The complete wording of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms can be found on the Department of Justice website.
“supremacy of God and the rule of law”
The preamble to our Charter of Rights makes an important statement:
“Whereas Canada is founded on the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law [author’s emphasis]:”
It is from this important affirmation that Canada is a nation of laws that all our rights flow. Here are a few:
- Equality before and under the law and equal protection and benefit of law.
- Life, liberty and security of the person.
- Security against unreasonable search or seizure.
- Not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.
Protection for aboriginal peoples and multiculturalism
Section 25 says “The guarantee of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from any aboriginal treaty or other rights or freedoms that pertain to the aboriginal peoples of Canada..”
Section 27 then says that the Charter must also be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.
No exemptions for use of violence during aboriginal land claims
As the Preamble makes clear, Canada is a nation that recognizes the supremacy of the rule of law. It is clear that the framers of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms wanted to ensure that native people were treated honourably, but never intended to to grant them the right to use violence in support of past or present grievances, or the right to dominate other races or cultures.
A glaring omission from our Charter
In the United States the violation of one’s civil rights is a federal offence. This means that federal government agencies such as the FBI can intervene when individual states are unwilling or unable to enforce rights guaranteed under their Constitution. Canada, unfortunately, has no such mechanism. The only enforcement provision in Section 24 is the right to sue, which means that our rights are only as good as the province’s willingness to enforce them, or our ability to afford legal assistance. In short, the rights supposedly guaranteed to us all are, in reality, only enforceable by the wealthy.
Currently, the provincial (Liberal) government and the Ontario Provincial Police are responsible for widespread abuses of the rights of non-native citizens, abuses that include: taking direction from native protesters; making deals not to prosecute native criminals, and not to call for RCMP/military assistance; arresting non-natives who try to exercise their rights; failing to provide law enforcement to areas of Ontario; and enabling extreme violence and crime against innocent residents and infrastructure. Native people themselves have been victimized by this lawlessness and the refusal of the police and the government to put an end to it.
Unfortunately, our federal government cannot intervene to help affected citizens no matter how close a province comes to a complete breakdown in law and order. This must change. CANACE believes that legislation must be enacted to ammend the Criminal Code of Canada to make it a criminal offence for a government or police official to violate a citizen’s rights under the Charter, and to give the federal government the authority to intervene where a provincial government refuses to act.