Charters of Freedom

luffykun3695  asked:

I have a question. I am American and I keep seeing other Americans bring up "freedom of speech" in arguments having to do with things that happened in Canada. Does this even apply? Does Canada have any similar laws regarding freedom of speech?

The answer is yes and no.

The yes, is that yes, The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of speech (as far as freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression is concerned):

In Canada, section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication”.

BUT absolute freedom of speech has never been the norm in Canada. If you are hateful in your speech you can be charged.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada:

Public incitement of hatred

319 (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Wilful promotion of hatred

(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


April 17, 1982: Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau signed Canada’s Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982

Top Image: Queen Elizabeth II, as Queen of Canada, signing the proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Bottom Image: Proclamation bringing into force the Constitution Act, 1982, which includes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It is commonly said that in 1982 Canada “patriated” its Constitution. What actually occurred is that Canada requested that the Parliament of the United Kingdom legislate for it one last time, to remove the Westminster Parliament’s ability to legislate for Canada. The Canada Act 1982 enacted the Constitution Act, 1982. Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982 contains the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Part II of the Act recognizes and affirms the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada; Part V provides procedures for amending the Constitution of Canada in the future. As with the British North America Act, 1867 and the Statute of Westminster, 1931, the Canada Act 1982 is an Act of the British Parliament, the original of which is kept in the United Kingdom. Enacted as part of the Canada Act 1982 (U.K.), the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms acknowledges that “Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.” Among the freedoms the Charter protects are the fundamental freedoms of conscience and religion; of thought, belief, opinion and expression (including freedom of the press and other media of communication); of peaceful assembly; and of association. The Charter also protects democratic rights, mobility rights, legal rights and equality rights.

1980: Constitutional Conferences
  • Quebec: so remember when you said something about "renewed federalism" what exactly do you mean by that is it like some sort of decentralized government???
  • Trudeau: [gazing at a portrait of Johnny Mac] Let's not talk about me [turns around] let's talk about all of you
  • Provinces: ok
  • Quebec: ... [secretly hopeful]
  • Trudeau: so good news I'm adopting you guys from Britain-
  • Quebec: yuck
  • Trudeau: ...and we need like a better Constitution so let's get started; we're not going to do anything until a certain majority of you agree
  • [talking and talking]
  • Quebec: ok can I help with the amendment formula-
  • Trudeau: whoops we already agreed on that while you were napping
  • Quebec: ...ok well what's this-
  • Trudeau: just a charter of rights and freedoms that diminishes provincial power...
  • Quebec: can you at least write into the constitution that I'm special-
  • Trudeau: no and also you lose your veto rights because you were dumb to turn them down ten years ago so i guess that makes you the only province who doesn't get anything out of this sorry bud :/ maybe get a better negotiator
  • Quebec: [tearfully] i hate this family [slams door]

does not letting someone cum constitute as cruel and unusual punishment as outlined in s. 12 of the canadian charter of rights and freedoms (1982)


January 8th 1912: African National Congress founded

On this day in 1912 the South African political party, the African National Congress, was founded. The party began as the South African Native National Congress and was founded at the Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Bloemfontein. The ANC aimed to fight for the rights of South African blacks who suffered daily discrimination and violence under the brutal apartheid system. In 1955 the ANC and its allies proclaimed the Freedom Charter, which set out the party’s core principles and commitment to equality and democracy, incorporating demands from regular South Africans. In 1961 the ANC formed a military wing called Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), who resolved to fight apartheid through violence. The group gained traction as it was widely felt that nonviolent methods were not producing results while the white authorities continued to commit atrocities against black South Africans. Nelson Mandela was a major leader of this military wing and spent 27 years in prison for his role in the group, being labelled a terrorist by many Western nations. Upon his release, Mandela led the ANC in the successful negotiations to end apartheid, and was overwhelmingly elected President of South Africa in the first multi-racial elections in 1994. The ANC has governed South Africa since, currently under President Jacob Zuma, though the party’s electoral support has been waning in recent years. In 2013, Nelson Mandela died aged 95 and has been mourned around the world as a hero who fought for freedom in South Africa, and as a symbol of resistance for oppressed peoples everywhere.

“We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people…”
- opening lines of the ANC’s 1955 Freedom Charter


Today (February 7th 2014) is the start of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


At the top you see how the google doodle looked today.

As you can see the doodle - similar to the gay pride flag-  is completed with a quote from the Olympic Charter.

The Charter reads:

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

 The Charter talks about human rights, individualism, solidarity and fairness. We’re all equal on this planet without distinction such as race, colour, sex, origin and sexual orientation.

Homosexuality is a taboo in Russia. Gay people face discrimination in public. It’s horrible.


I wanted to thank Google to make this doodle today. People need to notice what’s going on. Please share this as well.

Thank you.


“Make Some Friends that aren’t Brown” and other Microaggressions

There needs to be some serious discourse on this whole shaming of people only being friends “with their own kind” and views on “cultural enclaves.”

The first thing we need to address is how these “problems” are always associated with communities of colour. I have never heard this discourse happen about all-white friend circles. 

Secondly, it is not that these communities are drifting away, rather they are have been pushed away. Now I know how weird that may seem, since Canada has multiculturalism and pluralism basically entrenched in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the constitution, but the reality is that we have not understood the real meaning of multiculturalism or pluralism. We treat multiculturalism as learning about the different holidays people celebrate, the different foods people eat, the different faiths people practice, and the different languages people speak and that’s about it. We do not go deeper than that.

Let’s talk about the issue of friend circles, and let’s call it what it is: a microaggression. A friend of my sister’s once told me that a faculty member of the high school she goes to told her that she should “make friends that aren’t brown,” because she hangs out with a group made predominately of South Asians. Why does this bother people so much? Why does a faculty member think it is okay to comment about an all-brown friend group? Would they do so with an all-white friend circle? Probably not, but I’ll address this later on.

We make friends with people who we relate to the most, with whom we share something in common with, or with people who understand us. Now the question of all-white groups is a different one because we lie in a country where that is the hegemony. However, make to my drifting away/being pushed away rhetoric, all-PoC friend circles emerge as a result of disenfranchisement from “mainstream” (aka North American WASP- White Anglo Saxon Protestant) society.

It’s not that my sister’s friend purposely created a “browns only” exclusive club, rather it happened as a natural process of being pushed away for being different. When I said we do not go deep enough into the concept of plurality and multiculturalism, one of the main causes is mainstream society’s failure to understand that cultures are different and the dynamics within these communities is going to differ from one to the other. Therefore, when I am hanging out with a group made up of predominately white people and talk about having to go home early because my mother needs help at home and I get mocked for being a “Momma’s boy” and I am deemed immature because people see me as a loser living out of my mother’s pocket, I am slowly going to begin to disassociate with them because they do not understand me or my cultural values. They may know my people hold one of the biggest gatherings of Sikhs outside of our motherland every April in Surrey for Vaisakhi, they may know that we wear colourful clothing and eat foods rich with spices, but do not understand that the dynamics of a Punjabi household are not those of the mainstream white middle class nuclear families. We do not move out at a certain age, and that our household dynamic is focused around a multi-generational network, not one couple and their adolescent children. However, when I am surrounded by other South Asians and I have to leave early, they understand why as they share a common cultural dynamic. Naturally I’m going to feel more comfortable with that latter group because I do not feel attacked, and I can be myself rather than trying to explain myself. 

Such is the case with “cultural enclaves.” Many people get frustrated when they see Punjabi signs in South Van or Surrey, or Chinese signs in Richmond. However, what they don’t realize, because of the privilege they have of speaking the official language of the country they live in, is that as you get older your capacity and ability to learn a new language and be able to be fluent in it decreases exponentially. When you take an immigrant who has spoken a completely different language their entire life, and catapult them into a system where they are expected to speak an entirely different tongue, what you get is a giant culture shock. They will NOT be able to speak as fluently and clearly as a native English speaker, and rather than being understood in a society that is supposed to embody multiculturalism- and understand that languages outside of English exist- they are faced with xenophobia and impatience. I have seen way too many clerks and service workers get exasperated and belittle non-English speakers, and this may be a shocker to some folks, but constantly facing such treatment takes a toll on you. Hence, pushed away from society, people create a community within a community so that they may be able to function efficiently and with dignity. They can go buy bread, make a payment at the bank, or go to the doctor and be able to communicate everything efficiently in their mother tongue and not have to face ridicule.

Here in the Punjabi neighbourhoods of Surrey, my mom can walk around wearing a full salwar kameez and that’s the norm. When I go to Guildford Mall, I see uncles and guys my age rocking kurte pajame. If I were to cross the river wearing anything remotely “ethnic” though, I would face stares and looks. Forget a kurta pajama, as a practicing Sikh I always have a turban on my head, and even if I am wearing head-to-toe “western” clothing, the six meters of cotton around my head often make me a target for microaggressions, and sometimes even full-out aggressions, and the feeling of that almost constant vigilance takes a toll on you. Some days, as soon as I drive into my neighbourhood I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I do not stick out here, that I am a part of a community here, and I do not need to worry about such constant vigilance. It’s at those moments that I realize that is cultural enclave I live in is not a result of my people being exclusive and not wanting to include Anglophone Canadians, rather this enclave is a result of a society that views itself as post-racial, when in reality it is still riddled with racist and ethnocentric ideologies and viewpoints. We saw this in the past too, 100 years ago when the Punjabi community first arrived on the shores of Vancouver, many Sikh men would only eat at Chinese restaurants because they did not face the racism from white-owned restaurants. The manner of the racism has become more discrete now, but the problem and the lack of dignity people feel is still there.

Every first of July, or whenever the concept of Canadian pride comes up, people bring up the pluralistic analogy Pierre Trudeau used when bringing in the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms- Canada is a mosaic of people. However, one must understand that a true mosaic is made up of tiles that are each unique in shape and colour, and when you expect the tiles to all be the same, or when you cover up certain tiles and hide them with the grout that is meant to hold them up, what you have left is no longer a mosaic.

We need to let go of this idea that Canada is a perfect utopian multicultural society. Yes we have it legislated, but we must embody it too. We need to stop silencing people who attempt to bring such things into light, otherwise you are simply contributing to the problem. Analyze yourself and the microaggressions you hold. 

Stop blaming communities of colour for being in enclaves, and work to fix the society that has pushed them into such situations instead. 

I emailed my Liberal MP (I just moved out of an NDP riding) regarding my concerns around C-23 and received, what I assume is, a general response from his office…still, I’m pleased to receive a response and was wondering what your thoughts may be on it:

Thank you for writing to MP Terry Beech with your concerns regarding Bill C-23, An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States. Terry appreciates hearing from constituents about their concerns and priorities, and asked me to follow-up with you to provide greater details and clarifications on Bill C-23.

The Government knows that a secure but smoothly functioning border is absolutely essential to the economic prosperity of both Canada and the United States. Preclearance at Canadian airports, in place for several decades now, is an important advantage for Canadian travellers, as it helps to avoid lineups and delays, and also enables more direct flights between many Canadian cities and U.S. airports not otherwise equipped to receive international travellers, such as Ronald Reagan Airport in D.C. and LaGuardia in New York City.

Each year, 12 million passengers undergo preclearance at eight major Canadian airports, including YVR, with little incident. Due to the success of the program, Prime Minister Trudeau and then-President Obama concluded a new agreement in the spring of 2016 which creates a framework for the expansion of land, rail, marine, and air preclearance between both countries. The Obama administration and the Congress passed legislation implementing the agreement late last year. Bill C-23, introduced last June, is Canada’s own implementing legislation.

We’ve heard from several constituents with concerns about the bill’s effect on Canadian sovereignty and the rights of travellers, and wanted to clear a few things up. Very little will change between the existing system and the proposed framework.

Most importantly, Canadian law will continue to apply within preclearance areas at all times and preclearance operations conducted by American officers must comply with our laws, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act.

While U.S. preclearance officers would indeed be permitted to detain somebody if there were reasonable grounds to believe that the person has broken Canadian law, American officers would be required to transfer that person into Canadian custody as soon as feasible, which is already the case under the current system.

If a traveller in a preclearance area decides that they no longer wish to enter the United States, they are entitled to withdraw from the area and preclearance officers would be prohibited from imposing any unreasonable delay on the traveller. That being said, they would have the authority to question the traveller about their reason for withdrawal or take a photograph to establish identity. These are common-sense security measures which will not unduly inconvenience travellers.

In terms of Canadians’ rights and freedoms, Bill C-23 and preclearance facilities actually enhance them. Many travellers entering the United States would normally clear customs and immigration on the American side, subject only to that country’s laws. In preclearance facilities, however, travellers are protected by our own laws and both Canadian and American officers are subject to the requirements of the Charter.

Expanded preclearance is a very positive development for Canada’s thriving tourism and travel industries. It has been lauded by the Canadian, BC, and Quebec chambers of commerce, as well as travel operators such as Vancouver’s Rocky Mountaineer and Toronto’s Porter Airlines. This government will continue to work hard to promote economic growth and travellers’ interests, while upholding the Charter and Canadians’ fundamental rights and freedoms.

Once again, thank you for writing to Mr. Beech about Bill C-23 and preclearance. I hope that we were able to address your concerns. Please don’t hesitate to write again, should you have questions or comments on this subject or any other.

Best regards,

Stewart McGillivray
Member’s Assistant
Office of Terry Beech, MP

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour

Submitted by asbestoshazard

AlltheCanadianPolitics: Still doesn’t address all of my concerns about the bill. I’d be more ok with Mr. Beech’s reasoning if Hillary Clinton was in office, and not Trump. Border security guards in Trump’s America are already ‘acting rogue’ and disobeying federal judge’s rulings. I’m still very uncomfortable that we’re giving American Border guards the ability to carry weapons and detain suspects on Canadian soil.


Crime and Punishment - Was Wang So’s order to kill Chae Ryung justice or revenge?

I consider Wang So’s decision to punish CR to be justice:

Justice (n) just behavior or treatment. the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.

Just and moral are points of view; and the meaning, concept and interpretation of these two words in the 10th century (Middle Ages) differ from today’s view. We cannot judge them according to the ideals of the 21th century. Also, WS’s actions towards CR are both righteousness and equitableness - CR caused many people to die (not even talking about the people who have to live without their loved one; and even if she killed only Moo - that’s a fratricide), therefore death is the only equitable punishment in this situation (even today she would have received death penalty for it in the US or Japan - all democratic countries with their own Charters of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms; and like I said - lethal injection simply wasn’t an option in the 10th century). If WS truly wanted to revenge himself on CR he would have killed her himself, if he truly wanted to revenge on her he WOULDN’T HAVE GIVEN HER TWO CHANCES TO REPENT.

“She was waiting for a moment to harm you. I had no reason or need to forgive her.”

I think what I forgot to mention before about WS ordering CR’s death and the manner in which she was executed as a deterrent example is ANOTHER ASPECT AND PURPOSE OF THE PUNISHMENT - IT WAS A NECCESARY PREVENTIVE MEASURE. The fact, that CR continued to betray HS showed WS that she is a threat, that she had no qualms hurting others for her selfish gains, that SHE WOULDN’T HAVE STOPPED UNTIL SOMEONE STOPPED HER. Just imagine if she was kept alive, she would have continued to hurt HS and other people, just like she had hurt Eun and SD (the collateral damage of her actions) - SHE WAS TOO DANGEROUS TO BE KEPT ALIVE BECAUSE SHE WAS DANGEROUS TO OTHERS. And prevention is another reason/aspect of a just punishment. He could have either let her hang or use the opportunity to send a warning sign to all court ladies, as a preventive measure, what’s the prize of betrayal and WS has always been shown as a pragmatic - yes, CR’s punishment was cruel, ruthless but also shrews and brilliant. That’s why Gwangjong managed to rule for 26 years as an absolute rule, like a god over the whole country and no one dared to defy him; that’s why he managed to free do many slaves.


Constitution of the United States

Item From: General Records of the United States Government. (05/14/1787- 09/17/1787)

The Federal Convention convened on May 14, 1787 in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to revise the problematic Articles of Confederation. Since only two states had delegations present, any substantive debate was postponed until a quorum of seven states was attained on May 25th. After exhaustive deliberation well into the middle of June, the Convention concluded that the Articles were not salvageable and needed to be replaced with something that represented their collective interests while ensuring their continued independence.

Through subsequent closed sessions, the delegates continually debated, drafted and redrafted the articles of this new Constitution until it resembled the one we have today. The main points of contention were how much power was apportioned to the Federal Government, how many Congressional representatives were allotted to each state, and whether these representatives would be directly elected by their constituents or appointed by their state legislatures.

This new Constitution was the cumulative result of many minds coming together to conceptualize and debate the future course of the country. Through subsequent generations it has been amended and reinterpreted many times, but its continued success stems from adherence to these early promises of representation and compromise.


a psa for people attending rallies and demonstrations in Canada tonight, since all links I’ve seen so far deal with American law (understandably), just take note of the fact that if anyone tries to stop you from assembling or if a cop tries to take you aside, quote that your right to peaceful assembly is protected under section 2 b,c,and d of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These three sections guarantee you the right to peaceful assembly, free speech, opinion, and expression, as well as the freedom of association. you are under no obligation to go anywhere with, or be interviewed by a cop - ask if you are being arrested. if they say no or don’t answer, you have the right to walk away. if you are being arrested, ask why and also you can refuse to say or do anything until you have a lawyer.

stay safe!


Learn about the Conservation and Re-encasement of the Declaration of Independence (and solve an Independence Day Mystery!)

via preservearchives

Kitty Nicholson, retired Supervisory Conservator at the National Archives, details the conservation of the Declaration of Independence and shares a small mystery in an exclusive video on the National Archives YouTube Channel

Watch the following video and see if you can help solve the mystery!

Happy Independence Day!


Rex Murphy explains why Bill C-51 should not have been passed, reminding Canadians that conservative values used to include liberty.   

hagar-972 said:

…isn’t citizenship recognized by international law as a human right? Not that I’m setting aside my Opinions on international law, but the parts of it that aren’t law-of-war tend to be worth the paper they’re printed on.

… Did you not believe me when I said he was an authoritarian shitbag? ‘Cause, well, yeah. It is internationally recognised as a human right. But Harper doesn’t care about international law, or the UN, or anything aside from being a power flaunting, war mongering, petrostate-building dickbag who gets Canadians killed and ostracised in his delusional one-man effort to remake Canada in the image of some bizarre hybrid of US Foreign Policy and Saudi Arabian economic dependency on oil and lack of other industry.

This is the man who ordered our UN delegation to walk out on the vote regarding giving Palestine observer status at the UN. Not just to abstain, or vote against, but to walk out. Mid-vote.

This is the man who has the arrogance to go to Europe and declare that Canada has “world-leading” emissions-reduction standards, when we’ve had the single worst increase in emissions since 1990 in the fucking OECD. And the increase has mostly been under his watch, as our previous governments had managed to at least put the brakes on a bit. Whereas Captain Shitbag here has let it go off unmitigated and uncontested, but still has the sheer fucking gall to parade around the world and act as if we’re doing our part, when we have the single worst-polluting oil fields on the planet. (Yes, even worse than Russia’s pooly-regulated ones.)

Harper does not give two fucking shits about international law, but worse, he doesn’t even care about Canadian law. For basically his entire reign, his government has been in court battles with the Supreme Court of Canada because they keep striking down his unconstitutional bullshit laws that frequently ignore the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that makes up the central part of our constitution. Yet, rather than accepting that what he wants is unconstitutional, he declares the judges “Activist Judges” and engages in media slander campaigns against them. And spends hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money fighting legal battles to try and overturn their decisions so that he can continue to violate the rights our laws afford every citizen and person.

The man is an authoritarian asshat, and bears all the signs of darker things to come, as he’s already taken the first steps towards eroding our democracy. His party has been found guilty of election fraud on three fucking occasions, he continuously plays with the politics of fear and exclusion, he’s destroyed our international reputation, he’s trampling human rights on a regular fucking basis, he’s destroyed our environmental regulations, and is generally just a total fucking shitbag.

And these, among other reasons, are why I fucking loathe that man.

pleaseshowmehowtolive  asked:

Where were they before the transferred to the national Archives?

Great question!  Quoting from the Prologue blog:

The documents had been shuttled around to various buildings for various reasons. They started out in the Department of State, and as the capital moved from New York to Philadelphia to Washington, DC, these documents moved too. Eventually they were turned over to the Library of Congress. With exception of a short stay at Fort Knox during World War II, the Declaration and the Constitution remained at the Library of Congress from 1921 to 1952.

You can find the full story on on the travels of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence at Prologue: A Homecoming for Six Pages of Parchment


On Friday, the Washington Capitals mascot, Slapshot, stopped by the National Archives. He posed in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom with David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and checked out the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights.

Go Caps!

National Archives photo by Jeffrey Reed


Amending America: How do we amend the Constitution?

Our new exhibition, “Amending America,” opens on March 11, 2016.

2016​ ​marks the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, written in 1789 and ratified on December 15, 1791. The original Bill of Rights, on permanent display in the National Archives Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, is still closely connected to the biggest issues of today–and to each of our citizens.

Here is a sneak peak of a musical number explaining how we amend our Constitution.  This animated video was made in collaboration with HISTORY and shows the story of how we amend, through the proposal and ratification process. It also illustrates why our Founders made it possible to amend, and explains the important role of the Archivist of the United States in the amendment process!

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.