Being Part I of
the Constitution Act, 1982
[Enacted by the Canada Act 1982 [U.K.] c.11; proclaimed
in force April 17, 1982. Amended by the Constitution Amendment
Proclamation, 1983, SI/84-102, effective June 21, 1984. Amended by the
Constitution Amendment, 1993 [New Brunswick], SI/93-54, Can. Gaz. Part
II, April 7, 1993, effective March 12, 1993.]
Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize
the supremacy of God and the rule of law:
Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms
RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS IN
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees
the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable
limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including
freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS OF
3. Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an
election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly
and to be qualified for membership therein.
MAXIMUM DURATION OF
LEGISLATIVE BODIES / Continuation in special circumstances.
4. (1) No House of Commons and no legislative assembly
shall continue for longer than five years from the date fixed for the
return of the writs at a general election of its members.
(2) In time of real or apprehended war, invasion or
insurrection, a House of Commons may be continued by Parliament and a
legislative assembly may be continued by the legislature beyond five
years if such continuation is not opposed by the votes of more than
one-third of the members of the House of Commons or the legislative
assembly, as the case may be.
ANNUAL SITTING OF
5. There shall be a sitting of Parliament and of each
legislature at least once every twelve months.
MOBILITY RIGHTS OF
CITIZENS / Right to move and gain livelihood / Limitation / Affirmative
6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter,
remain in and leave Canada.
(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the
status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right
(a) to move to and take up residence
in any province; and
pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.
(3) The rights specified in subsection (2) are subject to
(a) any laws or practices of general
application in force in a province other than those that
discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of province of
present or previous residence; and
laws providing for reasonable residency requirements as a
qualification for the receipt of publicly provided social services.
(4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not preclude any law,
program or activity that has as its object the amelioration in a
province of conditions of individuals in that province who were socially
or economically disadvantaged if the rate of employment in that province
is below the rate of employment in Canada.
LIFE, LIBERTY AND
SECURITY OF PERSON.
7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security
of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in
accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
SEARCH OR SEIZURE.
8. Everyone has the right to be secure against
unreasonable search or seizure.
9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained
ARREST OR DETENTION.
10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention
(a) to be informed promptly of the
retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that
have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas
corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.
PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL
AND PENAL MATTERS.
11. Any person charged with an offence has the right
(a) to be informed without
unreasonable delay of the specific offence;
(b) to be
tried within a reasonable time;
to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person
in respect of the offence;
(d) to be
presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and
public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;
to be denied reasonable bail without just cause;
(f) except in the case of an offence under military law tried before
a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the
maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or
a more severe punishment;
to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the
time of the act or omission, it constituted an offence under
Canadian or international law or was criminal according to the
general principles of law recognized by the community of nations;
finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and,
if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be
tried or punished for it again; and
found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence
has been varied between the time of commission and the time of
sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment.
12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any
cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
13. A witness who testifies in any proceedings has the
right not to have any incriminating evidence so given used to
incriminate that witness in any other proceedings, except in a
prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.
14. A party or witness in any proceedings who does not
understand or speak the language in which the proceedings are conducted
or who is deaf has the right to the assistance of an interpreter.
EQUALITY BEFORE AND
UNDER LAW AND EQUAL PROTECTION AND BENEFIT OF LAW / Affirmative action
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the
law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the
law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination
based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or
mental or physical disability.
(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or
activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of
disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are
disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour,
religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Official Languages of Canada
OFFICIAL LANGUAGES OF
CANADA / Official languages of New Brunswick / Advancement of status and
16. (1) English and French are the official languages of
Canada and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to
their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of
(2) English and French are the official languages of New
Brunswick and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as
to their use in all institutions of the legislature and government of
(3) Nothing in this Charter limits the authority of
Parliament or a legislature to advance the equality of status or use of
English and French.
ENGLISH AND FRENCH
LINGUISTIC COMMUNITES IN NEW BRUNSWICK / Role of the legislature and
government of New Brunswick.
16.1 (1) The English linguistic community and the French
linguistic community in New Brunswick have equality of status and equal
rights and privileges, including the right to distinct educational
institutions and such distinct cultural institutions as are necessary
for the preservation and promotion of those communities.
(2) The role of the legislature and government of New
Brunswick to preserve and promote the status, rights and privileges
referred to in subsection (1) is affirmed.
PARLIAMENT / Proceedings of New Brunswick legislature.
17. (1) Everyone has the right to use English or French
in any debates and other proceedings of Parliament.
(2) Everyone has the right to use English or French in
any debates and other proceedings of the legislature of New Brunswick.
AND RECORDS / New Brunswick statutes and records.
18. (1) The statutes, records and journals of Parliament
shall be printed and published in English and French and both language
versions are equally authoritative.
(2) The statutes, records and journals of the legislature
of New Brunswick shall be printed and published in English and French
and both language versions are equally authoritative.
PROCEEDINGS IN COURTS
ESTABLISHED BY PARLIAMENT / Proceedings in New Brunswick courts.
19. (1) Either English or French may be used by any
person in, or any pleading in or process issuing from, any court
established by Parliament.
(2) Either English or French may be used by any person
in, or any pleading in or process issuing from, any court of New
PUBLIC WITH FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS / Communications by public with New
20. (1) Any member of the public in Canada has the right
to communicate with, and to receive available services from, any head or
central office of an institution of the Parliament or government of
Canada in English or French, and has the same right with respect to any
other office of any such institution where
(a) there is a significant demand for
communications with and services from that office in such language;
to the nature of the office, it is reasonable that communications
with and services from that office be available in both English and
(2) Any member of the
public in New Brunswick has the right to communicate with, and to
receive available services from, any office of an institution of the
legislature or government of New Brunswick in English or French.
EXISTING CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS.
21. Nothing in sections 16 to 20 abrogates or derogates
from any right, privilege or obligation with respect to the English and
French languages, or either of them, that exists or is continued by
virtue of any other provision of the Constitution of Canada.
RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES
22. Nothing in sections 16 to 20 abrogates or derogates
from any legal or customary right or privilege acquired or enjoyed
either before or after the coming into force of this Charter with
respect to any language that is not English or French.
Minority Language Educational Rights
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION
/ Continuity of language instruction / Application where numbers
23. (1) Citizens of Canada
(a) whose first language learned and
still understood is that of the English or French linguistic
minority of the province in which they reside, or
have received their primary school instruction in Canada in English
or French and reside in a province where the language in which they
received that instruction is the language of the English or French
linguistic minority population of the province,
have the right to have
their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in that
language in that province.
(2) Citizens of Canada of whom any child has received or
is receiving primary or secondary school instruction in English or
French in Canada, have the right to have all their children receive
primary and secondary language instruction in the same language.
(3) The right of citizens of Canada under subsections (1)
and (2) to have their children receive primary and secondary school
instruction in the language of the English or French linguistic minority
population of a province
(a) applies wherever in the province
the number of children of citizens who have such a right is
sufficient to warrant the provision to them out of public funds of
minority language instruction; and
(b) includes, where the number of those children so warrants, the
right to have them receive that instruction in minority language
educational facilities provided out of public funds.
ENFORCEMENT OF GUARANTEED RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS / Exclusion of evidence bringing administration of justice into
24. (1) Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by
this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of
competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers
appropriate and just in the circumstances.
(2) Where, in proceedings under subsection (1), a court
concludes that evidence was obtained in a manner that infringed or
denied any rights or freedoms guaranteed by this Charter, the evidence
shall be excluded if it is established that, having regard to all the
circumstances, the admission of it in the proceedings would bring the
administration of justice into disrepute.
ABORIGINAL RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS NOT AFFECTED BY CHARTER.
25. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and
freedoms shall not be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from any
aboriginal, treaty or other rights or freedoms that pertain to the
aboriginal people of Canada including
(a) any rights or freedoms that have
been recognized by the Royal Proclamation of October 7, 1763; and
rights or freedoms that now exist by way of land claims agreements
or may be so acquired.
OTHER RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS NOT AFFECTED BY CHARTER.
26. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and
freedoms shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other
rights or freedoms that exist in Canada.
27. This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner
consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural
heritage of Canadians.
EQUALLY TO SEXES.
28. Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, the rights
and freedoms referred to in it are guaranteed equally to male and female
CERTAIN SCHOOLS PRESERVED.
29. Nothing in this Charter abrogates or derogates from
any rights or privileges guaranteed by or under the Constitution of
Canada in respect of denominational, separate or dissentient schools.
TERRITORIES AND TERRITORIAL AUTHORITIES.
30. A reference in this Charter to a province or to the
legislative assembly or legislature of a province shall be deemed to
include a reference to the Yukon Territory and the Northwest
Territories, or to the appropriate legislative authority thereof, as the
case may be.
LEGISLATIVE POWERS NOT
31. Nothing in this Charter extends the legislative
powers of any body or authority.
Application of Charter
APPLICATION OF THE
CHARTER / Exception.
32. (1) This Charter applies
(a) to the Parliament and government
of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of
Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and
Northwest Territories; and
the legislature and government of each province in respect of all
matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), section 15 shall not
have effect until three years after this section comes into force.
[Section 32 came into force on April 17, 1982; therefore, section 15 had
effect on April 17, 1985.]
EXCEPTION WHERE EXPRESS
DECLARATION / Operation of exception / Five year limitation /
Re-enactment / Five year limitation.
33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may
expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the
case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate
notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of
(2) An Act or a provision of an Act in respect of which a
declaration made under this section is in effect shall have such
operation as it would have but for the provision of this Charter
referred to in the declaration.
(3) A declaration made under subsection (1) shall cease
to have effect five years after it comes into force or on such earlier
date as may be specified in the declaration.
(4) Parliament or the legislature of a province may
re-enact a declaration made under subsection (1).
(5) Subsection (3) applies in respect of a re-enactment
made under subsection (4).
34. This Part may be cited as the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms.