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Notwithstanding Pierre Poilievre and the future of Canada

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S. N. Smith is concerned about Pierre Poilievre's stance on section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, also known as the notwithstanding clause. Poilievre is currently leading the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition and is likely to be Canada's next prime minister. If elected, Poilievre has promised to invoke this clause on a number of issues. Section 2 (basic freedoms), sections 7 through 14 (legal rights), and section 15 (equality rights) of the Charter are among the portions that Parliament may remove, circumvent, or otherwise modify under the notwithstanding clause 33. These sections address legal rights, equality rights, and fundamental freedoms. Section 33 prevents judicial review under the specified sections of the Charter once it is invoked!

It should be kept in mind that at the time of the drafting of the Charter, the general understanding was that the clause ought to be a last resort and utilized only in the most exceptional of circumstances.

Since the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect in 1982, the Federal Government has never evoked the notwithstanding clause.

To me, it sounds like someone with dictatorial tendencies who does not have the time or the patience for the rule of law or courts which may challenge the legality of what he is doing.

Human rights are not necessarily etched in stone, and we must always strive to ensure they are protected, and that takes real vigilance and effort.

"The notwithstanding clause needs to be repealed to protect the fundamental rights of all people, whether it's the right of people to protest and dissent, whether it's the right of people to ask for decent working conditions, whether it's the right of people to equality."
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