Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is one part of the Canadian Constitution, and the Constitution is the set of rules on how one country operates. For instance, in Canada, it contains the powers of federal government, but also the powers of provincial government.

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Those rights and freedoms are necessary, and Canadians believe it gives them freedom and democracy. Some of the rights and freedoms are:

Freedom of speech

The right to have a democratic government

The right to live and search for employment in Canada

Legal rights if the person is accused of crimes

Aboriginal peoples’ rights

The right to equality, including men and women

The right to use any of Canada’s official languages

English and French minorities have the right to education in their native language

The protection of Canada’s multicultural heritage

 

Before this Charter came into effect, other laws and rules protected rights and freedoms of their citizens; one example is Canadian Bill of Rights.

Why is it essential that the Charter is part of the Constitution?

The constitution is the supreme law of any country and generally speaking, all bills must comply the Constitution. If they are not supported by the Constitution, then they can’t be valid. Considering that this Charter is the part of the Canadian constitution, laws and right that are in the Carter are valid, which makes the Charter the essential law in Canada.

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It is necessary to highlight that Government can put some limitation on the Charter because the Charter allows it. For example, we have in the Charter that other law may limit the rights and freedoms stated in the Charter, as long as they are responsible and justified in a free and democratic society. Having in mind that the Charter is the part of the Constitution, it means that government has to make sure that new laws are consistent with it.

Are all your rights contained in the Charter?

Unfortunately, no. The Charter only contains the rights and freedoms of Canadians that are essential and exist in a free and democratic country. However, many laws protect the average citizens, and they fall under government, provincial and territorial government laws, that offers right and freedoms. For instance, laws against discrimination in employment and accommodation, customer protection laws, environmental laws, and many others. Any Canadian’s citizen has the ability to enjoy the Charter rights and he is protected by them.