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Key Sections of the Charter and the Constitution


Key Sections of the Charter and the Constitution

Sections which relate to Equality and Language Rights under the Court Challenges Program are described below:
*Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms
*Fundamental Freedoms
*Legal Rights
*Equality Rights
*Official Languages of Canada
*Minority Language Education Rights
*Enforcement
*Application of the Charter
*General


Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

Section 1
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

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Fundamental Freedoms

Section 2
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

  • a. freedom of conscience and religion;
  • b. freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
  • c. freedom of peaceful assembly; and
  • d. freedom of association.

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Legal Rights

Section 7
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

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Equality Rights

Section 15
1. Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability

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Official Languages of Canada

Section 16

  • 1. English and French are the official languages of Canada and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of Canada.
  • 2. English and French are the official languages of New Brunswick and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the legislature and government of New Brunswick.
  • 3. Nothing in this Charter limits the authority of Parliament or a legislature to advance the equality of status or use of English and French.

Section 16.1

  • 1. The English linguistic community and the French linguistic community in New Brunswick have equality of status and equal rights and privileges, including the right to distinct educational institutions as are necessary for the preservation and promotion of those communities.
  • 2. The role of the legislature and the government of New Brunswick to preserve and promote the status, rights and privileges referred to in subsection (1) is affirmed.

Section 18

  • 1. The statutes, records and journals of Parliament shall be printed and published in English and French and both language versions are equally authoritative.
  • 2. The statutes, records and journals of the legislature of New Brunswick shall be printed and published in English and French and both language versions are equally authoritative.

Section 19

  • 1. Either English or French may be used by any person in, or in any pleading in or process issuing from, any court established by Parliament.
  • 2. Either English or French may be used by any person in, or in any pleading in or process issuing from, any court of New Brunswick.

Section 20

  • 1. Any member of the public in Canada has the right to communicate with, and to receive available services from, any head or central office of an institution of the Parliament or government of Canada in English or French, and has the same right with respect to any other office or any such institution where
  • a. there is a significant demand for communications with and service from that office in such language; or
  • b. due to the nature of the office, it is reasonable that communications with and services from that office be available in both English and French.
  • 2. Any member of the public in New Brunswick has the rights to communicate with, and to receive available services from, any office of an institution of the legislature or government of New Brunswick in English or French.

Section 21

  • Nothing in sections 16 to 20 abrogates or derogates from any right, privilege or obligation with respect to the English and French language, or either of them, that exists or is continued by virtue of any other provision of the Constitution of Canada.

Section 22

  • Nothing in sections 16 to 20 abrogates or derogates from any legal or customary right or privilege acquired or enjoyed either before or after the coming into force of this Charter with respect to any language that is not English or French.

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Minority Language Education Rights

Section 23

  • 1. Citizens of Canada
  • a. whose first language learned and still understood is that of the English or French linguistic minority population of the province in which they reside, or
  • b. who have received their primary school instruction in Canada in English or French and reside in a province where the language in which they received that instruction is the language of the English or French linguistic minority population of the province, have the right to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in that language in that province, have the right to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in that language in that province.
  • 2. Citizens of Canada of whom any child has received or is receiving primary or secondary school instruction in English or French in Canada, have the right to have all their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in the same language.
  • 3. The right of citizens of Canada under subsections (1) and (2) to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in the language of the English or French linguistic minority population of a province
  • a. applies wherever in the province the number of children of citizens who have such a right is sufficient to warrant the provision to them out of public funds of minority language instruction; and
  • b. includes, where the number of those children so warrants, the right to have them receive that instruction in minority language education facilities provided out of public funds.

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Enforcement

Section 24

  • 1. Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.
  • 2. Where, in proceedings under subsection (1), a court concludes that evidence was obtained in a manner that infringed or denied any rights or freedoms guaranteed by this Charter, the evidence shall be excluded if it is established that, having regard to all the circumstances, the admission of it in the proceedings would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

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Application of Charter

Section 32

  • 1. This Charter applies
  • a. to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and
  • b. to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.
  • 2. Notwithstanding subsection (1), section 15 shall not have effect until three years after this section comes into force.

Section 33

  • 1. Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 or 15 of this Charter.
  • 2. An Act or a provision of an Act in respect of which a declaration made under this section is in effect shall have such operation as it would have but for the provision of this Charter referred to in the declaration.
  • 3. A declaration made under subsection (1) shall cease to have effect five years after it comes into force or on such earlier date as may be specified in the declaration.
  • 4. Parliament or a legislature of a province may re-enact a declaration made under subsection (1).
  • 5. Subsection (3) applies in respect of a re-enactment made under subsection (4).

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General

Section 27
This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.

Section 28
Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, the rights and freedoms referred to in it are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.

Section 52

  • 1. The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provision of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.
  • 2. The Constitution Act includes
  • a. the Canada Act, including this Act;
  • b. the Acts and orders referred to in Schedule I; and
  • c. any amendment to any Act or order referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

Amendments to the Constitution of Canada shall be made only in accordance with the authority contained in the Constitution of Canada.

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