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Nature's Law
Spiritual Life, Governance, Culture, Traditions, Resources, Context and Background
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Speech by the Most Honourable Antonio Lamer, PC, CC, CD, LLD, DU Visual representation of nature's laws

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The Canadian Bill of Rights was enacted in 1960.1 suspect that most of you have probably never read it. It is, however, still in effect, and reveals a great deal of how we are as Canadians and of how we perceive God. Permit me to cite a few passages from it, beginning with the preamble which, as I will explain later, is of the first importance. It reads as follows:

The Parliament of Canada, affirming that the Canadian Nation is founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, the dignity and worth of the human person and the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions; Affirming also that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of law; And being desirous of enshrining these principles and the human rights and fundamental freedoms derived from them, in a Bill of Rights which shall reflect the respect of Parliament for its constitutional authority and which shall ensure the protection of these rights and freedoms in Canada.

There follows a decree:

1. It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,

(a) 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;

(b) the right of the individual to equality before the law and the protection of the law;

(c) freedom of religion;

and other rights which are not particularly pertinent to my speech this morning.

A few years later, in 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was proclaimed, which entrenched, or rather constitutionalized, almost all of those rights in stating, in the preamble:

"Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law".

Article 26 of this charter reads as follows: "The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada." To which I must add: including the rights and freedoms of 1960 which have not been entrenched, but which nevertheless are part of our legal heritage, that is, the role of the family, a freedom which is inspired by respect for moral and spiritual values, and the right of the individual to do as she sees fit with her own property. While guaranteeing these rights, the Declaration of 1960 and the Charter of 1982 do not impose any obligations of any kind upon the citizens but rather address the State, and the sanctions for the violations of these rights focus only on those who exercise a legal capacity or an authority derived from the application of a law. So, you will say to me, what do these two texts have to do with all of this?

In fact the two preambles do the same things twice over. First of all, they reveal to us that in the name of principles that recognize the Supremacy of God, we the people, through our elected officials, impose on our governing authorities, in the name of God, the obligation to respect a certain number of rights and freedoms which flow from the existence of a just God, and we expect them to respect our neighbour: no discrimination, equality for all before the law, no cruel and unusual punishment, just to cite a few passages from the two texts.

As well, the fundamental laws reveal in their preambles that we recognize that God expects from all of us, and not only from the authorities, a type of behaviour (and I quote again from part of the preamble of the Charter of 1960) «which is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values».

Translated by Juliette Champagne, PhD

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