Tories nixed proposed Charter birthday party

Tories nixed proposed Charter birthday party by Stephanie Levitz, June 7, 2012, The Canadian Press
Bureaucrats planned an elaborate party to celebrate the birthday of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms but the Conservative government refused to RSVP, newly released documents suggest. Instead, the idea of a ceremony to commemorate the charter’s 30th anniversary in April was overruled by Heritage Minister James Moore in favour of a terse press release. … The celebration envisaged by bureaucrats was billed as an opportunity to “underline the importance of the Constitution Act on Canada’s system of government, laws, and civil rights, including fundamental rights and freedoms of all Canadians.” The plan called for a televised event on Parliament Hill featuring the Governor-General, cabinet ministers and Canada’s chief librarian. One of two versions of the Proclamation Act of 1982 was also going to be on display. But when the proposal reached Mr. Moore’s office, it was rejected. … Instead, a short press release was issued marking the date and calling the charter “an important step in the development of Canada’s human rights policy.” At the time, the Tories were criticized for all but ignoring such a pivotal – and recent – event in Canadian history, while at the same time choosing to play up events from generations ago, like the War of 1812, which marks its bicentennial this year.

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