The Charter has not stopped Canada’s slide toward tyranny — John Carpay, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms http://cafe.nfshost.com/?p=7554

The Charter has not stopped Canada’s slide toward tyranny

Posted On: April 13, 2022

John Carpay, The Post Millennial

April 17, 2022, will mark the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms becoming part of Canada’s Constitution. The Charter reduced the sovereignty of Parliament by giving judges far more power to strike down laws as unconstitutional.

Prior to 1982, courts could strike down federal laws for violating provincial jurisdiction, and strike down provincial laws for violating federal jurisdiction. But apart from enforcing the proper division of powers between two levels of government, court rulings that invalidated legislation were exceedingly rare. Prior to 1982, Canadians who disagreed with a law essentially had only one recourse: using the democratic process to change or repeal the law which they deemed to be bad. With the Charter, Canadians could, in addition to using the democratic process, try their luck at challenging a law in court, by arguing that the law violated one or more of the fundamental freedoms of conscience, religion, expression, association and peaceful assembly, or other Charter rights and freedoms.

It all sounds wonderful, of course. But section 1 of the Charter has proven repeatedly to be a rotting fly in the ointment of the intended civil liberties medicine. Section 1 permits politicians to trample on Canadians’ Charter rights as long as the government’s lawyers can concoct a justification which will thereafter persuade a court that the violation was “reasonable” in a free and democratic society. As the Judicial Freedom Index makes clear, some judges trust politicians and admire governments a great deal, while other judges are more sympathetic to individual freedom.

Canadians who assert their Charter rights will typically have to wait for years before a court rules on whether the government’s violation is “reasonable.” Long waits are caused primarily by Canada having too few courts and too few judges. During the years that it takes to litigate a case, governments typically continue on their merry way of violating citizens’ rights and freedoms. Armed with easy access to billions of tax dollars, governments lack the incentive to obtain rulings quickly. The shortage of judges and courtrooms further enables governments to delay a speedy resolution of Charter claims. Justice delayed is justice denied.

All constitutions claim to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens.

The 1977 Constitution of the Soviet Union is only one example. As a workers’ paradise, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was so wonderful that the communists made it illegal to leave and move to another country. Article 50 guaranteed citizens “freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly, meetings, street processions and demonstrations.” Article 51 enshrined “the right to associate in public organizations that promote their political activity and initiative and satisfaction of their various interests.”

Article 52 guaranteed “freedom of conscience, that is, the right to profess or not to profess any religion, and to conduct religious worship or atheistic propaganda.” Article 55 guaranteed the inviolability of the home: “No one may, without lawful grounds, enter a home against the will of those residing in it.” Article 56 exalted “the privacy of citizens, and of their correspondence, telephone conversations, and telegraphic communications” while article 57 declared that “citizens of the USSR have the right to protection by the courts against encroachments on their honour and reputation, life and health, and personal freedom and property.”

It all sounds wonderful, of course. But the Soviet Constitution severely limited citizens’ rights “in accordance with the aims of building communism” (Article 51).

The Constitution explained that the citizen of the classless communist society must be “moulded.” Article 39 specified: “Enjoyment by citizens of their rights and freedoms must not be to the detriment of the interests of society or the state” as determined by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Article 6).

The utopian goal of communism and the utopian goal of a world with no Covid: both ideologies have been used to trample human rights and constitutional freedoms into the ground.

Canada’s federal and provincial politicians should be embarrassed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Charter on April 17. No provincial premier has actually apologized for the repeated and flagrant violations, since March of 2020, of citizens’ freedoms to move, travel, associate, assemble, worship, and exercise control of their own bodies by deciding what medical treatments they will or will not receive. Federally, Parliament’s Liberal-NDP majority imposes unscientific discrimination against the “misogynist, anti-science, racist, extremists” who have not received two Covid shots, in spite of the fact that vaccinated Canadians get the virus and spread the virus.

Our Charter at 40 has not prevented us from moving rapidly towards a tyrannical system in which Canadians are slaves of the state. More and more, Canadians are managed and controlled by politicians and bureaucrats in ways similar to how farm animals are managed and controlled by the farmer. Ultimately, Canada’s survival as a free society that respects the dignity of every human being depends not on the Charter or on how courts interpret it, but on the extent to which Canadians truly cherish our freedoms, and are willing to suffer and sacrifice for them.

The charter that defends rights, but also tells government how to quash them http://cafe.nfshost.com/?p=7550

The charter that defends rights, but also tells government how to quash them

Not everyone is inclined to cheer the charter as a bulwark of liberty. ‘We are less free today than 40 years ago,”’ said John Carpay, president of the JCCF Author of the article: Tristin Hopper Publishing date: Apr 15, 2022  •  April 15, 2022  •  7 minute read  •  91 Comments

The notwithstanding clause is how provincial governments can consistently maintain legislation, such as Quebec's Bill 21, that are a pretty obvious curb on fundamental freedoms.
The notwithstanding clause is how provincial governments can consistently maintain legislation, such as Quebec’s Bill 21, that are a pretty obvious curb on fundamental freedoms. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia/File
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The decision was a surprise to Canadians, where any number of similar challenges had failed.

Time after time during the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian governments imposed extraordinary public health measures that seemed to be naked infringements on Canadians’ charter rights. Mandated church closures that violated protections on “freedom of religion.” Bans on gatherings that curbed “freedom of association.” Border and travel strictures that undermined charter guarantees on mobility rights.

But the courts didn’t care. Whenever a pandemic case hit the docket, courts “erred too far on the side of deferring to government,” Joanna Baron, the executive director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, told the National Post.

Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of Canada repatriating its constitution, a process that included passage of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The charter has often been praised as one of Canada’s leading modern accomplishments and its “gift to the world.” But it’s also one of the world’s only constitutions that explicitly gives the state a roadmap on how to quash the very “fundamental freedoms” it cites. It’s why, four decades in, not everyone is inclined to cheer it as a bulwark of liberty.

“I cannot think of any freedom … that the charter has brought to us,” said John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a group that has been particularly active in challenging pandemic mandates and defending the organizers of Freedom Convoy. “We are less free today than 40 years ago,” he said.

If governments are looking to do an end-run around charter-enumerated rights, there are two primary sections of the document they turn to. Section 1, which is literally the first line of text in the charter, explicitly states that rights and freedoms are protected in Canada only to “reasonable limits.”

According to an official government of Canada guide to the charter, the purpose of this section is to remind Canadians that “rights can be limited by law so long as those limits can be shown to be reasonable in a free and democratic society.”

The notwithstanding clause allows provincial governments to knowingly pass legislation that treads on a fundamental freedom.

If such a legislative override had existed in the U.S. Constitution, many of the most iconic Supreme Court decisions of the civil rights movement might not have mattered. Brown vs. Board of Education — the 1954 decision that struck down school segregation — could simply have been ignored by states invoking the notwithstanding clause.

In Quebec, it’s how provincial governments can consistently maintain legislation that are a pretty obvious curb on fundamental freedoms. Bill 21, a provincial law passed in 2019, bars government employment to any Quebecer who wears religious garb such as turbans or hijabs. Any charter challenge against Bill 21 would likely be a slam dunk on the “freedom of religion” clause, but Quebec would simply be able to soldier on with the law by invoking the notwithstanding clause.

Federal government faces imminent lawsuit over unlawful confinement of returning Canadian travelers

Federal government faces imminent lawsuit over unlawful confinement of returning Canadian travelers

Jan 29th, 2021

OTTAWA: The Justice Centre today announced that immediate legal action is being prepared against the Trudeau government over the declaration that Canadian residents will be subjected to mandatory quarantine, at their own expense, after returning from international travel, regardless of their negative COVID status. These measures are a blatant violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including the right to enter and leave Canada, the right to liberty and security of the person, the right to not be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned, the right to retain legal counsel, and the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

In a letter sent today to the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, the Justice Centre condemns the Trudeau government for its disturbing and aggressive opposition to the constitutional rights and freedoms of Canadians.

Furthermore, it has come to the attention of the Justice Centre that the federal government is already arresting Canadians arriving in the country by air and transporting them to a secret location, even though they possess a negative PCR test. These citizens are being held unlawfully despite not having been convicted of any offence, not having had access to a lawyer, and not having appeared before a judge. Law enforcement officers are apparently refusing to inform family members of where their loved ones are being held. The letter notes that this policy aligns with the world’s most repressive and undemocratic regimes and is totally unacceptable.

The letter states the government’s arrest and detention of Canadians in this fashion is unlawful and unconstitutional, and demands the immediate release of any Canadian currently being so detained, permitting them to continue any necessary isolation protocols in their personal residences.

The legal warning letter notes, “This is not China or Cuba, , or theocratic Iran. We are not prepared to permit you and your government to turn Canada into a repressive replica of countries that have no respect for human rights and civil liberties.”  The Charter enshrines the protection and guarantee of individual rights and freedoms, such as the rights to liberty, mobility, and privacy, into our Constitution.  All government orders, including emergency orders, must comply with the Charter by not infringing any of the rights protected thereunder, unless doing so can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society according to law.

Government Orders mandate that, regardless of a negative COVID test result, any person entering Canada must quarantine for 14 days on arrival. In fact, they must submit a 14-day quarantine plan to a government official, which is subject to the discretion of the said official. This discretion is subjective and without parameters. The letter puts Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government on notice that quarantine, particularly of healthy or asymptomatic individuals, is the functional equivalent of house arrest and will not be allowed to go unchallenged.

“We are deeply concerned with the federal government’s increasing disregard of the constitutional rights of Canadians”, stated Jay Cameron, Litigation Director for the Justice Centre.  “Citizens are being arrested at the airport and transported to federal isolation sites without recourse to a lawyer or the review of the courts even though these travelers are in possession of a negative PCR test. Families are telling us that their loved ones are being held at these sites and that government agents are refusing to say where those sites are. These travelers are perfectly capable of isolating at home instead of being imprisoned by the federal government.”

“There is no rational reason to incarcerate Canadians simply because they exercised their constitutional right to leave the country as protected by section 6 of the Charter,” stated Justice Centre President John Carpay. “It is not rational to impose a 14-day quarantine upon asymptomatic individuals who are able to provide negative test results confirming their lack of infection. Moreover, the federal government has admitted it is well-aware that international air travel results in a negligible number of active cases.”

“The federal government is on notice that if it does not immediately rescind these measures, and release the Canadians being held under illegal arrest in federal facilities, we will imminently commence legal proceedings,” concludes Mr. Carpay.

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms Says COVID Restrictions Violate Charter Basic Right of Freedom of Assembly

Conservative legal group challenges new COVID restrictions on group gatherings in Alberta

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms argues most deaths and severe cases were among the elderly and therefore it’s difficult to justify the restrictions

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms founder John Carpay: “We’re publicly objecting to new restrictions on Charter freedom to associate.” PHOTO BY NATIONAL POST FILE

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EDMONTON — A conservative legal group is challenging new restrictions on gatherings in Alberta, saying they are a violation of Charter rights to assembly. The province implemented the group gathering restrictions this week as it faces record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, headed by lawyer John Carpay, has been involved in a number of high-profile cases over the years and has recently taken up a number of anti-COVID-restriction causes.

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The Justice Centre is also representing Canada Galaxy Pageants, a beauty pageant for women and girls based in Toronto, against a new human rights complaint made by Jessica Yaniv, a transgender person.

“We’re publicly objecting to new restrictions on Charter freedom to associate,” said Carpay in an interview with the National Post.

As yet, they aren’t filing a lawsuit or anything of that nature — just raising objections.

On Monday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, announced private gatherings would be capped at 15 people in Edmonton and Calgary, in response to surges in COVID-19 cases that are putting a strain on the hospital system and leading to the deferral of surgeries and other medical services.

As of Thursday afternoon — before Hinshaw’s daily case update — there were 126 people in Alberta hospitals with COVID-19, 19 of them in ICU. There were 4,793 active cases, and 313 Albertans have died.

Carpay argues most of the deaths and severe cases were among the elderly — the average age of death is 82 — and therefore it’s difficult to justify the restrictions.

Carpay contends the order is based on “cases” of COVID-19, “including thousands of ‘cases’ among people who are not experiencing any symptoms or illness,” he said in a statement about the challenge. He argues today’s cases include completely healthy people who have a positive test, and he disputed the reliability of PCR testing.

Alberta Health Services says the National Microbiology Lab found Alberta’s tests to be 100 per cent accurate.

Hinshaw’s order says voluntary measures in Edmonton haven’t successfully brought the case counts down, necessitating more stringent steps.

Carpay sees it otherwise. “It’s a fundamental freedom that I have as a citizen to invite 16 or 20 people over to my house if I so choose, if we choose to associate with each other,” he said.

“Whether it’s six people or 10 people or 20 people, when the government tells you how many friends you’re allowed or not allowed to have over to your house, that is a very obvious and very direct infringement of freedom of association,” said Carpay.

In her media briefings, Hinshaw has repeatedly pointed out the majority of COVID spread in the province is because of private gatherings, and restrictions protect those who are vulnerable to the disease, as those who are less vulnerable can pass it on to elderly relatives, for example. She has said the current spike in cases is due to families gathering for Thanksgiving celebrations.

Hinshaw has also said the long-term effects of catching COVID-19, even among younger people who aren’t hospitalized, ventilated or dead, are not yet known

In a news release, Carpay said the disease hasn’t killed the early projections of 32,000 Albertans, so it’s not as deadly as initially claimed.

Canada has really gone bonkers: You Cannot Even Question Transgenderism

Canada has really gone bonkers: You Cannot Even Question Transgenderism

28, 2019 – 11:51 am EST
Court orders Christian to pay $55,000 to trans politician for calling him ‘biological male’
VANCOUVER, March 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A B.C. human rights tribunal has ruled that a Christian activist discriminated against a man who claims to be “female” by distributing flyers that referred to the man, who was running for political office at the time, as a “biological male.”
The court ruled for transgender activist “Morgane” Oger, born Ronan Oger, and against Christian activist Bill Whatcott by declaring it’s discriminatory not to accept transgender people as the gender they claim to be.
In a 104-page ruling released Wednesday (read full ruling below), the tribunal further declared there’s no room for any public debate in the matter, according to theVancouver Star.
The tribunal also ordered Whatcott to pay Oger $35,000 in compensation for injury to his “dignity, feelings and self-respect,” and an additional $20,000 to Oger for Whatcott’s alleged improper conduct during and before the hearings, it reported.
Whatcott, 52, described the tribunal hearing as a “kangaroo show trial” and said he’s not surprised by the decision.
“Jesus Christ is still Lord and he will come again, I put my hope into that,” he told LifeSiteNews.
John Carpay, president of the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedom, which intervened in the case, decried the ruling as harming democracy.
“The Supreme Court of Canada has long held that freedom of expression is the lifeblood of democracy,” Carpay said in a press release.
“Society is full of people with diverse views and the Tribunal’s decision undermines the foundational principles of the free society and jeopardizes the health of Canada’s democracy,” he said.
Oger, who is vice president of the B.C. NDP, launched a discrimination complaint against Whatcott after the Christian activist distributed flyers in Vancouver-False Creek riding in 2017 when Oger was running as MLA for the B.C. NDP.
Whatcott’s flyer asserted Oger “is a biological male who has renamed himself ‘Morgane Oger’ after he embraced a transvestite lifestyle,” and can be found here.
The flyer also stated that “[t]hose who promote falsehoods like the NDP and BC’s major media . . . do so to their eternal peril.”
Oger, who narrowly lost to a former Vancouver mayor, alleged the flyer was discriminatory and exposed him to “hatred and contempt” under Section 7 of British Columbia’s Human Rights Code.
In a December 11 to 14 hearing, the JCCF and the Canadian Association for Free Expression intervened on Whatcott’s behalf, while West Coast LEAF and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation intervened for Oger.
Whatcott’s lawyer, Dr. Charles Lugosi, intended to give evidence that Oger was, in fact, a biological male as a defense.
Tribunal judge Devyn Cousineau, however, ruled “the ‘truth’ of the statements in the flyer is not a defense.”
“Therefore, to the extent that Mr. Whatcott intends to call witnesses to establish the truth of his impugned publications, that evidence is simply not relevant to the legal issue and will not be heard by this Tribunal,” she wrote.
Lugosi also argued Whatcott’s Charter rights of free speech and religion allowed him to express his views. A summary of Lugosi’s legal defense of Whatcott can be found here.
The tribunal, which was composed of lawyers Cousineau, Diana Juricevic, andNorman Trerise, disagreed.
The ruling, penned by Cousineau, declared that even questioning transgenderism is discriminatory.
“[T]he proposition that we should continue to debate and deny the existence of trans people is at the root of the prejudice and stereotypes that continue to oppress them,” wrote Cousineau.
“It rests on the persistent belief, held by people like Mr. Whatcott, that a person’s genitals are the essential determinant of their sex and, therefore, gender. The result of this belief is to necessarily cast transgender people as either ‘deceivers or pretenders’,” she wrote.
Cousineau also censored Whatcott’s original flyer in her ruling.
“Throughout his testimony, Mr. Whatcott refused to recognize Ms. Oger as a woman, or to abide by the Tribunal’s frequent orders not to call her a man,” she wrote in a footnote.
“I will return to this in respect of Ms. Oger’s application for costs, but in the meantime, I have replaced his male pronouns with the correct, female, ones.”
“(It) is really so encouraging … to have the tribunal say you know you can’t argue that you are just commenting on a legitimate public issue because this is not a public issue. There is no debate about whether people are or should be transgender,” Oger’s lawyer, Susanna Allevato Quail, told the Star.
The December tribunal hearing sometimes appeared to be “rancorous,” according to an earlier LifeSiteNews report describing the conduct Cousineau ruled as improper.
“When my lawyer was cross-examining Mr. Oger about his subjective experiences, Oger’s lawyer repeatedly objected to my lawyer’s line of questioning and the Tribunal upheld all of her objections,” Whatcott reported then.
When Cousineau “berated” Lugosi for having “misgendered” Oger five times, Whatcott demanded that the tribunal stop bullying his lawyer and shouted, “The Emperor has no clothes; even Norman accidentally called Roman what he is: a guy.”
In response, Trerise allegedly told Whatcott to shut up, and Juricevic allegedly warned Whatcott that if he had an “outburst” like that again, he would be removed from his own hearing and ordered to pay costs.
Whatcott told LifeSiteNews he’s not sure if he will appeal the decision, nor does he have the money to pay the fine.
He is also facing a Criminal Code hate crime charge for infiltrating Toronto’s homosexual Pride parade in 2016 disguised as a “gay zombie” with five others, to distribute pamphlets warning of the spiritual and physical dangers of sodomy. Whatcott’s next scheduled court appearance on that charge is a judicial pretrial in Toronto on April 10.
However, Whatcott does hope to see Oger on Saturday in Kamloops where Oger is speaking on the “living the transgender lifestyle faithfully” at a Lutheran church.
“I’m going to be there,” he told LifeSiteNews. “I’ve got a thousand flyers to put out.”