Friday, May 01, 2009

MSU #0001: No First Amendment In Canada

-- by Sara

This is the first in what promises to be an interminable series of "Making Shit Up" mythbusting posts. (Note the serial number. Four digits may not be enough, but here's hoping.)

It was prompted by Dave's new post just below, in which Newt Gingrich declares that we don't have a First Amendment up here in Canada.

Let me quote you from the very first provision of Canada's exhaustive Charter of Rights and Freedoms:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
a) freedom of conscience and religion;
b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) freedom of association.
Sure looks like a First Amendment in American sense to me. And note that the first article of the Charter is the introduction; so this is the very first right guaranteed by the Canadian constitution -- just as it is in the US.

And therefore Newt is, unequivocally, Making Shit Up. His claim is absolutely, factually false. 


And while we're reading the Canadian Charter of Rights, let me digress. Here's the one that fogs me up every time I read it:
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Damn it, there I go again. (Get me a tissue, will you?) It absolutely cuts me to the core every time I read those words, and realize that my new country grants me equality under the law that America had not yet seen fit to offer its own women. 

I had to move away to another country to in order to have my rights protected under law. It's a wrongness I once worked very hard to correct, but which may not be corrected even in my own lifetime. 

O Canada. With glowing hearts, & etc.

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