Canada / The Wedge

2020 Year of Canadian Discontent : A Step Forward For All

Signing ceremony : Repatriation of the Canadian Constitution 1982 giving Canadians the right to amend without U.K. interference

By theWedge.LIVE

Never in the history of our nation have we been more divided. The weapons of our warfare are words, some fables, some truths, often so intertwined the uninitiated can be corralled to their demise–and profit for special and foreign interests.

The old, bought with taxpayer funding, Canadian media is chief in this fracture. They draw you in, peppering their narrative with a little populism. Even the so-called Conservative media have been compromised.

Absolute truth has become absolutely elusive.

Days ago our minority led Liberal party attempted to put the Canadian constitution on ice for total control over information reaching our eyes and ears.

Constitutional challenges are rising from the provinces and the grassroots. Polls and petitions are climbing with signatures in the 5 to 6 digits. At this moment, Canadians are marching to the hill from across are nation.

A non-confidence vote in parliament could be afoot.

The is the year of Canadian discontent. All citizens must pull up a coffee, a goblet of wine, snuggle by the fireplace and read the Constitution Act of 1982.

It is required reading and frankly, should be carried at all times. Know your rights.

Make the Constitution Act 1982 the next title in your reading club.

“You will regale on the opening section of our Constitution on Fundamental Freedoms. It’s short and sweet.”

Wikipedia did a bang-up job of summarizing the evolution of our Constitution, finishing with Quebec digging its heels on its ratification:

The Constitution Act, 1982 (French: Loi constitutionnelle de 1982) is a part of the Constitution of Canada. The Act was introduced as part of Canada’s process of patriating the constitution, introducing several amendments to the British North America Act, 1867, including re-naming it the Constitution Act, 1867. In addition to patriating the Constitution, the Constitution Act, 1982 enacted the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; guaranteed rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada; provided for future constitutional conferences; and set out the procedures for amending the Constitution in the future.

This process was necessary because, after the Statute of Westminster, 1931, Canada decided to allow the British Parliament to temporarily retain the power to amend Canada’s constitution, on request from the Parliament of Canada. In 1981, the Parliament of Canada requested that the Parliament of the United Kingdom remove that authority from the UK. The passing of the UK’s Canada Act 1982 in March 1982 confirmed the Patriation of the Constitution and transferred to Canada the power of amending its own Constitution.

On April 17, 1982, Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, as well as the Minister of Justice, Jean Chrétien, and André Ouellet, the Registrar General, signed the Proclamation which brought the Constitution Act, 1982 into force. The proclamation confirmed that Canada had formally assumed authority over its constitution, the final step to full sovereignty.

As of 2020, the government of Quebec has never formally approved of the enactment of the act, though the Supreme Court concluded that Quebec’s formal consent was never necessary and 15 years after ratification the government of Quebec “passed a resolution authorizing an amendment”. Nonetheless, the lack of formal approval has remained a persistent political issue in Quebec. The Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords were designed to secure approval from Quebec, but both efforts failed to do so.

Here are the first sections without editing to our Constitution (1982) including the Charter of Rights.

CONSTITUTION ACT, 1982

PART I

CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:

Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Fundamental Freedoms

 Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association.

Democratic Rights

 Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.

 (1) No House of Commons and no legislative assembly shall continue for longer than five years from the date fixed for the return of the writs at a general election of its members.

(2) In time of real or apprehended war, invasion or insurrection, a House of Commons may be continued by Parliament and a legislative assembly may be continued by the legislature beyond five years if such continuation is not opposed by the votes of more than one-third of the members of the House of Commons or the legislative assembly, as the case may be.

 There shall be a sitting of Parliament and of each legislature at least once every twelve months.

Mobility Rights

 (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right

(a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and

(b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.

(3) The rights specified in subsection (2) are subject to

(a) any laws or practices of general application in force in a province other than those that discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of province of present or previous residence; and

(b) any laws providing for reasonable residency requirements as a qualification for the receipt of publicly provided social services.

(4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration in a province of conditions of individuals in that province who are socially or economically disadvantaged if the rate of employment in that province is below the rate of employment in Canada.

Legal Rights

 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

 Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

 Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

 Everyone has the right on arrest or detention

(a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;

(b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and

(c) to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

 Any person charged with an offence has the right

(a) to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence;

(b) to be tried within a reasonable time;

(c) not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence;

(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;

(e) not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause;

(f) except in the case of an offence under military law tried before a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment;

(g) not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the time of the act or omission, it constituted an offence under Canadian or international law or was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations;

(h) if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again; and

(i) if found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment.

 Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

 A witness who testifies in any proceedings has the right not to have any incriminating evidence so given used to incriminate that witness in any other proceedings, except in a prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.

 A party or witness in any proceedings who does not understand or speak the language in which the proceedings are conducted or who is deaf has the right to the assistance of an interpreter.

Equality Rights

 (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

 Nothing in this Charter extends the legislative powers of any body or authority.

Application of Charter

 (1) This Charter applies

(a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and

(b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), section 15 shall not have effect until three years after this section comes into force.

 (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.

(2) An Act or a provision of an Act in respect of which a declaration made under this section is in effect shall have such operation as it would have but for the provision of this Charter referred to in the declaration.

(3) A declaration made under subsection (1) shall cease to have effect five years after it comes into force or on such earlier date as may be specified in the declaration.

(4) Parliament or the legislature of a province may re-enact a declaration made under subsection (10

(5) Subsection (3) applies in respect of a re-enactment made under subsection (4).

READ THE WHOLE CONSTITUTION 1982 ACT Here is one link. As posted on the Goverment of Canada website.

This is a good start.

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