Charter Anniversary Celebrated In Powell River , BC
by The Honourable A. Brian Peckford
April 17, 2023
In my travels in BC fighting for freedom , I encountered a particularly active group in Powell River, BC headed up by Robin Murray. I asked him to provide a little summary of their latest efforts so that I could post it on my blog . Here it is:
‘Happy 41st birthday to our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I remember when it was first signed into law back in 1982. I had recently moved to Vancouver and was in grade 10 at a high school in the West End near Stanley Park. It was an amazing little school with students from about 50 different countries. Not ancestors of other countries but actually from other countries. It was like a little United Nations.
I took my freedoms for granted but it was many of the students from communist countries like USSR, Poland, China, Iran and Uganda that made me realize the importance of rights and freedoms and how lucky I was to live in Canada.
Then, we watched the signing of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and felt a little more secure in knowing how lucky we all were to live here with real freedom.
I have a copy of the Charter which has moved with me across the country a few times. It’s old and a little beaten up from being put up and taken down off the walls in the different moves. Last summer I was fortunate enough to have The Honourable Brian Peckford sign it when he came to Powell River to deliver a talk. What an honour to meet him and his wife, Carol.
When the lockdowns started in the spring of 2020 I very quickly realized that they were going against the Charter and our rights. I tried to point this out to politicians and was ignored. I tried to point it out to friends, family and others but was ridiculed by many.
Eventually, I made contact with others who could see what was going on and we started to organize meetings, rallies, protests and presentations to City Council. Our group grew and continues to grow.
As the truckers inspired us and people around the world we saw that we are not alone and there are many people who appreciate freedom.
I wanted to help somehow and thought a good idea would be to start city councils to recognize the anniversary of our Charter in a special way.
So, last spring I made a presentation to City Council and asked them to proclaim April 17th as Charter of Rights and Freedoms Day in the City of Powell River. And, they did a few days later. The mayor at the time advised me that I could make this request every year.
And, so I did again this year. My email to the Mayor is below.
“Good morning Mayor Woznow,
As per the guidance given to me last year I’m contacting you again this year about requesting April 17th to be declared “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Day in Powell River” as it is the 41st anniversary of this being signed into law for our country.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects a number of rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression and the right to equality. It forms part of our Constitution – the highest law in all of Canada – and is one of our country’s greatest accomplishments.
Every year on April 17, we celebrate the anniversary of the Charter which was signed in 1982.
Attached is declaration from last year and a link to the story of my presentation to City Council last year.
Thank you for your help in this matter.”
I was informed early last week by the City Clerk that yes the Mayor would make that proclomation at the next City Council meeting.
I made this announcement the other night to our group who gathered at a local theatre to watch the documentary UnAcceptable. There was much applause and support at the announcement. We all loved the documentary, too. It is awesome.
The next Council meeting is this Thursday and a bunch of us members from the Freedom group will be going down to watch and listen to the Mayor make this proclomation.
It is a small gesture and some might say merely ceremonial but it is a way of reminding the City Council and the people of Powell River of the importance of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
One of my hopes from doing this in our city is that it will inspire others to do something similar in their town or city. Small steps will add up to big victories, eventually.’
All the best,
Powell River, BC