Comparing Trudeau's Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

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Canada was transformed on April 17, 1982 when Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal acceptance of the Constitution Act. Prior to the signing of the Act, which included the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada remained under the control of Britain and individual rights were not guaranteed. The Constitution Act established the Government of Canada, apart from Britain, and granted it the ability to amend its own Constitution. It also gave the Supreme Court more authority, provide the provinces political and economic controls and gave new guarantees of equality and individual rights not provided for in the British North American (BNA) Act. The new Constitution and Charter were controversial in the provinces, but Pierre Trudeau’s determination …show more content…

The 1960 Bill of Rights, by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, was the previous attempt at introducing basic freedoms and protecting human rights to Canadians. Though the Bill of Rights had federal authority, it was not part of the Constitution and did not apply to provincial legislation. Trudeau’s plan was to include the Charter of Rights and Freedoms into the Constitution in order to make it virtually unchangeable by future governments. The Charter would give the Supreme Court ultimate authority over interpreting the Constitution and its amendments. This was a concern for the provinces as it was another way they felt a loss of control. In order to overcome this challenge, the “notwithstanding” clause was added to the Charter that allowed for Parliament or the provinces to be released from certain parts of the Charter. The provinces also gained a sense of security through the amending formula, which meant that any changes to Charter laws required Parliamentary agreement, as well as the agreement of seven provinces that represent at least 50 percent of the total population of

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