A.C. and J.F. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta is a case at the Alberta Court of Appeal. This case is about an Alberta law that puts young adults raised in government care at risk of losing financial and emotional benefits to help them transition to independence. Young adults raised in government care receive these benefits through Alberta’s Support Financial Assistance Program, but the law reduces the maximum eligibility age for this program from 24 to 22. A.C., one of the young adults who brought this case, fears that the loss of these benefits will force her to return to sex work and may lead her to engage in substance abuse and contemplate suicide. A lower court granted an injunction suspending the operation of this law until its constitutionality could be determined at trial. The Court of Appeal will determine whether this injunction should be upheld.
The BCCLA is an intervener in this case. It argues that the law should be suspended because it violates the rights to life, liberty, and security of the person under s. 7 of the Charter. Section 7 can protect positive socio-economic rights. The protection of positive rights is consistent with Canada’s international obligations. The Court must protect positive rights in this case because the challenged law will cause serious hardship and the young adults who will lose benefits are extremely vulnerable.