The Canadian Bill of Rights

QUEBEC, August 12th. 1958.

To the Prime Minister of Canada
To the Members of His Cabinet
To the Deputies.

SUPPLEMENTARY AND CONSOLIDATED SUGGESTIONS CONCERNING THE PROPOSED BILL OF RIGHTS.

I - BASIC PRINCIPLES OF A BILL OF RIGHTS.

  1. Civil Rights should be recognized to an individual irrelevant of race, religion or class.
  2. Natural law is the foundation of Civil Rights.
  3. Citizens, in a Democracy should not ask for favors from the State but should demand their Civil Rights or prerogatives.
  4. Life, Liberty and Property are inherent to Civil Rights.
  5. Civil Rights should be given to a citizen irrelevantly of the Province in which he lives; residence being a pure accident of birth or life.
  6. Impartiality and integrity in the administration of Justice is more important than Science, Knowledge, Learning or Competence.
  7. A judge should not hear and adjudge in a litigation of any kind whatsoever in which he is a party directly or indirectly and that in the broader sense.
  8. Basis and Conditions for the admission of a Case concerning Civil Rights to be heard should be fixed by rulings of that Court or determined by law.
  9. Notes pursuing a judgment should be made public or obtainable by the parties.
  10. One should not ask to a lower Court t o proceed to a higher one.

II - CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE BODY CREATED TO ADMINISTER AND GUARANTEE THE PREROGATIVES FOLLOWING THE CIVIL RIGHTS CHARTER,

  1. A Court which might be designated as the Court of Civil Rights should be composed of members extracted from various learned professions or occupation.
  2. The Court should contain a paragraph establishing an organization to receive communications from Citizens making suggestions about Civil Rights of Canadian Citizens.
  3. That Court should be competent t o receive written or oral testimonies or opinions referring to Canadian Civil Rights.
  4. That Court should study and collect information concerning legal developments constituting a denial of equal protection of the law granted by the Charter.
  5. Other branches of Government should cooperate with the Court so established in order that it may carry out fully and effectively its functions and duties.
  6. The established Court should have authority to deal with evident conflict of Justice or law when:
    1. it has been definitely proven that the Civil Rights of a citizen has been impaired;
    2. The Court should have the authority t o establish standards of violation of Civil Rights of an individual;
    3. The Court should have legal authority t o quash judgments rendered by any other Court in which violation of Civil Rights or injustice has been suffered by a citizen and grant due compensation.
    4. In order that Civil Rights be effective the Court should have the duty t o study outright the complaints or the litigation of a citizen falling under its jurisdiction, avoiding delay encountered
      in any other jurisdiction.
    5. The judgment of the Civil Rights Court should be final or reviewable only by the Cabinet Ministers.

III - The following documents are offered for consideration which might be of help in the establishment of that Court:

a) "CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957"
The Government of the United States of America approved a Charter designated as "Public law 85-315 85th Congress H.R.6127" on September 9th. 1957. I extract from that document the following
dispositions :

Section l04 (a) The Commission shall - (2) study and collect information concerning legal developments constituting a denial of equal protection of the laws under the Constitution.

Section 105 (c) The Commission may constitute such advisory committees within states composed of citizens of that state and may consult with governors, attorneys general and other representatives of state and local governments and private organizations as it deems advisable.

Section 105 (e) All  Federal agencies should cooperate fully with the Commission to the end that it may effectively carry out its functions and duties.

b) THE CONSTITUTIOT\T OF THE UNITED STATES.

Article V of the amendments of the Constitution reads  in part as follows:

"nor shall  be compelled in any criminal case to
“be a witness against himself nor be deprived of
“life, liberty or property, without due process
“of law. . . . .”

Article X1V: Citizenship not t o be abridged.

“…no state shall make or enforce any law which
''shall abridge the priviledges or immunities of
“Citizens of the United States; nor shall any
“state deprive any person of life, liberty or pro-
"perty without due process of law nor deny to any
"person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

c ) THE BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT.

Our Constitution does not define or contain any provisions
referring to Civil Rights. Nothing specific about Civil Rights is
contained in that document.

d) The following stipulations of the Civil Right Charter
adopted by the United Nations are worthy of remarks:

Article 7 "All are equal before law and have a right
"without' any distinction to the protection of the law.
"Everybody has the right to an equal protection against
"any discrimination that should violate the present
"declaration and against any provocation to such a
"discrimination."

Article 10 "Everybody has a right, in full equality
"that his case be heard with equity and publicly by
"an independent tribunal and impartial one that will
"decide of his rights and obligations."

Article .l6 (2) "Marriage cannot be celebrated without
" full liberty and consent of the parties."

Article 17 (1) "Everybody, either alone or collecti-
"vely has a right to ownership."

Article 17 (2) "Nobody should be deprived of his
"property."

Respectfully submitted,

VICTOR LAROCHELLE
Mas.Com. Chartered Accountant.


Copy of the Canadian Bill of Rights
Canadian Bill of Rights

Media and Document Gallery

Images

Canadian Bill of Rights
John Diefenbaker in Cornwall, Ontario
John and Olive Diefenbaker with a group of Polish children
John Diefenbaker at a Chinese Youth Services banquet
John Diefenbaker in House of Commons office
John Diefenbaker and a delegate to the Progressive Conservative General Meeting – 16

Audio

Speech by John Diefenbaker at the Young Progressive Conservative Convention, Ottawa

Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada Bill of Rights

Description: John Diefenbaker affirms his lifelong championing of human rights and calls upon the youth of the party to take on responsibility for leading Canada into the future

Date Created: 30 November1959

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T163-PAC23

Speech by John Diefenbaker to the Progressive Conservative Women’s Association, Ottawa

Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: John Diefenbaker declares his desire to have a Bill of Rights voted on by Parliament in the coming session

Date Created: 30 November1959

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T187-PAC39

Speech by John Diefenbaker to a Progressive Conservative banquet, Ottawa

Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Census

Description: John Diefenbaker advocates for a Canadianism which will find expression in the coming census when citizens will, for the first time, be asked whether they are a Canadian

Date Created: 17 March1961

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T203-PAC50

Documents

186000-8 Re: Bill of Rights – Amendment to Constitution

Creator: Department of Justice

Subject: Canada – Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights | Canada – Amendment to Constitution

Description: Describes the merit and means of accomplishing the entrenchment of the Bill of Rights through a constitutional amendment

Date Created: 2 November1959

Identifier:MG01/XIV/E/41 Volume 12

Supplementary and Consolidated Suggestions Concerning the Proposed Bill of Rights

Creator: Victor LaRochelle

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: Victor LaRochelle sends a list of suggestions concerning the basic principles of a proposed Bill of Rights to Diefenbaker

Date Created: 12 August1958

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285025 – 285027)

Confidential copy of Bill C - An Act for the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Creator: Queen’s Printer

Subject: Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: Copy of the first iteration of a proposed Canadian Bill of Rights, for first reading, House of Commons

Date Created: 28 May1958

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285069 – 285075)

The Bill of Rights of Wrong

Creator: Guy Kroft, The Manitoban

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: Outlines the author’s contention that the proposed Bill of Rights would be ineffective

Date Created: 28 September1958

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285298)

Letter from T.C. Douglas to John Diefenbaker

Creator: T.C. Douglas

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights | Canada – Amendment to Constitution | Saskatchewan – Premier

Description: T.C. Douglas, Premier of Saskatchewan, outlines his support for John Diefenbaker’s efforts to enact a federal declaration of Canadian civil rights; he also includes a proposed amendment to the British North America Act to protect Canadians’ fundamental rights and freedoms

Date Created: 19 January1959

Identifier:MG01/XIV/E/41 Volume 12

The PM’s Bill of Rights Freedom’s Advocate

Creator: Robert Moon, Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: Outlines the history of John Diefenbaker’s stance on human rights and notes that the proposed Bill of Rights legislation is a modified version of Diefenbaker’s human rights goals

Date Created: 24 May1958

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285089 – 285090)

Letter from Davie Fulton to John Diefenbaker

Creator: Davie Fulton

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights | Canada – Amendment to Constitution | Canada – Minister of Justice

Description: Davie Fulton, Minister of Justice, outlines proposed changes to the bill of rights legislation based on feedback received from various sources

Date Created: 11 May1959

Identifier:MG01/XIV/E/41 Volume 12

Orders-in-Council Threaten Your Citizenship

Creator: Vancouver Consultative Council

Subject: Canada – Government | Canada – Orders-in-Council | Canada – Japanese-Canadians

Description: Examines and decries the Government of Canada’s use of Orders-in-Council and attempted use of legislative initiatives to deport Japanese Canadians and strip them of their citizenship

Date Created:1945

Identifier:MG01/III/719 Volume 59 (047074-A – 047074-D)

Our Bill of Rights

Creator: Financial Post

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: Editorial which declares only a constitutional amendment could fully and legally establish Canadian civil rights, and that there is unlikely to be the unanimous provincial support required for such an amendment

Date Created:no date

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285059)

Provincial Bill of Rights Statutes – Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Creator: Compiled by The Social and Economic Research Committee, Canadian Jewish Congress

Subject: Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Provincial Statutes

Description: Analyses of human rights legislation of the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Date Created:no date

Identifier:MG01/III/29.1 Volume 2 (001162 – 001164)

Letter from Byrne Hope Sanders to John Diefenbaker

Creator: Byrne Hope Sanders

Subject: Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Parliamentarians |Canada – Opinion Polling

Description: Byrne Hope Sanders, Co-Director, Canadian Institute of Public Opinion, writes to Diefenbaker regarding the institute’s first of three news releases on its recent polling on civil liberties, which he includes

Date Created: 29 January1957

Identifier:MG01/IV/413.1 Volume 22 (15379 – 15381)

Should Canada have a Bill of Rights?

Creator: Peterborough Examiner

Subject: Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights | United States – Human Rights | Britain – Human Rights

Description: A selection of Peterborough-area citizens provide their views on whether Canada should have a Bill of Rights

Date Created: 17 May1958

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285101 – 285102)

What About the Japanese Canadians?

Creator: Howard Norman and The Consultative Council

Subject: Canada – Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Japanese Canadians

Description: Criticizes various untruths used to justify mistreatment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War; itemizes government actions taken against Japanese Canadians

Date Created: 1 May1945

Identifier:MG01/XIII/163 Volume 20