April 17, 2017 is the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which protects a number of rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression and the right to equality and forms part of the Constitution.
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:
“For the past 35 years, the Charter has helped build a country where people from all over the world can come together as equals and create opportunities for one another.
The Charter protects the rights and freedoms that are essential to our identity as Canadians. It allows us to express ourselves as individuals and to celebrate our differences, while bringing us closer as a country.
This year, we also mark the 35th anniversary of Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, which recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and treaty rights. There is no relationship more important to our government than the one with Indigenous Peoples. We are committed to a renewed nation-to-nation, Inuit-to-Crown, and government-to-government relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.
The spirit and substance of the Charter are at the heart of Canada’s success, and should inspire us all as we work toward a fairer, more just and compassionate society.
Today, I remind Canadians that we have no task greater than to stand on guard for one another’s liberties. The words enshrined in the Charter are our rights, freedoms, and – above all – our collective responsibility.”
On February 7, 2017, the federal government announced the reinstatement and modernization of the Court Challenges Program that will provide financial aid to groups and individuals asserting their rights and hold the government accountable for defending the rights and freedoms of all Canadians.
According to the official statement, with the modernized Program, the government intends to better reflect changes in the Canadian jurisprudence by expanding the scope of eligible rights to sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms relating to fundamental freedoms, democratic rights, life, liberty and security of the person and most of the language rights guaranteed under the Official Languages Act. The modernized Program operational by fall 2017.