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Human rights are for humans

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Here’s some food for thought.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Canada reviewed a case from Quebec, in which a company had been fined $30,843 for operating as a contractor without holding a licence.

The interesting thing is that there are different fine regimes in place under Quebec’s Building Act. As a summary of the case puts it, “Under s. 197.1 of the Act, the penalty for such an offence is a mandatory fine for a minimum amount that varies depending on who the offender is, that is, whether the offender is a natural person or a legal person.”

A “natural person” is, well, an actual person. A “legal person” is, in this case, a company.

The firm involved argued that the fine was large enough to constitute cruel and unusual punishment under Canada’s Charter of Rights and........

© The Guardian