Canada, Senate Debates, “Effect of Proposed Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on Existing Legislation”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (12 March 1981)

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Date: 1981-03-12
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, Senate Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1981 at 2024-2025.
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SENATE DEBATES — March 12, 1981

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Hon. Arthur Tremblay: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government. It concerns the implications

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of the Charter of Rights included in the proposed resolution now under consideration in this assembly and in the other place about the laws of this Parliament and the provincial legislatures which are now in effect.

The Quebec government has asked three distinguished jurists, including a former judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, Mr. Yves Pratte, to give their opinion “about the effects on Quebec laws and regulations of enshrining in the Canadian Constitution a Charter of Rights and Freedoms similar to that which is contained in the Constitution Bill, 1981,” in view, for instance, of sub-section 58(1) of this bill which provides that any law of Parliament or of a province which is inconsistent with the provisions of this bill will have no force or effect.

My question is as follows: Has a similar study been made or sponsored by the Minister or the federal Department of Justice concerning the effect of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the federal laws, that is those passed by this Parliament?


Hon. Raymond J. Perrault (Leader of the Government): The question will be taken as notice, honourable senator.


Senator Tremblay: In that case, if I may, I would like to further amplify my question so that we may receive some information which would be extremely useful in the present debate. If such a study has indeed been made, I would add the following question: Could this study be made available to the Senate and tabled in this assembly so that we may make full use of it in our discussions?

If the reply is “not as yet”, I would rephrase my question for the future and ask instead: Does the Department of Justice intend to make such a study shortly?



Hon. Peter Bosa: Honourable senators, I have a question for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. There has been concern expressed by Chief Ackroyd, of the Metropolitan Toronto Police, and other law enforcement officers that the exclusionary rule proposed in the Charter of Rights will create in Canada the type of serious problems encountered by U.S. law enforcement officers, in that all evidence that is illegally obtained is automatically excluded from admission in court, no matter how relevant it is to the issue of proving guilt.

Will the leader assure the Senate that the Charter of Rights will take into consideration the legitimate concerns expressed by law enforcement officers, whose past record and dedication we all respect?

Furthermore, I would like to invite the leader and honourable senators to read an article which appeared in the Globe and Mail on March 11, 1981, entitled, “The Pitfalls of Americanizing the Canadian Criminal Law,” by Roderick McLeod, a spokesman for the Canadian Association of Crown Counsel and Assistant Deputy Attorney General of Ontario.

Hon. Raymond J. Perrault (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, the question will be taken as notice.

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