Ms. Miller challenged the reduction in the regular benefit period for Employment Insurance (EI) claimants who have previously received special benefits such as maternity, parental or disability benefits. She argued that this automatic reduction violated the right to equality found in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by discriminating against pregnant women and working parents; it penalized these groups for needing to access special benefits by reducing the time available to look for work.
ISAC was granted the right to intervene in the case before the Federal Court of Appeal. The basis of ISAC’s intervention was to ensure that the Court was apprised of the impact of the benefit restriction for low income unemployed parents forced to rely on social assistance where EI was not available.
The Federal Court of Appeal delivered its judgment in October 2002, and, disappointingly, dismissed Ms. Miller’s appeal, holding that the reduction in the regular benefit period is not a violation of the Charter. Leave to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada was denied.
– September 12, 2014