Canada: Charter of Rights and Freedoms allowed homosexual marriage and the carrying of kirpan

Source: FSSPX News


France Presse Agency recalled that in mid-April, Canada celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a text which opened the way to abortion and homosexual marriage, but also to the recognition of a plethora of religious rights on account of the recent immigration boom.

On April 17, 1982, in Ottawa, Elizabeth II, Queen of England, enacted the Constitution Act of which the Charter forms the first part, at the request of Canada, but without the agreement of Quebec.

Since its enforcement, the text has served the cause of the defenders of homosexual marriage, and of religious groups about which Canadian parliamentarians did not think. “I knew Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, very well. Did he foresee all that we are witnessing to-day? I do not think so. He was in favor of the Charter, because he was in favor of freedom and equality, but he did not foresee all this,” explained ex-senator Gérald Beaudoin to AFP.

In 2004, the Liberal Party, which was governing at the time, asked the Supreme Court to pronounce on the conformity of homosexual marriage with the Charter, before proposing its bill on same-sex unions, which had been adopted by the Parliament.

For this reason, the Liberal Party celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Charter, whereas the conservatives currently in power, were much more reserved. “The Charter is so much more than a juridical document! It points out the direction we must take as a country (…) it represents the ideal vision of what our country can and must accomplish,” said the Liberal leader Stéphane Dion at Ottawa University.

The Charter played a role in favor of homosexual marriage, but also of certain religious groups when, for instance, the Supreme Court ruled that a Sikh policeman could wear his turban at work or that a student could have a kirpan, the small dagger carried by Sikhs, in the classroom.

“I have often thought about this kirpan business, and I said to myself: ‘Are we not going too far in matters of religious liberty.’ On the other hand, I am forced to admit that the Supreme Court had laid down conditions for the carrying of it,” recalled Mr. Beaudoin. nevertheless this ardent defender of the Charter warned: “We cannot go any further than that”. The basic religious rights recognized by the Canadian Charter were often used at the tribunals and provoked lively reactions, especially among the population of Quebec less inclined to “compromises” with religious minorities.

Since the enactment of the Charter, the demography of Canada has changed considerably on account of immigration waves from China, India and the Muslim countries. According to recent forecasts from the Official Institute of Statistics, this tendency is bound to continue to the point that Canadian population will be made of 20% of “visible minorities” in 2017.

“Consequently there will be a greater number of conflicts which will be judged by the Charter,” thinks Gérard Gall, professor of Law at the University of Alberta, who notes at the same time an increase in the “negative reactions” in society as the tribunals recognize more specific rights of religious minorities. “These reactions are a response to the fundamental changes in the demographic make-up of Canada, but as time goes on people will get used to it. There is no other choice,” he declared.