000 to deny retroactive survivor benefits to same-sex couples was unconstitutional discrimination under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That legislation recognized legal rights for same-sex couples, but it did not grant survivor benefits to couples if a partner had died before 1998. Over 10,000 plaintiffs initiated the class action lawsuit, and the Supreme Court heard the case in May 2006 following a lower court ruling that found same-sex couples eligible for pensions under the Canada Pension Plan, but not for retroactive survivor benefits.
Seal of the Canadian Supreme Court
Learn more about the Canadian Supreme Court from the JURIST news archive.