Mr. Speaker, on April 17 we will celebrate the 20th birthday of the charter of rights and freedoms. The Globe and Mail reports that since coming into force the charter has had a profound effect on Canadian lives and ranks as former Prime Minister Trudeau's greatest legacy.
A public opinion survey shows the charter is popular in all parts of Canada including Quebec, and with all age groups. The charter protects individuals as well as groups of citizens. Former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer said it is there to protect the innocent. Groups such as aboriginals have benefited in many ways. In addition, governments now have to respect charter rights when they write legislation as in the case of the Anti-terrorism Act.
The charter is an evolving document described by Justice Iacobucci as a work in progress. As such, the charter will be useful as we write new laws regulating new technologies and the human condition.