By: Larry MacDonald
Tue, 02 Nov 2010 09:56:08 +0000
There is no protection for property rights in the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Yet property rights are recognized in most other industrialized countries, and were recognized in the 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights.
The National Citizens Coalition cites several examples of governments interfering with the enjoyment or use of property: Ontario landlords’ properties devalued by provincial legislation, companies put out of business by government monopolies in Manitoba, and B.C. dairy farmers compelled to surrender parts of quotas to the Milk Board.
How did it come about that property rights were excluded from the Charter? They were in the first draft but several provinces and the NDP objected to their inclusion. So they were left out of the final version.
The provinces balked at a property-rights clause because they though it would interfere with municipal/provincial land-use regulations. The NDP objected because of “social rights” such as rent control, labour standards, native land claims, environmental regulations and division of matrimonial assets. For more details, see Property Rights and the Constitution (http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/BP/bp268-e.htm).
Constitutional entrenchment of property rights is the newest campaign of the National Citizens Coalition. Those interested can visit the NCC website (http://nationalcitizens.ca/respect_property_rights.html) to learn more, sign a petition, or share their story.
Should property rights be protected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?