The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force on April 17, 1985, 29 years ago last week. And since then, I’ve been pondering on how our current government could have strayed so far from what I believe is the intent of the Act, as well the intent of its precursor, the Canadian Bill of Rights.
The Canadian Bill of Rights, introduced back in 1960, stated, in part,
“It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,
(a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law;
(b) the right of the individual to equality before the law and the protection of the law.”
Well, that seems clear to me – without discrimination by reason of national origin.
Then 25 years later, the Charter was enacted which said (in part),
“Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
There it is again, in plain black and white, without discrimination based upon national or ethnic origin.
I’m no lawyer or legal expert, but I just don’t see how our government can have signed the FATCA IGA in good conscience.
I can only hope that as more people become aware of the implications of FATCA on our Canadian society that more will join in writing to our government officials, writing to the media, and commenting on fallacious articles. We need to get the word out using all the various social media forums: blogging, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Digg, LinkedIn, MySpace, Google+ and whatever other media exists now and in the future, because I do believe this is going to be a long fight.
We must fight for our rights as Canadians, and Canadian residents.
I’m just an average Canadian who suddenly finds herself in a fight she never imagined could be possible. In the two years since I learned about FATCA, I’ve taken John Diefenbaker’s words to heart, who, when introducing the Bill of Rights, said,
“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”
Free to oppose what I believe is wrong – and for me, it’s wrong that our government is agreeing to treat some Canadians as second-class citizens based upon their national origin.
Free to choose those who shall govern my country – that will most definitely be me on the next election, choosing NOT to re-elect the politicians who are intent on abrogating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Free to speak without fear – since I’m still using a pseudonym, I guess I’m not quite there. And, frankly, I find it unbearably sad that, in Canada, I’m (like many others) worried about coming out openly in opposition to FATCA.
cross-posted at outragedcanadian.ca