The Canadian Bill of Rights

285101

PRESS CLIPPINGS

Office of The Prime Minister

Name of Publication The Peterborough Examiner
Date May 17/58
Subject

Should Canada have a Bill of Rights?
The new Government plans a Bill of Rights. Some say it will be worth the paper it is written on, others that it will provide a fundamental safeguard. Here are some local opinions.

GORDON FARQUHARSON, lawyer, Water St.:
I am not entirely convinced there is a need for such a bill.I think there is a danger in trying to set out by legislation what our freedoms are. If we set our freedoms in pigeon-holes, we may inadvertently restrict them.
At this time I think we enjoy greater freedom than any other nation, and we have accomplished this without a Bill of Rights.
I am sure those sponsoring such a bill are sincere in their efforts to forward the cause of liberty, but in as much as parliament can always repeal, is it really any protection?
As it stands now we are protected by common law.

R. B. BATTEN, lawyer, Aylmer St.:
I would like to see one, but sometimes a Bill of Rights may be restrictive and interpreted narrowly. I think perhaps we could rely on the freedoms and rights we have developed over the years and which we still cherish.
When these freedoms are violated there is always a large cry, so it actually doesn't matter if they are legislated or not. Common law protects us.

WILFRED F. HUYCKE, QC, lawyer, Homewood Ave.:
I never thought there was. We have the Magna Carta and a lot of other acts. I know that over in the United States they have a Bill of Rights but their constitution is not the same as ours. We have many good acts. The trouble is to enforce them-the same goes for our city bylaws.

FRANCIS D. KERR, QC, lawyer, 586 Rubidge St.:
"We have the Magna Carta and the Habeas Corpus Act; and, with the common law of England, it seems to me that a judge of our courts is well able to protect the rights of citizens. But as a lawyer I wouldn't object to a bill of rights. After all, it is a parliamentary assertion of the rights of the individual, and in that particular respect it may serve a very useful function.

ALEXANDER FLEMING, lawyer, Walkerfield Ave.:
Yes. Some legalists insist that a bill of rights would be a challenge to the supremacy of parliament.
In my opinion this is not so as parliament exists by reason of, and for the people, and the rights of the people are paramount.
There are certain inalienable rights such as the freedom of the individual which can never be stressed too much, and if a bill of rights does nothing more than do just this, it will have justified its existence.

STAN SHIPPAM: Secretary-manager, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce:
I think that most Canadians feel that they now have those freedoms which would be incorporated in a bill of rights as proposed by the Dominion government. However, I think the authorities will have to be extremely careful in framing such a document which would define our rights as Canadian citizens.

JACOB LOW, QC, lawyer, 271 Brock St.
I think that there is a need for a Canadian bill of rights. Britain has one and the United States also has one.

DR. E. DUTKEVICH: pathologist, St. Joseph's Hospital:
Certainly, I think so. I think that every person should have the right of personal judgement and freedom to talk about that judgement.

REV. DR. HARRY HUTCHISON: minister of St. Paul's PResbyterian Church:
I would quite definitely say yes. I fully believe there is a need for one. It is one of the essential safeguards for the individual and I believe it should be written down.

GORDON POWELL, former alderman and mayoralty candidate:
Yes, definitely. It is necessary to have the rights of a citizen in a democracy clearly defined. Not just for the freedom he enjoys but for the responsibility that comes with it.

MRS. JOHN LENART, cosmetician, Gilmour St.: originally from Hungary.
Yes, I think there is. I think it is necessary for women. I think we are not treated equal to men in many ways. If a man dies or leaves his wife, she does not have the same rights as he had.

ALFRED BARBER, maintenance at Canada Packers Limited, Aylmer St.
There certainly is a need for a Canadian bill of rights. I feel there should be strong enough laws to enforce the act once it has been put through parliament.The bill of rights would help Canadians to understand one another better. I believe in the freedom of race, color, and creed but there are some people in Canada who do not live up to this.

285102

PRESS CLIPPINGS

Office of The Prime Minister

Name of Publication
Date
Subject

MRS. ALENE HOLT, City Alderman:
Yes. Canada should have a Bill of Rights. Not that we, as individuals need fear abuse of power by the present government, but in English history, such documents go far back. The Magna Carta, Petition of Rights and Bill of Rights contain many provisions of a general political nature, and they also affirm and reiterate for every Englishman certain rights, one of the most important to my way of thinking being "the right to petition the government at any time for redress of grievances."
Of interest in the Virginia Bill of Rights, the first to be patterned after the English example, are the assertions that all authority is derived from the people; that all officers therefore are responsible to the people; that the people retain the right to change the form of government at will, and must do so from time to time to prevent decay.
In municipal as well as in federal and provincial governments, consideration should be given at all times to the grievances of people.


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