Greene_charter_Ch_2 - 1 The Charter (Chapter 2 draft) Note:...

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1 The Charter (Chapter 2 draft) Note: this draft is copyright protected and may be used only by students in PPAL 6100 3.0. It may not be distributed beyond the class. References in the text below refer to the 1989 edition’s list of cases and references, which are separate documents on this web page. New references are shown as endnotes. The circumstances that led to the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms help to explain the form the document finally took. These events have also provided the setting for some of the more recent controversies about the Charter, such as whether the provision allowing legislatures to override parts of the Charter should be removed, or whether some form of “distinct society” clause in our constitution might weaken women's equality rights. A visitor to our country who knew little of Canada's most pressing political issues in the early 1980s might be forgiven for assuming that the Charter was a reaction to human rights abuses, or the imminent threat of such abuses. Although the Supreme Court's narrow interpretation of the Bill of Rights encouraged some pro-civil liberties activists to campaign for an entrenched charter of rights, human rights violations, or the fear of them, did not constitute a major issue in Canada during the ten or fifteen years before 1982. A possible exception was the October Crisis of 1970, when the arbitrary powers provided by the War Measures Act were abused by some authorities. Most Canadians, however, supported the government's tough stance against terrorists. Moreover, the man who decided to invoke the War Measures Act, Pierre Trudeau, was the same person who championed the cause of a charter. Public pressure to protect civil liberties can therefore explain only a part of the drive for an entrenched bill of rights. Rainer Knopff and F.L. Morton have argued that the goal of entrenching a charter of rights was a key ingredient in the federal government's nation-building strategy from 1967 to 1982. That strategy had three major elements: to create the conditions that would encourage a stronger national identity to counteract the forces of provincialism; to patriate the constitution (end the role of the U.K. Parliament in the constitutional amendment process, and provide for an entirely Canadian amending procedure); and to extend language rights and to create new "mobility rights" so that Canadians would feel at home in any province and would not be deterred from moving within the country. From this perspective, it was hoped that the proposed charter would become an instrument of national unity. An entrenched bill of rights that applied across the country would lead, it was expected, to a national discourse about human rights. New national coalitions and identities would be created that would transcend and weaken the forces of regionalism and provincialism. A major problem faced by the government was that Canadians were not very concerned about the
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2012 for the course PPAL 6100 taught by Professor Bazowski during the Winter '10 term at York University.

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Greene_charter_Ch_2 - 1 The Charter (Chapter 2 draft) Note:...

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