FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued by Attorney General Serge Rousselle in recognition of April 17 as Equality Day:

Equality Day highlights an important anniversary; the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. It offers an occasion to remember that all individuals have the right to live in an environment free from all forms of intimidation and discrimination.

The charter is an important constitutional document.  The evolution of our fundamental rights and freedoms has shaped our history, from the freedoms of expression and religion; democratic rights such as the right to vote through legal guarantees; the right to equality; to linguistic and educational rights.

But this year marks another important moment, the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of section 15 of the charter containing provisions on equality. This article states that “every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, sex, age, or mental or physical disability”.

Today and every day, we must ensure respect for others, regardless of our differences. As Canadians and New Brunswickers, men and women, let us celebrate our freedoms and fundamental rights.