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April 25, 2019

37 Years Later: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Posted by Jessica Templeman - Bellissimo Law Group PC

The Government of Canada celebrated the 37th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on 17 April 2019. The Charter, which forms a part of the Canadian Constitution, is integral to Canadian democracy as it protects the fundamental freedoms and equality rights of the citizens of this country. The Charter has of course also been essential for upholding the rights of non-citizens within Canada. We saw, for example, with the cases of Suresh[1], Baker[2] and Singh[3], the success of arguments that point to the necessity of compliance with section 7 of the Charter, which requires the protection of both substantive and procedural rights. More recently, migrants subject to immigration detention have been successful in challenging their detainment to the Ontario Superior Court on the basis of both habeas corpus and Charter arguments (see:

https://www.bellissimolawgroup.com/2017/11/detention-reviews-habeas-corpus-and-the-charter-navigating-a-new-evolving-legal-landscape.html/).

In recognition of the contributions of the Charter, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada held a special citizenship ceremony, where 37 new Canadian’s were invited to take their citizenship oath. There, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship stated the following:

37 years ago, nobody could have imagined how the Charter would shape Canada nearly four decades later. I believe the Charter is the most important law as it has shaped our identity as a nation and represents the values of its people. Canada is recognized around the world for its freedom and democracy and Canadians are renowned for celebrating diversity and making everyone feel welcomed and included. To today’s 37 new Canadians: Welcome into our Canadian family, welcome home.[4]

We look forward to continued progress in Canadian immigration law and policy as it aligns with the principles and values of Canadian society as set out by the Charter.

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