Mr. Speaker, on April 17, 1985, section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect, enshrining equality in our Constitution.
Enacting this section marked a turning point in Canadian history. For the first time, equality for women was enshrined in legislation. That is why, on April 17, we celebrate Equality Day.
The charter states that every individual is equal before and under the law. It gives every Canadian equal protection, regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, sex, age, or mental or physical disability.
Equality Day serves as a reminder that we must never take these basic rights for granted. Today I encourage all members of the House to look back on this important event in Canadian history and reflect on the various ways that our shared values of respect, fairness, and equality continue to enrich our lives as Canadians.