Conversations among Canadian conservatives often drift into grumbling about the courts. Their complaint is with the judiciary’s decades-long campaign to remake the country in its progressive image, a process that began soon after adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. University of Calgary political scientists Ted Morton and Rainer Knopff’s book decrying this process, The Charter Revolution and the Court Party, is as relevant today as it was upon its publication nearly two decades ago. But as perceptive as Morton and Knopff may have been, their work has done little to deter judicial activism. Conservative attempts to stand athwart Canadian judicial history yelling “Stop!” have been to little avail.
By Benjamin J. Woodfinden, Doctoral student in Political Science at McGill