Saturday, May 12, 2007

"There's a lot of flag burners who have way too much freedom ..."

The rule of law says the government must obey the laws it passes for itself. A successive administration can change that law but it still must abide by the old law until then. So I had to laugh when the CBC reported last night that PMS had no right to abolish the Court Challenges Program. Why? Because to do so violated the Official Languages Act.

Yes, incredible as it sounds the law program was set up not in 1982 as the neo-cons claim but rather in 1978, four years before the Charter of Rights. It was designed to help official language minorities (English in Québec, French elsewhere) to fight for their rights if local federal offices didn't offer services. So the fights were often over what "where sufficient numbers warrant." The program was later extended to cover other human rights issues.

The Official Languages Commissioner, as an officer of Parliament, can only make non-binding recommendations. But to see the sanctimonious Conservatives who were so tall and proud on "clean" government break the law is truly beautiful. I'm surprised they haven't yet proposed a constitutional amendment giving itself immunity into perpetuity.

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1 comment:

berlynn said...

Thanks for this, BF.