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Reference re Employment Insurance Act (Can.), ss. 22 and 23, [2005] 2 S.C.R. 669


At issue is the validity of maternity and paternity benefits.
Argue – that is falls w/in prop and civil rights of (16) generally all matters of a merely local or private nature – Fed says it fell w/in unemployment s.91(2A)


What is the scope of the Fed power over unemployment insurance?


Have to construe the term (Unemployment Insurance) in the context of what it means today, not what it meant when it was enacted
**So there is room for further expansion of gov powers (living tree) – the classification of powers are live exercises


*Unemployment insurance must be interpreted generously and progressively
*Decision to offer women the possibility of receiving income replacement benefits when they are off work due to pregnancy is a social decision that is not incompatible with the concept of risk in the realm of insurance
*Maternity benefits are a mechanism for providing replacement income – consistent with the essence of fed jurisdiction


Act was impugned
Maternity and parental benefits are supported by s.91(2A)


After characterization comes classification: Where does this matter, or a law with this purpose, live?

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