In sum, while Magna Carta certainly represents the enduring nature of our legal order, it also underscores just how fragile the rule of law is. As we rightly celebrate what we have held onto for so long, we must also recognize what could have been lost. Magna Carta, like our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is by itself only a document and is therefore only as good as those who are tasked with interpreting and enforcing its provisions.
This ethic came under attack in the 20th century when Frans Boaz and Bertrand Russell introduced moral and cultural relativism. Boaz wrote there were no inferior or superior cultures, that all were equal and couldn't be ordered in an evolutionary scale. Russell believed the survival of democracy required tolerance and understanding of others.
The Canadian government introduced (another) sweeping omnibus budget bill on Thursday, changing as many as 60 different acts in a way that eliminates oversight from parliamentary committees. One of those acts -- the Navigable Waters Protection Act -- is one of Canada's most important and oldest pieces of environmental legislation. It preserved the age-old right of every individual to navigate Canadian waterways. The simple act of dipping oneʼs paddle into the water and pulling, propelling oneself forward -- such is an act that defines "Canada."