E. Conclusion

Author:Robert J. Sharpe - Kent Roach
Profession:Court of Appeal for Ontario - Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

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Overall, we suggest that the Charter has had a beneficial impact upon democratic life in Canada. Fundamental human rights are now properly at the forefront of public debate, and the claims of those often drowned out in the cut and thrust of day-to-day politics can no longer

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be ignored. Indeed, the Charter has made an important contribution to Canadian political life by creating what Roland Penner calls a "culture of liberty."52Legislators cannot enact laws without consideration of their impact on individual rights, and government legal officers play an important role in encouraging their political masters to justify any limitations on Charter rights.

The Charter has the potential to strengthen the Canadian democratic tradition and commitment to toleration and equal respect for all, and judges have an appropriate part to play in protecting those values. As interpreted by the courts to date, the Charter neither precludes nor entrenches particular socio-economic outcomes but rather enriches the democratic process.


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