The time has come for Ontario to enact its own Constitution to protect and enhance the values we hold most dear; Liberty of the Person and Self-determination.
While the Constitution of Canada and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides and protects Ontarians, it is and will be subject to interpretation over time and such interpretations should be guided by our own understanding of liberty and self-determination.
The Constitution of Canada provides for allocations of power and authority as between the Federal and Provincial governments. It does so in a manner that is oft suggestive that the Provincial Government is an independent entity unto itself rather than the Democratic Representation of the people of Ontario. Such power and authority is further subjugated to the Legislative Executive rather than the Legislature as a whole.
The Ontario Constitution will seek to protect the authority of the people, ensure that rights and Liberties are interpreted pursuant to our values as Ontarians and that any limitations of those rights be subject to the most rigorous tests for all time and for all people.
While there is no specific reference to or proscription for a Provincial Constitution for Ontario, the BNA ACT 1867, and the Canada Act 1982 both provide for considerations of and to Provincial Constitutions and or amendments thereto. As such, we would undertake to amend our Constitution in the first instance through its creation and enactment.
The creation of the Dominion of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the evolving delineation of its boundaries over time were from the very beginning subject to questions of legitimacy in terms of the Parties to the agreement in establishing the Dominion, the existence and legitimacy of land and land right treaties, and, the descendant allocation of authority to regions and communities in the Province.
The history of history while a critical element in the interpretation of Law and its application through precedent finds itself mired in
antiquated, undemocratic, restrictive, and subjugate interpretations.
Rights as originally assigned and belonging to all people equally were defined at the time under the tacit understanding that the term people was very limited in scope, and as a result; more members of society were excluded than included.
While over time we have expanded the definitions and interpretations of terms to be ever more inclusive, we cannot begin to imagine those who as yet remain beyond current protection any more than our ancestors could. We must establish an interpretative model that by default includes all that we see and do not yet see, all we know and do not yet know, and, all that we can imagine and do not yet imagine.
Greater voices and depths of expertise are required to effect a useful, valued and fair Constitution for Ontario than can be offered here. Though perhaps a framework from which to initiate this process may be summarized in the following considerations;
That both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the United Nations Charter of Human Rights be entrenched in the Ontario Constitution with the caveat that they both be always subject to the broadest standard of inclusion and application for all people in Ontario.
That the rules, laws, and understandings that may be codified in Law are merely representations of a time and place and the best efforts of those people who experienced that era, and should therefore be subject to review and renewal every century, but that the basic rights encoded therein may not be derogated, only expanded and reaffirmed with current knowledge and interpretative language.
That Liberty of the person is paramount and that self-determination includes the individual liberty and all rights of association and voice of such agencies as may be desirable by the individual and or collection of individuals, and that, no association, group, agency, or even government may exist without the continued support and assignment of authority by individuals
That notwithstanding the historic Parties to the establishment and expansion of Ontario, time, common sense, and clarity of rights demands that the Parties to a Constitutional process in Ontario include all of the relevant Parties in redress of their exclusion through history.
That Ontario as a Province may; cease to exist, expand, or be reduced, subject to the will of the people and shall never be considered to be a natural or perpetual entity, but rather, that it exists day to day to day only because the people continue to so choose.
The process of developing a Constitution for Ontario may indeed be more important than the product itself. It provides an opportunity to redress the past, establish and clarify inalienable rights, and, to confirm the democratic foundation of the Province of Ontario as the product of agency provided to Government by the will of and confidence from the people.