Globe Opinion
 

May 18, 2021

 
 
Top column
 
After decades of playing Charter chicken, Canada is now home to what is effectively an illiberal democracy
 

Clement Allard/The Canadian Press

After decades of playing Charter chicken, Canada is now home to what is effectively an illiberal democracy
 

Erna Paris

Erna Paris is the author of several books, including The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice and Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History.
 
There’s an elephant in the room we call Canada: our Charter’s notwithstanding clause.
 
Agreed to in 1981, the clause – which allows any Canadian government, federal or provincial, to override certain elements of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – was a uniquely Canadian compromise seen as necessary to bring Quebec into the Charter fold. It was controversial from the start. We believe in civil and human rights for all, don’t we? On the other hand, in 1981, few of the nervous leaders who signed on thought it would be used often, if at all. They stressed the positive – in particular, the belief that it balanced the respective powers of Parliament and the judiciary. Furthermore, there were safeguards: It contained a five-year sunset clause, and a displeased electorate could throw out a government that sought to diminish basic freedoms.
 
 
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More top columns
 
A weakened Biden throws Canada under the bus, again
 

Evan Vucci/The Associated Press

  A weakened Biden throws Canada under the bus, again
 

Konrad Yakabuski

 
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Faces of the Moss Park camps: How people left behind by their city found dignity together
 

Jeff Bierk/The Globe and Mail

Faces of the Moss Park camps: How people left behind by their city found dignity together
 

Jeff Bierk

 
Full Story
 
Without foreign exchange students, we lose a vital transfer of knowledge
 

The Globe and Mail

Without foreign exchange students, we lose a vital transfer of knowledge
 

Mark Lautens

 
Full Story
 
The AstraZeneca fiasco is the latest example of the Gen X curse
 

DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

The AstraZeneca fiasco is the latest example of the Gen X curse
 

Douglas Coupland

 
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Editorial cartoons
 
Editorial Cartoons for May, 2021
 

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

Editorial Cartoons for May, 2021
 
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Globe editorial
 
Calgary’s Green Line LRT would be a boon for the city. Why is the Kenney government stymying it?
 
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Letters to the editor
 
May 17: ‘I am Canadian, or I am nothing.’ Should Canadian not be an option on the census? Plus other letters to the editor
 

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

May 17: ‘I am Canadian, or I am nothing.’ Should Canadian not be an option on the census? Plus other letters to the editor
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Sound science

Re Science Is Messy – So Don’t Lose Trust (May 10): Theresa Tam recently stated that the science around the AstraZeneca vaccine is “evolving,” a term she has used before. As an applied scientist and professional engineer with three degrees and 35 years of experience, I know that science doesn’t evolve. Apples were falling for a very long time before Isaac Newton “discovered” gravity – he simply (and brilliantly) figured out why.
 
 
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More columns from across The Globe
 
  Gen Z TV: anti-woke, anti-excess, anti-male violence
 
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Canada should crack down on tax evasion and put that revenue to good use
 
Full Story
 
  Personal training should be declared an essential service
 
Full Story
 
 
In case you missed it
 
Behind the Israeli-Palestinian violence, the ghost of a peace process
 

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

  Behind the Israeli-Palestinian violence, the ghost of a peace process
 

Doug Saunders

 
Full Story
 
 
#HelpZeroCanada
 
Find articles and insight to help you navigate everything from working remotely and learning online, to maintaining your health and fitness routine and managing your personal finances. Any way we can help Canadians feel more secure, less anxious and more optimistic in this time will help get Canada to zero.
 
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