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McKinney v. University of Guelph, [1990] 3 SCR 229


Challenging mandatory retirement policies of the university.


Is the Charter applicable to the actions of universities?


Universities are not generally subject to the Charter, as government has no legal control over them. Entity performing a public function is not enough in itself to warrant Charter scrutiny; government must “exert control” over operations.


*Mere fact that entity is a creature of statute is not sufficient to make its acts subject to the Charter – it would then apply to private corporations and defeat the purpose of limitation to government
*Mandatory retirement is part of an employee package with has been negotiated outside of any statutory process or authority
*Although dependant on government funds, universities are not “organs” of gov. – government has no legal power to control even if they wished to do so
**Not enough that the entity is just “fulfilling a public function”
**If government thinks the university is public enough to merit significant funding, why wouldn’t we want the Charter to apply?
**What it means to “control” something rides a fine line
*Community colleges are distinguished – they are subject to the Charter
*Dissent: Wilson J. crafted a “public function” test to determine applicability [807]

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