This case challenged an Ontario law which prevented a married woman from giving her child her surname. 

LEAF sponsored Catherine Paul and David Wright’s challenge before the Supreme Court of Ontario.  


Catherine Paul and David Wright wished to give their child the last name “Paul”, but Ontario legislation prevented them from doing so.   


Ms. Paul, sponsored by LEAF, argued that the legislation violated her equality rights under s. 15 of the Charter. The Government of Ontario did not oppose her argument.  


The Supreme Court of Ontario agreed that the legislation violated s. 15 of the Charter, and struck down the provision which said married women could not give their children their last name.  

LEAF is grateful to Robert Sharpe, counsel in this case.  

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].