The Canadian Bill of Rights

"A"
CONFIDENTIAL.
C- .

First Session, Twenty-Fourth Parliament, 7 Elizabeth 11, 1958.

THE HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA.

BILL C- .

An Act for the Recognition and Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
First reading, 1958.

EDMOND CLOUTIER, C.M.G., O.A., D.S.P.
QUEEN'S PRINTER AND CONTROLLER OF STATIONERY
OTTAWA, 1958
58075-3

EXPLANATORY NOTES

Part I provides for the establishment of a Bill of Rights
for Canada. Part I1 provides for the continuation in
modified form of authority to deal effectively with war,
invasion, insurrection or defence.

1st Session, 24th Parliament, 7 Elizabeth 11, 1958.
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA.
BILL C- .
Act for the Recognition and Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short title.   1. This Part may be cited as the Canadian Bill of  Rights.
Recognition
declaration of  
rights and freedoms

2. It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have always existed and shall continue to exist the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely

  1. the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law;
  2. the right of the individual to protection of the law without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex;
  3. freedom of religion;
  4. freedom of speech;
  5. freedom of assembly and association; and
  6. freedom of the press

 

Construction of law. 3. All the Acts of the Parliament of Canada enacted
before or after the commencement of this Part, all orders,
rules and regulations thereunder, and all laws in force in
 

Canada or in any part of Canada at the commencement of this Part that are subject to be repealed, abolished or altered by the Parliament of Canada, shall be so construed and applied as not to abrogate, abridge or infringe or to authorize the abrogation, abridgement or infringement of any of the rights or freedoms recognized by this Part, and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, no such
Act, order, rule, regulation or law shall be construed or applied so as to

  1. impose or authorize the imposition of torture, or  cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
  2. deprive a person who has been arrested or detained
    1. of the right to be informed promptly of the reason for his arrest or detention,
    2. of the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay, or
    3. of the remedy by way of habeas corpus for the determination of the validity of his detention
      and for his release if the detention is not lawful;
  3. authorize a court, tribunal, commission, board or other authority to compel a person to give evidence if he is denied counsel or other constitutional safeguards;
  4. deprive a person of the right to a fair hearing in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice for the determination of his rights and obligations; or
  5. deprive a person of the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal for the determination of any criminal charge against him.

 

Duties of the Minister of Justice 4. The Minister of Justice shall, in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Governor in Council, examine every proposed regulation submitted in draft form to the Clerk of the Privy Council pursuant to the Regulations Act and every Bill introduced in the House of Commons, and shall take such steps as appear to him to be necessary to insure that the purposes and provisions of this Part in relation thereto are fully carried out.

 

PART I1
CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS.

War Measures Act. R.S. c. 258. 5. Section 6 of the War Measures Act is repealed and the following substituted therefore :
Coming into force by proclamation. 6. (1) Sections 3, 4 and 5 shall come into force only upon the issue of a proclamation of the Governor in Council declaring that war, invasion or insurrection real or apprehended, exists.
Proclamation to be submitted to Parliament. (2) A proclamation declaring that war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended, exists shall be laid before Parliament forthwith after its issue, or, if Parliament is then not sitting, within the first fifteen days nest thereafter that Parliament is sitting.
Opportunity for debate. (3) Where a proclamation has been laid before Parliament pursuant to subsection (2), a notice of motion in either House signed by ten members thereof and made in accordance with the rules of that House within ten days of the day the proclamation was laid before Parliament, praying that the proclamation be revoked, shall be debated in that House at the first convenient opportunity within the four 20 sitting days next after the day the motion in that House was made.
Revocation of proclamation by resolution. (4) If both Houses of Parliament resolve that the proclamation be revoked, it shall cease to have effect, and sections 3, 4 and 5 shall cease to be in force until 'those 25 sections are again brought into force by a further proclamation but without prejudice to the previous operation of those sections or anything duly done or suffered thereunder or any offence committed or any penalty or forfeiture or
punishment incurred.
Canadian Bill of Rights (5) Any act or thing done or authorized or any order or regulation made under the authority of this Act, shall be deemed not to be an abrogation, abridgement or infringement of any right or freedom recognized by the Canadian Bill of Rights”
Defence Production Act R.S. c. 62;
1955, c. 52.
6. The Defence Production Act is amended by adding thereto the following section.
Canadian Bill of Rights. "43. Any act or thing done or authorized or any order or regulation made under the authority of this Act, shall be deemed not to be an abrogation, abridgement or infringement of any right or freedom recognized by the Canadian Bill of Rights."

5. Section 6 of the War Measures Act now reads as follows :

"6. The provisions of the three sections last preceding shall only be in force
during war, invasion, or insurrection, real or apprehended."

6. Sections 41 and 42 of the Defence Production Act, as
enacted by 1955, c. 52, read as follows:

"41. (1)Every regulation, as defined in the Regulations Act, made under the authority of this Act that is required to be laid before Parliament under section? of the Regulations Act and every regulation made under section 9 of the Regulations Act in relation to a regulation made under this Act, shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as may be after it is made;

(2) Where a regulation has been laid before Parliament pursuant to subsection (I), a Notice of Motion in either House signed by ten members thereof, and made in accordance with the rules of that House within seven days of the day the regulation was laid before that House, praying that the regulation be revoked or amended, shall be debated in that House at the first convenient opportunity within the four sitting days next after the day the motion in that House was made.

(3) A regulation that has been laid before Parliament pursuant to this section need not be laid before Parliament under section 7 or 9 of the Regulations Act, but nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or limiting the obligation under section 6 of the Regulations Act to publish the regulation in the Canada Gazette.

"42. Sections 23 to 31 shall expire on the 31st day of July, 1959, unless Parliament is in session on that day, in which case those sections shall expire on the day such session ends or is adjourned sine die or to a day being more than thirty days from the date of adjournment."


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