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Government of Canada celebrates the historical significance of the Noble and Wolf v. Alley Case

LONDON, ONTARIO, July 20, 2009--The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today designated the Noble and Wolf v. Alley Supreme Court case an event of national historic significance, on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

“I am proud to name the Noble and Wolf v. Alley case as an event of national historic significance,” said Minister Prentice. “This designation will help to ensure that this important ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court is remembered by future generations.”
Supreme Court of Canada Supreme Court of Canada; August 2004

“This decision constituted an important step in the broader battle for human rights and against discrimination on racial and religious grounds in Canada,” said Mr. Joe Preston, Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London.

“The events leading to this decision should be well remembered in Canadian history, as should the exemplary work of London, Ontario lawyer Edward Richmond," said Ms. Bates Neary, Chair of the Historic Sites Committee of the London Public Library Board.

The Noble and Wolf v. Alley case is widely considered to be a landmark in Canadian jurisprudence. Decided in 1951, the case pitted a property seller, Ms. Noble, and a buyer, Mr. Wolf, against a neighbourhood association (Alley et al.) seeking to enforce a legal agreement whose restrictive ownership clauses prevented certain groups from purchasing or renting property. The court’s ruling invalidated the section of the agreement that required owners, renters or occupiers of the property to be “persons of the white or Caucasian race”.

“The Noble and Wolf v. Alley case is a fine example of how the Canadian courts made decisions that led to our country being the rich and diverse nation it is today,” stated the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada’s historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future.

Michèle Monette
Media Relations Officer
Communications Branch
Parks Canada

Backgrounder associated with this News Release.