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32nd Annual McDonald Lecture – The Impotence of Courage: Is the Constitution Flawed or are We?

32nd Annual McDonald Lecture in Constitutional Studies

The Impotence of Courage: Is the Constitution Flawed or are We?

A global pandemic, and calls for racial and social justice, brought on through 2020, were not just historical moments, but a universal call to action. A call that requires us to understand that we are in this together. So why are some of us, especially those with power and privilege, playing it safe? Where is the courage to act?

The McDonald Lecture is presented by the Centre for Constitutional Studies through an endowment to the Faculty of Law in memory of Justice David C. McDonald.

Speaker: Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Celina Caesar-Chavannes is a business consultant, coach and international speaker, who currently serves part time as the Sr. Advisor, EDI Initiatives and Adjunct Lecturer at Queen’s University. Her new memoir, “Can You Hear Me Now?” was published by Penguin Random House Canada, in February 2021 and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Shaughnessy Cohen prize for political writing and a book award finalist for the Speaker of Ontario Legislature. She was the former Member of Parliament for Whitby, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Parliamentary Secretary for International Development.




Charter at 40 Online Conference

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Reimagining Rivers: Animals as Legal Beings – Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders

Reimagining Rivers: Rethinking and Reframing Relationship with the Environment Webinar #3

Professor Maneesha Deckha (UVic) and Assistant Professor Jessica Eisen (UAlberta) will examine legal categorizations of animals: should animals be considered property, persons, or something else? And what do these categorizations mean for visions of justice and the health and well-being of animals, humans, and our overall environment?

This event is part of the Webinar Series, Reimagining Rivers: Rethinking and Reframing Relationship with the Environment. Legal rights govern how we interact with each other and with the world around us. Various jurisdictions, for example, are now granting legal rights to aspects of the environment such as rivers. This webinar series, jointly organized by the Centre for Constitutional Studies and the Environmental Law Centre, provides opportunities to learn from expert speakers about jurisdictional hurdles that impact the thriving of our environment as well as innovative approaches to rethinking relationship with it. The series will culminate in a Symposium next spring 2022, where we explore different conceptions of the North Saskatchewan river: as a legal person, as an agent, as a relation.

Speakers:

Maneesha Deckha
Professor, University of Victoria

Jessica Eisen
Assistant Professor, University of Alberta

REGISTER HERE




Online Charter Series: Language Rights’ Real Most Valuable Player – Section 23 & Minority-Language Education

Stéphanie Chouinard (Associate Professor, Queen’s U and Royal Military College) will discuss the impact of section 23 – minority language education rights – of the Charter on minority-language communities since 1982. She will examine the origins of this section of the Charter, as well as case law that clarified its scope and the challenges communities still face today in their search for quality education.

Speaker:

Stéphanie Chouinard
Associate Professor, Queen’s U and Royal Military College

Download the presentation here.




Making Sense of Alberta’s Equalization Referendum

How will you vote? On October 18th, 2021, Albertans will be asked to vote yes or no on whether to remove the principle of equalization payments from the Constitution. Join Professors Lisa Young, Eric M. Adams, and Trevor Tombe to find out what equalization is, its strengths and weaknesses, and what your yes or no vote may mean.

Speakers:

Eric M. Adams
Professor, University of Alberta

Lisa Young
Professor, University of Calgary

Trevor Tombe
Professor, University of Calgary




Vaccine Mandates, Passports, and the Constitution

Join us in a conversation with Professor Carissima Mathen on the constitutionality of government vaccine mandates and vaccine passports. Are these mandates/passports a breach of Charter rights? Can a person conscientiously object to being vaccinated?

Speaker: Professor Carissima Mathen, LLM
Faculty of Law. University of Ottawa




Online Charter Series: The Notwithstanding Clause – Is it Justifiable?

Section 33 of the Charter, the “notwithstanding clause,” allows Canada’s Parliament and legislatures to shield laws from certain Charter challenges. In this session, Richard Mailey, PhD Research Associate, asks whether this clause remains justifiable in light of recent shifts in Canada’s political culture — especially the rise of populist politics. To address this question, he will explain why it exists, how the notwithstanding clause works, and how it has traditionally been justified. The key question is, do these traditional justifications hold up?

Speaker: Richard Mailey, PhD
Research Associate, University of Alberta




Reimagining Rivers: Magpie River as Person

The Magpie River was recently granted legal personhood by the Innu Council of Ekuanitshit and the Minganie Regional County Municipality in Quebec. Our speaker, Yenny Vega Cárdenas, President of the Observatoire international des droits de la nature/ International Observatory of Nature Rights, will describe how this process unfolded and what ‘personhood’ means for the Magpie River.

This event is part of the Webinar Series, Reimagining Rivers: Rethinking and Reframing Relationship with the Environment. Legal rights govern how we interact with each other and with the world around us.  Various jurisdictions, for example, are now granting legal rights to aspects of the environment such as rivers. This webinar series, jointly organized by the Centre for Constitutional Studies and the Environmental Law Centre, provides opportunities to learn from expert speakers about jurisdictional hurdles that impact the thriving of our environment as well as innovative approaches to rethinking relationship with it. The series will culminate in a Symposium next spring 2022, where we explore different conceptions of the North Saskatchewan river: as a legal person, as an agent, as a relation.

Watch the webinar below.




Online Charter Series: Corporations and Section 12 – Protection from Cruel and Unusual Punishment

In November 2020, the Supreme Court determined that the Charter‘s section 12 only protects humans — and not corporations — from cruel and unusual punishment. Join Professor Anna Lund as she discusses the application of Charter rights to corporations, section 12, and the Supreme Court’s decisionS.

Watch the webinar below.

Speaker: Anna Lund
Associate Professor, University of Alberta




Reimagining Rivers: Indigenous Jurisdiction and the Environment

Professor Darcy Lindberg and lawyer Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson will discuss Indigenous jurisdiction and the environment – particularly from the perspectives of Nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) and Haida laws – and some of the ways these laws may inform Canada’s constitution, treaty relationships, and federalism as they relate to the environment.

This event is part of the Webinar Series, Reimagining Rivers: Rethinking and Reframing Relationship with the Environment. Legal rights govern how we interact with each other and with the world around us. Various jurisdictions, for example, are now granting legal rights to aspects of the environment such as rivers. This webinar series, jointly organized by the Centre for Constitutional Studies and the Environmental Law Centre, provides opportunities to learn from expert speakers about jurisdictional hurdles that impact the thriving of our environment as well as innovative approaches to rethinking relationship with it. The series will culminate in a Symposium next spring 2022, where we explore different conceptions of the North Saskatchewan river: as a legal person, as an agent, as a relation.

Watch the webinar below.