Score One For The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

(403) 452-8018

Score One For The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

As a Calgary criminal defence lawyer, I have the rights and freedoms of Canada's citizens on my mind day in and day out—it comes with the territory.

I think the average Calgarian would be well served by paying greater attention to the law, the criminal justice system, and the political environment that affects both more than they often do, but I'm not surprised that these issues weigh more heavily on my mind than on most.

Imagine my pleasant surprise, then, when I saw a piece in the Calgary Herald announcing that, ahead of several other key symbols of Canadian identity—including hockey!—my fellow countrymen selected the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the most quintessentially Canadian achievement.

To be fair, the Maple Leaf flag was a close second, and both "O, Canada" and the RCMP came in ahead of hockey (suggesting to this interpreter that some respondents were more sincere than cynical, while others were simply dishonest), but that the Charter came in on top made me blush with pride.

We may have been a little late to the game when it came to enshrining basic human rights into a written body of law—a lesson learned from the peculiar European progenitors of our form of government, who still don't have a written constitution and seem oddly proud of it—but we made it, and we did a darn good job.

It's nice to know that everyone appreciates the difference the Charter makes.