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Human Rights Institute of Canada fonds
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Human Rights Institute of Canada fonds

  • UAA-2013-051
  • Fonds
  • 1928-2012

The Human Rights Institute of Canada fonds contains the records of the Human Rights Institute of Canada and its founder and president, Marguerite Ritchie. The Human Rights Institute of Canada is an independent, not for profit, non-partisan research group which conducts and promotes research into issues that impede equality for Canadians, as per the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with a specific focus on women’s equality. This Institute was founded by Ottawa based lawyer, Marguerite Ritchie, a former lawyer for the Department of Justice and Vice-Chair of the Anti-Dumping Tribunal. The fundamental premise of the Institute was to provide expert legal research to the Canadian people in the same way that the Department of Justice gives legal advice to the Government of Canada. As founder and President, Marguerite Ritchie set the tone for the Institute and this fonds also contains her papers from before she founded the Human Rights Institute of Canada.

The materials in this fonds date from 1934 to 2013. Materials from the Human Rights Institute of Canada are from 1973 to 2013, while legal research materials date back to the 1700s. The fonds pertains predominately to Canada, with some research on the United States of America (USA), Europe, the Soviet Union (USSR), the Middle East, and Africa. With the exception of United Nations conferences and research on Israel, most of the research on other nations and regions is for a point of comparison for rights, equality, and politics.

The fonds contains three types of materials: those of Marguerite Ritchie from her personal life and career before she founded the Human Rights Institute of Canada, those relating to the functioning of the institute, such as administrative records, and those relating to the work of the Institute produced mainly by President Marguerite Ritchie. Documents from the work of the Human Rights Institute of Canada is the largest portion of the fonds. Materials produced by the Institute were generated mostly by the projects it was involved with, including tracking issues over the course of years and its efforts to publicise its research in the media and the government. This fonds does not contain working papers of volunteers. Function based Institute records document the Human Rights Institute of Canada’s founding, its procedures, funding, support, and organisation. Materials of founder Marguerite Ritchie contain research from her work at the Department of Justice and the Anti-Dumping Tribunal, Anti-Dumping Tribunal procedures, her personal experiences facing sexism and gender discrimination while working for the federal government. It also includes her personal research on women’s issues which she began while working for the Department of Justice and which became a life-long passion.

The Human Rights Institute of Canada addresses issues of women’s equality, human rights, the United Nations and international law, Canadian laws and equality, the functioning of government, equality in the justice system, the relationship between the federal governments and the provinces, and funding and support for the Institute. Major projects the Institute worked on to address these issues include Persons Case II, Senate reform, the Meech Lake Accord and Charlottetown Accord, status equality for aboriginal women, the Expropriation of Nanoose Bay, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the high arctic relocations, the Royal Commission on the Status of Women and following the development of the status of women, Quebec separatism, and the Official Languages Act and bilingualism. The most common document types are newspaper clippings, memorandum, correspondence, press releases, reports, legislation, House of Commons and Senate debates, committee minutes and proceedings from Parliament, promotional materials, and government publications. Newspaper clippings are mostly annotated with citations and marginalia. The fonds also contains a significant number of Dialogue magazines; Marguerite Ritchie was a long time contributor to this magazine, which publishes reader contributed articles on political and social issues from a variety of perspectives.

Ritchie, Dr. Marguerite E.

RESEARCH-WOMEN IN CRISIS

Press releases, conference papers, briefs, fact sheets, and United Nations reports regarding discrimination against women, women in politics, international women's day, violence against women, women in the justice system, human rights, conferences on women, women's history month, harrassment, and support for dependants.

RESEARCH-WOMEN IN CRISIS

Reports, presentations, studies, press releases, articles, law reviews, and correspondence regarding gender roles, stereotypes, equal pay, discrimination, women in politics, the future of the feminist movement, domestic workers, women in Latin America, women's rights in Manitoba, domestic abuse and violence against women, abortion, and sexual assault.

WOMEN-CHALLENGES TO INJUSTICE-PROJECTS

The Women – Challenges to Injustice - Projects subseries contains 10 files discussing cases of legal injustice contributed to by the Human Rights Institute. Files are arranged by project and include some general information about refugees. This subseries contains a variety of document types including correspondence, newspaper clippings, memorandum, CVs and resumes, papers, reports, medical reports, articles, transcripts, applications and work histories for refugee status, affidavit, policies, speeches, statistics, and United Nations treaties. The specific topics this subseries covers are refugee status, refugees admitted into Canada, adaptation of immigrants to life in Canada, Marguerite Ritchie and the Human Rights Institute of Canada’s involvement in the cases of refugee status claimants, Marguerite Ritchie and the Human Rights Institute of Canada’s involvement in getting medical treatment of veterans, and Marguerite Ritchie and the Human Rights Institute of Canada’s involvement with specific cases of discrimination, including religious discrimination against a scientologist.

NATIONAL DEFENCE-MEDICAL COMPLAINT-SIRKKA, KALLIO

Correspondence, papers, rebuttals, reports, service histories, notes, consultant's (docto'rs) reports, x-ray requisitions, and course reports regarding Sirkka Colleen Kallio, a veteran disabled by Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, her improper corrective surgery, and her treatment by the Canadian Armed Forces. Also includes information on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).

REFUGEES-IRAQ-SALIM, NAOFAL

Copies of newspaper clippings, messages, memorandum, notes, correspondence, meeting notes, draft press releases, copies of passports, and general information papers regarding Naofal Salim, an Iraqi citizen, and his claim of landed immigrant status as a refugee in Canada, and M.E. Ritchie's involvement in the case through the Human Rights Institute of Canada.

REFUGEES

Correspondence, statistics, speeches, reports, copies of newspaper clippings, and United Nations treaties regarding refugee status and the economic and social adaptation of immigrants.

WOMEN-CHALLENGES TO INJUSTICE-ABORTION

The Women – Challenges to Injustice - Abortion subseries contains 15 files discussing abortion law and the Henry Morgentaller case. Files are arranged by material type. This subseries contains a variety of document types including correspondence, memorandum, newspaper clippings, interview transcripts, House of Commons debates, court documents, press releases, briefs, Senate debates, newsletters, magazines, studies, booklets, posters, law reviews, historical research, and documents for the Morgentaller case. The specific topics this subseries covers are specific cases charging people with performing abortions, reports on abortion laws worldwide, historical research on abortion laws and practices in the 19th and 20th century, legislation restricting performances of abortion to medical doctors, a presentation from the Human Rights Institute of Canada to a legislative committee studying a bill on abortion, public opinion surveys on Canadians’ opinion on abortion, landmark Supreme Court case that held that the father could not stop a woman from having an abortion, and working papers with arguments against abortion.

ARTICLES RE: DR. HENRY MORGENTALER

Newspaper clippings, newsletters, magazines, and correspondence regarding Dr. Henry Morgentaler receiving the Order of Canada and his Supreme Court case that overturned the criminalisation of abortion in Canada, as well as copies of newspaper clippings regarding the ongoing debate on abortion in Canadian politics. Also includes booklets "Unwanted Pregnancy: Abortion and the Medical Profession" by Henry Morgentaler and "Summary of Vital Statistics" by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, health and Welfare Division, regarding abortion.

CTI - WOMEN - ABORTION - ARTICLES

Copies of articles, library catalogue records, indexes, current issue reviews, News-Nouvelles: Journal of Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada (volume 4, number 1, 1983), briefing papers, UNICEF news (United Nations Children's Fund) issues 78 and 79, quotations from reports, and copies of appeals regarding world abortion trends, Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, and the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC).

WOMEN-CHALLENGES TO INJUSTICE

The Women – Challenges to Injustice subseries contains 54 files discussing issues of inequality that affect women. Files are arranged by topic. This subseries contains a variety of document types including correspondence, brochures, newspaper clippings, transcripts, memorandum, historical research, reports, legislation, court documents, submissions to parliamentary committees, Senate debates, resolutions, House of Commons debates, speeches, CVs and resumes, press releases, magazines, newsletters, legal research, chronologies of events, directories, glossary of terms, information sheet, surveys, and papers. The specific topics this subseries covers are women’s studies programs at universities, anti-discrimination bills and discrimination against women, child sexual abuse, women and religion, women’s suffrage, women’s education and employment, women’s roles, women in government and politics, the equal rights amendment, equal pay, personhood of women, status of women around the world, United Nations conventions and celebration years for women and human rights, violence against women, the Montreal Massacre, Persons Case II, equality for visible minorities, divorce and financial issues, the merit principle, spousal support, provincial health insurance, human trafficking, Sharia Law, polygamy, rape law, abortion laws, child support, taxes and pensions, legal double standards, citizenship of married persons, gendered language, race relations, property law, female circumcision, women’s health, jury duty for women, and termination based on discrimination.

BACKWARDIA

Correspondence, copies of newspaper clippings, memorandum, and notes regarding women in religion, women's rights, gendered language, women's rights historically, and divorce.

CTI - WOMEN - DIVORCE

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, final judgements, memorandum, questions, outlines, resumes, notes, recommendations, votes and proceedings of the House of Commons and Senate, and reports regarding Bill C-187 (An Act respecting Divorce), property rights, family law, and divorce law. Also includes a copy of a report for the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on Divorce and of the book Listen to their Tears: How Canadian Divorce Law Abuses our Children (1982, 156 p.) by Donald Peacock.

CTI - WOMEN - EXCISION

Notes, papers, newsletters, reviews, copies of newspaper clippings and journal articles, memorandum, correspondence, news releases, statements, lecture outlines, reports, and resumes regarding apartheid, the Women's International Network, the Excision Project, and female circumcision.

CTI - WOMEN - EXCISION - PUBLICATIONS/NEWSLETTERS

Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children newsletters (number 1-3, 7, 12), reports, and World Health Organization bibliographies regarding female circumcision. Also includes the book Woman, why do you weep?: Circumcision and its consequences (ca. 130 p.) by Asma El Dareer, published by Zed Press.

CTI - WOMEN - SAMPLES OF WOMEN'S EXCLUSION

Quotes, copies of newspaper clippings and articles, notes, extracts from papers, reports, memorandum, proceedings, legislations, transcripts of broadcasts and addresses, "new dictionaries of thoughts," proceedings, copies of Bank and Income Tax Acts, extracts from Supreme Court reports, copies of the International Association of Women Police Annual Conference reports, and supporting materials regarding labour equality, property law, family law, and the status of women.

RESEARCH-WOMEN IN CRISIS

Copies of newspaper clippings, Human Rights Institute of Canada research, extracts from books, memorandum, schedules, delegation reports, corrspondence, copies of job postings, copies of revised Statutes, biographies, grievances, notes, discussion papers, and draft programs regarding International Women's Year (1975), equal pay, and discrimination against women's employment.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

Copies of newspaper clippings, profiles, memorandum, and Human Rights Institute of Canada research regarding child sexual abuse and women and the Catholic Church. Also contains a booklet called "The Truth about Catholics" published in Toronto by Protestant Action.

RESEARCHING THE PUZZLES

Research on the original Persons Case. Correspondence, memorandum, notes, background research, copies of articles, and narrative histories of the Persons Case regarding the Famous Five, misrepresentation of the Persons Case, and the appointment of Senators. Also includes the Supreme Court of Canada Act.

PERSONS CASE II-SENATOR-HON. JOYCE FAIRBAIRN

Correspondence, memorandum, notes, press releases, draft speech, and copies of newspaper clippings regarding Senator Jayce Fairbairn's support for Persons Case II, Senate reform, and a commemorative statue to the Famous Five being erected at Parliamt. Some references to the rights of aboriginal women.

PERSONS CASE II-SENATORS L-Z

Correspondence with various Senators, memorandum, notes, newspaper clippings, and background materials inquiring about speeches made in the Senate that specifically addressed women's issues and requesting support for Persons Case II. Also includes copies of various texts written by Senator Jean Le Moyne on women in Quebec.

PERSONS CASE II-SEARCH FOR FUNDING-FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Correspondence, memorandum, grant applications, and background materials regarding funding applications to the federal government to support Persons Case II. Funding applications were not successful. Also includes a proposal for two additional positions at the Human Rights Institute of Canada: a Librarian/Office Mnanager and a Researcher.

PERSONS CASE II-SEARCH FOR FUNDING-CYNTHIA MACFARLANE COURT CHALLENGE PROGRAM

Funding request from the Charter Challenges Program. Correspondence with board member Cynthia MacFarlane, meeting minutes of the Human Rights Institute of Canada, and an application to the Charter Challenges Program. Also includes a copy of the Human Rights Treaty convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

PERSONS CASE II-LAWYERS INVOLVED-SHIRISH CHOTALIA-PUNDIT AND CHOTALIA

Correspondence, memorandum, notes, press releases, affidavits, and supporting documentation regarding a proposed lawsuit brought against the Attorney General of Canada in the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta by the Human Rights Institute of Canada, Shirish Chotalia of Pundit and Chotalia law firm preparing litigation materials under the Court Challenges Program for Persons Case II and subsequent attorney-client issues. Also includes a copy of the second application to the Court Challenges Program after the withdrawl of the first.

PERSONS CASE II-REFORM PARTY

Correspondence, memorandum, copies of newspaper clippings, court documents, press releases, and supporting documentation regarding Senate reform, the injunction sought by the Reform Party in favour of an elected Alberta Senator, and requesting support from the Reform Party of Canada and Reform Party Leader Preston Manning for Persons Case II.

PERSONS CASE II-GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

Correspondence, memorandum, transcripts of telephone conversations, copies of newspaper clippings, notes, press releases, and supporting documentation regarding Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), research and support for Persons Case II.

FAMOUS 5 FOUNDATION-HISTORY OF ERRORS

Correspondence, memorandum, copies of newspaper clippings, and supporting documentation regarding a misrepresentation of the Famous Five and the Persons Case, specifically in regards to Frances Wright of the Famous Five Foundation misrepresenting the Persons Case.

A PARTIAL CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD

Correspondence, memorandum, open letter to parliament, copies of newspaper clippings, background information, and notes regarding the appointment of Senators, Senate reform, the lack of women senators being appointed, and the call for equal appointment through the proposed Persons Case II to require senate appointment to be equally male and female. Some mentions of the status rights of aboriginal women.

A PARTIAL CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD

Correspondence, memorandum, notes, resolutions, short biographies, and background information regarding the appointment of Senators, Senate reform, the lack of women senators being appointed, and the call for equal appointment through the proposed Persons Case II to require senate appointment to be equally male and female.

A PARTIAL CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD

Correspondence, memorandum, notes, copies of newspaper clippings, speech for news conference, transcripts of telephone calls, and background information regarding the appointment of Senators, Senate reform, the lack of women senators being appointed, and the call for equal appointment through the proposed Persons Case II to require senate appointment to be equally male and female.

A PARTIAL CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD

Correspondence, memorandum, notes, copies of newspaper clippings, press releases, and background information regarding the appointment of Senators, Senate reform, the lack of women senators being appointed, and the call for equal appointment through the proposed Persons Case II to require senate appointment to be equally male and female.

A PARTIAL CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD

Correspondence, memorandum, notes, copies of newspaper clippings, press releases, and background information regarding the appointment of Senators, Senate reform, the lack of women senators being appointed, and the call for equal appointment through the proposed Persons Case II to require senate appointment to be equally male and female. Some mentions of the status rights of aboriginal women.

A PARTIAL CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD

Correspondence, memorandum, background research, and notes regarding the Famous Five, the appointment of Senators, Senate reform, the lack of women senators being appointed, and the call for equal appointment through the proposed Persons Case II to require senate appointment to be equally male and female. Some mentions of amendment to the Criminal Code to increase penalties for stalking.

COMMISSIONER IRENE JOHNSON

Correspondence, memorandum, notes, and newspaper clippings regarding Public Service Commissioner Irene Johnson's work on gender discrimination in the civil service and professional development to open job opportunities for women in support roles, such as secretaries.

REPORTS

Reports, press releases, questionaires, Young Canada Works applications, speeches, and memorandum regarding equal employment opportunity for women withing the public sector. Also includes the final report of the Royal Commission on Financial Management and Accountability."

ALEXIS CLARK-FINAL REPORT

Correspondence regarding the report and a copy of the report "The Application of the Merit Principle to Women in The Public Service: How Governments and Bureaucrats Manipulate Equality in the Public Service" by Alexis Clark.

ALEXIS CLARK-CORRESPONDENCE

Correspondence, research notes, and definitions for Alexis Clark's report "The Application of the Merit Principle to Women in The Public Service: How Governments and Bureaucrats Manipulate Equality in the Public Service." Also includes "Guide to the Public Service Appeals System" by the Public Service Commission.

REACHING UP CONFERENCE

Correspondence, notes, memorandum, programme drafts, participant lists, subsidy requests, press releases, and various planning materials regarding the Human Rights Institute of Canada conference "Reaching up: A Conference on Equity of Access to Power for Women" on Senate reform and Persons Case II.

CORRESPONDENCE

Correspondence, memorandum, press releases, copies of newspaper clippings, notes, Senator lists, tracking sheets for media contacts and research, and speeches regarding Senate reform, Senate appointments, and women's representation in the government.

CORRESPONDENCE

Copies of newspaper clippings, correspondence, memorandum, reports, booklets, and Senate bills regarding the statue of the Famous Five on Parliament Hill, racist and eugenics believe of the Famous Five, violence against women, female genital mutilation, discrimination against women, honour killings, and the Persons Case.

VOLUNTEERS IN THE HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE OF CANADA

The Volunteers in the Human Rights Institute of Canada subseries contains 48 files discussing volunteers at the Human Rights Institute of Canada, the projects volunteers contributed to, and their experiences at the Institute. Files are arranged by volunteer. This subseries contains a variety of document types including correspondence, memorandum, summaries, background documents, contracts, surveys, reports, newspaper clippings, newsletters, programs, briefs, press releases, meeting minutes, fundraising, directories, financial statements, articles, telephone questionnaires, CVs and resumes, volunteer forms, letters of recommendation from Marguerite Ritchie for volunteers, school assignments, legislation, and membership records. The specific topics this subseries covers are Trudeau’s promises to Quebec, the Meech Lake Accord, French language rights, language rights in Quebec, Persons Case II, aboriginal rights, the roles of the Prime Minister and Senators, royal commissions, resettlement of Newfoundlanders in 1954-1973, discrimination against women in the armed forces, and political corruption.

JUDY BOWEN

Correspondence, memorandum, notes, background papers, summaries, and resumes regarding Judy Bowen volunteering for the Human Rights Institute of Canada.

VIOLA CAISSY

Correspondence, memorandum, notes, background papers, reports, booklets, summaries, and political newspapers regarding Viola Caissy volunteering for the Human Rights Institute of Canada.

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