Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Letter to a Friend Who Opposes the Concept of "Canadian Values"

Dear John,

It is good to hear from you again.

I think it would be fair to say that "Canadian values" have implicit within them "universal values." Of course every nation that chooses to become a member of the United Nations is required to acknowledge the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Canada has also ratified covenants that elaborate on the UDHR starting with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.  Once ratified, the values underlying these treaties have to be accepted as "Canadian values."  But the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does have implicit in it certain values which while fully consistent with "universal values" are distinctive to Canada.

We reject any national values that are at cross purposes to universal values.  But Canada supports the idea that nations have values which reflect their own cultural traditions. But universal values always trump national values.

Best regards.


No comments: