Mandatory Retirement offends Charter: Federal Court – CARP calls for Parliamentary Action

Bill C-481 – to repeal Section 15(1)(c) – is before the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) on Thursday, February 10th starting at 11 am. Since the Bill received all-party support on Second Reading, it is possible that the remaining stages, Report, Third Reading, Senate approval and Royal Assent could all take place before a federal election is called if there were all-party cooperation to fast track the usual process.

“Mandatory retirement is headed for the dust bin of history. The question is who will do it first: Parliament or the Courts. It has already taken far too long for governments of all stripes to end age discrimination – terminating someone’s employment solely based on their age. People have been forced into long, expensive and arduous litigation to assert their rights. All the parties in Parliament should cooperate and expedite passage of Bill C-481”, said Susan Eng, VP Advocacy for CARP.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

For further information, please contact:

For the Fly Past 60 Coalition:

Raymond D. Hall
Legal counsel

Phone: 204-897-9000
Fax: 877-778-8482
E-Mail: [email protected]


Pam Maher 416.363.2277 x. 235
Communications coordinator
[email protected]

Michael Nicin 416.363.2277 x. 230
Policy Development and Government Relations
[email protected]


Susan Eng
Vice President Advocacy
[email protected]

CARP, A New Vision of Aging for Canada
or visit our website:


On February 3, 2011, the Federal Court released its decision that the mandatory retirement exemption of the Canadian Human Rights Act violates the equality provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and is not justified under the Charter. Had it ruled the other way and allowed an application by Air Canada and the pilots’ union for a judicial review, it would have effectively overturned the recent reinstatement of two Air Canada pilots, George Vilven, 67 and Neil Kelly, 65.

The Court ruled that Section 15(1)(c)of the Canadian Human Rights Act [“Section 15(1)(c)“] which allows mandatory retirement for federally regulated industries, breached the equality rights protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that breach was not “saved” by Section 1 of the Charter which permits infringements on equality rights that “can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”.

By finding that the breach of Vilven and Kelly’s equality rights was not justified, the Court, in effect, allowed to stand their reinstatement and the damages that were ordered by the Tribunal in its November 8, 2010 decision. Vilven and Kelly are currently undergoing the final phase of their training to return them to active status.