Charter Statements

On December 13, 2019, amendments to the Department of Justice Act came into force, creating a new duty on the Minister of Justice to ensure a Charter Statement is tabled in Parliament for every Government bill.

Charter Statements are a transparency measure intended to inform parliamentary and public debate on a bill and help increase awareness and understanding of the Charter.

Charter Statements:

  • ensure the rights and freedoms of Canadians are respected and considered throughout the law-making process
  • identify potential effects that a bill may have on rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • explain considerations that support the constitutionality of a proposed bill
  • increase awareness and understanding of the Charter

Charter Statements are intended to provide information to the public and Parliamentarians. Although a bill may change over the course of its passage through Parliament, Charter Statements reflect the bill at time of introduction and are not updated. Charter Statements are not legal opinions on the constitutionality of a bill.

Respect for the Charter is a critical aspect of governing and legislating in Canada. When legislation puts limits on a right or freedom, the Charter is not necessarily violated. A violation of the Charter only occurs where a limit on a right or freedom is not demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society.

Charter Statements by Session

43rd Parliament, 1st Session (2019-12-05 - present)

42nd Parliament, 1st Session (2015-12-03 - 2019-09-11)

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