Meeting of Officials on the Constitution, Rights & Freedoms within Canadian Federation, Federal Draft (5 November 1979)
Citation: Meeting of Officials on the Constitution, Rights & Freedoms within Canadian Federation, Federal Draft, [November 5, 1979], Doc 840-177/005 (Toronto: 15-16 November, 1979).
Other formats: Coming soon.
1. This section and sections 2 to 23 may be cited as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
2. (1) Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, opinion and expression, including freedom in the dissemination of news, opinion and belief; and
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.
(2) The manifestation or exercise of the freedoms declared by this section may be made subject only to such limitations prescribed by law as are reasonably justifiable in a free and democratic society in the interests of the defence of Canada against subversive or hostile acts, public safety, order, health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others.
3. Consistent with the principles of free and democratic elections to the House of Commons and to the legislative assemblies, and of universal suffrage for that purpose, every citizen of Canada shall, without unreasonable distinction or limitation, have the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.
4. (1) No House of Commons and no legislative assembly of a province shall continue for longer than five years from the date of the return of the writs for the choosing of its members.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), in time of real or apprehended war, invasion or insurrection, a House of Commons may be continued by Parliament and a legislative assembly of a province may be continued by the Legislature thereof beyond the time limited therefor by subsection (1), if such continuation is not opposed by the votes of more than one-third of the members of the House of Commons or the legislative assembly, as the case may be.
5. There shall be a sitting of Parliament and of each legislature at least once in every year and not more than twelve months shall intervene between sittings.
6. (1) In any criminal or penal matter, proceeding or process, everyone has the right to life , liberty and security of his or her person and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law, which process encompasses the following:
(a) the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures;
(b) the right to protection against arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy;
(c) the right not to be detained or imprisoned except on grounds provided by law and in accordance with prescribed procedures;
(d) the right on arrest or detention
(i) to be informed promptly of the reason for the arrest or detention,
(ii) to be provided with the opportunity to retain and consult counsel without delay, and
(iii) to the remedy by way of habeas corpus for the determination of the validity of his or her detention and for release if the detention is not lawful;
(e) the right of a person charged with an offence
(i) to be informed of the specific charge,
(ii) to be tried within a reasonable time,
(iii) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal,
(iv) not to be’ denied reasonable bail without just cause having been established, and
(v) not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission that at the time of the act or omission did not constitute an offence;
(f) the right not be be tried or punished more than once for an offence of which he or she has been finally convicted or acquitted;
(g) the right to the benefit of the lesser punishment where the punishment for an offence of which he or she has been convicted has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing;
(h) the right not to be subjected to any cruel and inhuman treatment or punishment;
(i) the right, when compelled to give evidence, to counsel, to protection against self-crimination and to any other constitutional safeguard; and
(j) the right to the assistance of an interpreter in proceedings before a court or tribunal, if the accused or witness does not understand or speak the language in which the proceedings are conducted.
(2) In time of serious public emergency, the existence of which is officially proclaimed by or pursuant to a law enacted to deal with such circumstances or by a law specifically referring to this subsection, the rights mentioned in this section other than the right to life and those mentioned in subparagraphs (1) (d) (ii) and (1) (c) (v) and paragraphs (1) (h), (i) and (j) may be derogated from to the extent strictly required by the circumstances of the emergency.
(3) Nothing in this section precludes the enactment of or renders invalid a law that authorizes the holding of all or part of a proceeding in camera in the interests of the defence of Canada against subversive or hostile acts, public order or morality or in the interest of the privacy of one or more of the parties or where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.
7. English and French are the official languages of Canada, having the status and protection set forth in this Charter.
(2) Nothing in this Charter limits the authority of Parliament or of the legislature of a province to extend the status, protection or use of the English and French languages.
Language Rights (Federal Level)
8. Everyone has the right to use English or French, as he or she may choose, in any of the debates or other proceedings of Parliament.
9. The statutes and the records and journals of Parliament shall be printed and published in English and French and both language versions are equally authoritative.
10. Either English or French may be used by any person in, or in any pleading or process in or issuing from, any court constituted by Parliament.
11. Any member of the public in Canada has the right to communicate with and to receive services from any head or central office of an institution of government of Canada in English or French, as he or she may choose, and he or she has the same right with respect to any other principal office of any such institution when that office is located within an area of Canada in which it is determined, in such manner as may be prescribed or authorized by Parliament, that a substantial number of persons within the population use that language.
Language Rights (Provincial Level)
12. Everyone has the right to use English or French, as he or she may choose, in the debates of the legislative assemblies of (named provinces).
13. (1) The statutes [and the records and journals] of the legislatures of (named provinces) shall be printed and published in English and French and both language versions are equally authoritative.
14. (1) Either English or French may be used by any person in, or in any pleading or process in or issuing from, any court of (named provinces).
(2) Either English or French may be used by any person in, or in any pleading or process in or issuing from, any court of a province not referred to in subsection (1), to the greatest extent practicable accordingly as the legislature of the province prescribes.
(3) In proceedings in any court in Canada relating to an offence
(a) created by or pursuant to an Act of Parliament, or
(b) created by or pursuant to an Act of the legislature of a province if the punishment for the offence may be imprisonment,
any person giving evidence before the court has the right to be heard in English or French, as he or she may choose, through the services of an interpreter where necessary, and the right not to be placed at a disadvantage in so being heard.
(4) The legislature of a province may prescribe the date or dates on which the rights provided for by this section are to have effect in all or some parts of the province, and nothing in this section precludes the application of such rules as may be prescribed by any competent body or authority for the orderly implementation and operation of this section.
15. Any member of the public in a province has the right to communicate with and to receive services from any head, central or principal office of an institution of government of the province in English or French, as he or she may choose, to the extent to which and in the areas of the province in which it is determined, in such manner as may be prescribed or authorized by the legislature of the province, that the right should pertain having regard to the practicability and necessity of providing such services.
16. (1) Citizens of Canada in a province who are members of an English-speaking or French-speaking minority population of that province have a right to have their children receive their educational instruction in their minority language at the primary and secondary level wherever the number of children of such citizens resident in an area of the province is sufficient to warrant the provision out of public funds of minority language education facilities in that area.
(2) In each province, the legislature. may enact provisions for determining where the number of children of citizens of Canada who are members of an English-speaking or French-speaking minority population in an area is sufficient to warrant the provision out of public funds of minority language education facilities in that area.
17. Nothing in this Charter abrogates or derogates from any right or freedom not declared by it that may exist in Canada, including any right or freedom that may pertain to the native peoples of Canada.
18. To the end that the paramountcy of this Charter be recognized and that full effect be given to the rights and freedoms herein declared, any law and any administrative act that is inconsistent with any provision of the Charter is, except as specifically otherwise provided in or as authorized by this Charter, inoperative and of no force or effect to the extent of the inconsistency.
19. Where no other effective recourse or remedy is available or provided for by law, anyone whose rights or freedoms as declared by this Charter have been infringed or denied to his or her detriment has the right to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such relief or remedy as the court deems appropriate and just in the circumstances.
20. Nothing in this Charter confers any legislative authority on any competent body or authority in that behalf in Canada, except as expressly contemplated by this Charter.
21. Nothing in sections 8 to 15 abrogates or derogates from any legal or customary right or privilege acquired or enjoyed either before or after the commencement of this Charter with respect to any language that is not English or French.
22. Nothing in sections 8 to 10 and 12 to 14 abrogates or derogates from fright; privilege or obligation with respect to the English and French languages, or either of them, that exists or is continued by virtue of any other provision of the Constitution of Canada.*
NOTE:* This provision has application until such time as specific provisions in the present Constitution may be repealed.
23. A legislature of a province may, by resolution, declare that any [parts] of sections 12, 13 and 14 that do not expressly apply to that province shall have application, and thereafter such parts shall apply to that province in the same terms as to any province expressly named therein.