About LEAF

On April 17, 1985, LEAF was founded to ensure Canadian courts protect the equality provisions in s. 15 and s. 28 of the Charter. 

LEAF’s founding mothers created LEAF to defend the equality rights enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Over its thirty years, the battles LEAF has fought in the courts  have achieved many victories and advanced substantive equality for women and girls in Canada.

In 1985 it was against the law in Yukon for a married woman to change her name to her birth name. LEAF’s first case was a challenge to the Yukon Change of Name Act on behalf of Suzanne Bertrand. Suzanne Bertrand’s case was just one of many times LEAF stepped in to protect the rights of women and girls in Canada.

To read more about some of LEAF‘s cases, click here.

LEAF works to ensure Canadian courts do, in fact, provide the equality rights guaranteed to women and girls by Section 15 of the Canadian Charter. Our strength comes from a small staff team in Toronto, member branches in several provinces, scores of active volunteers who serve on committees, a national board and West Coast LEAF, in British Columbia.

We welcome you to review LEAF’s timelines:

LEAF 30th Timeline  English Version | French Version

LEAF 25th Timeline


LEAF turned thirty  in 2015. 

Throughout our 30th year, LEAF we’ll be celebrating our commitment and successes by holding events across Canada. We are also celebrating LEAF’s long history of protecting equality rights by marking significant cases on twitter follow @LeafNational and hashtag #LEAF30 for links and more information.

On our thirtieth birthday, one of LEAF‘s co-founders, Elizabeth Shilton, wrote Thirty Years Since the Charter’s Equality Provisions and LEAF’s Founding. Where is Equality Now?

You can support LEAF in its 30th year by clicking here.

LEAF’s 2020 Law Program Committee

All of LEAF’s work is informed by consultative processes. LEAF’s Law Program Committee advises and makes recommendations concerning the litigation undertaken by LEAF. It also advises and makes recommendations concerning LEAF’s law reform and policy projects.

Click here to meet our 2020 Law Program Committee.