Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Throughout this period of reflection around the 20th anniversary much will be said about former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and rightly so.
As he himself was not unwilling to acknowledge, one of his formative influences was Frank Scott, a McGill University law professor and one of the founding members of the CCF, the predecessor of the NDP. Indeed, a constitutional charter of rights was a continuing demand of the CCF and the NDP in the decades leading up to the adoption of the charter.
As one who was in parliament 20 years ago and who was privy to much of the dialogue between the NDP and the Liberals at that time as the charter proceeded from draft to reality, I give credit to my leader at that time, Ed Broadbent, and to the NDP caucus of that parliament.
The political fact of the matter, as you may recall, Mr. Speaker, was that Prime Minister Trudeau wanted our support and was prepared to make changes in his proposals to get that support and keep it. As I remember it, the NDP among other things wanted changes to the charter including stronger language with respect to equality of women and recognition of aboriginal rights.
In any event, the charter is with us and the supreme court has delivered an interesting variety of judgments on it. Canadians it seems are attached to the charter.