The Impact Of The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

Superior Essays
For many centuries, laws and rights have been society’s foundation for nations all around the world. Laws are rules that people are made to follow by the government; a right is something a person has that should not be taken away from them. Both play an important role in determining the order of society in a nation and over time, each country developed their own constitution. As early as the Magna Carta and as recent as the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, countries began developing written documents, in order to record and address the rights of individuals in their country. For Canada, this step was taken 34 years ago, with the introduction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. The Charter set forth a …show more content…
However, through the Charter’s fundamental freedoms, its impact on legislatures and how appointed judges interpret the Charter, the Charter has made Canada an extremely just society.
To begin with, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the first part of the 1982 Constitution Act. The Charter guarantees rights to everyone in Canada; “some sections (like democratic rights) apply specifically to citizens, while others (like equality) apply to all” (Burgess). Charter content, the basic framework for all Canadians, was created with the idea of uniting Canadians through rights codification. Despite the Charter’s 34 sections, it is Section 2 that has progressed Canada towards a more just society. The Charter’s four fundamental freedoms, “freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association” are extremely influential parts of the Charter, as with them, Canada can be seen as a truly democratic country. It is important to realize that without these four
…show more content…
Upon its introduction, “some Canadian politicians opposed the Charter of Rights because it gave courts new power to review the decisions of legislatures” (Whyte). Yet, this was for Canada’s best interest as its influence led to many big changes including the limitation of police powers and LGBT community recognition. Numerous Charter cases led to police changes, including the Oakes case which changed Canadian law forever. The Oakes case had a great impact on the Charter’s evolution and interpretation as it proved how it was “the charter 's goal to maintain balance between legislatures and courts and between individuals rights and the demands of democratic society." (Schwartz). In a democratic society, it is vital to respect the privacy and rights of all Canadians and through reviewing legislative decisions, such as limiting police power, the Charter ensures more privacy protection and more disclosure. Moreover, through court cases, LGBT community rights have been recognized, especially due to the Vriend case. For example, provincial human rights legislatures cannot exclude protection for homosexuals and that is done to benefit Canada as a whole. It will not affect the majority of Canadians, if a minority gets to live their life the way they want to. There is a reason that the Charter is entrenched within our constitution and that the majority of Canadians agreed to

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    New Light Canada

    • 1067 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Joining the United Nations was a defining moment in Canadian history because it enabled Canada to reform international interactions by supporting the UN, develop a more asserted identity, and to establish Canada’s reputation to the world. Essentially, the United Nations allowed Canada…

    • 1067 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It supplied Canadians with a list of their rights and freedoms in the law, and provided equality to those who did not have the same privileges as others. The Bill of Rights was “the first attempt to codify rights and freedoms across Canada… The Canadian Bill of Rights recognized the rights of individuals to life, liberty, personal security and the enjoyment of property”. (Law in Action; Understanding Canadian Law, p. 77) This helped in the development of an identity for Canada, because Canada is widely known as a country of polite, nice people, and with the end of racist and unjust immigration policies and behaviours in Canada, this helped the country gain the title of one of the nicest countries in the world. It also helped in the development of citizenship because citizenship is by definition, “the qualities that a person is expected to have as a responsible member of a community”. (Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary) Being a responsible member of a community means to be fair and just, and it is not fair to judge or set limits for someone because of their gender or the color of their skin.…

    • 1173 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Charter Of Rights

    • 993 Words
    • 4 Pages

    This essay focusses on three areas of the charter including: justice, equality and civil liberties. All these rights and liberties are strengthened by the Charter. In short, the Charter is a safeguard for democracy and it allows the people of Canada to uphold their rights and liberties. The Charter allows our democracy to exist, and a strong and vibrant democracy benefits Canada. In the word of late Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, “We must establish the basic principles, the basic values and beliefs which hold us together as Canadians so that beyond our regional loyalties there is a way of life and a system of values which make us proud of the country that has given us such freedom and such immeasurable…

    • 993 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Does Canada comply with the right not to testify against oneself or confess guilt? The Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada is a bill of rights that guarantees the rights and freedoms of Canadian citizens from the policies and and actions of all levels of government (the Charters). Section 7, 11, and 13 of the Charter protects guilty as well as innocent individuals when accused of a crime. It allows cizitens to remain silent and not testify against oneself during an interrogation process. The Charter provides protection to a person from being compelled to become a witness against themselves in a criminal case as well as making it difficult for the government to convict a person for an offence against the law.…

    • 2463 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Additionally, it will also examine the critics of the judicial system activities in order to argue of its truthfulness. What is more, the paper will offer the detailed interpretation of the laws and amendments of the enacted laws. In addition, it will highlight the benefits of the vigorous judicial enforcement of the fundamental freedoms and rights, which strengthen the Canadian democracy. One of the issues that spark the above mentioned argument is the role of the Canadian Supreme Court in the milieu of the Canadian democracy. It is said that Canada’s Supreme Court is the central department in promotion of fair and open democracy in the society.…

    • 1934 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    First Nations In Canada

    • 857 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Act was used as a tool to implement restrictive policies over the members of the First Nations. However, regardless of the painful conditions that the members of the First Nations experienced, by the late 1940s, there was hope on the social and political transformations that would mark the beginning of a new era in the Canadian society. The First Nations across the nation started forming region-based groups that forcefully expressed people’s grievances to have equality among all Canadians. By 1946, the First Nations had fought for their rights to parliament. The crusaders of equality in the First Nations wanted to have an equal Canadian society, but at the same time, they wanted to preserve their cultural practices and beliefs.…

    • 857 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Second, to better establish the relationship between Canada and the rest of the world by way of engaging more critically in the United Nations, brining aid and mediation and not simply acting as a satellite of the United States. Finally, to pursue equality within the country and its various regions to ensure regional equality through government involvement (Taylor 27-28). There seems nothing inherently complicated about Taylor’s recommendations. They seek to establish Canada as a stronger country at home as well as a more powerful global actor but remains useless if all Canadians cannot…

    • 737 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    These mandates would be of great concern in the publications industry. Split-run magazines need to include much more than Canadian announcements. Major efforts to create bilingual journals should penetrate the U.S. mindset. And if Canadians seem to prefer buying American magazines, shouldn’t they be allowed to “vote” with their purchasing habits? Democratic ideals should pervade every nation.…

    • 931 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a charter that would be enforced anywhere in Canada. It included basic rights such as freedom of expression, the right to vote, and the right to life, but most importantly, it prevented discrimination of any sort under the law. This is important to Canada because it provided us with the basic human rights, that we can live our life the way we want to, not the way we have to, without having to face discrimination and hostility, no matter of what race or what religion. It also gained Canada the reputation of being an international leader in human rights. It is because of his vision for a just society, that we, as Canadians, get to live in a welcoming country, a country that is equal for all races, gender, and religion,…

    • 1009 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Nevertheless, before discussing how effective the multiculturalism act has been, it’s necessary to discuss parts of Canadian identity, and asses how multiculturalism shapes Canadian society. Canadian identity is ambiguous; often been describes described as an inclusive nation, rather than exclusive nation. Instead of promoting its own interest Canada has been known as a compromising, pace-making, compassionate nation filled with virtue. Canadian identity is closely associated with the promotion of diversity and multiculturalism. Unlike their American neighbors in the South, Canada is said to have embraced distinct cultures and language, without forcing in assimilation.…

    • 1271 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays