Little Fish in a Giant pond

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dion stands up for the Charter


Canada is presently celebrating the 25th anniversary of one of the most important legal documents in the history of our nation.
I am pleased to announce that I had the privilege of seeing Liberal leader Stéphane Dion stand up in the alumni auditorium of Ottawa U this morning to pay tribute to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Former prime minister Jean Chrétien also attended later this afternoon however, I was unfortunately not able to attend as it was time to get down to studying for my exams (as I should be doing now).
The event itself was organized by the Canadian studies department here at the university and as such was not intended as a political rally (at least so they told us at the door) however, Dion did not waste the opportunity to absolutely blast Prime Minsister Stephen Harper for not showing up or even sending one of his ministers. He was also quick to condemn the PM for having canceled the Court Challenges Program and having meddled in the judicial appointment process, among other issues. A little inappropriate? Maybe, but certainly fun to watch, and if it gets the message out about Harper's abismal record regarding human rights in Canada it is probably worth it if you ask me. Anyways, back to studying for me!

6 Comments:

  • The "United Kingdom", referred to in the present draft of the "Canada Act, 1982, including the Constitution Act, 1982", refers to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, not the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland".

    According to the British North America Act, 1867, the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick expressed their desire to be federally united into one Dominion under the Crown of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland", not the Crown of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”.

    By Blogger David Wozney, at 2:06 AM  

  • Not that my opinion really matters Fish, but GO STUDY! If not, you might get "clamped" ha!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:17 AM  

  • well Brian is British so i guess old imperialist habits ( Ireland will never be British again!!!!) die hard :p

    As for the " dismal" record regarding human rights, I had to laugh at that one. Who gave the Chinese-can community an apology for the had tax, who stood up for human rights in China. I just found that criticism a bit pushed....

    By Blogger Marc-André Mongeon, at 1:49 PM  

  • I must confess that I have absolutely no idea what point David is trying to make. I never said anything about Ireland.

    Thanks Mel, my exam is over so I guess I can endulge a little now.

    MA, it's really interesting that you think Harper has a good record on human rights, but wouldn't it just be better to acknowledge the obvious?

    Don't get me wrong, I think it is great that Harper gave Chinese Canadians an apology for the head tax. It was long deserved and long overdue.

    While it is unfortunate that Martin or Chrétien never apologized, Martin at least worked out an agreement with the National Congress of Chinese Canadians however the deal died after the conservatives took power. Harper apologized and even delivered a compensation package. And for that I will give him credit for ajob well done.

    As far as China is concerned, lecturing them about human rights hasn't accomplished anything, it is only by working with them that we can expect to achieve anything... unless you wish to invade China, in which case you shall be missed my friend.

    But one act of sanity, and a little bit of sabre rattling does not make up for the PM's poor record on the rights issue. He has canceled the court challenges program, held a vote to repeal the civil marriage act, refused to implement the Kelowna accord, reduced funding to status of women Canada, and is now attempting to alter the judicial appointment process in a manner that makes it easier for him to have his own cronies apointed to the bench.

    Sorry old friend, you just haven't got a leg to stand on this time.

    By Blogger Fish, at 2:51 PM  

  • I guess I object to the fact that you say that things are HUMAN RIGHTS. I can accept the criticism about the Harper cuts, it is legitimate, but they are NOT ( in my opinion) human rights. As far as i'm concerned those are much more broad and general ( against torture, freedom of speech, religion, that kind of stuff).

    One could argue about the wisdom of cancelling the Kelowna accord, but i'm not sure that saying it violates a human right is appropriate. My criticism may seem trivial or just about semantics, but I firmly believe that the differences, even little, matter.

    By Blogger Marc-André Mongeon, at 1:45 PM  

  • That makes a little more sense MA. Perhaps I should have specified a little better that I do not think that cancelling the court challenges program violates any human right in and of itself, my main problem with it is that it makes it harder for people without deep pockets to challenge legislation, administrative decisions, and other governement acts that do violate their rights. By limiting people's ability to access their rights, the Harper government is showing its lack of respect for human rights. In my opinion anyways.

    As for same-sex marriage, the court decisions legalizing it were all based on section 15, the right against discrimination. If nothing else, I would have to say this corresponds pretty closely to the list of things you listed as human rights.

    By Blogger Fish, at 7:03 AM  

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