Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (you can get an HTML or PDF version here). It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the Harper government is downplaying this event to the point of practically ignoring it. As a Canadian, I will admit that I sometimes take the Charter for granted. I have grown up with it all my life (I was two years old when it was signed) so those rights were always a given for me. I think it’s important to mark these kinds of anniversaries and remind ourselves of the road that we had to travel.
It turns out that the Charter is also an inspiration to other nations as a roadmap to human rights. That makes me proud to be Canadian. I am not happy with the way my country is being portrayed and the way it is behaving under Harper’s government, but I hope that celebrating achievements like the Charter reminds Canadians of what our country is supposed to be about. I hope they are still able to remember it at the next federal election after Harper has spent five years misrepresenting my values as a Canadian. We should get back to being an example and an inspiration for the rest of the world.
You should all read the Charter, even if you are not Canadian. It’s a great read and it’s only seven pages.