Mr. Silver: It is with great pleasure that I rise today on behalf of the Liberal Party and the Official Opposition to pay tribute to Law Day and the anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Law Day was created by the Canadian Bar Association as a national day to mark the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It also provides an opportunity for those in the legal profession to educate the general public on Canada’s legal system. It was 33 years ago that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was signed into effect, enacting one of the strongest and most far-reaching pieces of our constitution. It was also on this day that patriating the Canadian Constitution formally took place, another landmark moment.
Canadians pride themselves on our diversity, multiculturalism and far-reaching rights that we have given to all our citizens. Prior to the enactment of the charter, unfair laws could have been enacted by a legislature with no formal complaint process. The charter ensured that individuals would be protected regardless of the values of the government of the day and still sees many existing laws get challenged in the Supreme Court. The charter puts our individual freedoms into the Constitution.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has become the hallmark of what a modern bill of rights should look like and has been used by many other countries as a basis for their own charters. This piece of legislation would not have been possible if it were not for the efforts of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his then Justice Minister, Jean Chrétien.
Mr. Speaker, it is an absolute privilege to stand before you today and to pay tribute to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to thank those who made it possible.
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