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Lecture 10

POLB50Y3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Section 33 Of The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, Ageism, Victoria Charter


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLB50Y3
Professor
Christopher Cochrane
Lecture
10

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Canadian Political Science
Lecture 10: Charter of Rights and
Freedoms
Liberal Democracy
The liberal government limits the government’s powers, and introduces
rights and freedoms. The idea of liberty and majority rules is introduced,
so dictatorships are removed. Positive and Negative Rights are
introduced. Negative rights are rights the state can’t stop you from doing,
and positive rights are what the state needs to give to you (right to
healthcare).
Liberty and democracy are both compatible and incompatible. The first
example is Freedom of Speech, which all citizens must have to form a
democracy and give a perspective on issues. Freedom of Religion is
also important, as people should be allowed to wear and believe whatever
they want. Finally, Freedom of Association is needed so political groups
and parties are formed. The incompatibilities arise when liberals want the
No harm rule which states that anyone can do whatever they want, as
long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. This is tough, as a democracy needs
to have a rule-based system – where do we draw the line?
Evolution of Canadian Liberalism
The Bill of Rights was introduced with John Diefenbaker and signed and
passed in the 1960s. It is much different from the United States, since it
was a regular piece of legislation. This made it easily manageable, but not
supreme and really awkward for judges. The judges and government
could change the legislation to remove the right, which is both good and
bad. At the time, it made it hard to say, “This law is against the Bill of
Rights.” An example is Bliss v. R. (1979). Since the law created and the
bills were both laws on equal ground, it made it hard to change laws.
The Victoria Charter was a constitutional document made to be in line
with what the Americans had created by Trudeau. He did not get enough
support, and it was abandon in 1971 because it didn’t have enough
support. In the 1980s, the Charter of Rights would be introduced.
The Charter of Rights is not old. A charter is generally something that is
put into the constitution that is supreme to anything passed by
government. This is called constitutional entrenchment.
The Charter of Rights
Section I of the Charter says that all of the rights that a person in Canada
is guaranteed unless there are Reasonable Limits, which says that is the
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