The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedom


1. Rights vs. obligations

A school commission that wishes to raise money for new automotive workshops in the school may, on a one time basis only, charge parents a user fee for all students registered at the school whether they will use the workshops or not.

2. Freedom of expression

The editor of a student newspaper has the right to publish articles which advocate mercy killing for all seniors over age 70.

3. Freedom of religion

The school may fail a Jewish student who did not write an exam, because he was absent on the day of the exam for the celebration of an important Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur.

4. Right to respect privacy

Parents of a student that has been involved in a fight in the school yard have a right to ask school authorities for the home address and personal telephone number of the parents of the other student involved in the fight.

5. Right to respect reputation

In an election for student council, one student candidate can refer to the fact that the opposing candidate was once picked up by the police, even though no charges were ever laid.

6. Right to safe working conditions

The owner of a fast food restaurant can fire a student employee who refuses to work in the restaurant after an inspector finds the ventilation to be unsafe.

7. Right to property

Once the school assigns a locker to a student, it is the student's personal property and the school authorities cannot open it under any circumstances.

8. Right to education

To upgrade the quality of its clientele, a public school can after its admission criteria to admit only those students whose parents' income are in excess of $75,000.00.

9. Right to assistance in times of peril

At a school excursion to the beach, a student learning to swim takes on too much water and must be brought to the beach where he stops breathing.  Another student knows artificial respiration and so is legally required to intervene.

10. Rights re: due process (fair trial etc)

A 16-year old youth, facing a charge of assault, may request a change of judge when the discovers that the judge assigned to the case is the alleged victim's uncle.

11. Right to information

A principal can refuse to show a student a letter of reference he wrote at the student's request, after the student learns she was refused a summer job based on the principal 's "reference".

12. Right to professional secrecy

The school nurse is obligated to tell the parents once the nurse, after examination, confirms that a 15 year old student is pregnant.

13. Right to equality

A student applies for a job as a lifeguard for the municipality where her father works.  The municipality can refuse to hire the student citing, as its reason, a policy of the municipality against hiring the relatives of its employees.

14. Age

A seventies retro club serving alcohol and having live folk music can refuse to allow persons under 18 years of age to enter the premises.

15.  Handicap

A student with cerebral palsy who requires a wheelchair for mobility must find his own way of entering a school where the only access is up a fifteen foot flight of stairs.

16. Gender

An automobile insurance company can refuse to accept 16 year old male drivers for insurance while accepting to insure 16 year old female drivers, on the grounds that young single males have the most accidents of any age group of drivers.

17. Freedom from harassment

One of the students parents , who is a volunteer football coach for the school team, may continually refer to the obese players on the team as "Fatso".

18.  Language

A student whose mother-tongue is Cree can be expelled from her English-language public school if she is caught speaking Cree with her brother on the way home from school, which is against school policy.

19. Role of Quebec Human Rights Commission

The Quebec Human Rights Commission is only responsible for problems dealing with racial discrimination.

20. Recourses in case of infraction

If the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal finds in a case that a human right has been breached, it only has the power to order the offender to stop.