Today the government of the Canadian province of Quebec released its proposed charter of Quebec values. “The minister in charge of the charter, Bernard Drainville, announced … that if the charter were adopted by the legislature, the wearing of kippas, turbans, burkas, hijabs and "large" crosses would be banned for civil servants while they are on the job.” (Images of acceptable and unacceptable religious symbols) The Canadian federal government indicated that it would “challenge any law that [it] deem[s] unconstitutional.”
Touted as the cure for what ails public education, charter schools have historical roots that are rarely discussed. [more inside]
Will Canada be the first developed nation to decriminalise Polygamy? After Charter challenges legalised orgies, prostitution (most recently "living off the avails"), same-sex marriages, non-sexual adult interdependent relationships, common-law marraiges and multiple legally recognised spouses in Saskatchewan, the West Coast is now hosting a unique reference case in B.C.'s superior court considering whether section 293 of the Canadian Criminal Code is legal under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [more inside]
Part of anti-terroism act ruled unconstitutional in Canada on the grounds that defining a motive as a crime contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Two days ago, the same court struck down a related official secrets law after the RCMP used it to search the house of a reporter investigating the Maher Arar torture scandal. The act itself was the subject of a rare Senatorial rebuke in 2001 which blocked a number of other dangerous sections. Five years on, are we ready to take a more measured approach to combatting terrorism?
Today is the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The CBC discusses the history briefly here; more importantly, how has the Charter affected Canadians? Are we better off for waiting 115 years? Or will it have any lasting, practical effect after all?