The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Empty promises.

Article 2a of the charter guarantees freedom of conscience and religion for all Canadians. Unfortunately however, this "freedom" is virtually impossible to assert;

One aspect of "freedom of conscience" might be the right/freedom to behave in an ethical manner, and as such, not contribute to harming or causing discomfort to others. While one may, to an extent, act in a compassionate manner, endeavor to direct one's spending, a proxy for one's labour, compassionately, etc., this is not possible with regard to the dispersement of one's tax contributions. An obvious/extreme example of this might be where as the result of foreign policy, bullets purchased by Canadian taxpayers find there way into children abroad. Certainly there are aspects to our collective conduct through both foreign and domestic policy which every single Canadian would find atrocious.

If every Canadian taxpayer were to be made aware of, or, receive a tally of unethical conduct committed in their name, funded by their labours and best intentions, a body count so to speak, every single one of us would be appalled. "Freedom of conscience"? It seems more like "Freedom of conscience within the existing social framework", which is effectively worthless.. The lack of any such ethical audit/accounting, in itself, seriously impedes one's ability to ascertain/establish one's ethical stance.

Atrocious foreign policy is simply one example of many which illustrate how collectively we violate fundamental ethical principles of every individual in the collective.

Finally, the most demoralizing aspect of this unpleasant situation is the fact that, should anyone wish to assert/establish their "right" to freedom of conscience and religion, they have absolutely no ethical mechanism of recourse available to them as the justice system itself is a Bastion of unethical principles.

I suppose one could ultimately hideout in the woods and subsist on berries in order to live with a clear conscience in Canada but somehow I expect that the right to freedom of conscience and religion was reasonably intended to be asserted in a more social context.

Jamie Miller - 2007



GALLERY





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