In February 1986, LEAF provided the Standing Commission on the Administration of Justice on Bill 7 and the Family Benefits Act, concerning the constitutionality of the “man in the house” rule.

Under the regulations of the Family Benefits Act, sole support parents, sole support women aged 60 to 64, and wives aged 60 and over of institutionalized Old Age Security recipients were only eligible for family benefits if they were “living as a single person” or, more specifically, if they were not living with another as “husband and wife”.

These regulations resulted in a significant number of sole support women, and in particular sole support mothers, being denied family benefits because of an alleged “man in the house” and facing “welfare fraud” charges. This was the case regardless of whether the “man in the house” was actually supporting the sole support woman or her children, or whether he had a legal obligation to do so.

The submission argued that the regulations violated ss. 7, 15, and 28 of the Charter and could not be justified under s. 1.

Download the submission below.