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What’s Happening with the Ontario Superior Court – Interview with Lawyer Michael Lesage PART ONE
Beat the censors, sign-up for our newsletter: https://firstfreedoms.ca/call_to_action_pages/stay_informed/ Litigation lawyer Michael Lesage has reason to be concerned about the time it takes to get a case through the Ontario Superior Court. His career depends on...
Free To Fly Meet & Greet – Interview With Greg Hill
Beat the censors, sign-up for our newsletter: https://firstfreedoms.ca/call_to_action_pages/stay_informed/ On May 25, 2023, Greg Hill and his Free To Fly team held a Meet & Greet in Mississauga, Ontario. People travelled from as far as British Columbia in Canada...
Justice Ivan Rand, in a 1953 Supreme Court of Canada case involving religious freedom in Quebec, described “freedom of speech, religion and the inviolability of the person” as “original freedoms which are at once the necessary attributes and modes of self-expression of human beings and the primary conditions of their community life within a legal order.” We refer to these “original freedoms” as “first freedoms” (with the view that freedom of religion is a subset of freedom of conscience).
These freedoms are inherent and inalienable. They exist prior to the state. They can be recognized (or violated) by governments but they are not created through legislation or constitutions.
They are foundational. Other rights build on these freedoms. A functioning liberal democracy depends on free speech, freedom of conscience and religion, and respect for the inviolability of the person.
Justice and civil peace rest on the equal dignity and freedom of every human being, regardless of status, ability, political affiliation, race, age, sexuality, or creed.
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Depending on the situation, we are prepared to offer resources and provide legal support to those in need.
Canadian Journal of First Freedoms: Call for Papers
In 1968, then-Minister of Justice Pierre Trudeau opined that “A constitutional bill of rights in Canada would guarantee the fundamental freedoms of the individual from interference, whether federal or provincial. It would as well...
Utopian Danger: Freedom Feature with Dr. Ryan Alford
Dr. Ryan Alford, Professor at the Bora Laskin School of Law, Lakehead University, joins Dr. Bussey for a remarkable Freedom Feature discussion, recorded on February 23. Author of Seven Absolute Rights: Recovering the Historical Foundations of Canada's Rule of Law...
Freedom Feature: Interview on Bill C-4
Why is Canada's new Conversion Therapy Bill so problematic? Listen as Barry discusses concerns around Bill C-4 with Dr. Don Hutchinson and Dr. Iain Provan. Bill C-4, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Conversion Therapy), went through the Parliament of Canada in...
Case Comment: Aga v. Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (2021)
The Supreme Court Got It Right in Extending The Wall Barry W. Bussey (note that an abbreviated version of this case comment was previously published by The Lawyer's Daily) In free and democratic societies, membership in a religious community is premised on freedom:...
Case Comment: Trinity Western University (2018)
Law Matters but Politics Matter More: The Supreme Court of Canada and Trinity Western University The following case comment was originally published in the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 2018 7(3) Barry W. Bussey The law on religious accommodation in Canada has...
Case Comment: Loyola High School (2015)
The following is extracted from my chapter "Human Dignity Found in Religious Community," in The Inherence of Human Dignity Vol. 2: Law and Religious Liberty, edited by Barry W. Bussey and Angus J. L. Menuge (Anthem Press, 2021). In 2008 the province of Quebec...
Featured Upcoming Events:
2022 Diefenbaker Lecture: A Free Society Makes Constitutional Rights Meaningful
Thursday, November 10, 2022, 7:00 pm St. Peter's St. Paul's Anglican Church, 152 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa Augustine College and First Freedoms are pleased to announce the 2022 Weston-Diefenbaker lecture titled A Free Society Makes Constitutional Rights Meaningful by...
Diefenbaker Freedom Lecture
A Free Society Makes Constitutional Rights Meaningful Professor Ryan Alford November 10, 2022, at 7:00pm at St. Peter's St. Paul's Anglican Church, 152 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa. Augustine College and First Freedoms are pleased to announce the 2022 Weston-Diefenbaker...
April 17, 2022: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
April 17, 2022 marks the fortieth anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This will be an important milestone to reflect on the state of freedom in Canada.
WHY CHINESE ELECTION INTERFERENCE MATTERS
Barry W. Bussey When the Globe and Mail told the nation that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) expressed concerns to the government about Chinese interference in our elections the Prime Minister's immediate concern was not the interference but the fact...
Why Rouleau Didn’t Have All the Information Needed to Rule on Emergencies Act Invocation
VIEWPOINTS published in The Epoch Times Barry Bussey: Barry W. Bussey February 19, 2023 The report from the Public Order Emergency Commission shows that Commissioner Paul Rouleau was missing key information he needed to make his ruling, in which he said he found “with...
Selected Notes on Professor Ryan Alford’s Inaugural Diefenbaker Lecture in Ottawa on November 10, 2022.
Professor Ryan Alford captivated the Ottawa audience on November 10, 2022 with the inaugural Diefenbaker Lecture. He quoted from memory the “Diefenbaker Pledge,” “I am a Canadian, a free Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship God in my own way,...
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Our Top Priorities
The original freedoms are inherent and inalienable. Other rights build on these freedoms. A peaceful and prosperous liberal democracy depends on free speech, freedom of conscience and religion, and respect for the inviolability of the person.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
“Freedom in thought and speech and disagreement in ideas and beliefs, on every conceivable subject, are of the essence of our life.” (Justice Rand)
FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE
“An emphasis on individual conscience and individual judgment also lies at the heart of our democratic political tradition” (Justice Dickson)
Inviolability of the Person
“Freedom must surely be founded in respect for the inherent dignity and the inviolable rights of the human person” (Justice Dickson)
“Freedom of conscience is the cornerstone of our most cherished freedoms. Logically, this position leads to the bold assertion that meaningful manifestations of all other civil liberties would be jeopardized if freedom of conscience were diminished.
Indeed, to remove freedom of conscience is to deal a battering-ram blow to the liberal democratic ideals that support all human rights protections. “
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