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The first year of law school can be a drag. Endless assigned reading for mandatory courses, some of which had no long-term appeal for me. However, whenever I found myself thinking, “What I am doing here?” a reading assignment for Constitutional Law always saved the day. I loved reading decisions that applied the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: the elegant language, precise analysis and the way these decisions sought to articulate and define what we mean when we talk about Canadian values. To this day, when I think about what being Canadian means to me and the role of law within that vision, I think of Chief Justice Dickson’s words in the Oakes decision:
The Court must be guided by the values and principles essential to a free and democratic society which I believe embody, to name but a few, respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, commitment to social justice and equality, accommodation of a wide variety of beliefs, respect for cultural and group identity, and faith in social and political institutions which enhance the participation of individuals and groups in society.
About the Author: Toronto Employment Lawyer Cory Boyd, since beginning his career, has worked with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and Toronto Community Housing as an in-house investigator and human rights consultant. At Rubin Thomlinson, he continues to apply his analytical skills to conducting workplace investigations and preparing thorough reports.