Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness v. Attorney General of Quebec, et al.

(Quebec) (Civil) (As of Right)


Constitutional law - Division of powers - Criminal law - Genetic discrimination - Whether the Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination, S.C. 2017, c. 3, constitutes a valid exercise of Parliament’s jurisdiction over criminal law - Constitution Act, 1867, s. 91(27).


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.

Under Order in Council No. 522-2017, the Government of Quebec referred the following question to the Quebec Court of Appeal:

Is the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act enacted by sections 1 to 7 of the Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination (S.C. 2017, c. 3) ultra vires to the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada over criminal law under paragraph 91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867?

The court unanimously answered “yes”, finding that the object of the legislation, fostering access to genetic testing for medical purposes by preventing the unauthorized use of the results by third parties, does not truly fit within the framework of criminal law.