From: Adam Parachin <>
Date: 19/05/2015 15:06:07 UTC
Subject: Public Policy and Targeted Scholarships

The doctrine of public policy was recently considered by another Canadian trusts case in Re The Esther G. Castanera Scholarship Fund, a decision of the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba available at
At issue was a charitable trust restricting scholarships to female graduates of the settlor's high school majoring at the University of Manitoba in chemistry, physics, mathematics, biochemistry or molecular biology.  The University of Manitoba declined to administer the fund according to its terms on the basis that women were no longer underrepresented in all of the specified programs of study.  An application for advice or direction was brought to determine whether the scholarship fund violated either public policy or the Manitoba Human Rights Code.  Not surprisingly, Dewar J. upheld the fund.
With respect to public policy, the following points (explicit and implicit in the court's reasoning) are of interest:
For what it is worth, I question the correctness of the last point, which Dewar J. based on Canada Trust Co v Ontario (Human Rights Commission) (1990) 74 O.R. (2d) 481.  In my view, a better interpretation of Canada Trust Co is that the trust in that case was void not due to the settlor's motive but rather because its terms disclosed a non-charitable purpose.
Adam Parachin
Associate Professor
Faculty of Law
University of Western Ontario
(519) 661-2111 Ext. 81445