The right to what?
A curious story in today's National Post says PEI's Liberal administration will start providing abortions because it doesn't believe it can defeat a court challenge claiming abortion is secretly a Charter right. Frankly it sounds like one more case of politicians using judges as a handy excuse to do something they want to do anyway without the hassle of defending it to voters. Time was ministries felt an obligation to defend existing law in court unless they were willing to stand up in the legislature and urge that it be changed or repealed, which arguably contributed to accountability in government. I'm not sure what was wrong with that system. But there's a deeper question here.
Specifically, how can the Charter mandate abortion so clearly that governments fold like cheap lawn furniture before an activists' challenge when (a) it doesn't mention it (b) many of those who wrote the Charter opposed abortion and would be both astounded and horrified to be told that without realizing they'd secretly written it in?
Alternatively, if it's that obvious, why didn't the brave politicians notice and act on it before the challenge was filed?
This sort of disingenuous legislative-judicial two-step is no way to settle important and contentious questions. Instead, it's one more reason we need a real Constitution, based on popular consent, with a real Charter of Rights that guarantees real rights in plain language even citizens can read and understand, with no invisible ink.