This Week in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 2018-07-08

by | July 8, 2018

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

“In small groups looking for funding for summer programs, some people had a problem with an attestation the Canadian government required signed in order for people to apply for the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

The government had a valid purpose behind the attestation; according to the application guide, the attestation is to ensure “both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights.” These include “reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.””


“An uphill battle likely lies ahead for an Ontario concrete company hauling Canada’s government to court over having to attest to women’s abortion rights before taking part in a summer jobs program.

This is the view of at least one legal mind following an application filed to the Federal Court by Sarnia Concrete Products Ltd., alleging its Charter rights were violated when its application was turned down for Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) — a federal program giving employers wage subsidies to hire secondary and post-secondary students.

At the heart of the issue is Sarnia Concrete’s CSJ application — or, more specifically, what it was missing.

A part of the CSJ application is a new requirement that organizations check a box attesting to provisions under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including women’s “sexual and reproductive rights … and the right to access safe and legal abortions.””

The province of Nova Scotia has fine-tuned a law to protect against cyberbullying and the unwanted sharing of intimate images, and it is offering victims several ways to deal with the problem aside from filing criminal charges.Nova Scotia was the first Canadian province to adopt broad legislation addressing this issue after the death of teenager Rehtaeh Parsons in 2013. Photos of an alleged sexual assault on her were circulated online. She was so distressed that she attempted suicide and was later taken off life support.

Law infringed on constitutional rights

The original law was challenged in court and was found to infringe on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A new law was passed in late 2017 but the government has been working on the wording.

Now, there is a provision for restorative approaches to resolve disputes. Victims and parents will be able to get protection orders to make alleged offenders stop the activity. They can ask that further contact be prohibited and that online content be removed. They can also seek compensation.

Special unit helps victims

The government has created a unit within its department of justice to deal with complaints of cyberbullying or the sharing of intimate images. CyberScan has a director and five employees who can help victims understand their options and navigate the justice system.”


“In the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there exist the fundamental provisions for equality throughout the nation-state.

Many statements with easy interpretation for the furtherance of a more fair, just, and equal society. In the sentences, or in the manner of a few statements, millions of girls and women within the country earn and deserve fundamental equality and consideration with boys and men in the society.

Of course, the distributions of inequality imply sufficiently distinct but partially overlapping distributions of equality depending on the area of the country and the personal narratives taken into account. Nonetheless, the overwhelming emphasis and ethical arc of Canada remains the integration of equality for all peoples and persons in the nation.

With Section 28 of the Charter, we discover the fundamental notion for a super-operation or meta-process for the means by which to apply the document within Canadian society unto itself through the equal application for men and women for all parts and portions and sections of the Charter. As stated, the 28th section:

Section 28 guarantees that all rights covered in the Charter apply equally to men and women.”


“Sending asylum seekers back to the U.S. violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada’s international obligations, argues a current legal challenge. The Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International and the Canadian Council of Churches have filed what they call “extensive evidence” proving Canada should not return refugee claimants to the United States.

At issue is the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the U.S. It is based on the premise that the U.S. is a safe country for asylum-seekers. So, if they come to Canada from there at an official border crossing, officials are obliged to turn them back.

Right to liberty is violated, say advocates

The litigants argue that the U.S. system fails in many ways to protect refugees. They say their right to liberty as guaranteed by the Canadian charter is violated because the U.S. arbitrarily detains them in immigration centres or country jails, “often in atrocious conditions and in clear contravention of international standards.”

They add that women are disproportionately harmed by being sent back to the U.S. and that violates their Charter right to equal treatment under the law. In addition, people who are turned back from Canada are at risk of being sent by the U.S. to their home countries where they may face persecution, torture and even death.


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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