See you in court

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

I must say the Guardian is hard pressed for news when they have to put on the front page, an ar­ti­cle by a small mi­nor­ity vo­cal group, who, when they can’t get their way, sues the pro­vin­cial govern­ment through the courts to achieve their agenda, quot­ing the Char­ter of Rights and Free­doms.

The courts are made up of un­elected lawyers and judges who have no au­thor­ity to make laws. They are re­stricted to only in­ter­pret the laws al­ready made by the peo­ple through their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives both provin­cially and fed­er­ally. When the Char­ter was first be­ing de­bated, some pre­miers such as Alan Blak­eney of Saskatchewan warned that the Char­ter was giv­ing to much power to the courts. Then Prime Min­is­ter Pierre Trudeau was forced to ac­cept the “not­with­stand­ing clause” into the Char­ter which gave the pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments the abil­ity to over­ride un­favourable de­ci­sions made by the courts. When the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Que­bec lan­guage law was un­con­sti­tu­tional, the prov­ince of Que­bec used the “not­with­stand­ing clause” to over­ride the Supreme Court’s de­ci­sion.

It may well be time for other provinces and the fed­eral par­lia­ment to also look at us­ing this mech­a­nism more of­ten, based on some of the de­ci­sions made by the courts re­cently. John MacDougall, Char­lot­te­town

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