cross-posted from Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty
With all the abuses of late, of the Harper government (Bills C-23, C-24, C-31 & C-51), it’s no small wonder Canadians are looking to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the only way to protect ourselves.
I came to Canada in January 1982, right when the Charter was being drafted. I had no idea really, what it meant; I couldn’t conceive of the idea that Canada up until that year, did not have a Constitution. But being new and caught up in trying to adjust and so on, I paid virtually no attention to what was going on. Little did I realize how important this Charter-thing would become in my own life some thirty-plus years later.
And at the time the Charter was being written, John Richardson was totally immersed in the whys and whats and how the Charter should be applied; this post is a testament to how much it has influenced his life, long before the IGA came to town.
by John Richardson
The above tweet references the following comment at the Isaac Brock Society site from Jefferson B. Tomas. He writes:
@Bubblebustin @Petros @US_Foreign My criticism of the Federal Council applies to every government that accepted an IGA and did not protect its bone fide residents and citizens. Protection of fundamental rights for minorities even in a majority-rule democratic system is part and parcel of modern democracy. These leaders shirked their responsibility, and that goes for all of the countries. And it goes for the entire government. For example, even if it was Widmer-Schlumpf who was in charge of the negotiations, it was up to the entire Council to ensure that what she did would not violate constitutional rights. We can sing “They don’t really care about us” referring to all the other governments as well. We’re too risky to stand up for, so they think, but if many of them had, it would have held.
Freedom and democracy are NOT the same thing
There are many who equate a democratic society with a free society. This is incorrect. “Democracy” is a mechanism to exercise the power of government. If unchecked a democratic form of government (based on voting and possible majority rule) can restrict the most basic and fundamental rights of a minority. A Charter of Rights exists to ensure that, with respect to certain fundamental values, the majority cannot use the political process to undermine certain rights of a minority group. The Harper Government used their majority in the political process to deny rights to one prevalent minority group – those with a U.S. place of birth. Those who doubt this should watch the videos of what took place in House Finance Committee hearings on FATCA.
The FATCA IGA and Bill C – 31 demonstrate the importance of a Charter of Rights
The familiar video referenced in the above tweet is an example of the political process in a DEMOCRACY overriding the liberties/freedoms of a minority group. Most of you have seen this video. I suggest you watch it again.
This video demonstrates how the DEMOCRATICALLY elected Government of Canada simultaneously:
1. Stripped one specific group of people (based on he immutable characteristic of place of birth) of it’s constitutionally protected rights in a way that;
2. Then imposed mandatory discrimination on that specific group of Canadians, PURSUANT to DEMOCRATICALLY enacted laws.
3. Allowed the Charter rights of individual Canadians (AKA people) to be overridden by the desires of Canada’s banks (which do NOT have Charter protected rights); and
4. Surrendered the sovereignty of Canada to a foreign government.
(Although beyond the scope and intent of this post, this also raises issues of the “first past the post system” which in many cases leads to “majority governments” with a minority of the vote. But, I will leave that for another day.)