On Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 9:30 AM we meet together at Olympic Village in Vancouver to march for rights and freedoms, we celebrate the most defining constitutional amendment in Canada’s history—the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, such freedoms and rights have not always been available to all. The struggle for equality has gone on since the earliest explorers arrived on Canadian shores. Over time, difficult histories have also tainted Canada’s past, such as the residential schools, Chinese Head Tax, Komagata Maru incident, Japanese internment, and many others. In spite of these dark moments in our national memories, the legacies of these injustices would stir a growing desire and hunger for change amongst Canadian people. On April 17, 1982, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was born. On this day, a momentous victory for human justice finally arrived.
The Charter states:
“ Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. ” (Section 15)
While legislatively groundbreaking, it is clear that Canadians still face discrimination and injustice today. It appears that the human rights movement has gained public recognition and support, but we still have far to go. This march is a small, but bold step in that direction. It is a step in nation building. It is an invitation to you, to help us build a better Canada, together.