The first time I heard about Pierre Elliot Trudeau was when I went to my Grade 12 ‘Business & Commerce’ Adult Education class one day in 1968 and was accosted by a bunch of hippie-freak weirdos handing out pro-Trudeau leaflets urging support for he and his Liberal Party in the upcoming federal election.
That told me exactly what to expect from him, although I had no idea then how much damage he would eventually cause.
At that time the federal government ran a modest surplus each year, and there was little if any ‘national debt’. Trudeau changed all that, plus he burdened us with metrification, bilingualism, and a host of other exercises in social engineering, including the notoriously biased ‘human rights’ commissions.
The Charter was one of the most dangerous inflictions on our rights and privileges, and continues to undermine our previously white, British and European society with unwanted third-world immigration, and the undermining of property rights in favour of one-sided and enforced ‘equality’.
It was Trudeau who ordered that homosexuality was no longer to be considered a psychiatric disorder. That has brought us to the sad state of affairs where ‘gay’ couples can marry and force themselves and their ‘lifestyle’ on others, backed up by quasi-judicial ‘courts’ which issue rulings without any regard for the deeply-held moral and religiously-based objections to homosexuality held by many members of society.
The Charter replaced our old system of common-law rights and privileges, where the benefit of any doubt goes to the individual, and replaced it with a system in which if a right is not spelled out then you simply don’t have it.
And, no government has yet demonstrated the courage to invoke the Charter’s ‘notwithstanding clause’, although our refugee system cries out for common sense and for fairness to those footing the bills.
Lorne Gunter does an excellent job of showing us how things went wrong, and how the Charter is being used to drastically change our society and take away our freedom of choice in controversial matters. However, he seems to think that Trudeau made a mistake in how he tried to “safeguard individual rights against encroachment by the state.”
I don’t think Trudeau made any mistake whatsoever; he had an agenda, and went after the destruction of White Canada in a deliberate and cold-blooded manner that would have impressed Joe Stalin himself. It was no surprise to me when Fidel Castro attended his funeral.
The Charter provided an enabling mechanism for subsequent organisations such as the Law Union of Ontario, and its equivalents in the other provinces.
If you are unaware of the Law Union, it may be of interest to you to check it out. The Mackenzie Institute issued an “occasional paper” about them circa 1993 which you might be able to obtain a copy of.
The Law Union also has a website, and in the “About” section we are told: “The Law Union of Ontario, founded in 1974, is a coalition of over 200 progressive lawyers, law students and legal workers. The Law Union provides for an alternative bar in Ontario which seeks to counter the traditional protections afforded by the legal system to social, political and economic privilege. By demystifying legal procedures, attacking discriminatory and oppressive legislation, arguing progressive new applications of the law, and democratizing legal practice, the Law Union strives to develop collective approaches to bring about social justice.”
Links to the Mackenzie Institute and Law Union websites can be found at the bottom of this post.
Trudeau’s weapon against personal responsibility was the Charter
Lorne Gunter: January 28th, 2011
I recall being shocked by a speech Pierre Trudeau gave at McGill University two decades ago, on the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The former prime minister insisted he had appended the Charter to our Constitution to safeguard individual rights against encroachment by the state. It had never occurred to me that this was his goal. How could it have been?
The Charter as Trudeau conceived it was always doomed to expand group power at the expense of individual rights, because concurrent with the adoption of the Charter, Trudeau created an enormous state apparatus — human rights commissions, activist courts, government-subsidized special interest groups — that would leverage the Charter to re-engineer Canadian society. If Trudeau had genuinely seen the state as such a threat to individual liberty, why would he have subordinated individual rights to such giant institutional structures? Talk about putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse.
From the start, it should have been obvious to anyone — especially someone as intelligent as Pierre Trudeau — that you cannot put the chief threat to individual rights in charge of protecting those rights and hope the result will be more personal freedom.
Governments wield power. So when governments intervene on behalf of one side or the other in a disagreement over rights, one party will necessarily be the winner and the other will have its rights trampled. Why couldn’t Trudeau have seen going in that his solution would do more harm than good?
Perhaps it was his training in civil law, whereby rights are granted by the state — unlike in the common law tradition, whereby rights are seen as something natural that pre-existed the state. If you believe the state is the original granter of rights, I suppose it also makes some sense to believe you can put the state in charge of protecting rights.
In any event, the result of this vision, in the Canadian post-Charter context, has been that we have given up personal responsibility for safeguarding our own rights in favour of whining to government to make others give us what we want.
The best example of how rights enforcement has usurped personal responsibility is that of Marise Myrand. Ms. Myrand weighs nearly 400 pounds. She has diabetes and heart and respiratory conditions. She needs oxygen to breathe and rides a handicap scooter.
In the summer of 2005, she asked her Montreal-area condo association to give her a parking space closer to the building’s door. The association’s board, quite sensibly, said it wasn’t their job to take stalls from one owner and give them to another, but Ms. Myrand was welcome to ask the woman who had the spot to switch.
Jocelyne Nolet had the stall Ms. Myrand wanted. In her 60s and suffering from a permanently injured shoulder, Ms. Nolet turned down her neighbour. She explained she needed to be close to the door, too, since she was a shift cook who often came home late, with groceries, and could not carry more than a few kilos because of her own infirmities.
So Ms. Mynard went to the Quebec human rights commission — assisted by a government-paid lawyer — and requested that it demand the Ste.-Marie-de-Beauce condo association to give her the parking spot she wanted.
And the human rights commission obliged. Last year, it found that her neighbours and her condo board had discriminated against Ms. Myrand by failing to accommodate her handicap. The commission ordered Ms. Nolet to give Ms. Myrand her parking spot. It also ordered the 35 other owners in her complex to get together and pay Ms. Myrand $10,000 for being insufficiently sensitive to her disability.
By intervening to protect Ms. Myrand’s “rights,” the Quebec commission had to trample on the rights of her neighbours to enjoy their private property as they see fit, to associate with one another as they choose and to manage personal affairs within their own building.
Without a vast human rights industry — conjured into existence by Pierre Trudeau, the Charter and the activists who have followed — Ms. Myrand would have been forced to be more persuasive with her neighbours and to be more compromising. The solution that arose might not have been perfect, but it would have been based on the free will and consent of all involved.
Instead, Ms. Myrand knew all she had to do was summon the government rights police to compel everyone else to do her bidding. Her case amply illustrates the crippled state of personal responsibility that all Canadians now have for their freedom and rights.
See original here.
See the Mackenzie Institute website here.
See the Law Union of Ontario website here.