On April, 17th 1982 Canada repatriated its Constitution and issued a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter guarantees the right to vote, the right to life, liberty and security, and the right to be free from discrimination. It also enshrines many important democratic freedoms, including freedom of conscience, expression and association, and freedom of the press.
As many have said in the celebrations marking the anniversary of the charter, it is difficult to imagine Canada today without the Charter of Rights ad Freedoms. It has been used by many Canadians to fight injustice and lead to many social changes such as equal rights to same-sex couples and the end of Abortion law.
Before acquiring Canadian citizenship I had to learn about the rights and freedoms enshrined on the Charter. I particularly liked learning that among my responsibilities as a Canadians are the need to help others in my community, and the obligation of fighting injustice and discrimination. I was given a copy of the Charter with my Canadian citizen certificate during my citizenship ceremony and I used to have it hanging in my carrell at the library. It speaks of the core Canadian values of inclusiveness, equality, and justice, values that I have learned to cherish as my own.
It’s a shame Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn’t join on the celebrations today. I really wish we could have another election soon to get rid of him… The man really unnerves me!
Click here to read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom in many different languages…