Challenging the Charter: A Calgary Alderman toys with a dangerous proposition – Mandi Schrader

31 Oct

Calgary Alderman Diane Colley-Urquhart was quoted recently in the Calgary Sun as saying, “The precedent this is setting equally disturbs me because it’s really going to change the nature of any future protests or rallies when people like this can hide behind the Charter.”

People like who, Diane? Do you mean Canadians?

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states the freedom of peaceful assembly as a fundamental freedom.

Fundamental adjective

Definition: forming the base, from which everything else develops; more important than anything else.

So here we are, waving our signs and attempting to shine a light on disparity in wealth, which naturally means disparity in power. A Canadian politician, annoyed by the inconvenience of our insistent presence, has the temerity to suggest that the freedoms each Canadian citizen is fundamentally entitled to, truly the last flag of equality we can trust and cling to, ought to be waived in favor of a bylaw.

And they call us confused.

Fundamental: forming the base – the foundation upon which Canada is built. How is it possible to hide behind that which upholds you?

Speaking of setting disturbing precedents, I wonder if anyone, even those who disagree 100% with the Occupy movement, has the foresight to consider what would happen if we allowed this to pass without comment.

It goes well beyond considerations of dead grass, irritated taxpayers and media hype. If we allow a fundamental freedom to be pushed aside for any reason, we set the stage for the eventual breakdown of the Charter itself. Do we really, any of us, want to go down that road? Is it acceptable for a political representative of Canadian citizens to even suggest that Canadians sacrifice our Charter rights for the sake of appeasing Joe Public?

Hey, Joe Public, what if they try to take away freedom of conscience and religion next?

What I find really inspirational about this movement is how the longer it goes on the ugly side of humanity is taking the bait to reveal its true nature. The power structure, even at the fairly insignificant municipal level can’t help but take notice and is beginning to make our case for us. Is this the Canada we want to live in? Think carefully before committing to your answer.

Disagree with our ideas all you like. Don’t destroy the founding values of our country in the process. If you do so, you destroy them for ALL of us, including yourself.


3 Responses to “Challenging the Charter: A Calgary Alderman toys with a dangerous proposition – Mandi Schrader”

  1. Ally October 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Very powerful piece…Thank you so much.

  2. Janet Gratton October 31, 2011 at 2:25 am #

    The only thing that prevents politicians and the governments they direct from overstepping their legal authority over the people is the people themselves. Alderman Colley-Urquhart should be reminded that she was elected by people like this: citizens who feel disenfranchised by the influence of lobbyists, outside consultants and others who stuff their election coffers. The Charter was drawn up by a much more enlightened form of public servants than she could ever aspire to be. As for her ilk, I want to see “people like this” out of office so they can no longer serve corporate interests over the futures of our children and grandchildren.


  1. Colley-Urquhart Prime Example of Financial Corruption of Government – Mandi Schrader « Occupied Calgary Free Press - November 7, 2011

    […] addition to Colley-Urquhart’s suggestions to violate the Charter rights of Canadians, she now also wants to change the bylaws in order to muzzle future protests. Her tactics must not be […]


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