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Third annual march celebrates Canadian Charter of Rights ahead of 35th anniversary

(Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130)

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Dozens took to the seawall in Vancouver today for the third annual “Rights and Freedoms” march.

The march calls for people from all backgrounds to celebrate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which marks its 35th anniversary this year.

Acting Mayor of the City of Vancouver Raymond Louie says the march signifies the struggles Canadians went through to make Canada what it is today.

“I think it’s important not just for people who were part of it, but for future generations to understand that freedom comes at a cost, and we need to as a society remember what those costs were and not repeat the mistakes that were made in the past,” said Louie, who adds people need to stand up and speak up for each other.

“Whether you’re from an ethnic background or not, we’re people after all, and this is the Canada I think people want to have for themselves and their children and their grandchildren.”

Organizers and activists like Don Chapman say recent incidents like threats to synagogues across the country, including here in Vancouver, are examples that there are still people who aren’t as understanding of other communities and races.

Chapman says Canadians complacent and don’t realize they don’t all have equal rights… until something happens.

He says the march is held to celebrate the Charter and what Canada has accomplished so far, but says it’s also a spread Martin Luther King’s message from the civil rights movement.

“His words were not made for one country, but made for all countries. So we are taking those words and his message of love and peace and to stand up for one another, ad bringing those words to Canada.”