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The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

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Kristina Koersen-deBoer

on 4 March 2014

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Transcript of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
What is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
How does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms support individuals in exercising their rights?
Examples of how the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has protected people against discrimination
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a document, created in 1982, and includes all the rights and freedoms guaranteed to citizens of Canada.
There are different sections enlisted in the Charter. These sections include Fundamental Freedoms, Democratic Rights, Mobility Rights, Legal Rights, Equality Rights, Language Rights and Minority Language Educational Rights.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all citizens of Canada. This document includes rights and freedoms that Canadians believe to be necessary in a free and democratic society.
The Charter has a major impact in the protection and promotion of human well being. It is one of the most important factors that makes up the country of Canada. Creating this document was the most significant change made to Canada's constitution since Confederation in 1867.
There are some restrictions to the Charter.
The rights and freedoms enlisted are
subject only to reasonable limits permitted
by law. The Government of Canada can take
away indivuals rights under the Charter in
certain situations.
If an individual feels that their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms have been denied or infringed in anyway, they are able to fight for their case in a court of law.
A key concept of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is equality. The equality section of the Charter was actually introduced 3 years after the rest of the Charter. This part makes it clear that every individual in Canada - regardless of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, colour, sex, age or physical or mental disability - is to be considered equal.
Courts found in Canada bring the Charter into accordance when deciding on the outcome of a trial. When a citizen, or citizens, of Canada feel that their rights have been violated, they are able to bring their case into court. These cases are called Charter Challenges.
The Charter is very difficult to change or edit. In order for changes to be made, a vast majority of Canadian citizens have to agree with the edits being made.
Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Queen Elizabeth II signing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms April 17, 1982 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all citizens of Canada in many aspects. In Canada, an individual's rights and fundamental freedoms may only be restriced if their actions infringe on another indivudals rights and freedoms.
The Equality section of the Charter is known as Section 15. The goal of Section 15 is to prevent violation of essential human dignity. With Section 15, Canadian citizens have protections if they are discriminated against based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Individuals exercising their rights could include certain religious ceremonies, meals, voting, debating, ethnical gatherings and many other things. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms supports individuals because it allows them to try new things, and experience more things without having to worry about discrimination.
In the past, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has protected people against discrimination. These discriminations can be against age, colour, race, gender and many other factors. There are many examples of successful Charter Challenges by citizens of Canada.


In 2001, four Ontario women and five labour unions launched a Charter Challenge (a labour union is an organization of workers that acts to protect workers' rights and freedoms). These women were arguing that the province of Ontario was discriminating against them based on gender. These four women, along with the five labour unions, stated that they were not being paid as much money for their labour, as the men in their workplaces were.

Prior to this, in 1993, an Ontario law was passed that requires the province to pay women and men equally for their labour when they both have equivalent levels of experience and training. The women argued that the province had not followed through on their promise of "pay equality". This mean that the Province of Ontario owed millions of dollars in lost wages.

Before this matter could be taken to court, the Ontario Government admitted to their mistake. Shortly after, the Government of Ontario paid female workers over $414 million in pay adjustments.
This was a very good example of how the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has protected people against discrimination.
John and Linda Warren from Vancouver, British Columbia are als0 examples of a successful Charter Challenge. John and Linda were both born deaf. Until 1990, whenever one or both of them needed to speak to a doctor, the city of Vancouver provided them a sign-language interpreter free of charge. However, when the agency became short of funds, the service disappeared.
In 1990, Linda Warren was pregnant. She went to the hospital, but was not provided a sign-language interpreter, meaning she had no way of communicating with the doctor. After she gave birth to her twins, she was unable to understand why her twins had been taken away from the room for treatment.
Linda, along with her husband John, took their case to the B.C. provinical court. The province of British Columbia had failed to provide an interpreter to them when they needed to be able to communicate with health care workers. By failing to provide medical interpreting services for deaf people, John and Linda Warren argued that the B.C. government was violating their equality rights and freedoms under the Charter.
The Warrens fought their case to the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario. The couple had to wait seven years for their answer, on the account of the Supreme Court's long waiting list.
On October 9, 1997, John and Linda Warren won their Charter Challenge.
The Supreme Court of Canada directed the B.C. Government to administer public health care in a way that took the care of deaf people into account.
This didn't mean that sign-language interpretation would be provided in every medical situation. It would depend on the complexity and importance of the situation.
Because of the protection from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the determination of John and Linda Warrens of fighting for their rights, the voices of the deaf were finally heard.
The Charter strongly supports individual's in exercising their rights. This means that it allows citizens of Canada to do what they wish free from the negative impacts of discriminations and other opposing factors.
If an individaul feels that their rights have been restricted or violated in anyway, they may bring their case to a court of law. They also may file a complaint with an organization found within their province or territory. An organization found within every province and territory in Canada is the Human Rights Commission.
Logos for the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Yukon Human Rights Commission
Sign language interpreters are now provided in hospitals and clinics in Britsh Columbia when necessary.
The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario. Where John and Linda Warren won their Charter Challenge.
Cartoon displaying how in Canada, men and woman are treated equally in all circumstances.
The Constitution is the supreme law in Canada. It outlines Canada's system of government, as well as the civil rights of all Canadian citizens. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a key part of the civil rights section in Canada's Constitution.
How it Protects Individuals in Exercising Their Rights
This document was preceded from the Canadian Bill of Rights. Canadian citizens wanted a change from the Bill of Rights, and wanted something that would focus more on human rights and freedoms. This nation wide movement, pushed for the creation of the Charter.
The gentlemen involved in this debate are exercising their freedom to express their opinion.
This person is exercising his rights by voting for a new government.
Section 15 also protects equality on characteristics that are not specifically set out in it. For example, Section 15 also protects against the discrimination of sexual orientation. Section 15 is a huge part of the Charter that supports individuals in exercising their rights.
In 1990, Linda Warren was pregnant. When she went to the hospital, she was not provided with a sign-language interpreter. This meant she was unable to understand any of the doctors or nurses. When Linda gave birth to her twins, she was not able to comprehend why her babies had been taken away from the room for treatment.
Because of the protection from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Jeff and Linda Warrens' determination, the voices of the deaf were finally heard.
The women also argued that the Ontario Government had violated their Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Government violated Section 28, which states how the rights and freedoms found within the Charter are granted equally to both males and females.
The Candian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a very important part in an individuals life. It gives everyone freedom and rights to live in a free and democratic society. Without the Charter, life in Canada would not be the same. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a key part in everyone's lives, and strongly supports us in exercising our rights.
Created by
Kristina Koersen-deBoer
November 2011
Social Studies 9-02
Mrs. Hartman

It was officially put into action April 17, 1982. Mr. Pierre Elliot Trudeau was Prime Minister at the time. This charter is the only Charter of Rights and Freedoms entrenched in Canada's Constitution.
Breaking the Communication Barrier
A copy of the Bill of Rights, created in 1960. The Canadian Bill of Rights has not been used in Canada since 1982.
The four Ontario women won their case with the help of the five labour unions. The five labour unions all work for the Canadian Labour Congress. The CLC advocates on behalf of workers across Canada. They advocate for decent wage, healthy and safe workplaces,
equality rights,
and a sustainable environment and respect for human rights.
Examples of citizens exercising their rights
People participating in a religious Muslim ceremony.
Citizens partaking in a Gay Pride March
Full transcript