Dr. Paul.Feb13,2K8

February 15, 2008

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [01]

A Constitution to call our Own, Canada's Charter, Preamble - Article 6

Calling out a signal to loyalists of sovereignty everywhere, especially those of Canadian soil. I would like to produce an often under looked -lesser understood- document that matters to all. Writing not in protest nor objection, rather to brief & refresh those who seek an alternative prospective on liberty. While this document seeks to retain complete accuracy, errors are likely to occur; if not by my hand, perhaps subject to document sources. Regardless, enjoy.

In body, the Canadian Constitution, as enacted in 1982, consists of thirteen major bodies and/or 34 sections/articles + 1, which I'll come to explain in due time. Known to be the standard bill of rights to Canadian groups, it succeeds the Canadian Bill of Rights [J. Diefenbaker, 1960] which was more a federal statute -rather than a constitutional letter- held highly ineffective by many. This fine document was brought together by the late P.E. Trudeau, who sought to lessen dependence from the British parliament.

In body, the Charter details fundamental Rights ranging from equality to mobility. While each body may be taken at face value, an amalgamated understanding of the entire document is necessary when considering the judicial processes granted to Canadians, and aboriginals, nationwide. In contracts to the U.S. Constitution, the Charter applies specifically to government action and law [federal, provincial, municipal, etc] not private activity. However, it does bind all those who are physically present in Canada, with rights civil and political. Most can be exercised by any legal person, save corporations; while, Sections 3 and 6 regard citizens only.

Forthwith, I will attempt to decipher and illustrate the range of Canada's law of the land.

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

Describes Canada's foundation as one upon God's supremacy and rule of law. Though not constitutionally effective, as it undermines the removal of religion from law as dictated in Section 2], it does provide a template from which one could interpret the later body of the letter. Whereas, the ambiguous "rule of law" must be placed within context of "God", whether that be the Judeo-Christian god of the Canadian founders or the divinity of humanity is left to the interpreter to decide.

Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms
"1. 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."

1. In which the document in question cites its own authority, protecting the people it binds inasmuch as it does not supersede reasonable free/democratic society limits of law. This I hold protects individuals given they do not infringe on the rights of another, within legal reason. Example, my practice of faith is protected as long as my worship does not hinder the liberties of my neighbour.

Fundamental Freedoms
"2. 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."

2. Nationwide, any/all residents are entitled to:
[a] freely exist and worship as they choose; enables atheism and abortion, controversial in that conscience is highly intangible and only manifests itself when individuals choose
[b] free thought/belief/opinion/expression including free press & any medium of expression; enables democratic processes to occur without hindrance
[c] free assembly, see section 1 and 2.d
[d] free association, e.g. unions and organizations

Democratic Rights
"3. 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.
4. (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 of 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.
5. There shall be a sitting of Parliament and of each legislature at least once every twelve months"

3. Citizens are enabled to vote for government members, in a open democratic manner in which no third party interest interfere; and become one themselves
4. 1] House elections are required every five years
2] 5yr exceptions in case of war/invasion/insurrection, provided 1/3 House pass motion
5. Parliament must sit at least once in 12 months

Mobility Rights
"6. (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."

6. 1] Citizens have right to leave/stay/return to Canada
2] Canadian citizens and permanent residents have right to:
[a] find residence in any province
[b] obtain employment
3] Rights from above subject to:
[a] laws/practices in force province-wide other than those discriminating persons on the basis of present/previous provincial residence; and
[b] laws providing reasonable residency requirements as a qualification for the receipt of publicly provided social services [e.g. health care, welfare, etc]
4] Subsections [2/3] do not preclude any law/program/activity whose object is the provincial improvement of individual's conditions in said province who are socially/economically disadvantaged if the provincial employment rate is below Canada's employment rate
>Section 6 is one of the less ambiguous articles, really straightforward and comprehensive. While I have little commentary now, the future may provide further discussion.

Here I end this blog entry, not for lack of want, but rather for the reader's benefit. A drawn out entry, pages long, is a greater deterrent to thorough reading than poor literacy. As the Charter is a lengthy letter, I will return to discuss it further in a later post. If nothing else, a return session will ensure a revived mind... both yours and mine.

Till next time, keeping you in suspense, Gobo.

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