Canadian Contractor


“Frustrated” with the ESA

"Can they stop being like the German gestapo?" this electrician asks.

Just to take a break from our readers’ relentless bashing of the Ontario College of Trades, here is a post about the Electrical Safety Authority. We actually think the ESA is a fine organization, in terms of its overall effect on the industry (as opposed to the OCOT, which is a disgrace) but this electrician disagrees…

Has Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) become just another money grab from legitimate contractors trying to follow all the guidelines it puts out? If they require inspections for all non-ACP (ESA’s Authorized Contractor Program) contractors, they should be more available for customers to pinpoint closer inspection times than between “8 and 12” and “12 and 4.” Are they like the cable companies? Also, if we are licenced journeymen, ESA-licenced contractors, should we not have a little more leniency when it comes to inspections for basic installs or remedial tasks? When they have already been permitted? What’s the point of getting your C of Q if you still need inspections for everything you do? I’m just a frustrated contractor fed up with the ESA. Can they stop being like the German gestapo trying to nail you for everything they can find? How about a courtesy call instead of a letter fining you for bullshit?

Jeff O’Brien



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4 Comments » for “Frustrated” with the ESA
  1. Questo says:

    Hi Jeff O’Brien, very interesting your comment about the ESA.

    Its apparent these agencies are in place to one purpose only, money grab nothing else. I have been pointing this issue for long time.

    Its about time some people like you are waking up for the reality of these matters.

    You may ask what can we the trades people do to fix it in our advantage?

    Simple, we, all trades people get together and lunch a class action law suite against the Ontario government. Or a Province wide strike for a week or even longer. (In special certified electricians) Like other countries do, until we get the respect we deserve.

    What the Ontario government have done against us the trades people its insane, in special certified electricians. We have and still be treated like criminals, just to operate our field jobs, that’s an apparent violation of basic human right code, never mind about other rights was token from us for money making purpose, no benefit whatsoever, unfair treatment is unacceptable.

    Shop Mechanics don’t have outside inspectors, when they inspect a car to certified for the road. Why certified electricians aren’t in the same level? Does any home owner certifies his/heir car for the road?

    Where is the equality of certification trades?

    Why we the electricians were a designated target for money grab? Do we deserve discrimination? What value does have our certification C of Q?

    For sure to the OCOT was a good bound, when Ontario government sold our trade certification for money, we were like slaves on the pass.

    How can the government sold something belong to me? I haven’t authorized them to do so, I never give the government powers of attorney of my belongs, nor did I sign into the OCOT. Ho can the OCOT sale whole or part of their data to whom they wish without any knowledge of their members? What about those did not sign with them but their private info is in the OCOT data base illegal.

    Apparently the electrical C of Q is to waste time and money in college, which is another ground for money grab and debt enslave system.
    ( indoctrination) no education, another brick in the wall.

    Home owners are allowed to do their electrical work in their houses in this Province without any knowledge of electrical work, that’s pure stupid, but the ESA love this because apparently generates more money for them. Its about their founds, their glory, not service, its corruption, allowing none trade certification people to perform electrical work. Its a clear violation of the health a safety rules. Who takes responsibility for this work? ESA does not, how can insurance companies allow a such thing to take place? They should not insure any electrical work done by shoe makes, and inspected by crooks, in any home either wood frame or concrete. If insurance companies start asking for responsibility electrical terms, like done by who and when, or ( inspect by who and when, like ESA now) , also asking copies of the electrical diagrams, specify all the circuits in the house, and electrical protection loads, to those whom done their house electrical works. Things will change from the night to day.

    Where is the trades protection in this matter?

    In some parts of Europe Electricians sign for their work, like I did before, Europe license, even with the Canadian license I still can do it, amazing, no ESA or similar bullshit inspections, and home owners aren’t allowed to do their electrical work, unless they are in the field and are certified. Now ESA does electrical inspections, but aren’t liable for their inspections, what is the point for their inspection? money money money money money money money.

    Ontario government is the apparent Mob rule,( demonic cracy) do as we want you to, not the real way of doing properly.

    So announcing a Province wide strike, with upfront demands, Like ESA/ECRA out of our business, also the insane so called college of trades ( Judas) dismantle this tax grab totally.

    Now the Premier Wynne is in apparent chaotic situation, to win the next election, 2018 ( yeah keep dreaming) it may be our time to strike back.

    Crook politicians in downfall times will do anything to stay a afloat, even reverse their own bullshit, like we watched recently in hydro bill’s.
    We may have a change to challenge these crooks.

    Better be all trades together in demand, we all deserve what is belong to us, respect, and dignity for our chosen carrier jobs, we do not destroy, we construct.

  2. Oliber says:

    Dear trades people,,,, either compulsory or not in the province of Ontario, and those are most affect, Certified electricians, please pay close attention to this document down below and read about the equality rights, and all others which matters.

    Its apparent the Ontario government have been prey on the trades people, electricians in general for no reason, in disrespect of the main full laws of our country. Seating up none for profit org as a vehicle to collect founds and force insane laws, this disparate as to end.

    This can’t happen in a free and democratic society, as mentioned many times by legislators. Either they are insane, ignorant, stupid, or just down care at all. So if that’s the case, why they run for public office?

    The ESA/ECRA/ OCOT and others are apparent vehicles for under the guise of many protections ( false protections) for tax grab.

    Where the founds collected by these vehicles is going?
    Who is investigating them?

    C. Section 33: The Notwithstanding Clause

    Both Parliament and provincial legislatures have a limited power under section 33 to pass laws that are exempt from certain Charter provisions – those concerning fundamental freedoms and legal and equality rights. This section is sometimes referred to as the “notwithstanding clause”.

    In order to rely on this section, Parliament or a legislature must state specifically that a particular law is exempt from the Charter. It must also state which sections of the Charter do not apply. An exemption from the Charter lasts a maximum of five years. After that, if Parliament or the legislature concerned wishes it to continue to be exempt from the Charter, it must make a new declaration under this section.

    The purpose of this section is to require a government that wishes to limit Charter rights to say clearly what it is doing and accept the political consequences of doing so.

    It also ensures that Parliament and the legislatures, not the courts, have the final say on important matters of public policy. If, at a certain point, the rights in the Charter no longer reflect Canadian values, then democratically elected bodies like Parliament and the legislatures can make laws that are not bound by the Charter.

    To date, provincial legislatures have used this section rarely. It has never been used by the federal Parliament.

    D. Charter Protected Rights and Freedoms

    The Charter provisions regarding equality (section 15), liberty and security of the person (section 7), and arbitrary detention (sections 10 and 12) are especially relevant to substitute decision making and responses to elder abuse and exploitation, the focus subject areas in this Report.

    1. Section 15

    The equality rights guaranteed by section 15 will be of obvious relevance to the development of anti-ageist legislation. It is important to note that discrimination is permitted where justified under section 1, and also where it is used as a factor in designing programs, activities or laws that are intended to ameliorate disadvantage (under subsection 2) as where benefits are conferred on individuals over the age of 65, for example.

    Section 15 guarantees equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination:

    15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability

    (2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

    The grounds listed in section 15 are known as the “enumerated grounds.” The section has been interpreted as prohibiting (subject to section 1) discrimination on the basis of characteristics analogous to the enumerated grounds, in addition to the enumerated grounds themselves.

    Age is an enumerated ground, but the Supreme Court of Canada has described age as different, in significant ways, from other enumerated grounds:

    [U]nlike race, religion, or gender, age is not strongly associated with discrimination and arbitrary denial of privilege. This does not mean that examples of age discrimination do not exist. But age-based distinctions are a common and necessary way of ordering our society. They do not automatically evoke a context of pre-existing disadvantage suggesting discrimination and marginalization under this first contextual factor, in the way that other enumerated or analogous grounds might…. The fact that ‘[e]ach individual of any age has personally experienced all earlier ages and expects to experience the later ages’ (P. W. Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada (loose-leaf ed.), vol. 2, at p. 52-54) operates against the arbitrary marginalization of people in a particular age group. Again, this does not mean that age is a “lesser” ground for s. 15 purposes. However, pre-existing disadvantage and historic patterns of discrimination against a particular group do form part of the contextual evaluation of whether a distinction is discriminatory. [25]

    a) Discrimination

    Differential treatment on the basis of one of the enumerated or analogous grounds will not, in every instance, be discriminatory. The nature of discrimination was explained by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Law v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration):[26]

    [T]he purpose of section 15(1) is to prevent the violation of essential human dignity and freedom through the imposition of disadvantage, stereotyping, or political or social prejudice, and to promote a society in which all persons enjoy equal recognition at law as human beings or as members of Canadian society, equally capable and equally deserving of concern, respect, and consideration…. Human dignity … is concerned with physical and psychological integrity and empowerment. Human dignity is harmed by unfair treatment based upon personal traits or circumstances which do not relate to individual needs, capacities, or merits. It is enhanced by laws which are sensitive to the needs, capacities, and merits of different individuals, taking into account the context underlying their differences. Human dignity is harmed when individuals and groups are marginalized, ignored or devalued, and is enhanced when laws recognize the full place of all individuals and groups within Canadian society. Human dignity… concerns the manner in which a person legitimately feels when confronted with a particular law. Does the law treat him or her unfairly, taking into account all of the circumstances regarding the individuals affected and excluded by the law?[27]

    Law involved a claim by a 35 year old widow that she had been discriminated against because she did not qualify for Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits available to persons 45 years or older. The Supreme Court held that this age based distinction was not discriminatory, and so did not violate section 15. Discrimination on the basis of age, where it existed, is most likely to affect “people of advanced age who are presumed to lack abilities that they may in fact possess.”[28]

    b) Substantive equality

    The equality rights guaranteed by section 15 have been interpreted as substantive, rather than formal rights. This means that a law applying in a uniform way which, in implementation, has a disproportionately negative effect on “enumerated” classes of persons will be in violation of section 15. As explained by McIntyre J. in Andrews v. Law Society of British Columbia,[29] “accommodation of differences . . . is the true essence of equality”.

    In Eldridge v. British Columbia,[30] for example, a group of deaf patients asserted that their equality rights were infringed by the failure of the BC Medicare system to ensure that sign language interpreters would be available during hospital visits and medical appointments. The policy was, on its face, an example of formal equality: everyone was treated in the same way, with the same access to medical services. However, by treating the hearing impaired as if they were “the same as everyone else” and did not have particular requirements this formal equality had the effect of infringing the substantive equality of deaf patients; if a deaf patient is unable to communicate with a medical service provider, he or she does not have equal access to medical care.

    c) Discrimination on the basis of age

    Discrimination on the basis of age was considered by the Supreme Court of Canada in a number of decisions issued in 1990: McKinney v. University of Guelph;[31] Stoffman v. Vancouver General Hospital;[32] Harrison v. University of British Columbia;[33] Douglas/ Kwantlen Faculty Assn v. Douglas College.[34] All concerned mandatory retirement policies. Although the Court concluded in each case that the entity in question was private, it went on to consider the section 15 issue. The most complete discussion can be found in McKinney.

    Giving the majority decision in that case, Justice LaForest concluded that, while discrimination on the basis of age was clearly prohibited by section 15, age was qualitatively different from the other enumerated grounds:

    …there is nothing inherent in most of the specified grounds of discrimination, e.g. race, colour, religion, national or ethnic origin, or sex that supports any general correlation between those characteristics and ability. But that is not the case with age. There is a general relationship between advancing age and declining ability… Racial and religious discrimination and the like are generally based on feelings of hostility or intolerance. The truth is, that while we must guard against laws having an unnecessary deleterious impact on the aged based on inaccurate assumptions about the effects of age on ability, there are often solid grounds for importing benefits on one age group over another in the development of broad social schemes and in allocating benefits.

    Justice Wilson took a different approach to the question of discrimination. The mere fact of an age-based distinction did not establish prejudice but “compelled” the following questions:

    Was there prejudice? Did the mandatory retirement policy reflect the stereotype of old age? Was an element of human dignity at issue? Were academics required to retire at age 65 on the unarticulated premise that with age comes increasing incompetence and decreasing intellectual capacity? The answer was clearly yes and section 15 was therefore infringed… Declining intellectual ability is a coat of many colours – what abilities, and for which tasks? The discrepancies between physical and intellectual abilities amongst different age groups may be more than compensated for by increased experience, wisdom, and skills.. Many an athlete is “washed up” by the age of 35… [h]owever many remain competitive well into their forties, while some younger athletes continue to strive for, but never attain, professional status.

    The majority found that, although the policy was clearly discriminatory the limitation was “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society” and therefore “saved” by section 1. Mandatory retirement was justified by its connection to the university system of employment generally and the tenure system in particular. Individuals working within that system had agreed to mandatory retirement as part of the employment bargain, getting return the significant advantages associated with an enriched working environment. Society generally also benefited from the system, which ensured both academic freedom and ensured that research remained fresh and “cutting edge” by regularly replacing older academics with younger ones (the other cases decided on this issue found the discrimination was justified under section 1 for similar reasons).

    The majority also found that the exclusion of workers over the age of 65 from the protection of the Human Rights Code was, while discriminatory in effect (if not purpose), “saved” by section 1. Mandatory retirement was permitted, not required, by the legislation and served an important organizational function in the workplace

    Mandatory retirement and section 15 were revisited by the Ontario Supreme Court in 2008 in Association of Justices of the Peace in Ontario v. Ontario (Attorney General).[35] Crucially, the social context, including consciousness of ageism and its effects, had changed dramatically in the intervening years:

    [I]n the sixteen years since the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in McKinney, there has been a sea change in the attitude to mandatory retirement in Ontario, led by the efforts of the [Human Rights] Commission…. Ageism has been recognised by the Commission as an “insidious kind of discrimination having an impact on policies, programs, and legislation affecting large segments of society”.[36]

    Judicial interpretation of section 15 had also evolved during this period, and the threshold question of discrimination now had to be answered with reference to the analysis in Law v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration),[37] which explained discrimination as involving the violation of human dignity and freedom. Considering these factors in Association of Justices of the Peace in Ontario v. Ontario (Attorney General), the court concluded that the distinction in this case (age-based retirement):

    · Reinforced pre-existing ageist stereotypes;

    · Was inconsistent with the actual needs, capacities and circumstances of the Applicants;

    · That the ameliorative purpose of the impugned law did not make it any less discriminatory; and

    · That the interest affected was profound – the Applicant’s fundamental dignity.

    There is clearly a stereotypical application of preconceptions about age – that, without regard to their individual capabilities and needs, justices of the peace over 70 no longer have the mental acuity or the physical stamina to engage in their challenging work… mandatory retirement of justices of the peace, like mandatory retirement of university professors in McKinney and physicians in Stoffman, is based on the stereotypical application of presumed group characteristics that serves to perpetuate the view that they are less deserving of respect in Canadian society.”[38]

    The infringement of section 15 could no longer be “saved” by section 1. Society’s “appreciation of the insidious effects of age discrimination ha[d] expanded… improvements in medicine, physical and mental fitness and changed social attitudes have allowed people to make useful contributions to society well beyond the age that was once considered to be the time of retirement. The benefits to society can hardly be doubted.”[39]

    d) Section 15(2)

    Section 15(2) provides that a law, program or activity with the objective of ameliorating disadvantages facing members of an enumerated or analogous group will not be discriminatory under section 15. Section 15(2) was explained by the Supreme Court of Canada in Lovelace v. Ontario as “confirmatory” of and supplementary to subsection 1, rather than providing a “defence or exemption”; laws or programs intended to ameliorate disadvantage would not negatively affect the “human dignity” of the affected group and so would not violate the rights guaranteed by section 15.[40] The Court did not rule out the possibility that s. 15(2) could be considered independently in a future case and, indeed, the interpretation of s. 15(2) was revisited by the Court in R. v. Kapp.[41] The issue in that case was whether the federal government’s Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy was discriminatory under section 15 and, if so, the impact of section 15(2). Referring to the “exemptive” and “interpretative” approaches to section 15(2) described in Lovelace, the Court identified a “third option”:

    if the government can demonstrate that an impugned program meets the criteria of s. 15(2), it may be unnecessary to conduct a s. 15(1) analysis at all. As discussed at the outset of this analysis, s. 15(1) and s. 15(2) should be read as working together to promote substantive equality. The focus of s. 15(1) is on preventing governments from making distinctions based on enumerated or analogous grounds that have the effect of perpetuating disadvantage or prejudice or imposing disadvantage on the basis of stereotyping. The focus of s. 15(2) is on enabling governments to pro-actively combat discrimination. Read thus, the two sections are confirmatory of each other. Section 15(2) supports a full expression of equality, rather than derogating from it. ‘Under a substantive definition of equality, different treatment in the service of equity for disadvantaged groups is an expression of equality, not an exception to it’: P. W. Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada (5th ed. 2007), vol. 2, at p. 55-53.[42]

    2. Section 7

    Section 7 guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person:

    7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

    “The analysis of s. 7 of the Charter involves two steps. To trigger its operation there must first be a finding that there has been a deprivation of the right to “life, liberty and security of the person” and, secondly, that that deprivation is contrary to the principles of fundamental justice.”[43]

    a) “right to life, liberty and security of the person”


    The right to liberty includes the right to make fundamental personal decisions in addition to freedom from physical constraint and interference with physical freedom. Liberty includes the right to an irreducible sphere of personal autonomy regarding matters that “can properly be characterized as fundamentally or inherently personal such that, by their very nature, they might implicate basic choices going to the core of what it means to enjoy individual dignity and independence.”[44] Within that sphere, individual choices must be free from state interference. The Supreme Court of Canada has also held that the “security of the person” protected by section 7 includes an individual’s “psychological integrity”[45] where the interference is sufficiently serious.

    The security rights protected by section 7 include the right to make decisions regarding one’s own medical treatment. [46] Where a person is no longer capable of making his or her own wishes known, previously expressed wishes (while capable) must be taken into account in order to preserve, in so far as possible, this autonomous sphere.[47] Both the Substitute Decisions Act and the Health Care and Consent Act in Ontario seek to maximise personal autonomy for persons who are currently incapable by allowing for prior expressed wishes, values and beliefs to guide substitute decision as follows:

    · a substitute decision for an incapable person must take into account prior expressed wishes applicable in the circumstances when making a decision on behalf of the incapable person;[48] and

    · where there is no prior expressed wish applicable in the circumstances the substitute decision maker must make a decision in the best interests of the incapable person, which will include considering prior expressed wishes generally (that do not apply directly to the decision in question), the values and beliefs of the incapable person, the general benefit of the treatment to the proposed person and whether any less intrusive alternative is available.[49]

    Section 7 will also be relevant in the context of legislation applying to elder abuse and exploitation. Inquiries into a potentially abusive situation may be interpreted as an intrusion into the individual’s sphere of autonomous decision making and independence, and so an infringement of the personal security protected by section 7. Unless an adult person is mentally incapable they are considered responsible for reporting and accessing help regarding any abuse (outside of a criminal offence) that they may be experiencing[50] in the absence of mandatory reporting laws. Orders restricting a respondent’s rights made pursuant to adult protection or domestic violence legislation (emergency protection orders for example) may also be considered to infringe the respondent’s section 7 rights, although the infringement may be considered to be justified under section 1.[51]


    Section 7 has been interpreted as not including “a generalized right to dignity”, although “respect for the inherent dignity of persons is… an essential value in our free and democratic society which must guide the courts in interpreting the Charter.”[52] Dignity will be an important conisderation in the determination of best interests, where a person is no longer capable and where no prior expressed wishes are directly appliable in the situation. This situation is “more complex” than a situation in which known prior wishes directly apply; it is unknowable whether the person would have consented to the particular treatment “[y]et, respect for the dignity and welfare of an incapable person may require that person to be treated.”[53] The Ontario Consent and Capacity Board considered the significance of dignity in Re E.J.G., [54] finding “guidance” in the following passage from the decision of the House of Lords in Airedale NHS Trust v. Bland.[55]

    The medical and nursing treatment of individuals in extremis and suffering from these conditions (persistent vegetative state) entails the constant and extensive handling and manipulation of the body. At some point, such a course of treatment upon the insensate patient is bound to touch the sensibilities of even the most detached observer. Eventually, pervasive bodily intrusions, even for the best motives, will arouse feelings akin to humiliation and mortification for the helpless patient. When cherished values of human dignity and personal privacy, which belong to every person living or dying, are sufficiently transgressed by what is being done to the individual, we should be ready to say: enough.[56]

    The substitute decision maker does not “stand in the shoes” of the incapable person, and respecting the incapable person’s decision making rights under section 7 does not require deference to the substitute decision maker with regards to best wishes; “[t]he S.D.M. is important but only as part of a statutory regime which, by its terms, tries to respect an incapable person’s well-being and dignity where that person’s consent or refusal to treatment cannot be established.”[57] Where there is a conflict between the substitute decision maker and the treating physician regarding a person’s best interests in the medical context, the Review Board will hear submissions from all parties and make a decision that will be consistent with the person’s rights to autonomy and with his or her dignity and well being. [58]

    b) “the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice”

    Section 7 provides that an individual can be deprived of his or her right to “life, liberty and security of the person” but only where this is done in accordance with the “principles of fundamental justice.” This allows the state to incarcerate individuals of criminal offences, for example, but only where that incarceration follows procedures that are consistent with the “principles of fundamental justice.”

    The “principles of fundamental justice” have been given some definition and explanations by the courts. They are the “basic tenets of our legal system,” with both procedural and substantive dimensions,[59] and must meet the following criteria:

    The principle must be a legal principle.
    The principle must be vital or fundamental to societal notions of justice.
    The principle must be capable of being identified with some precision.[60]
    The principles of fundamental justice have both a procedural and a substantive aspect. Procedural principles include the right to full and proper disclosure[61] and the right to silence.[62] Substantive principles include the subjective mens rea or “guilty mind” requirement for a conviction of murder.

    This aspect of section 7 will be relevant in all situations involving a potential loss of liberty and security rights, including capacity assessments generally (which may result in a loss of personal decision making authority) and capacity assessments preceding care facility admission in particular. In Saunders v. Bridgeport Hospital, for example, the court found that a person should be informed that a capacity assessment, for the purposes of determining admission to a care facility, is going to be undertaken (and the significance of that assessment) as a matter of procedural fairness.[63]

    Section 7 rights must be realistically realisable in situations where the individuals who are in fact most likely to be at risk, with regards to their section 7 rights, are less likely (vis a vis “mainstream society”) to be able to independently protect and enforce those rights. In the substitute decision making context, discussed below, and, in particular, substitute decision making relating to care facility admittance, a robust system, for independent review of decisions, including both an independent review body and accessible independent advocacy, is essential to this objective.

    3. Section 9

    Section 9 protects the right of an individual not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned. Although section 9 is considered most frequently in the criminal law context, as opposed to the civil, it has been considered in the context of mental health and (unsuccessfully) with regards to child protection proceedings. Section 9 will have obvious relevance to a substitute decision to place an individual in a care facility or nursing home, where the legislative criteria on which that decision is made can be shown to be arbitrary.

    a) Detention

    Detention under both section 9 and section 10 of the Charter was defined by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Grant as a “suspension of the individual’s liberty interest by a significant physical or psychological restraint. Psychological detention is established either where the individual has a legal obligation to comply with the restrictive request or demand, or a reasonable person would conclude by reason of the state conduct that he or she had no choice but to comply.”[64]

    The question of whether section 9 could apply to “detention” under child welfare legislation was considered in the recent (2006) case of C.H.S. v. Alberta (Director of Child Welfare).[65] No authority was provided for the point, and the court determined that being apprehended by child welfare was neither a punishment nor a detention, and the section 9 argument was not permitted on the basis that it could have no prospect of success.

    b) Arbitrary

    Detention is defined as “not arbitrary where there are “standards that are rationally related to the purpose of the power of detention.”[66] The rights protected by section 9 are a particular manifestation of the general principle articulated in section 7, that a person’s liberty is not to be curtailed except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.[67] Section 9 serves to protect individual liberty against unlawful state interference. “A lawful detention is not arbitrary within the meaning of s. 9 unless the law authorizing the detention is itself arbitrary. Conversely, a detention not authorized by law is arbitrary and violates s. 9.” [68]

    Section 9 may be applicable where a person is “involuntarily committed” to a care facility or nursing home and where the criteria for committal is found to be vague and overly broad. The applicability of section 9 in the context of involuntary committal and mental health legislation was considered in Thwaites v. Health Sciences Centre Psychiatric Facility, with the court ruling that the criteria for involuntary committal contained in the legislation was vague and overly broad, and therefore arbitrary. [69] The criteria at the time required that a medical practitioner, having examined the patient, state his or her opinion that the “person should be confined as a patient of a psychiatric facility.” Manitoba’s Mental Health Act[70] was amended following Thwaites, and the criteria for involuntary admission are now stated as follows, to require that a person:

    a) is suffering from a mental disorder;

    b) because of the mental disorder,

    (i) is likely to cause serious harm to himself or herself or to another person, or to suffer substantial mental or physical deterioration if not detained in a facility, and

    (ii) needs continuing treatment that can reasonably be provided only in a facility; and

    c) cannot be admitted as a voluntary patient because he or she refuses or is not mentally competent to consent to a voluntary admission.

    The provision survived a subsequent constitutional challenge, with the court finding that the amended “test” answered the concerns raised in Thwaites regarding the “arbitrariness” of the procedure prior to amendment.[71] A similar provision pertaining to involuntary commitment under British Columbia’s Mental Health Act also withstood a section 9 challenge in McCorkell v. Riverview Hospital Review Panel.[72] The decision in that case emphasised the importance of a contextual analysis of Charter protected rights, taking into account the particular purpose and objectives of mental health legislation which were distinct from those in the criminal law context (the context in which the rights protected by section 9 would most often be interpreted). In this context, standards for committal must “strike a reasonable balance between the rights of the individual to be free from restraint by the state and society’s obligation to help and protect the mentally ill… [u]nlike incarceration in the criminal justice system, involuntary committal is primarily directed to the benefit of the individual”.[73]

    4. Section 10

    Section 10 protects the right, on arrest or detention to be:

    · Informed promptly of the reasons therefore

    · Retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right

    · To have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

    Violation of rights protected under section 10, 12 and 15 of the Charter were raised in Saunders v. Bridgepoint Hospital,[74] concerning committal to a care facility following a finding that the plaintiff was not capable of making the decision. The court declined to consider the Charter violations in that case, but noted that the plaintiff’s “non-consensual detention” in a care facility “enforced by threat and intimidation” was “relevant” to the Court’s decision that Mr. Saunders was capable of consenting to admission to a care facility.

    5. Section 12

    Section 12 guarantees the individual’s right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. The extent or degree to which “cruel and unusual treatment or punishment” will apply in a non-penal/non-quasi-penal context was considered in Rodriguez,[75] specifically, the definition of “treatment” at the hands of the state for the purposes of section 12. The Court observed that section 12 had been considered in cases involving deportation,[76] and medical care imposed without consent on mentally ill patients,[77] both non-criminal contexts, while noting the decision in Re McTavish and Director, Child Welfare Act,[78] in which it was held that s. 12 “was not intended to extend to medical treatment and may even be restricted to penal or quasi-penal matters”. For the purposes of the challenge in Rodriguez, the Court concluded that “a mere prohibition by the state on certain action, without more, cannot constitute “treatment” under s. 12,” while “assuming” for the purposes of the analysis, that “‘treatment’ within the meaning of s. 12 may include that imposed by the state in contexts other than that of a penal or quasi-penal nature.” Beyond this, the scope of treatment in section 12 has not been definitely determined. Once “treatment” or “punishment” has been established, the standard for “cruel and unusual” is that the treatment or punishment be “so excessive as to outrage standards of decency.”[79]

    E. Summary

    Consistent with the post-McKinney, post- Law approach to age discrimination and section 15 (as described in Association of Justices of the Peace in Ontario v. Ontario (Attorney General) the evaluation of age-distinction in law or policy for consistency with section 15, involves the following questions:[80]

    Is there prejudice?
    Does the policy or legislation in question reflect the stereotype of old age?
    Is an element of human dignity at issue?
    Is the policy or legislation based on the unarticulated premise that with age comes increasing incompetence and decreasing intellectual capacity?

    Where substitute decision making and/or protective legislation specifies (old) age as a factor, these questions will be relevant.

    Section 7 requires that legislation relating to substitute decision making and to protection from abuse and exploitation must be structured to ensure that independence and autonomous decision making are respected and enabled while physical integrity and dignity are also adequately protected.

    Sections 9, 10 and 12 may apply in the nursing home/care facility context, depending on the applicable legislation and interpretation of both “treatment” and “outraging the standards of decency” in this context. It is important to note that care facilities, and care facility residence, are not considered “health care” for the purposes of either universal medical care insurance coverage or the Canada Health Act,[81] and this status will be relevant to any analysis of these sections in the care facility context.

  3. Victor says:

    I strongly believe the Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is a criminal organization.

    Its unnecessary executives introduced and legalized unreasonably high fees collected from the often unnecessary inspections, penalties, and fines.

    Electrical Safety Authority executives are hugely interested in keeping it all hidden and unchanged. They do not care about safety, their goal is getting the unnecessarily high salaries paid with the money expropriated form electrical workers and Ontario Public.

    If the introduction of such inspections and the whole system is proved to be an intentional conspiracy to financially benefit themselves, many ESA executives could go to prison. They are creators of this self-enrichment system. Obviously, ESA executives will not spare an effort to deny everything.

    So much abuse is coming from the ESA. It should be stopped. Every electrician, master and LEC has a history and evidence of the unfair treatment and abuse from ESA.

    If ten of us come together with such evidence we will put some executives behind bars and make ESA to serve the electrical workers and public and not the other way around.

    Have you been abused? Do you want to fight? Do you have facts or evidence?

    Please visit and join a few other fighters.

  4. Paul says:

    ESA is a privately run company that uses electrical contractors as their collection agency. Since they are a privately run company, Why cant we have other organizations allowed to act as electrical safety officers. This would create competition and force all Electrical safety organizations to be fair and do their jobs properly. ESA should charge their fees to the end customer, and be responsible for collecting their own money. We have seen so many cases in which the customer does not pay or goes bankrupt however we still have to pay our ESA bill, then try and collect the money from the customer.
    Why do we even need ESA in the first place as they are not liable for their inspections anyway. If we take out an electrical permit to do a job and something happens ie fire, then the electrical contractor is liable. If we dont take out a permit then the electrical contractor is liable. So what is the point of having them.

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