The Charter…coming to a theatre near you

Intent on commemorating the upcoming 30th Anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with a public education campaign, a group of Windsor Law Class of 2012 students launched “Join the Discussion” at Osgoode Hall yesterday. The campaign includes the creation of public service announcements on video in which celebrities including Paul Gross, Wide Mouth Mason, Rick Mercer and Elvira Kurt talk about the Charter’s impact. There are also longer video interviews with former SCC Justice Frank Iacobucci and former Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal Roy McMurtry.

Many congratulations greeted the students yesterday, from Bencher Barbara Murchie on behalf of the LSUC and from Windsor Law’s new Dean, Dr. Camille Cameron. Hannah Bernstein from the CBA announced that the CBA is including “Join the Discussion” in its Law Day. Mark Sandler, Chair of the Law Foundation of Ontario, said the project was “unique in that it aims to educate the Canadian public-at-large”. Keynote speaker, Ontario Lt. Gov. David Onley pointed out this is a big anniversary year: there’s the War of 1812, the Diamond Jubilee, and the patriation of the Constitution.

As former Ontario Attorney-General, Roy McMurtry argued for the province on the SCC Reference on the Constitution 30+ years ago. Yesterday, he gave a fascinating recounting of the political and legal skirmishes of the day. Great to hear him talk about the late, former PM Trudeau and the rest. As an aside, he opined that Ottawa was more partisan-prone than thirty years ago.

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