This past Sunday marked the 29th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which came into force on April 17, 1982. This document has had a major impact on the lives of many Canadians in its promotion of human rights and freedoms, enabling citizens of Canada to be assured that their life will be that much richer. The University of Alberta would certainly be a different place if ideas such as the right to expression and association were not allowed. This is integral to the pursuit of curiousity-driven research, as it allows academics to go where their thoughts lead them and to pursue ground-breaking issues that may or may not be popular.
The equality and language rights as well set Canada apart from other countries on the world stage; these rights are entrenched in our society and how Canadians as people conduct themselves. The Charter has changed how human rights are protected and promoted in this country.
One of the KIAS research themes is that of Place, Belonging, and Otherness. The Charter, and its birthday, relates directly to this theme in asking how the Charters has shaped our notions of being Canadian, and the place and belonging of our society. How do you think it has affected you as a Canadian? Maybe it hasn’t – can you examine why?
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