Section 16.1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Section 16.1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the newest section of the Charter. It was enacted by the Constitution Amendment, 1993 and guarantees equality between English-speaking and French-speaking New Brunswickers. Section 16.1 is not to be confused with subsection 16, part of section 16 and goes back to 1982. Section 16.1 is a separate section. The section reads, Section 16.1 makes reference to a need for institutions for both language groups, including educational institutions, it gives the provincial government powers to protect the right. This is not revolutionary in that this entrenches laws found in An Act Recognizing the Equality of the Two Official Linguistic Communities in New Brunswick, as noted in the 2001 Court of Appeal case Charlebois v. Mowat; the section can be seen as providing "collective rights," and one critic charged that a deeper meaning to the section would have to be decided by Canadian courts. In Charlebois v. Mowat, the court ruled that section 16.1, as well as subsections 16 and 18, require bilingual municipal laws when the minority language population of a municipality is significant.
The ruling was made on the basis of the court's interpretation of subsection 18), but in its ruling the court stated that section 16.1 is "remedial", meaning that it is supposed to fix historical problems. An Act Recognizing the Equality of the Two Official Linguistic Communities in New Brunswick was enacted in 1981 by Premier Richard Hatfield, it provided independent school boards for both linguistic groups. Its principles were incorporated into the Constitution of Canada, through section 16.1, in response to a shift in provincial politics in the early 1990s. Whereas in the 1980s all parties had supported the rise of bilingualism in New Brunswick, in 1991 a new party called the Confederation of Regions Party, opposed to official bilingualism, became the official opposition in the legislature; the pro-bilingualism Liberal provincial government proceeded to seek a constitutional amendment mandating bilingualism in New Brunswick to make any future change in New Brunswick's status subject to Federal approval.
The constitutionalization of the legislation was meant to be accomplished as part of a package of amendments known as the Charlottetown Accord in 1992. The amendment was made separately once the Accord was rejected in a national referendum, prompting Professor Peter Russell to refer to this as an "encouraging that Canadians may be recovering the capacity to accomplish constitutional reform without linking everything together and getting bogged down in the mega constitutional swamp."Section 43 of the Constitution Act, 1982 was the part of the amending formula used to add section 16.1 to the Charter. This meant the amendment was approved by the province affected and the Senate of Canada and House of Commons of Canada, although constitutional lawyer Deborah Coyne argued that the amendment involved federal jurisdiction and thus seven provinces would be needed; the House of Commons passed the amendment with a vote of 219-2, on February 1, 1993. A Montreal Gazette article approved, calling the New Brunswick government "courageous" because of its resistance to the Confederation of Regions Party, added that the section provided a "noble, generous vision of Canadian duality and co-existence.
Too bad it seems confined to New Brunswick."It did attract some criticism, with columnist William Johnson claiming that Parliament had not analyzed the amendment and tried to stifle public discussion. He suggested that section 16.1 might create two governments for New Brunswick, one in English and one in French. Earlier, this columnist had charged that enshrining collective rights in the Constitution was "alien to liberalism," and would undermine the individual in favour of a larger group, he compared section 16.1 to how the Meech Lake Accord and Charlottetown Accord would have recognized Quebec as a distinct society. However, Opposition leader Jean Chrétien, who at that time represented Acadians, said that "For me it is a great day, it is an example that we can be together and at the same time be different in Canada." The Constitution Amendment, 1993 was signed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Attorney General Pierre Blais, Registrar General Pierre H. Vincent, under a proclamation of Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn in Ottawa on 12 March 1993.
In 2000, an Ontario court ruled that the province was obligated to keep from closing the Montfort Hospital as part of its program of merging many of the hospitals in the Ottawa region. The basis for the decision was the court's conclusion that this was a logical application of an unwritten constitutional principle of minority rights, found by the Supreme Court in the 1998 Reference re Secession of Quebec. Since the Montfort Hospital was the only hospital in the region operating in French, it amounted to a protected parallel service-provider, much as New Brunswick's French-language and English-language school systems are parallel service providers, therefore as an essential component of the collective rights of Ottawa's Franco-Ontarian population; the Government of Ontario criticized the decision as judicial activism, charged that "The divisional court decision has rewritten the
Suffrage, political franchise, or franchise is the right to vote in public, political elections. In some languages, in English, the right to vote is called active suffrage, as distinct from passive suffrage, the right to stand for election; the combination of active and passive suffrage is sometimes called full suffrage. Suffrage is conceived in terms of elections for representatives. However, suffrage applies to referenda and initiatives. Suffrage describes not only the legal right to vote, but the practical question of whether a question will be put to a vote; the utility of suffrage is reduced when important questions are decided unilaterally without extensive, full disclosure and public review. In most democracies, eligible voters can vote in elections of representatives. Voting on issues by referendum may be available. For example, in Switzerland this is permitted at all levels of government. In the United States, some states such as California and Washington have exercised their shared sovereignty to offer citizens the opportunity to write and vote on referendums and initiatives.
Referendums in the United Kingdom are rare. Suffrage is granted to qualifying citizens. What constitutes a qualifying citizen depends on the government's decision. Resident non-citizens can vote in some countries, which may be restricted to citizens of linked countries or to certain offices or questions; the word suffrage comes from Latin suffragium, meaning "vote", "political support", the right to vote. The etymology of the Latin word is uncertain, with some sources citing Latin suffragari "lend support, vote for someone", from sub "under" + fragor "crash, shouts", related to frangere "to break". Other sources say; some etymologists think the word may be related to suffrago and may have meant an ankle bone or knuckle bone. Universal suffrage consists of the right to vote without restriction due to sex, social status, education level, or wealth, it does not extend the right to vote to all residents of a region. The short-lived Corsican Republic was the first country to grant limited universal suffrage to all citizens over the age of 25.
In 1819 60-80,000 men and women from 30 miles around Manchester assembled in the city's St. Peter's Square to protest their lack of any representation in the Houses of Parliament. Historian Robert Poole has called the Peterloo Massacre one of the defining moments of its age.. The film Peterloo featured; this was followed by other experiments in the Paris Commune of 1871 and the island republic of Franceville. The 1840 constitution of the Kingdom of Hawai'i granted universal suffrage to all male and female adults. In 1893, when the Kingdom of Hawai'i was overthrown in a coup, New Zealand became the only independent country to practice universal suffrage, the Freedom in the World index lists New Zealand as the only free country in the world in 1893. Women's suffrage is, by definition, the right of women to vote; this was the goal of the suffragists, who believed in using legal means and the suffragettes, who used extremist measures. Short-lived suffrage equity was drafted into provisions of the State of New Jersey's first, 1776 Constitution, which extended the Right to Vote to unwed female landholders & black land owners.
"IV. That all inhabitants of this Colony, of full age, who are worth fifty pounds proclamation money, clear estate in the same, have resided within the county in which they claim a vote for twelve months preceding the election, shall be entitled to vote for Representatives in Council and Assembly. New Jersey 1776 However, the document did not specify an Amendment procedure, the provision was subsequently replaced in 1844 by the adoption of the succeeding constitution, which reverted to "all white male" suffrage restrictions. Although the Kingdom of Hawai'i granted female suffrage in 1840, the right was rescinded in 1852. Limited voting rights were gained by some women in Sweden and some western U. S. states in the 1860s. In 1893, the British colony of New Zealand became the first self-governing nation to extend the right to vote to all adult women. In 1894 the women of South Australia achieved the right to both stand for Parliament; the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire was the first nation to allow all women to both vote and run for parliament.
Those against the women's suffrage movement made public organizations to put down the political movement, with the main argument being that a woman's place was in the home, not polls. Political cartoons and public outrage over women's rights increased as the opposition to suffrage worked day and night to organize legitimate groups campaigning against women's voting rights; the Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women was one organization that came out of the 1880's to put down the voting efforts. Many anti-suffrage propaganda poked fun at the idea of women in politics. Political cartoons displayed the most sentiment by portraying the issue of women's suffrage to be swapped with men's lives; some mocked the popular suf
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada are the sub-national governments within the geographical areas of Canada under the authority of the Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of British North America—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the Province of Canada —were united to form a federated colony, becoming a sovereign nation in the next century. Over its history, Canada's international borders have changed several times, the country has grown from the original four provinces to the current ten provinces and three territories. Together, the provinces and territories make up the world's second-largest country by area. Several of the provinces were former British colonies, Quebec was a French colony, while others were added as Canada grew; the three territories govern the rest of the area of the former British North America. The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act, 1867, whereas territorial governments have powers delegated to them by the Parliament of Canada.
The powers flowing from the Constitution Act are divided between the Government of Canada and the provincial governments to exercise exclusively. A change to the division of powers between the federal government and the provinces requires a constitutional amendment, whereas a similar change affecting the territories can be performed unilaterally by the Parliament of Canada or government. In modern Canadian constitutional theory, the provinces are considered to be sovereign within certain areas based on the divisions of responsibility between the provincial and federal government within the Constitution Act 1867, each province thus has its own representative of the Canadian "Crown", the lieutenant governor; the territories are not sovereign, but instead their authorities and responsibilities come directly from the federal level, as a result, have a commissioner instead of a lieutenant governor. Notes: There are three territories in Canada. Unlike the provinces, the territories of Canada have no inherent sovereignty and have only those powers delegated to them by the federal government.
They include all of mainland Canada north of latitude 60° north and west of Hudson Bay, as well as most islands north of the Canadian mainland. The following table lists the territories in order of precedence. Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia were the original provinces, formed when several British North American colonies federated on July 1, 1867, into the Dominion of Canada and by stages began accruing the indicia of sovereignty from the United Kingdom. Prior to this and Quebec were united as the Province of Canada. Over the following years, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island were added as provinces; the British Crown had claimed two large areas north-west of the Canadian colony, known as Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory and assigned them to the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1870, the company relinquished its claims for £300,000, assigning the vast territory to the Government of Canada. Subsequently, the area was re-organized into the province of the Northwest Territories; the Northwest Territories were vast at first, encompassing all of current northern and western Canada, except for the British holdings in the Arctic islands and the Colony of British Columbia.
The British claims to the Arctic islands were transferred to Canada in 1880, adding to the size of the Northwest Territories. The year of 1898 saw the Yukon Territory renamed as Yukon, carved from the parts of the Northwest Territories surrounding the Klondike gold fields. On September 1, 1905, a portion of the Northwest Territories south of the 60th parallel north became the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 1912, the boundaries of Quebec and Manitoba were expanded northward: Manitoba's to the 60° parallel, Ontario's to Hudson Bay and Quebec's to encompass the District of Ungava. In 1869, the people of Newfoundland voted to remain a British colony over fears that taxes would increase with Confederation, that the economic policy of the Canadian government would favour mainland industries. In 1907, Newfoundland acquired dominion status. In the middle of the Great Depression in Canada with Newfoundland facing a prolonged period of economic crisis, the legislature turned over political control to the Newfoundland Commission of Government in 1933.
Following Canada's participation in World War II, in a 1948 referendum, a narrow majority of Newfoundland citizens voted to join the Confederation, on March 31, 1949, Newfoundland became Canada's tenth province. In 2001, it was renamed Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1903, the Alaska Panhandle Dispute fixed British Columbia's northwestern boundary; this was one of only two provinces in Canadian history to have its size reduced. The second reduction, in 1927, occurred when a boundary dispute between Canada and the Dominion of Newfoundland saw Labrador increased at Quebec's expense – this land returned to Canada, as part of the province of Newfoundland, in 1949. In 1999, Nunavut was created from the eastern portion of the Northwest Territories. Yukon lies in the western portion of Northern Canada. All t
Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains guaranteed equality rights. As part of the Constitution, the section prohibits certain forms of discrimination perpetrated by the governments of Canada with the exception of ameliorative programs and rights or privileges guaranteed by or under the Constitution of Canada in respect of denominational, separate or dissentient schools. Rights under section 15 include racial equality, sexual equality, mental disability, physical disability. In its jurisprudence, it has been a source of gay rights in Canada; these rights are guaranteed to "every individual", that is, every natural person. This wording excludes "legal persons" such as corporations, contrasting other sections that use the word "everyone", where "legal persons" were meant to be included. Section 15 has been in force since 1985. Under the heading of "Equality Rights" this section states: The Canadian Bill of Rights of 1960 had guaranteed the "right of the individual to equality before the law and the protection of the law."
Equal protection of the law is a right, guaranteed by the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution since 1868. Section 15 itself dates back to the earliest draft of the Charter, published in October 1980, but it was worded differently, it read, During the drafting, the guarantee to "everyone" was dropped in favour of "every individual," with the intent that corporations could not invoke equality rights. In addition, while the original version spoke of equality before the law and equal protection of the law, the section enacted included guarantees of equality under the law and equal benefit of the law; the reason for these additions was to encourage a generous reading of section 15. In the Bill of Rights cases Attorney General of Canada v. Lavell and Bliss v. Canada, Supreme Court Justice Roland Ritchie had said only the application, not the outcome, of the law must be equal, thereby necessitating an explicit guarantee of equality under the law. Though the Charter itself came into effect on April 17, 1982, section 15 was not brought into force until April 17, 1985, in accordance with section 32 of the Charter.
The reason for this was so that provincial and federal governments would have enough time to review their legislation and make the appropriate changes to any discriminatory laws. According to the Supreme Court of Canada's Section 15 jurisprudence, the equality guarantees of section 15 are aimed at preventing the "violation of essential human dignity and freedom through the imposition of disadvantage, stereotyping, or political and social prejudices, to promote a society in which all persons enjoy equal recognition at law as human beings or as members of Canadian society capable and deserving of concern and consideration." To that end, the Charter recognizes four dimensions including substantive equality. Equality before the law is equality in the administration of justice, where all individuals are subject to the same criminal laws in the same manner by law enforcement and the courts. Equality under the law is equality in the substance of the law, where the content of the law is equal and fair to everyone so that everyone experiences the same result.
Equal benefit of the law ensures. Equal protection of the law ensure that the protections imposed by law will be proportionate so that the human dignity of every person is safeguarded by the law. Unlike formal equality, which overlooks personal differences, substantive equality is concerned with the impact of the law on different groups of individuals. Substantive equality requires. In any challenge of section 15 the burden of proof is always on the claimant; the Supreme Court of Canada has endorsed a purposive interpretation of Section 15. After Law v. Canada the question of whether dignity was affected was key to a section 15 analysis. In R. v. Kapp, the problems with the dignity analysis were recognized and the dignity analysis was jettisoned; the Court established a two-part test based on the one found in Andrews v. Law Society of British Columbia: Does the law create a distinction based on an enumerated or analogous ground? Does the distinction create a disadvantage by perpetuating prejudice or stereotyping?
In Quebec v. A a majority of the Court found that perpetuating prejudice or stereotyping did not form an additional requirement in the second part of the test; the majority itself split on the correct way to apply the second part of the test, leaving the present state of the law on Section 15 unclear. The concept of enumerated or analogous grounds originated in the essential 1989 Andrews case to refer to personal characteristics that, when being the basis of discrimination, show the discrimination is unconstitutional under section 15. There are nine enumerated grounds explicitly mentioned in section 15, although they are not numbered. In practice, the enumerated grounds have been given broad interpretations. For example, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy has been ruled to be sex discrimination; as section 15's words "in particular" hint that the explicitly named grounds do not exhaust the scope of section 15, additional grounds can be considered if it can be shown that the group or individual's equality rights were denied in comparison with another group that shares all of the same characteristics except for the p
Section 5 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Section 5 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a part of the Constitution of Canada, the last of three democratic rights in the Charter. Its role is to establish a rule regarding how the Parliament of Canada and the legislatures of the provinces and territories of Canada must meet; this section is thus meant to reflect and constitutionally guarantee a "basic democratic principle" that "a government must explain its actions to the people."The section reads, Section 5 guarantees that, since Parliament and each legislature must sit at least once a year, Members of Parliament and Members of the Legislative Assemblies may raise concerns or inquiries or challenge government policies. This right did not exist in the Canadian Bill of Rights. Insofar as the Parliament of Canada is concerned, section 5 instead replaced section 20 of the Constitution Act, 1867, which had read: When the Charter came into force in 1982 as part of the Constitution Act, 1982, section 53 of the Constitution Act, 1982 repealed section 20 of the Constitution Act, 1867.
The difference was that section 5 requires a sitting of Parliament at least once a year, whereas section 20 had required not only a sitting but a session of Parliament every year. Every session must begin with a Speech from the Throne, moreover, bills that had not been passed when a session comes to a close must be introduced again, after a new session is initiated, if it is still desired to become law. Hence, governments sometimes prefer that sessions last longer than the twelve months, prescribed by the Constitution Act, 1867. Writing in 2000, political scientist Rand Dyck observed that while sessions now last a year, they "often spilled over to two or three years." Before 1982, governments sometimes extended session lengths to give more time to parliamentary committees to work though the House of Commons of Canada and Senate of Canada would stop working. As far as the province of Manitoba is concerned, section 5 of the Charter replaced section 20 of the Manitoba Act, repealed in 1982. Section 5 still co-exists with section 86 of the Constitution Act, 1867, which requires annual sessions for the legislatures of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
There are no examples in Canadian history at either the federal or provincial level of cabinets ruling without consulting Parliament or their respective legislature at least once a year. If it were to happen, Professor Gérald-A. Beaudoin wrote in 1982 that section 5 would not allow courts to take any remedial action besides ruling the government's refusal to let a legislature sit is inappropriate. If it were necessary to resolve the problem, the only lawful remedy would be for the Governor General of Canada or Lieutenant Governor to appoint a new government and new prime minister or Premier
Section 4 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Section 4 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is one of three democratic rights sections in the Charter. Section 4 guarantees that provincial elections must take place from time to time. Subsection 4 provides that the maximum term of the House of Commons, of all the provincial legislative assemblies, is five years. Under subsection 4, an exception is made if war or rebellion causes two-thirds of the membership to believe a House of Commons or legislature should last longer; the section reads, Section 4, with the Charter and Constitution Act, 1982, came into effect in 1982. However, similar provisions had existed in the Constitution of Canada prior to that time. For example, the fact that a House of Commons could not last more than five years was first set by section 50 of the Constitution Act, 1867, it reads, Although section 50 names the Governor General of Canada as the official who may call an election early the Governor General acts on the advice of the Prime Minister of Canada.
Before and after section 4, the Prime Minister may call an election early because he or she feels it is the right time, or because he or she may be faced with a non-confidence motion. In 1916, an exception was made to the rule so that a House of Commons could last longer than five years, but this had to be done through a constitutional amendment, namely the British North America Act, 1916; the rule was going to be entrenched in the bill of rights in the proposed constitution of 1971, the Victoria Charter. However, this was never enacted. Subsection 4 replaced the British North America Act, 1949, repealed in 1982; that Act had amended the division of powers in the Constitution Act, 1867 by adding section 91. This section had stated that Parliament could unilaterally amend the Constitution except in regard to certain issues. One rule that Parliament could not unilaterally amend was that the House of Commons could not last for more than five years without an election, unless war or rebellion caused two-thirds or more of the House to believe a longer term would be necessary.
It read, In peacetime, the Charter could theoretically allow six years between elections: under subsection 4 the House of Commons would expire five years from the return of the writs of the previous election, section 5 would require an election to be called nine months after that, in order that Parliament could fulfil its obligation of sitting at least once every twelve months. This interpretation is not universally accepted, but in any event the point is theoretical since no Prime Minister or Premier has neglected or refused to request a dissolution of his or her respective Parliament or legislature prior to its "expiration" date since the Charter came into effect. Section 4 came before the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench in 1994, in the case Atkins et al. v. City of Calgary. In Alberta, when municipal elections are held, work on proposed laws and agendas can be continued when the new municipal council meets; this is unusual, as at the federal and provincial level such legislation would expire and would have to be reintroduced.
As it was argued the municipal council thus never ceases to operate for elections, it could be considered a violation of section 4. Although municipalities are not mentioned by section 4, they are under the control of the provinces, which are bound by section 4. However, the court refused to accept that just because the municipal council was under the control of the legislative assembly, it could be considered a legislative assembly itself and was thus bound by section 4; the municipal council would rather be a creation of the legislature. Hogg, Peter W. Constitutional Law of Canada. 2003 Student Ed. Scarborough, Ontario: Thomson Canada Limited, 2003. Overview of section 4 case law in the Canadian Legal Information Institute. Fundamental Freedoms: The Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Charter of Rights website with video and the Charter in over 20 languages
Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the section of the Constitution of Canada that lists what the Charter calls "fundamental freedoms" theoretically applying to everyone in Canada, regardless of whether they are a Canadian citizen, or an individual or corporation. These freedoms can be held against actions of all levels of government and are enforceable by the courts; the fundamental freedoms are freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association. Section 1 of the Charter permits Parliament or the provincial legislatures to enact laws that place certain kinds of limited restrictions on the freedoms listed under section 2. Additionally, these freedoms can be temporarily invalidated by section 33, the "notwithstanding clause", of the Charter; as a part of the Charter and of the larger Constitution Act, 1982, section 2 took legal effect on April 17, 1982. However, many of its rights have roots in Canada in the 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights, in traditions under a theorized Implied Bill of Rights.
Many of these exemptions, such as freedom of expression, have been at the centre of federalistic disputes. Under the heading of "Fundamental Freedoms" the section states: 2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of religion. According to Beverley McLachlin, freedom of religion in Canada may have originated as early as 1759, when French Canadian Roman Catholics were allowed rights of worship by their British conquerors; the Constitution Act, 1867 provided for denominational school rights. Discussions of church-state relations took place in the Guibord case of 1874. In 1955, the Supreme Court ruled in Chaput v Romain, regarding Jehovah's Witnesses, that different religions have rights, based upon tradition and the rule of law. Religious freedom was included in the Canadian Bill of Rights. However, its effectiveness was limited; when Sunday closing laws compelling respect for the Christian Sabbath were challenged in R v Robertson and Rosetanni, Justice Ritchie of the Supreme Court found that non-Christians lost money when denied rights to work on Sunday and were otherwise free to believe in and observe their own religions.
Freedom of religion under section 2 of the Charter was first considered by the Supreme Court in R v Big M Drug Mart Ltd. In that case, Chief Justice Brian Dickson wrote that this freedom at least includes freedom of religious speech, including "the right to entertain such religious beliefs as a person chooses, the right to declare religious beliefs and without fear of hindrance or reprisal, the right to manifest religious belief by worship and practice or by teaching and dissemination." Freedom of religion would prohibit imposing religious requirements. The immediate consequence of section 2, in this case, was the abolishment of federal Sunday closing laws. In Syndicat Northcrest v Amselem, the Supreme Court drew up a definition of freedom of religion under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, mindful of the overlap with section 2; the majority found freedom of religion encompasses a right to religious practices if the individual has a sincere belief that the practice is connected to religion.
It would not matter. If courts can believe an individual is telling the truth in saying a practice is connected to religion, the courts ask whether the infringement of freedom of religion is severe enough to trigger section 2; the Court said religious beliefs are vacillating, so courts trying to determine an individual belief should be mindful that beliefs may change. Following this test in Multani v Commission scolaire Marguerite‑Bourgeoys, the Court found freedom of religion should protect a non-violent Sikh student's right to wear a kirpan in school. In R v NS, the Supreme Court sought to find a middle ground on the issue of whether a witness can wear a face-covering niqāb while testifying in a criminal trial; the court found that the right to religious freedom must be balanced against the right of the accused to a fair trial. In addition to freedom of religion, section 2 guarantees freedom of conscience. Professor Peter Hogg speculated this would include a right to atheism, despite the preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which recognizes the "supremacy of God".
The right has not spawned a great deal of case law, although Justice Bertha Wilson did rely on it in her opinion in R v Morgentaler. Finding laws against abortion to be a breach of the rights to liberty and security of the person under section 7 of the Charter, Wilson argued this infringement could not be justified as being consistent with fundamental justice; the legal protections found under fundamental justice could be defined as including other rights under the Charter, in particular abortion laws breached freedom of conscience. As she wrote, the "decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is a moral decision, a matter of conscience", she said, "onscientious beliefs which are not religiously motivated are protected by freedom of conscience in s. 2." No other judges joined Wilson's opinion. Jean Chrétien, the attorney general during negotiations of the Charter recalled in his memoirs that freedom of conscience was nearly exclude