Canadians woefully uninformed about Constitution and Charter as “Constitution Day” approaches on March 29th

Canadians woefully uninformed about Constitution and Charter as “Constitution Day” approaches on March 29th


CFN –  With Constitution Day (March 29th) fast approaching, a survey commissioned by the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) has revealed a startling lack of basic knowledge among Canadians about Canada’s Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Among other findings:

•Barely half of Canadians surveyed (53%) knew that Canada’s original constitution came into force on July 1, 1867.

•Only 28% of Canadians were correctly able to identify the four provinces (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) that initially formed the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

•61% of Canadians did not know that the Constitution Act, 1867 listed the distribution of powers between the federal and provincial levels of government.

•Only 9% of Canadians surveyed knew that the Charter does not include protection for private property.

•Only 7% of Canadians surveyed knew that the Charter only applies to governments and not to private individuals, businesses, or other organizations.


The survey also reveals Canadian attitudes about various amendments to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including:

•After being informed that the Charter does not protect property rights, 56% of Canadians strongly supported/somewhat supported amending the Charter to protect private property. Support was highest in Alberta at 67%.

•Only 36% of Canadians strongly/somewhat supported removing the section 33 “notwithstanding” clause from the Charter.

Given Canadians’ lack of knowledge about their Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the CCF is promoting Constitution Day, to be held annually on March 29th. Details are on the website

The Constitution Day celebration aims to advance awareness and understanding of our Constitution among all Canadians, especially young Canadians. Like the similar “U.S. Citizenship and Constitution Day”, the CCF encourages governments and citizens alike to acknowledge and celebrate this day each year.

March 29th has been selected as the date for Constitution Day because as Acts of the British Parliament, both the British North America Act, 1867 (now known as the Constitution Act, 1867), and the Canada Act, 1982, (the Constitution Act, 1982, was a Schedule to the Canada Act) received Royal Assent on the same day, March 29, in their respective years.

As part of this effort, the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is unveiling a new website at, which makes available:

•Results of a public opinion poll conducted by Abacus Data which reveals the current state of knowledge, or lack thereof, of Canadians of their Constitution and the rights and freedoms it affords.

•Constitutional curriculum to assist teachers in teaching about Canada’s Constitution, and to help students learn about it.

•Other tools to raise awareness and to educate about the Constitution, including a graphic guide, info-graphic, video content, etc.

ConstDayFor more information, visit

The Canadian Constitution Foundation (“Freedom’s Defence Team”) is a registered charity, independent and non-partisan, whose mission is to defend the constitutional freedoms of Canadians through education, communication and litigation.



For more information, contact:
Chris Schafer, Executive Director and Lawyer
Canadian Constitution Foundation
647-389-8052 (cell)

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10 Comments on "Canadians woefully uninformed about Constitution and Charter as “Constitution Day” approaches on March 29th"

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b trudeau
Great article, Don! We will be discussing this at the 2nd Annual St Patrick’s Day Brunch this Sunday, hosted by Canadians for Language Fairness. It is already sold out, which is not surprising due to the EXCELLENT guest speakers from a wide variety of organizations that are all fighting the same fight…it’s all about our Rights and Freedoms that are being taken away from us by “social engineers” and politicians. Property rights, religious rights, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression are all INALIENABLE rights and freedoms and you cannot believe in one without believing in them all. But, we have… Read more »
Kim Khoo
Thank you, Don Smith. The Canadian Constitution Foundation has been trying to get more people to know and understand our Constitution. On March 17th, at our annual St. Patrick’s Day Brunch at Vars, Ontario, Karen Selick will be one of the speakers talking about the loss of Freedom of Canadians. Karen Selick & Derek From have co-authored a chapter entitled, “The Evisceration of liberty in Canadian Courts” in a new book published by the Fraser Institute. Our Constitution and the Charter are not flawless documents. The present Constitution has a major flaw. The 1982 Constitution took away much protection of… Read more »
PJ Robertson
@ Beth Trudeau “[W]e have been dumbed down…” Yes, absolutely, Beth…and it suits our miserable excuse for a government in Ottawa to a T. Consider how it’s been in their interest since 2006 to have a dumb and ignorant citizenry to manipulate, much like Big Brother and the “proles” in George Orwell’s 1984. Am I making this up? Consider some facts—some highlights of the Harper government’s moves against Canadian freedoms: gutting information resources such as the long-form census, muzzling scientists, falsifying/denying scientific evidence, programming ministers as robots, using taxpayers’ money for government propaganda, dismantling watch-dog agencies, ramping up incarceration for… Read more »
PJ Robertson

Indeed, thank you, Don. Excellent and timely piece.

‘Recognition through assimilation’ must be entrenched into our Canadian Constitution. If not we will be guaranteeing a couple of hundred language and cultural rights that will so boggle and tie up our rule of law and cohesion as a society. We have in this country what is called a ‘mosaic of multi-culturalism’. NO ONE can lead such a postulate (A thing suggested or assumed as true as the basis for reasoning, discussion, or belief) to the satisfaction of all it’s members. Turmoil ensues. Anger. dysfunction, accusation, blame games, demands for acceptance over all others……reckless behavior, cursing each other, rallies, flag… Read more »
Cory Cameron
Thanks Don for yet another great article. Without appearing sarcastic, the Canadian Constitution Foundation forgot to mention plump social work programs and universal healthcare amongst other things that make Canada so attractive to live in in it’s infomercial. I think focusing the reasoning of Canada’s lacklustre laws as an anchor to attract people from around the world seems to me to be a weak argument. I mean we have a political system that supports a federal political party hellbent on separation. I know of no other place on earth where the victim willingly provides the knife to the assailant. And… Read more »

Cory Cameron
March 16, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Said: ‘I mean we have a political system that supports a federal political party hellbent on separation. I know of no other place on earth where the victim willingly provides the knife to the assailant. And then after getting stabbed repeatedly, thanks them for it. But we do here…’

The best compliment to the English I/we have ever heard……no damn wonder we are all tossed up like a freakin salad. YOU SIR HIT THE NAIL SQUARLY ON THE HEAD……THE HEAD OF THE SNAKE IS OUR OWN GOD DAMN(Moderate that) GOVERNMENT.


Our constitution is a international embarassment.

-no property rights
-no freedom to bear arms
-genocidal not-withstanding clause against English speakers
-$ going to Quebec
-George Stomboulopolis allowed to exist (faggot liberal)
-laissez faire for alleged refugees is making me ill
-government paid abortions and forced euthenasia ( Cornwall Hospice)
-gay marriage

Only 20 more years of a Harper government will get us back to the status quo, 1965.

Liberals 1) Were responsible for the notwithstanding clause being enshrined into the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms Consequence: this allowed laws such as bill 101 to OVERRIDE the supreme court of Canada when it ruled bill 101 unconstitutional It also opened the door for any and all discriminatory laws to be theoretically passed by any provincial legislature .Nice eh ??? trudeau. 2) liberals, revamped the federal hiring practices so that the 28% French MINORITY in Canada can now control, through responsible government positions, the 78% majority ( English) trudeau,chretien 3) liberals, through indifference and inaction came within a whisker… Read more »
Can’t just blame Trudeau, Chretian etc. blame whoever put them into power. Trudeau had the biggest funeral (coast to coast) I believe, in the country’s history, a tribute from the people who thought he was a great leader………… Or maybe they were glad he was gone? Doubt it because looks like the sheep are ready to be screwed over again with little Justy. I only needed a couple of examples to make my decision about the man…… a real leader with confidence would not run away or ignore questions from a news outlet which is exactly what he did to… Read more »