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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Magna Carta Day Passes Second Reading Today

Earlier this week, Burlington MPP Jane McKenna introduced Bill 201, the Magna Carta Day Act (In Memory of Julia Munro, MPP), 2020. The Act, if passed would proclaim June 15th of each year Magna Carta Day in Ontario.

“Julia Munro was passionate about the constitution and proper governance. She recognized the importance of the Magna Carta in our democracy, which is why she first introduced the Magna Carta Day Act on July 23rd, 2014,” said MPP Jane McKenna. “Six years later, I’m proud to introduce her Bill again, this time in her memory, as the longest serving female member of the Ontario Legislature.”

The Magna Carta or more simply the Great Charter of Freedoms, has been described as the greatest constitutional document of all time. Its principles are ingrained within the English system of common law, and served as the foundation to England, and later Canada’s, constitutional monarchy. The principles of Magna Carta are also reflected in the Canadian Constitution and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

On June 15th, 1215, King John affixed his seal to the Magna Carta, placing limits on the monarch’s power to overrule the law and protected the rights of ordinary people. The document introduced key principles that hold true in democratic societies today, including equal justice for everyone, freedom from unlawful detention, the right to a trial by jury, and rights for women.

The fundamental traditions of equality and freedom that characterize our democratic society are rooted in Magna Carta — particularly that nobody, not even the Crown, is above the law.

“Before entering politics, Julia taught high school history for 24 years. She recognized the importance of Magna Carta as the foundation of our democracy. For this reason, the Magna Carta Day Act, introduced by the member for Burlington is a fitting tribute. Julia first introduced this Bill because she believed the promise of Magna Carta was central to a healthy democracy,” said York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney who paid tribute to Munro in the Legislature today.

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