Constitutionalization of the Right to Health: a Pathway to Improved Health Outcomes?

Contributed by: Maya Gunnarsson

Introduction

This February, the McGill Journal of Law and Health hosted a conference on Access to Care and the Constitutionalization of the Right to Health.  One panel featured two experts on the right to health and the Canadian constitution.  The general argument for the constitutionalization of health is that it will lead to better health outcomes within a society.  The panellists, however, questioned this assumption.  This article will highlight some of the challenges associated with the constitutionalization of the right to health, as well as explore how this process has played out in other countries. Continue reading “Constitutionalization of the Right to Health: a Pathway to Improved Health Outcomes?”

Omni May Not Include All: Case Comment on Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada (Governor General in Council), 2018 SCC

Contributed by Loïc Welch

Introduction

“The duty to consult is about encouraging governments to consider their effects on Indigenous communities and consult proactively” (para 96)

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that every Canadian has a fundamental right to life, liberty, and security. Moreover, as stated by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, “[t]he enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”

In Canada, the Crown has recognized and affirmed Indigenous rights, and has a duty to consult whenever governmental action may adversely affect these rights. However, what triggers this duty is being hotly disputed in the courts, as many cases have made their way to the Supreme Court of Canada in recent years. Continue reading “Omni May Not Include All: Case Comment on Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada (Governor General in Council), 2018 SCC”