The latest addition to Canada's Human Rights History website (HistoryOfRights.ca) is a complete collection of briefs to Canada's Special Joint Committee on the Constitution (1980-1). The committee solicited feedback from Canadians about the government’s proposal to patriate the constitution and entrench a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It heard from over nine hundred individuals and organizations, many of whom had a direct impact on the final drafting of the constitutional proposal. It was also a critical moment in Canada’s human rights history. The hearings highlighted how Canadians’ conception of human rights had evolved dramatically since the 1940s.
This section of the website's archival collection was first created in 2003 with a sample of briefs to the committee. The updated page now includes the entire collection of briefs available at the Library and Archives Canada. Many of these documents also provide useful background information on some of the leading non-governmental organizations in Canada during this period. The site includes an index of groups and individuals who participated in the hearings. There are also scanned copies of detailed briefing notes on the hearings and presentations.
To view the submissions, please visit https://historyofrights.ca/archives/special-joint-committee-constitution-1980-1