Charter Statements

Charter Statements outline some of the key considerations that inform the review of a proposed bill for consistency with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In particular, a Statement identifies Charter rights and freedoms that are potentially engaged by a Bill and provides a brief explanation of the nature of any engagement, in light of the measures being proposed.

A Statement may also identify potential justifications for any limits on the rights and freedoms a bill may impose. It is important to note that when legislation limits a right or freedom, the Charter is not necessarily violated. A violation of the Charter only occurs where a limit on a right or freedom is not demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society.

The Minister of Justice prepares Statements to help inform public and parliamentary debate on a proposed bill.

Note: Charter Statements are intended to provide legal information to the public and Parliament and are not intended to be comprehensive overviews of Charter considerations, recognizing that a bill may change over the course of its passage through Parliament. Statements are not legal opinions on the constitutionality of a bill.

Proposed legislation

Legislation introduced on June 6, 2017 would make the Minister’s existing practice a legal duty. This duty would extend to all government legislation. A Charter Statement identifies potential effects that a bill may have on rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter. Though it is not legal advice, a Charter Statement further explains considerations that support the constitutionality of the Bill where relevant. The purpose of Charter Statements is to be more open and transparent and to inform the parliamentary and public debates on a bill.

Charter Statements - 2019

Charter Statements - 2018

Charter Statements - 2017

Charter Statements - 2016

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