How much power does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms truly hold? Queen’s law professor answers

‘In our system, the courts have the last word, and in particular, the Supreme Court of Canada has the last word,’ Bruce Pardy explained.

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This is just an excerpt from The Ezra Levant Show. To see new, ad-free episodes, which air Monday - Friday @ 8 p.m. ET | 6 p.m. MT, become a subscriber to RebelNews+. This episode originally aired on June 28, 2023.

On last night’s episode of The Ezra Levant Show, Ezra sat down with Executive Director, Rights Probe and law professor Bruce Pardy and talked about the weight that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms holds in Canada.

Ezra told Bruce about how when he was in law school, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was almost regarded as a sacred text. Around twenty-five years later, it didn’t do anything to protect the rights of the people during lockdowns and mandates.

Bruce explained the true function of the Charter:

You know, in a way, if there's any silver lining to this COVID thing, it is in a way that, for some people, a curtain has been pulled back on the way the thing actually works. And it's actually not quite true that the Charter has ever been the foundation of our legal system. And it looks like to be a very important doctor. It's our Bill of Rights or the equivalent, but really the Charter functions only as a gloss on what legislatures can do.

And it's only really, it's turned out to be only an interpretive guide for the courts in terms of judging what the legislatures do. So to people, this document is written down in black and white. They think, well, they're the words, therefore, I have the freedoms that are listed. But the test of whether or not you actually have those freedoms is what happens when you go into a court and say this happened to me, you know, please enforce my right. And then sometimes the courts say, well, I'm sorry, I know it says this, but that's actually not what it means. And in a way, this is the premise of our system, even with or without the charter, the system is somebody always has to have the last word. And in our system, the courts have the last word and in particular, the Supreme Court of Canada has the last word.

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