Dalhousie Law Journal


Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, social welfare, social assistance, justice, plaintiff, courts, poverty law, Nova Scotia Supreme Court


The recent case of Conrad v. Halifax (County of) arose as as. 7 Charter challenge to the County regarding the manner in which the plaintiff was treated as a recipient of municipal social assistance. The case raises a number of interesting issues at the intersection of the Charter and administrative law including the scope of the right to "security of the person"; the scope of the principles of fundamental justice; issues of access to justice and the Charter; and the relationship between the finding of a Charter right and the treatment of the plaintiff in the fact-finding process. This case is particularly significant in the context of poverty law because the decision of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, if left to stand, helps to shut the door on the use of s. 7 in the area of social welfare law in Nova Scotia.