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Women ski jumpers appeal to Supreme Court of Canada

Wed, Dec  2, 2009 - By Deborah Folka

Vancouver – The women ski jumpers denied the right to participate in the 2010 Olympics will apply to the Supreme Court of Canada for permission to appeal the decisions of the lower courts, according to their lawyer Ross Clark, Q.C., a partner with Davis LLP in Vancouver.

“We believe our argument has been misunderstood and that a matter of national importance is at stake,” Clark explained.  “This case isn’t just about women ski jumpers.  It is about the interpretation and application of the Charter and whether the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, in carrying out an ascribed activity of government, can be forced by a foreign entity to put a discriminatory decision into effect in Canada.

“Gender discrimination is at issue here and discrimination is something we do not tolerate in Canada.  We hope our highest court in the land will take a look at this case and grant our declaration,” Clark said.  “In our submissions asking leave to appeal, we address VANOC’s previous statements about how it’s ‘too late’ to include the women in 2010.”

According to Deedee Corradini, president of Women’s Ski Jumping – USA, she is pleased the fight to include the women ski jumpers is continuing.

“We will not give up until the women are competing in the Olympics,” she said.  “They deserve to be there along with their male teammates.  They’ve earned it through their incredible performances on the Continental Cup circuit and through meeting every standard set by their international sports federation that recommended their inclusion in the Olympics as far back as 2006.

“We are very grateful that Davis LLP is continuing to provide their services pro bono.  We are also very pleased that Torys LLP, a highly-regarded law firm with offices in New York and Toronto, has offered to assist and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP another highly regarded national firm in Canada has agreed to act as agents, again on a pro bono basis,” she said.  “We have received support from the City of Vancouver in two resolutions passed by Council and from more than 11,000 people from all over the world who have signed our petition.”