SCAN! member Alan Levy has written a perceptive summary of the progress of the legal challenge initiated by a very impressive group of young people concerned about the impact of the climate crisis:  

“Mathur v. Ontario is a Charter case that was launched in 2019 by seven young Ontario residents, some of whom are Indigenous. Their claim: the newly elected Conservative Government weakened provincial GHG emission targets, leaving them more exposed to harmful impacts from the climate crisis. They allege violation of their right to life and security of the person (section 7 of Charter) and greater vulnerability due to their young age (discrimination under section 15). 

The Government tried to put a quick end to the case without a full hearing, but, happily, Justice C.J. Brown of the Superior Court of Justice rejected that effort. Her exemplary decision (November 12, 2020) is discussed in Part 1 of a SCAN! series on the Mathur case. A full hearing on the merits was conducted by Justice Vermette in September 2022, a new milestone for any climate Charter case in Canada. 

Her decision was rendered on April 14, 2023. It is important to note that although much of the Applicants’ factual evidence was accepted, the case was dismissed on the basis that the Government’s weaker GHG target did not violate the Charter.   

Kudos to these young people who are appealing the decision.”

Alan Levy will be providing in-depth analyses in a forthcoming series of articles.

In the interim, click HERE to read Alan’s article, “The Story of Mathur et al. v. Ontario.”