Mobility Rights

AuthorRobert J. Sharpe; Kent Roach
C H A P T E R 12
An important element of individual freedom is the right to enter and
leave one’s country and to move about it freely. In countr ies with fed-
eral systems, such as Canada, it is fundamental to a sense of national
citizenship th at individuals be able to move to and work in other prov-
inces without prejudice because of their prov ince of origin. The mobility
rights protected by section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are
designed to promote and foster these objectives.
Section 6 contains two kinds of mobility rights, one inter national
and the other interprovinci al. Section 6(1) guarantees the right of cit-
izens to enter, remain in, and leave Ca nada, whereas sections 6(2)(a) and
(b) guarantee the right of citizen s and permanent resident s “to move
and take up residence in any province; and to pursue the gaining of a
livelihood in any province.” The interprovincial gua rantee is qualif‌ied in
two ways. The right is subject to laws of general application in force in a
province, provided that those laws do not discriminate among individ-
uals prima rily on the basis of province of present or previous residence
(section 6(3)(a)). Section 6(3)(b) permits reasonable residency require-
ments for the receipt of publicly provided social services. Section 6(4)
protects from Charter challenge laws and program s aimed at relieving
the plight of those who are socially or economical ly disadvantaged in
provinces with rate s of unemployment above the national rate. Finally,
as with all Charter rights, a government may be able to justify laws that
violate section 6 under section 1. However, mobility rights are among

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