By Dean Midyette
With the election of the Liberals in our recent federal election, Prime Minister-elect Trudeau has made a series of promises as long as a six-year-olds Christmas wish list. So where to begin? He has announced that his first order of business once he reconvenes parliament in December is to pass a bill that would increase taxes on those earning more than $200,000 per year while reducing taxes for those in the middle class. Prior to that he and many of our premiers will be in Paris for the G20 climate summit. If he announces a gender balanced cabinet that will be three promises kept.
Yes we need to reinstitute the mandatory long form census and Im sure that the work necessary to legalize marijuana will begin. He needs to make sure that 25,000 Syrian refugees are resettled as promised.
Rumours are swirling that Prime Minister Trudeau will be petitioning the Supreme Court for an extension before tabling legislation dealing with assisted euthanasia. Then there is the revamping of the child tax credits and benefits which will be income-based and, of course, a move to a proportional representative electoral model within 18 months of taking office.
There is also another very important piece of business that desperately needs to be taken care of involving the Ministry of Justice. It involves the many pieces of legislation passed by the Harper government that have been ruled unconstitutional. Of the 47 cases that have already been brought before provincial Supreme Courts, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada, the Conservative government only won two. Yup, 45 times they have been told that their laws trample on the rights and freedoms of Canadian citizens. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Many lawsuits pertaining to legislation enacted since 2011 have yet to reach our highest courts. Mr. Trudeau will need to decide which laws to abandon, which to revise and which to continue to support.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects us from tyrannical acts of government by defining the inalienable rights of the individual. Should continually enacting laws which violate the Charter rights of Canadian citizens be considered a barbaric cultural practice?