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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Canadian Constitution...and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Canada's original constitution, the British North America Act, was passed by the British Parliament in 1867. This Act, also known as the Constitution Act, founded Canada as a nation. The Constitution made elected governments in Canada the highest political and legal institutions in the country and distributed power between the federal and provincial governments. However, unlike our American neighbours to the the south, Canada's Constitution did not contain a "Bill of Rights" that elected governments were supposed to follow.

In 1960, the Canadian federal government passed the Canadian Bill of Rights. This statute was not part of the Consitution and therefore had no more power than any other law in Canada. In addition, the Canadian Bill of Rights only applied to federal, not provincial laws. Even though the Canadian Bill of Rights spoke to fundamental freedoms, legal rights and equality for all Canadians before the law, it was generally not considered a very helpful document in legal terms.

As Canada's original Constitution was an Act of the British Parliament, it could ONLY be changed by British Parliament. For many years, a variety of Canadian Prime Ministers sought to find a way to bring the Canadian Constitution home. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (one of our faves!) spear-headed the inclusion of a Charter of Rights into the Canadian Constitution.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was heavily influenced by other international documents such as the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. More important to Canadians though, was that, in 1980, the Canadian government put together an all-party committee whose job it was to hear what all Canadians had to say about a possible Canadian Charter of Rights. The committee considered over 1,000 written suggestions as well as listened to over 300 televised presentations from ethnic and cultural minorities, Aboriginal people, women's groups, etc. The committee then made 123 recommendations in regards to a Canadian Charter of Rights...over half of which are included in the final document.

In 1981, the then Canadian Federal Justice Minister and later Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chretien (another fave! probably my personal fave!), sat down in the kitchen of the Ottawa Chateau Laurier Hotel with two provincial Attorneys General and came up with a plan which most of the provinces of Canada (with the exception of Quebec) agreed to the new changes to the Canadian Constitution - the plan is now popularly referred to as the "Kitchen Accord". The plan gave provinces a way of temporarily avoiding some parts of the Charter known as the section 33 "notwithstanding clause".

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982...all of which is part of the Canada Act, 1982. After receiving the final approval of Britain on April 17, 1982, Queen Elizabeth II signed the Canada Act, 1982 which finally gave Canada control over its own Constitution. The guarantee of rights and freedoms found in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms now became part of the supreme law of the land in Canada.

Up next....what is The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? And what does it include?

*for more information about any of Canada's laws...see The Department of Justice Canada

14 comments:

jambaloney said...

Great post!

I didn't know that the Canadian public had THAT much input into the Charter! No wonder we feel as protected as we do.

Can't wait for the next installment!

American Prepper said...

Hmmm, interesting. As Canada gains more rights and freedoms, we keep losing them to our totalitarian govermnent. Well, once they've taken away our right to keep and bear arms, then there will be no doubt in my mind at that point that Canada would be a much more free country to live in than the U.S. There is certainly more remote land to have a survival retreat in, and more cold weather than what the unprepared masses would even consider fleeing too...So yep, Canada might be the place to go when SHTF, I'll just follow the Rockies right up into BC.

American Prepper said...

I love the new logo by the way...Was wondering when we were going to get to see that famous maple leaf

Kymber said...

AP...so glad that you got the "subtle" message behind this post...yes, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a very, very, very new and modern law...NO one - not even our government - can screw around with our individual rights...and though our individual rights have been "commonly" understood for several hundred years...our individual rights were enacted as Section B of our Constitution less than 30 years ago!!!! It is not going to be easy for any government or NWO to strip us of those rights!!! Anyway...yes, Canada is definitely the place to come if SHTF...we have enough land and enough people who will fight for the common good of all to help any Americans who need to flee...but buddy...you pretty much already live in Canada no?

oh thanks for noticing the new logo...not as fancy as yours...but thrown together while "the man" was building a new website and now working on forms...give us a bit of time and we will make it as professional as the APN...

thanks for stopping by buddy....you know that i always appreciate your taking the time!

wvsanta said...

Kymber
Great post and AP said it all already. I also really like the new logo. I have been so busy lately I have not got a chance to stop by. I WILL get you part 3 soon. I am a little under the weather today with a sore throat so I have had a little time for the computer. Keep up the great work you and the hubby are doing it will pay off. There are so many great post everywhere that it is hard to get to them all. We are so glad that you always find the time to stop by the WVPN it really means a lot to us.
God Bless
Santa

Kymber said...

Santa - thanks for always dropping by the CPN - we really appreciate that! So sorry to hear that you were feeling under the weather - hopefully you are feeling better now! And no pressure - but whenever you have part 3 ready - you know that we will all be happy - woohoo! And yes - there are sooo many great posts all over the network - so thanks, my friend, for always stopping in! I will always find the time to stop in to the WVPN - you guys are really rocking and informative over there and I love the direction that the WVPN is going! Keep up the great work Santa!

Bulldog115366 said...

Kymber!!!! Great history lesson!!! I know very little about Canada. I was at Olympic Stadium in Montreal with the U-2 Zoo TV tour in 93 and almost had a heart attack when I bought a pack of cigs!!!!!!If I remember right it was 7.00 a pack. I really want to see BC and Vancouver someday!!!!

Kymber said...

Thanks so much for dropping by Bulldog! I cannot believe that you were here for the U2 Zoo tour?!?!?! You lucky dog you!!!
Anyway - yep - cigs would have been about 7 bucks a pack - nowadays they are closer to 10 bucks a pack - yee-yikes!
I really hope you can get to see BC someday - what a beautiful province! And I hope that you keep dropping in - thanks so much Bulldog!

erniesjourney said...

You have done your homework girlfriend! Great job! Can we trade rights ya think?? I would love it up there except I be thinkin it probably a little too cold for me!!! But, may come anyways if gets too doggone nasty here!

Kymber said...

Hey Ernie - thanks buddy! We love our history just like you Americans love yours! And ya - we get some pretty fierce winters - but no worries - if SHTF - you head on up! I will teach you and Soldierman how to hunt seal and build igloos - you guys will do just fine - bahahaha!

Marie said...

Kymber--This is a great post with a lot of information I just didn't know. I'm sure you feel the same way about your rights under your Charter as I do about mine under our Constitution... :)
There sure is a lot to catch up on after a while of no internet access, but wanted to see what was going on on the Canadian Preppers homepage---again, great post.

Kymber said...

Hey Marie...glad to see that you have your internet connection back! And yes - we love our Charter like y'all love your Constitution! Thanks for always checking in at the CPN - i really appreciate it!

soldierman57 said...

hey there
I learn alot from your post!!

thank you for being a Friend !!!

soldierman57

Kymber said...

Thanks Soldierman - it means a lot coming from you! And you honour me with your friendship - thank you so much!