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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

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150 Words

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With the advent of Trump’s presidency, words, facts (alternative and otherwise) and information have been scrutinized like never before. Our American neighbours are questioning their country’s identity and its future.

In contrast, Canada has maintained its commitment to be a sanctuary for refugees and its acceptance of people from all faiths and backgrounds though its actions and its words. That commitment was clearly stated (actually, keeping with the times, tweeted both in English and French) by Prime Minister Trudeau last week. Putting aside any political affiliation, his words were undeniably Canadian:

To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada

À ceux qui fuient la persécution, la terreur et la guerre, sachez que le Canada vous accueillera indépendamment de votre foi. La diversité fait notre force. #BienvenueAuCanada

In reflecting on my #150Words, the Prime Minister’s tweets inspired me to look back at the words I studied in law school in the Charter. I was drawn to the following 147 words:

Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Fundamental Freedoms

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.

 Equality Rights

Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law

(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.

The Charter’s guarantee of our fundamental rights and freedoms are reflected in the Prime Minister’s recent tweets, which remind me why Canada should be celebrated. Canada’s “welcome mat” and its commitment to diversity make (and keep) Canada great.

Jennifer Heath

About the Author: Toronto Employment Lawyer Jennifer Heath is an enthusiastic lawyer who is dedicated to improving the health and productivity of her clients’ workplaces. Jennifer advises clients on a wide range of common law, contractual and statutory obligations, including those obligations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000Labour Relations Act and the Human Rights Code.  Her work also involves representing clients before the Superior Court of Justice, the Small Claims Court, the Human Rights Tribunal and the Ontario Labour Board.