Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy Charter-versary

Here's something to celebrate: Canada's Charter of Rights & Freedoms is 25 years old today.

The Charter guarantees such rights as:
  • freedom of conscience and religion
  • freedom of expression, which manifests itself in our blogging every day;
  • freedom to get together and protest shit we don't like;
  • equality rights for minorities;
  • and a multitude of legal rights, which become increasingly salient in the paranoid "post-9/ll" climate of fear we inhabit.

    The Charter took some of the power away from parliament away and gave it to the courts:

    "Time was before the Charter, Parliament's word was law.
  • But the centrepiece of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau's repatriation of the constitution put a legislative leash on politicians and handed a licence to the courts to wade into the issues of the day.

    Over the last 25 years, judges have had their say on everything from abortion to same-sex marriage, medicare to cigarette advertising, pornography to aboriginal land claims, crime in the streets to the war on terror."

    It's disappointing but not surprising that our PM hasn't acknowledged the day, but then it should be pretty obvious by now that the Charter isn't something he gives a flying fuck about.

    "Harper was barely a month into office when he suggested judges should show greater deference to Parliament and 'apply the law, not make it.'"

    Damn activist judges.