Celebrating our Rights & Freedoms at Law Day

Canadian Bar Association hosted their annual Law Days at the St. Paul courthouse on Friday, welcoming school kids and community members to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms. Law Day held mock trials, information sessions, and an official swearing in for new Canadian citizens.

Renée Moore, a representative for the Canadian Bar Association said it a positive atmosphere to show what Canadian law is, “people can come down and check out what’s there is to offer.”

Community members and students are able to tour the courthouse, check out the law library, view the cells, take pictures with law enforcement officers, and the police vehicles.

Lawyers offered their time for “So You Want to be a Lawyer?” and answered questions from members of the public and student whom may be interested in entering the law field.

There was a mock sentencing circle, where the offender faced his/her victims and the victims faced the offender. The Crown, judge, and defense lawyers were involved in the mock presentation. “It’s a very different kind of sentencing,” said Moore, “a restorative justice type. It’s great for people to see and get a different aspect of the court world.”

“This is our fifth year for Law Day, in St. Paul and it’s our second ceremony for swearing in Canadians,” Moore explained the new citizens wrote their exams in the morning and at 1:30 pm, were sworn in as Canadians.

MLA for Two Hills-St. Paul-Lac La Biche, David Hanson, Reeve for the County of St.  and Mayor of St. Paul Maureen Miller took part in the swearing in ceremony.

MLA Hanson said it’s his second year attending Law Day, he was most looking forward to the swearing in ceremonies. “Last year, we attended and welcomed in a bunch of new Canadians, today is the same.”

Hanson had met a few people prior to the ceremonies, “we have people from the Philippians and people from the Ukrainian. I’m looking forward to them being sworn in.”

Mayor of St. Paul, Maureen Miller was at the swearing in ceremony, “it’s an honour to have so many people choose to be Canadians and to have that honoured here is a remarkable experience.”

The mayor said she felt privileged to witness the enjoyment in people’s eyes as they became Canadian citizens.

For St. Paul, Law Day is an important part of the community, said Mayor Miller, “Law Day showcases what we do have. A lot of people may not be aware of all the services we have to offer here.”

Reeve for the County of St. Paul, Steve Upham, was also at the courthouse for the event, “it’s great to showcase the legal system we have within our greater community. It’s a special day as we welcome new residents into Canada.”

“It symbolizes that they are full-true Canadians. They have the ability to vote and take part in our democratic system. That’s very meaningful for people who come from countries that didn’t have that freedom to discern who they wanted as their leaders,” the reeve called it a very important day.