charter of rights and freedoms

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Adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 made treaty and Aboriginal rights constitutional, though no one knew at the time what that meant. We are gradually finding out as the Supreme Court of Canada develops a new body of law.


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Back when Canada's premiers and then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau debated what to put into what later became the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, property rights were one possibility and on the table.

Trudeau had pushed for property rights as justice minister in 1968, again as prime minister in 1969, and in 1980 during constitutional talks. But property rights never made it into the final 1982 Charter because Trudeau and Bill Bennett, then-Premier of British Columbia, were the lone advocates.