This case challenged the restrictions placed on the OSSOMM as a result of the military’s ban on political activities on military bases.
LEAF helped the OSSOMM file a statement of claim in the Federal Court of Canada.
The OSSOMM was formed in 1985, to improve the quality of life for the spouses of members of the military, educate its members, and help women develop organizational skills. It worked to gather support for a dental plan, and for the installation of a traffic light. The commander of a military base in Alberta, supported by the Minister of National Defence, told the OSSOMM that its activities were prohibited under the National Defence Act and so the group could not operate.
The OSSOMM, supported by LEAF, argued that the restrictions under the National Defence Act violated their freedom of association under s. 2(d) of the Charter. They also argued that the restrictions discriminated against them based on marital status and sex, violating s. 15 of the Charter.
OSSOMM’s lawsuit generated significant negative publicity around the military’s treatment of the spouses of military personnel. In 1987, the military responded by launching a pilot Family Support Program Project.
Our records are imperfect, but we are doing our best to update them – if you were involved with LEAF on this case but your name is not reflected here, please email us at [email protected].