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54 U.N.B.L.J. 3 (2005)
Rights Gone Wild

handle is hein.journals/unblj54 and id is 9 raw text is: RIGHTS GONE WILD
Vaughan Black*
In the Western democracies charters of rights abound, for cheap moralizing has
become the order of the da)
Robert A. Samek'
1. Introduction
(a) The Appearance of Right-to-Hunt Acts
Grumbling about the advent of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms twen-
ty-three years ago, Bob Samek observed that we hadn't bled, struggled or even asked
for it, didn't need it, hadn't a clue what it meant, and would not - except maybe for
the lawyers and judges among us - benefit from it. He argued as well that it was mis-
conceived, clichrd and badly written as well.
But at least in 1982 we knew that the Charter had arrived; government-spon-
sored public spectacles and cheerleading national media made sure of that. It is not
clear that even that much can be said for the subject of this paper, the right-to-hunt
legislation that has recently crept almost unnoticed into provincial statute books.
Within the past three years, the provincial legislatures of Canada's three most popu-
lous provinces have lengthened our list of legal and political liberties by affirming
that the capacity of humans to stalk and kill non-humans for enjoyment is among the
former's cherished fundamental rights. British Columbia's Hunting and Fishing
Heritage Act,2 quoted here in full, will serve as an instance of this curious develop-
* Earlier versions of this paper were presented as seminars at the Peter Wall Institute at the University
of British Columbia, the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria, and Dalhousie Law School. I
thank participants in those seminars for their comments. I also thank Helene Wheeler and Alex
Schwartz for excellent research assistance.
I Untrenching Fundamental Rights (1982) 27 McGill L.J. 755 at 761.
2 S.B.C. 2002, c. 79 (in force November 2002).

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