Today is a very significant day in the history of our country. It is the 30th Anniversary of the Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This momentous occasion deserves commemoration and observance, as we mark one of the most important advances in the promotion and protection of human rights both domestically and abroad.
The Charter merits both recognition and respect from the government, reflective of the respect it is accorded by both Parliament and the judiciary. It is, after all, a most admired model of democratic achievement and is the only such document entrenched in our constitution. The Charter assures Canadians basic freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association. The Charter is a comprehensive document and it covers several fields, including: democratic rights, mobility rights, legal rights, equality rights and linguistic rights. The equality between men and women is also protected in the Charter.
Under the Charter, Canada moved from being a Parliamentary democracy to being a constitutional democracy. Courts moved from being the arbiters of legal federalism -- whether the matter is federal or provincial -- to being guardians of our constitutional rights, not because the Courts usurped Parliament's authority but because Parliament, on behalf of the Canadian people, gave them that responsibility.
The advent of the Charter of rights and freedoms 30 years ago is one of the most important events in Canadian History since Confederation in 1867. Let’s remember and celebrate this great anniversary.