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Justice Centre Youth Event
Sat, 8 April 2017, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM MDT
The Fight for Justice: Learning to Defend Freedom in Canada Today
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is organizing a one-day youth event titled, "The Fight for Justice: Learning to Defend Freedom in Canada Today." This event will be held in conjunction with the annual conference of the Alberta Home Education Association, April 8, 2017. Registration is limited to youth ages 12-18.
Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law. The freedoms enshrined in the Charter, and the democratic process, affect our lives on a daily basis. However, surveys have shown that most Canadians, and especially high school students, do not have a solid understanding of our fundamental freedoms or of Canada’s democratic process:
How can I influence government?
What should I do if I am accused of “discrimination”?
What do I actually have the freedom to say in public?
What are my rights if I am stopped by police?
How are laws made, and who affects that process?
How can I fight for freedom and justice in Canada?
Without a proper understanding of how freedom and democracy work, many people feel powerless to stand up for their freedoms and make a difference in our society.
Our country is experiencing an unprecedented assault on its fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of association. But a lack of understanding among Canadians allows this trend to continue to continue unchecked.
More than ever, Canadians need to know the principles which govern a free and democratic society that have made our country great.
In a one-day event, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms will take students onto the front lines of the fight to preserve fundamental freedoms in Canada today. Students will have the opportunity to participate in interactive and live sessions with a police officer, a judge, a constitutional lawyer, a political activist and an elected representative. Each presenter will give students an exciting behind-the-scenes perspective on their respective roles in preserving Canada’s freedom and democracy. Through personal interaction and group activities, students will not only gain a crucial understanding of Canada’s freedom and democracy, they will also see how they can personally become engaged in one or more of the many fronts of the fight for justice.
Students can expect to be informed, engaged and inspired to assume their responsibilities as citizens.
Speakers and Workshops
John Carpay, B.A., LL.B
John Carpay is a leading voice defending freedom in Canada. As the founder and president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, John has devoted his legal career to defending constitutional freedoms through litigation and education. He considers it a privilege to advocate for courageous and principled clients who take great risks – and make tremendous personal sacrifices – by resisting the unjust demands of intolerant government authorities. John is also a dedicated father and husband, with four children.
Canada's Constitution envisions a free and democratic society. Canada's "Fundamental Freedoms" set out in its Charter are the freedoms of conscience and religion, expression, peaceful assembly and association. Through his presentation, John Carpay will help attendees identify key principles of a free society. Through examples and interactive demonstrations, students will learn to see how the principles practically apply in today's society.
Cst. Jevenn Kowalchuk
Constable Jevenn Kowalchuk was home educated in Alberta. Upon completing high school, Jevenn earned a Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice through Magister University. Here further completed training with the International A.L.E.R.T. Academy in Emergency Response, Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement. Jevenn worked as an oilfield safety officer and then served as the general manager of a transloading company in Saskatchewan. Although Jevenn was enrolled in law school, he has followed his true passion and joined Canada’s police force. He is currently stationed with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Strathcona County, Alberta.
Citizen Freedoms and the Role of the Police
While Canada’s police forces work to keep us safe, they must respect the Charter rights of citizens while doing so. In this session, students will be taken along on the journey of a home-educated student into Canada’s most iconic police force. They will then get a behind-the-scenes look into the police’s role in maintaining our free society. Constable Kowalchuk will lead students through role-play scenarios that will provide practical pointers on common interactions with police.
Hon. John C. (Jack) Major C.C., Q.C.
Justice Major served on the Supreme Court of Canada from 1992 to 2005. During that era, he ruled on cases ranging from assisted suicide to the death penalty to Quebec separation. Prior to being appointed a Judge in 1991, Justice Major was a leading lawyer in Alberta and was involved in several cases that brought about significant changes in local, provincial and federal policies and legislation. Since retiring from the Supreme Court, Justice Major has rejoined his former law firm of Bennet Jones in Calgary.
The role of the judge in preserving Canada’s free society
Each day in courtrooms across Canada, Judges make decisions that affect individuals’ freedoms. These decisions affect not only the individuals before the Judge, but can also affect the rights and freedoms of Canadians. Justice Major will give students a behind-the-scenes perspective on the very important role Judges play in maintaining a free society. Students will have an opportunity to poses questions and gain further perspective from a man who spent 13 years sitting on Canada’s highest court.
Jason Kenney is a Canadian politician. He became involved in politics early and by age 29 was elected as a Member of Parliament. In 2006, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for the Prime Minister of Canada. He held the post of Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism from 2008 to 2013 when he became Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism. In 2015, he was named Minister of National Defence. In 2016, Mr. Kenney resigned his seat in Parliament and focused his attention on provincial politics, announcing his intention to run for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta in that party's 2017 leadership election.
Federal and Provincial Politics
Like it or not, politics is an essential part of our society and it is where critical battles for freedom are regularly fought. How does politics work? How can you be involved and even prepare to run for elected office? Be prepared for an inspiring presentation from one of Canada’s leading politicians, with opportunity for direct interaction.
Paige MacPherson is the Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Throughout her career she’s had a passion for giving a voice to taxpayers and pushing for government accountability. Before joining the CTF as Alberta Director in 2015, Paige worked as an elections reporter and TV host for Sun News Network, and in communications for the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, where she started a university outreach program. Paige earned her degree in political science from Dalhousie University in Halifax, and is working toward her Master of Public Policy at the University of Calgary.
Lobbying Government and the Power of the Media
Canada’s democracy does not function properly without citizens being informed and engaged. Throughout Canada, there are numerous organizations that address public issues and seek to influence government policy. Through her experience in media and in lobbying the government, Paige will open students’ eyes to dynamics that move and shape policy in Canada.
After a day of learning about the pillars of Canada’s freedom, it’s time for students to apply their knowledge by drafting, debating and passing a Bill through the Model Parliament, presided over by Speaker John Carpay.