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Canadian Bill of Rights. Citation to Ponder.

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Canadian bill of rights

Canadian Bill of Rights

Citation to ponder
Citation to Ponder

  • I am a Canadian ,free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.

    - Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker, July,1,1960

    Read the following citation and elaborate on it. Questions to ponder:

    1. How true is the statement?

    2. How limited or restrained are the stances?

    3.Have you ever been in the situation where your beliefs were not taken into consideration?

Codified attempt of canadian right and freedoms
Codified Attempt of Canadian Right and Freedoms

  • The Canadian Bill of Rights recognized:

  • The rights of individuals to life, liberty, personal security ,and enjoyment of property

  • Freedom of religion, speech, assembly,and association

  • Freedom of the press

  • The right to counsel and the right to a fair hearing

Limitations of the bill of rights
Limitations of the Bill of Rights

  • As a Federal Statute applied only to mattes under the federal jurisdiction, i.e.

    It did not apply to all the provinces(in provincial human rights issues, the provinces could legislate as they wished)

  • As a statute ,the Bill of rights had identical status as other statutes, meaning it did not take precedence over any other statutes. If another statute was in conflict with the Bill of Rights, it was up to the judge to rule which law to enforce.

  • As a federal statute ,it could be amended by a majority vote in the House of Commons, i.e. at any time, the protection offered through the bill could be changed or even eliminated.

Entrenching rights and freedoms
Entrenching Rights and Freedoms

  • Entrench means to protect and guarantee a right or freedom by ensuring that it can only be changed by an amendment to the Constitution.

  • Having rights and freedoms entrenched into the constitution ensures that they are protected, regardless of what government is in power.

  • It also means that the entrenched bill becomes the constitutional law which can override all the other laws.

  • Entrenching the Charter of Rights and Freedoms shifts power from supremacy of Parliament and Legislatures toward the supremacy of the Constitution.

Repercussions of the bill
Repercussions of the Bill

  • The supremacy of the Constitution concerned some politicians ,but the agreement between the Federal government and nine other provinces was reached how to repatriate the Constitution was reached on Nov.5,1981 ,but only on the condition that


Override=prevail over

Invoke =to put into effect

The notwithstanding clause

The notwithstanding clause section 33 of the charter facts
The Notwithstanding Clause( section 33 of the Charter)Facts

  • Grants the Federal and provincial governments limited power to pass laws that are exempt from s.2 (the fundamental freedoms),ss.7 to 15(the legal and equality rights)

  • Exemption remains in effect only up to 5 years

  • At the end of the 5 years ,the government needs to make a renewed declaration.

    When a government decides to invoke the notwithstanding clause to pass legislation that violates one of the protected rights in the Charter, it must identify the particular law and the sections of the Charter that are being overridden.(Bill 101( 1988) - all the public signs in Quebec are to be in French)

    The F.G. Made 101 invalid due to the infringement of the bilingualism in Canada. The P.G. Of Quebec passed C178 – French only in Quebec ( Vive Le Quebec Indépendant!)



The notwithstanding clause will be a red flag for opposition parties and the press. That will make it politically difficult for a government to override the Charter. Political difficulty is a reasonable safeguard for the charter.” Allan Borovoy



  • It puts the final power to where it belongs ,into the hands of elected reps who can be voted out if they make poor decisions or deprive minorities of their rights

  • Rights are too important to be left to politicians whose political strategies are often focused on winning votes.

  • The courts should protect the rights and freedoms of Canadians

Section 33 ica
Section 33 ICA

Develop a stance towards the idea of the notwithstanding clause (does it belong to the Charter or not?) and in a point form ,jot down 5 arguments that would support the necessity or uselessness of the clause. Think of the examples where the s.33 could be applied.