This Week in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 2018-06-24

by | June 24, 2018


By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

“All Canadians have rights, including murderers like Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette, and they also have the capacity to be rehabilitated, the convicted killer’s lawyer argued Wednesday.

The Crown wants Bissonnette to serve a 150-year prison term, but his defence team has countered he should be eligible for parole after 25 years.

After two days of sentencing arguments, the courtroom debate shifted to whether the trial judge should be able to hand Bissonnette consecutive sentences.

Bissonnette, 28, pleaded guilty earlier this year to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder after he walked into a mosque in the provincial capital in January 2017 and opened fire.

A single first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.”


“Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all Canadians in the Charter of Rights and Freedom. The Charter has taken two major blows recently — one from a recent policy change implemented earlier this year by the Trudeau government, the second from our Supreme Court.

The first blow came when the federal government announced that any group wishing to apply for summer job grants had to sign an agreement that they pledged to follow the Liberal Party’s official policy on a woman’s “freedom of choice” with respect to abortion.

The second blow came with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Trinity Law School case — namely that they would allow provincial Law Societies to override religious choices made by candidates who freely chose to abide by the religious principles of certain Christian law schools, as a condition of entry.

Abortion is, and always has been, a sensitive topic for governments and courts. Most modern and democratic countries have resolved the complex topic by allowing unrestricted freedom of choice to a pregnant woman during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Thereafter there are restrictions.

There is no such law in Canada. In fact, there is no law about abortion at all. Our politicians find the issue too difficult to deal with. In spite of the fact that there is no law, Canadian women can obtain abortions relatively easily in the first few months of the pregnancy, but if a woman was able to find a practitioner crazy enough to abort her fetus one day before she was scheduled to give birth, there are no law forbidding it.”


“Daniel Peacock says this year is tougher for Camp Jordan.

The small Baptist summer camp in Jordan Falls, N.S., has relied on $4,000 in federal grant money to hire a student camp counsellor for the last four years — a job that is invaluable, according to Peacock, a member of the board that oversees the camp.

But this year Camp Jordan, along with at least five other faith-based camps in Nova Scotia, didn’t even bother to apply for the Canada Summer Jobs program. The decision follows the federal government’s controversial move to require all applicants to express support for “individual human rights in Canada” — including reproductive rights and equality of LGBTQ Canadians.

“The government is saying, ‘We’re right and you’re wrong and that’s it. Believe what we believe or don’t bother to apply for money,'” Peacock said. “Our Baptist foundation told us that unless we check the box off, we would be ignored.””


“The case against a suspected drug trafficker in Windsor has been thrown out after Judge George King ruled the man’s Charter rights were violated by police.

Today in Windsor Superior Court, King found Brandon Nunn had several of his rights, outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, violated by police — determining Nunn had been illegally searched, failed to be informed of his right to counsel and held in detention unlawfully.

Nunn walked free today after being held in custody for more than a year.

Defence lawyer Julie Santarossa says King got it right by throwing out the evidence and the case against Nunn based on the Charter rights violation.

“There are so many that were violated in such egregious ways and ultimately, that’s what the judge found,” says Santarossa.”


Editor: I would like to comment on the article from June 15 “Supreme Court of Canada rules against TWU in fight over law school.”

Section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms lists 10 specific items on which our rights and freedoms are based. They are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

If a product or service is being provided to the public, (this would include educational institutions that charge tuition to someone selling coffee and doughnuts) should the provider of that product or service be allowed to request a paying “customer” to sign a waiver that would limit their rights according to section 15(1)?

We’re familiar with the details concerning LGBTQ students who attend TWU. If this is allowed to happen with one particular item listed in section 15(1) what is stopping any of the other items on the list from being used in this manner?”


Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:

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