Who wrote it?

A preeminent group of Canadian experts met at the Supreme Court of Canada to draft a bill to protect individual rights and freedoms.

Why did they write it?

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom guarantees certain political rights, and civil rights of everyone in Canada from the policies and actions of all areas and levels of the government. The rights and freedoms protected by the Charter can be divided into 7 categories: fundamental freedoms, democratic rights, mobility rights, legal rights, equality rights, official language rights and minority language educational rights.

What does it mean today?

Today, the charter protects everyone’s right to life, liberty, security of the person, freedom of religion, expression, association, and peaceful assembly. It also ensures equality before the law, equal protection under the law, and due process of law.

What are some of its limitations?

The limitations of the charter are protection of other rights or important national values. For example, freedom of expression may be limited by laws against hate propaganda or child pornography.

How has it changed over time?

The Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms was adopted by Parliament in 1982. It replaced the British North America Act (BNA) as Canada’s constitution. The BNA had been in place since 1867.

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