Is there any way to repeal or at least dilute the "notwithstanding clause"?

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
Is there any way to repeal or at least dilute the "notwithstanding clause"?

The clause is on the verge of making the Charter as meaningless as Diefenbaker's "Canadian Bill of Rights".   If a province or if Quebec can disregard the Charter anytime it wishes, does the Charter still have any real power at all?  Is it of any use at all in protecting people from majoritarian tyranny?

Quebec, Ontario and Alberta now have the potential to turn into electoral police states, with everyone's rights at the perpetual mercy of whichever party happens to be in power-a state of affairs which follows the despicable British tradition of making all rights provisional and revocable at a moment's notice.

Is there any possible way, without removing the Clause, of ending that particular threat?

Is there at least a way to modify the Clause in such a way that it can't be used in cases of blatant provincial injustice, such as Ford's vindictive reduction of the size of the Toronto City Council and his new proposals to make it all-but-impossible for individuals to sue the provincial government, the "religious symbols" bill in Quebec, and the repressive measures Kenney will impose if he actually wins in Alberta?

 

cco

Sure. Unanimous consent of all provincial legislatures (including Québec) and of the federal Parliament. Good luck getting every legislature to vote to reduce legislative powers. And if you do, enjoy American-style "Nothing matters but the eventual composition of the Supreme Court!" elections.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The delicate balance of a constitution. The reason we have a Not With Standing Clause in the Charter is that other Premiers agreed with Blakeney's very Scottish view. The King's Courts i.e. the SCC should never be able to overrule parliament. You could fight a civil war over that simple concept.

So the question is do you believe in the democratic will of the people as expressed by the elected legislators or do you believe in the courts having the ultimate say over how our society acts. The tricky part of the question is that the politicians appoint the Judges and Judges sit for far longer than one term in parliament. The reason they have a sunset clause is that more than one parliament has to vote to continue using a law that is discriminatory.

Somehow the concept of getting the government that you deserve comes to my mind given Canada's ongoing treatment of our indigenous peoples and our corporate plunder in many of the poorest countries both of which feed our progressive lifestyle.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I agree with both cco and krop. I don't particularly like the notwithstanding clause, but it does reflect a real dilemma for democratic government. Leftish Americans tend to be blind to the danger that an activist, politicized judiciary could defeat the will of the elected legislature, not to protect human rights, but to protect powerful factions. They think that the courts would only overturn bad, unconstitutional legislation, but the right, whose legal theories have in fact been rejected by courts in the last 80 years, are very concerned about it.

This danger may become much clearer to American progressives if Sanders becomes president and has long enough coattails to elect strong Democratic majorities in both houses. Imagine that the Democrats pass medicare for all legislation, and SCOTUS rules it unconstitutional. At that point, they will start looking at packing the courts, and other ways to assert the primacy of the elected branches of the government. They might even wish they had a notwithstanding clause that they could invoke. The question is more complex than Ken seems to imagine.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

I agree with both cco and krop. I don't particularly like the notwithstanding clause, but it does reflect a real dilemma for democratic government. Leftish Americans tend to be blind to the danger that an activist, politicized judiciary could defeat the will of the elected legislature, not to protect human rights, but to protect powerful factions. They think that the courts would only overturn bad, unconstitutional legislation, but the right, whose legal theories have in fact been rejected by courts in the last 80 years, are very concerned about it.

This danger may become much clearer to American progressives if Sanders becomes president and has long enough coattails to elect strong Democratic majorities in both houses. Imagine that the Democrats pass medicare for all legislation, and SCOTUS rules it unconstitutional. At that point, they will start looking at packing the courts, and other ways to assert the primacy of the elected branches of the government. They might even wish they had a notwithstanding clause that they could invoke. The question is more complex than Ken seems to imagine.

Excellent example and I think in the Canadian context we should all remember that for some of the Charter corporations are persons. If parliament wanted to change that constitutional interpretation it would need to pass a law using the NWC because otherwise once the SCC has ruled that the term person includes corporations parliament would have no way of changing it.

Unionist

I must agree with krop, cco, and Michael. Even if Québec had signed on to the current constitution (it didn't), I think it is an essential component of maintaining a semblance of democratic rule.

WWWTT

Is there any way to repeal or at least dilute the "notwithstanding clause"?

Ok good thread. But I don’t like how you singled out section 33 as if it was the most serious. 

Actually the most serious offensive part of the charter is the entire charter in itself. 

There’s more in the charter dedicated to people charged with a criminal offence than the actual freedoms and rights they have outside a court room (don’t believe me? do a word count)

Section 15 still doesn’t recognize sexual orientation and economic classes. I gues lesbians and poor people don’t really exist. So why should they be mentioned? Don’t even ask if transgender will ever be mentioned in there  

It’s almost as if the government of the time was embarrassed there were gay transgender financially impoverished people needing of rights in Canada  

Heres my solution, take the whole piece of garbage and toss it where it belongs   

Start a new charter, make a clause in there to revisit and amend every several years  

But this will never happen because Federal Canada, according to canadian judges and politicians, is more important than Canadians. Which is probably the best summary of the Canadian charter!

 

Sean in Ottawa

WWWTT wrote:

Is there any way to repeal or at least dilute the "notwithstanding clause"?

Ok good thread. But I don’t like how you singled out section 33 as if it was the most serious. 

Actually the most serious offensive part of the charter is the entire charter in itself. 

There’s more in the charter dedicated to people charged with a criminal offence than the actual freedoms and rights they have outside a court room (don’t believe me? do a word count)

Section 15 still doesn’t recognize sexual orientation and economic classes. I gues lesbians and poor people don’t really exist. So why should they be mentioned? Don’t even ask if transgender will ever be mentioned in there  

It’s almost as if the government of the time was embarrassed there were gay transgender financially impoverished people needing of rights in Canada  

Heres my solution, take the whole piece of garbage and toss it where it belongs   

Start a new charter, make a clause in there to revisit and amend every several years  

But this will never happen because Federal Canada, according to canadian judges and politicians, is more important than Canadians. Which is probably the best summary of the Canadian charter!

 

It must be gratifying to be so confident. Unfortunately, your post actually indicates how uninformed you are on the topic.

However, there are good reasons for why the Charter is so expressive about those charged with a criminal offence. If you think about it you might be able to understand the logic. There are rights for eveyone and they are quite plain and as a rule more simple to express because they do not involve many exceptions. In the case of those charged with criminal offences we have a process that removes some of the coverage for rights that are granted to everyone. We have to provide due process. We allow a process where people ought to be able to assert their innocence -- and where found guilty -- these rights are restricted in ways that we do not restrict for other people. Therefore there are many references to these cases. Managing these exceptions and the process of considering them is an essential and significant part of approaching rights.

You also do not seem to understand how constitutional law is interpreted -- not even a little, despite your confidence. Constitutional law is not a frozen strict reading of a document. It includes decisions built over time. In fact even without a word changing in the document itself, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a living and changing document.

Your argument that the Charter does not defend Gay rights is a perfect example of how people need some appreciation for how law works to come up with statements that are not based on an uninformed, misleading reading of the text.

Sadly, this is reflected in social media as people without expertise or knowledge interpret and pass on what is essentially flase information and others lack the ability to distinguish.

Consider this:

"The courts have accepted that section 15 is to be interpreted broadly, and that “analogous” grounds, i.e., personal characteristics other than those listed, may also form the basis for discrimination against a group or individual (Andrews v. Law Society of B.C.).  In 1995, the view that sexual orientation is such an “analogous” ground, and therefore a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Charter, was confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Egan decision discussed below under the heading “Same-Sex Spouses.”"

http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection-R/LoPBdP/CIR/921-e.htm

I provided the above not for you to take a run at to dissect. I provided it to show you that your out-of context reading of the contistution, without  any understanding of how law evolves, leads you to conclusions that are the opposite of what is correct.

Your concept of amendment is also warped by a lack of knowledge. Yes, ther eis an amending formula -- and it is difficult to use on purpose. However, courts, particularly the Supreme Court without amending the text do amend interpretation.

Lastly, it is not as simple as you suggest to "scrap" the Constitution and try again. There have been many, many, many decisions interpreting this document fought for by human rights advocates for a whole generation that you are thinking we can put on the scrap heap. You literally have no clue how foundational all these decisions and how irreplaceable they are. Law evolves and this is not a regulatory type of law that you can undo without it having huge significance across other laws. This is not like replacing a single act of parliament. The Charter is also very popular and is the product of considerable negotiation.

I will post shortly about the NWC.

 

Sean in Ottawa

The NWC does allow a way to get around the Charter. It is not a back door you can sneak through. It is not as simple as saying it allows Supremacy of Parliament.

It was designed to provide some flexibility but not so that the Charter is effectively hobbled. It is controversial but the intention was not simplistic.

The Not Withstanding Clause means the Charter still provides a hammer. A government using it has to involke the clause and therefore, it is designed to draw political attention to this from the people. There is some risk that if government suse it too ofter this could weaken as people become desinsitized to the invocations. Still it has performed as intended. It is rarely invoked and every time it is, it serves to bring attention to the issue and political risk for those invoking it. When the Ontario Premier invoked it, it was highly controversial and not without considerable cost. It is very rarely invoked. Usually governments prefer to change their laws to comply rather than use the hammer of the NWC.

The NWC cannot overide all rights either. It also has a sunset: the clause has an effective time limit of 5 years. This is intended to mean that the people get notice the a law is not ocnsistent with the Charter (the need to invoke) and then they get a chance to vote on itonce the 5-year sunset comes up.

There are times whe the Charter allows latitude to the government to do something that has significant support and a strong rationale. At the time of Bill 101 in Quebec, French was seriously in decline and in danger. Both the Liberals and the PQ were aware of it and both knew that something needed to be done. (The Liberal's proposed Bill 22.) This law was designed to restore the French language so that it would not continue to decline. While enforcement has been criticized around the edges, the law continues to have considerable support and its objective was a success. However, the NWC, meant that the population understood the gravity of it.

It is possible that one day, for the greater good, the NWC will be used to overide protections that become built into the Charter that will have to be bent in order to address an issue like climate change.

It is valuable that this Charter exists, that the NWC exists and that people are alerted when government does something inconsistent with the Charter -- but that in unusual cases -- that they can. The NWC has been invoked less than once every two years. This includes the period where the PQ did it steadily as a protest without any real threat to rights.

The popularity of the Charter has increased rather than decreased the hammer of public opinion, making invoking the clause very rare, as the framers intended.

 

robbie_dee

One way to restrain exercise of the notwithstanding clause, at the provincial level at least, would be for the federal government to resume its exercise of the disallowance power, as Andrew Coyne has advocated in the case of Quebec's Bill 21.

This would preserve the supremacy of (federal) parliament at least, and I believe it would be legal. I think Trudeau might actually consider it. However, as has been pointed out to me by others, such an act would so fundamentally undermine the current relationship and understanding between our federal government and the provinces that the provincial reaction could tear the federation apart.

Sean in Ottawa

robbie_dee wrote:

One way to restrain exercise of the notwithstanding clause, at the provincial level at least, would be for the federal government to resume its exercise of the disallowance power, as Andrew Coyne has advocated in the case of Quebec's Bill 21.

This would preserve the supremacy of (federal) parliament at least, and I believe it would be legal. I think Trudeau might actually consider it. However, as has been pointed out to me by others, such an act would so fundamentally undermine the current relationship and understanding between our federal government and the provinces that the provincial reaction could tear the federation apart.

The reality is that governments are restrained.

I hate this so-called "secularism" bill but the fact is it does have considerable support. This support does appear to be wavering somewhat in some cases -- here is a poll that explains:

https://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/as-tensions-mount-caqs-poll-show...

I think that Quebec likely what have seperated from Canada without the NWC over the issue of Bill 101 which would have been prevented. It can be argued that this clause actually serves the purpose of highlighting rights with political cost AND that it kept Canada together. And then that thing about a blance between the powers of an elected government and the law.

We can criticize it, but the NWC is a delicate compromise and it is difficult to imagine any alternative then or now that could do better -- and have a hope of being accepted by so many people and governments in all jurisdictions.

swallow swallow's picture

A notwithstanding clause on the Charter of Rights, as currently constrained, does indeed seem needed. 

And yes, the Charter does now protect lesbian and gay rights, as interpreted. 

It is worth noting that the clause does NOT apply to existing Aboriginal rights that were already in place buy 1982. Courts have confirmed this since. Nor should any Canadian parliament be allowed to over-ride those rights. 

Sean in Ottawa

swallow wrote:

A notwithstanding clause on the Charter of Rights, as currently constrained, does indeed seem needed. 

And yes, the Charter does now protect lesbian and gay rights, as interpreted. 

It is worth noting that the clause does NOT apply to existing Aboriginal rights that were already in place buy 1982. Courts have confirmed this since. Nor should any Canadian parliament be allowed to over-ride those rights. 

Entirely correct. Actually the 1980s updating of the Constitution provided that any Indigenous rights could only be enhanced but not reduced in the process.

WWWTT

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

WWWTT wrote:

Is there any way to repeal or at least dilute the "notwithstanding clause"?

Ok good thread. But I don’t like how you singled out section 33 as if it was the most serious. 

Actually the most serious offensive part of the charter is the entire charter in itself. 

There’s more in the charter dedicated to people charged with a criminal offence than the actual freedoms and rights they have outside a court room (don’t believe me? do a word count)

Section 15 still doesn’t recognize sexual orientation and economic classes. I gues lesbians and poor people don’t really exist. So why should they be mentioned? Don’t even ask if transgender will ever be mentioned in there  

It’s almost as if the government of the time was embarrassed there were gay transgender financially impoverished people needing of rights in Canada  

Heres my solution, take the whole piece of garbage and toss it where it belongs   

Start a new charter, make a clause in there to revisit and amend every several years  

But this will never happen because Federal Canada, according to canadian judges and politicians, is more important than Canadians. Which is probably the best summary of the Canadian charter!

 

It must be gratifying to be so confident. Unfortunately, your post actually indicates how uninformed you are on the topic.

However, there are good reasons for why the Charter is so expressive about those charged with a criminal offence. If you think about it you might be able to understand the logic. There are rights for eveyone and they are quite plain and as a rule more simple to express because they do not involve many exceptions. In the case of those charged with criminal offences we have a process that removes some of the coverage for rights that are granted to everyone. We have to provide due process. We allow a process where people ought to be able to assert their innocence -- and where found guilty -- these rights are restricted in ways that we do not restrict for other people. Therefore there are many references to these cases. Managing these exceptions and the process of considering them is an essential and significant part of approaching rights.

You also do not seem to understand how constitutional law is interpreted -- not even a little, despite your confidence. Constitutional law is not a frozen strict reading of a document. It includes decisions built over time. In fact even without a word changing in the document itself, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a living and changing document.

Your argument that the Charter does not defend Gay rights is a perfect example of how people need some appreciation for how law works to come up with statements that are not based on an uninformed, misleading reading of the text.

Sadly, this is reflected in social media as people without expertise or knowledge interpret and pass on what is essentially flase information and others lack the ability to distinguish.

Consider this:

"The courts have accepted that section 15 is to be interpreted broadly, and that “analogous” grounds, i.e., personal characteristics other than those listed, may also form the basis for discrimination against a group or individual (Andrews v. Law Society of B.C.).  In 1995, the view that sexual orientation is such an “analogous” ground, and therefore a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Charter, was confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Egan decision discussed below under the heading “Same-Sex Spouses.”"

http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection-R/LoPBdP/CIR/921-e.htm

I provided the above not for you to take a run at to dissect. I provided it to show you that your out-of context reading of the contistution, without  any understanding of how law evolves, leads you to conclusions that are the opposite of what is correct.

Your concept of amendment is also warped by a lack of knowledge. Yes, ther eis an amending formula -- and it is difficult to use on purpose. However, courts, particularly the Supreme Court without amending the text do amend interpretation.

Lastly, it is not as simple as you suggest to "scrap" the Constitution and try again. There have been many, many, many decisions interpreting this document fought for by human rights advocates for a whole generation that you are thinking we can put on the scrap heap. You literally have no clue how foundational all these decisions and how irreplaceable they are. Law evolves and this is not a regulatory type of law that you can undo without it having huge significance across other laws. This is not like replacing a single act of parliament. The Charter is also very popular and is the product of considerable negotiation.

I will post shortly about the NWC.

 

What a long winded boring comment this is! Thanks for telling me everything I already know!

Obviously you're not a gay/lesbian that would get a little satisfaction from actually seeing their sexual orientation being recognized in the charter. But that's ok, because people faught the charter with literally millions of dollars (their own dollars!) over agonizing years to be recognized as people. And according to you, they should be happy with that!

I guess you couldn't answer people who are under financial distress (poor) fit in all of this hey. So you just figured you would lay on some heavy condescending reprimanding comment on me like I was born yesterday and know shit hey? And somehow I would move along?

And who cares if the charter is popular with some people? You think I care? Crack herion weed and alcohol is popular with some people to.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Fuck!! Just when I think we are going to have an intelligent conversation Sean says; "It must be gratifying to be so confident. Unfortunately, your post actually indicates how uninformed you are on the topic."

Here we go down the rabbit hole of hurt feelings. WTF can't we discuss anything without personal insults?

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Fuck!! Just when I think we are going to have an intelligent conversation Sean says; "It must be gratifying to be so confident. Unfortunately, your post actually indicates how uninformed you are on the topic."

Here we go down the rabbit hole of hurt feelings. WTF can't we discuss anything without personal insults?

pot calling kettle black

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

1) Thanks for the education you've all provided on how your Constitution works.  You've taught me a lot of things I did not know;

2) In my comments on the Charter, WWWTT, I wasn't arguing that the Charter was perfect, or that no rights not initially recognized in the Charter were needed-just that no good would come of scrapping it, since scrapping it would leave Canadians with no real protections of anyone's rights at all.  It's hard to imagine how the poor or LGBTQ people would gain anything from the Charter simply vanishing, or how they'd be able to fight for their rights if the Charter's protections of freedom of expression no longer existed.

Having said that, I'm mainly just going to read what people post here.  

Sean in Ottawa

WWWTT wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

WWWTT wrote:

Is there any way to repeal or at least dilute the "notwithstanding clause"?

Ok good thread. But I don’t like how you singled out section 33 as if it was the most serious. 

Actually the most serious offensive part of the charter is the entire charter in itself. 

There’s more in the charter dedicated to people charged with a criminal offence than the actual freedoms and rights they have outside a court room (don’t believe me? do a word count)

Section 15 still doesn’t recognize sexual orientation and economic classes. I gues lesbians and poor people don’t really exist. So why should they be mentioned? Don’t even ask if transgender will ever be mentioned in there  

It’s almost as if the government of the time was embarrassed there were gay transgender financially impoverished people needing of rights in Canada  

Heres my solution, take the whole piece of garbage and toss it where it belongs   

Start a new charter, make a clause in there to revisit and amend every several years  

But this will never happen because Federal Canada, according to canadian judges and politicians, is more important than Canadians. Which is probably the best summary of the Canadian charter!

 

It must be gratifying to be so confident. Unfortunately, your post actually indicates how uninformed you are on the topic.

However, there are good reasons for why the Charter is so expressive about those charged with a criminal offence. If you think about it you might be able to understand the logic. There are rights for eveyone and they are quite plain and as a rule more simple to express because they do not involve many exceptions. In the case of those charged with criminal offences we have a process that removes some of the coverage for rights that are granted to everyone. We have to provide due process. We allow a process where people ought to be able to assert their innocence -- and where found guilty -- these rights are restricted in ways that we do not restrict for other people. Therefore there are many references to these cases. Managing these exceptions and the process of considering them is an essential and significant part of approaching rights.

You also do not seem to understand how constitutional law is interpreted -- not even a little, despite your confidence. Constitutional law is not a frozen strict reading of a document. It includes decisions built over time. In fact even without a word changing in the document itself, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a living and changing document.

Your argument that the Charter does not defend Gay rights is a perfect example of how people need some appreciation for how law works to come up with statements that are not based on an uninformed, misleading reading of the text.

Sadly, this is reflected in social media as people without expertise or knowledge interpret and pass on what is essentially flase information and others lack the ability to distinguish.

Consider this:

"The courts have accepted that section 15 is to be interpreted broadly, and that “analogous” grounds, i.e., personal characteristics other than those listed, may also form the basis for discrimination against a group or individual (Andrews v. Law Society of B.C.).  In 1995, the view that sexual orientation is such an “analogous” ground, and therefore a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Charter, was confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Egan decision discussed below under the heading “Same-Sex Spouses.”"

http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection-R/LoPBdP/CIR/921-e.htm

I provided the above not for you to take a run at to dissect. I provided it to show you that your out-of context reading of the contistution, without  any understanding of how law evolves, leads you to conclusions that are the opposite of what is correct.

Your concept of amendment is also warped by a lack of knowledge. Yes, ther eis an amending formula -- and it is difficult to use on purpose. However, courts, particularly the Supreme Court without amending the text do amend interpretation.

Lastly, it is not as simple as you suggest to "scrap" the Constitution and try again. There have been many, many, many decisions interpreting this document fought for by human rights advocates for a whole generation that you are thinking we can put on the scrap heap. You literally have no clue how foundational all these decisions and how irreplaceable they are. Law evolves and this is not a regulatory type of law that you can undo without it having huge significance across other laws. This is not like replacing a single act of parliament. The Charter is also very popular and is the product of considerable negotiation.

I will post shortly about the NWC.

 

What a long winded boring comment this is! Thanks for telling me everything I already know!

Obviously you're not a gay/lesbian that would get a little satisfaction from actually seeing their sexual orientation being recognized in the charter. But that's ok, because people faught the charter with literally millions of dollars (their own dollars!) over agonizing years to be recognized as people. And according to you, they should be happy with that!

I guess you couldn't answer people who are under financial distress (poor) fit in all of this hey. So you just figured you would lay on some heavy condescending reprimanding comment on me like I was born yesterday and know shit hey? And somehow I would move along?

And who cares if the charter is popular with some people? You think I care? Crack herion weed and alcohol is popular with some people to.

The Charter has been instrumental in significant progress -- was the lever -- over many years since it was proclaimed.

Activists today are using it constantly to avoid regression or to make progress.

However, please restrain the "according to you" strtaw man shit. I never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever said that and would not.

I said it does what you said it did not, scrapping it would do a disservice to the cause of expanding rights, and that the document is not frozen like you suggested it is. Argue that with fact instead of lying about what I said -- okay?

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

Ken Burch wrote:

1) Thanks for the education you've all provided on how your Constitution works.  You've taught me a lot of things I did not know;

2) In my comments on the Charter, WWWTT, I wasn't arguing that the Charter was perfect, or that no rights no initially recognized in the Charter were needed-just that no good would come of scrapping it, since scrapping it would leave Canadians with no real protections of anyone's rights at all.  It's hard to imagine how the poor or LGBTQ people would gain anything from the Charter simply vanishing, or how they'd be able to fight for their rights if the Charter's protections of freedom of expression no longer existed.

This is an extremely important point. At the moment we are going through a right-wing populist backlash or whatever it is. Scrapping any gains under the assumption that it will allow further progress is certainly a bad gamble.

It is certainly true that the Charter has gone much, much further than its words anticipated -- and even the support of the time could have expected or allowed. I am not certain that we could pass the Charter as it was now and I am confident that we couldnot get political agreement on the human rights benefits that it has allowed.

I do not think there is anyone here that would not want to see improvements in many ways including but not limited to express wording of the rights that it has been extended to protect -- this includes Choice as well as LGBTQ rights. Most of us would want to extend its reach further than it is now-- some into things like affordable housing, the environment, economic justice, and healthcare. The question for any supporters of the Charter here has never been about wanting to see the progress stopped -- nor has it been about "satisfaction" that something was not included specifically. However, the work of many people over many years led to extending its protections beyond the specific language it was proclaimed in. They did not do this for fun. They did this becuase this document was the key to gaining protection for those rights more than any other. They did this becuase we needed courts and the law from this Charter to go where the politicians were not willing to go at a speed they were not willing to contemplate.

I responded harshly to WWWTT as a reaction to statements of fact that were not true in the post but were put with a level of confidence that suggested knowledge to the readers. I also have grown fed up with these kinds of sweeping binary statements implying, for example that either 1) we have to say the Charter is perfect as it is without any more changes and we would not want improvements or 2) we should burn it down and start over. This kind of polarized binary way of apporaching issues makes conversation almost impossible unless you are here to agree completely or tear down things -- or just support one extreme or the other. I do not get why a person can be able to become so hostile to something like the Charter and not have aquired at least a working knowledge of how it works. I apologize for sullying the conversation by expressing this but not for the frustration since this has become so typical of this site. Few are really interested in the facts while screaming the most extreme things possible.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Fuck!! Just when I think we are going to have an intelligent conversation Sean says; "It must be gratifying to be so confident. Unfortunately, your post actually indicates how uninformed you are on the topic."

Here we go down the rabbit hole of hurt feelings. WTF can't we discuss anything without personal insults?

pot calling kettle black

In post # 8 you started a flame war when none existed prior to that post. Look in the fucking mirror and stop whining..

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Fuck!! Just when I think we are going to have an intelligent conversation Sean says; "It must be gratifying to be so confident. Unfortunately, your post actually indicates how uninformed you are on the topic."

Here we go down the rabbit hole of hurt feelings. WTF can't we discuss anything without personal insults?

pot calling kettle black

In post # 8 you started a flame war when none existed prior to that post. Look in the fucking mirror and stop whining..

Coming from the person who comes in hot with insults frequently this is a little much.

I explained my reaction above.

I do not owe you an explanation or an apology. You are a person who trolls these pages looking for a fight most of the time. I called out an uninformed post in a way that is far, far milder than most of the shit you throw. Lookin the mirror yourself.

MegB

There are few people on babble who haven't thrown some attitude at other babblers, so how about you both disengage from this particular pissing contest so we can get back to a serious discussion?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I responded harshly to WWWTT as a reaction to statements of fact that were not true in the post but were put with a level of confidence that suggested knowledge to the readers.

So what percentage of posts on this board do you think fit this description? I know I read them everyday in almost every thread by various people. The posts that rub me the wrong way are the ones that are mere regurgitation of the propaganda machines latest disinformation campaigns.

As for the Charter itself I would love to see our government pass laws that impose sever restrictions on corporations and pass those laws using the NWC.  The problem we have in Canada is that we have contradictory ideas in our Constitution. Canadian voters love to pretend that we are progressive while overwhelmingly voting for politicians who steal indigenous land. How can we have a section that gives the government complete control over Indians and still believe we have equality. Instead of an Indian Act why not a Black Act or a Moslem Act or a Jewish Act, designed like the Indian Act to control all aspects of a people's lives, even in 2019. The Charter is not preventing the government's police force from evicting indigenous leaders from unceded territories in BC at the point of a gun when they are insisting on their rights as aboriginal owners. It seems to make little difference that those rights are set out in the Charter and have been confirmed in court decisions for over a decade.

The Charter has been used to solidify many rights however there is an argument to be made that those rights were not won because of the specific wording of the Charter but in spite of it. The same language in the Charter led the SCC to state that unions did not have the right to collective bargaining and then overturned itself almost two decades later. Who should determine the extent of rights like union rights is part a legitimate debate. The Charter failed to protect BC workers in the health industry and our students in our school systems until the SCC overturned itself in 2007 and decided that workers had some rights after all. In labour relations one of the axioms I have always subscribed to is that justice delayed is justice denied. The health care workers who were fired illegally waited 15 years for any compensation and the students in our schools had restricted services for the same time frame so kids went through their whole school lives waiting for the SCC to overturn itself.