World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

R v Big M Drug Mart Ltd

R v Big M Drug Mart Ltd
Supreme Court of Canada
Hearing: March 6–7, 1984
Judgment: April 24, 1985
Full case name Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd.
Citations [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295, 18 D.L.R. (4th) 321, 3 W.W.R. 481, 18 C.C.C. (3d) 385, 37 Alta. L.R. (2d) 97
Docket No. 18125
Prior history Judgment for the defendant in the Court of Appeal for Alberta.
Ruling Appeal dismissed
Holding
The Lord's Day Act violates section 2 of the Charter and is invalid.
Court Membership
Chief Justice: Bora Laskin
Puisne Justices: Roland Ritchie, Brian Dickson, Jean Beetz, Willard Estey, William McIntyre, Julien Chouinard, Antonio Lamer, Bertha Wilson
Reasons given
Majority Dickson J. (paras. 1-151), joined by Beetz, McIntyre, Chouinard and Lamer JJ.
Concurrence Wilson J. (paras. 152-164)
Laskin C.J. and Ritchie and Estey JJ. took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

R v Big M Drug Mart Ltd[1] is a landmark decision by Supreme Court of Canada where the Court struck down the Lord's Day Act for violating section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This case had many firsts in constitutional law including being the first to interpret section 2.

Contents

  • Background 1
  • Ruling 2
  • Footnotes 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5

Background

On Sunday, May 30, 1982 the Calgary store Big M Drug Mart was charged with unlawfully carrying on the sale of goods on a Sunday contrary to the Lord's Day Act of 1906. At trial the store was acquitted and an appeal was dismissed by the Alberta Court of Appeal.

The constitutional question put before the Court was whether the Act infringed the right to freedom of conscience and religion, if so, whether it is justified under section 1 of the Charter, and whether the Act was intra vires (within) Parliament's criminal power under section 91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled that the statute was an unconstitutional violation of section 2 of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, deciding that there was no true secular basis for the legislation and its only purpose was, in effect, to establish a state religious-based requirement, and was therefore invalid. The drug store's victory was made possible by section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, which provides that unconstitutional laws can be found invalid, as opposed to section 24 of the Charter, which is for those whose rights are violated. Inasmuch as a corporation is not a natural person, it cannot have a religion and therefore the corporation's religious freedom was not violated.[2]

In that case, Chief Justice Brian Dickson wrote that this freedom at least includes freedom of religious speech, including "the right to entertain such religious beliefs as a person chooses, the right to declare religious beliefs openly and without fear of hindrance or reprisal, and the right to manifest religious belief by worship and practice or by teaching and dissemination." Freedom of religion would also prohibit imposing religious requirements.

The Lord's Day Act was the first law in Charter jurisprudence to be struck down in its entirety, and some of the section 1 analysis in the decision played a role in developing the Oakes test in the later case R. v. Oakes.

Footnotes

  1. ^ R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd. 1985 CANLII 69, [1985] 1 SCR 295 (24 April 1985), Supreme Court (Canada)
  2. ^ Peter W. Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada, 2003 Student Ed. (Scarborough, Ontario: Thomson Canada Limited, 2003), pp. 742-743.

See also

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.