The Perpetual Sabbath: Securing Sunday Shopping in Nova Scotia

“Constitutions are made for men and not men for constitutions.” —Pierre Elliott Trudeau[1]˜

“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” —Jesus Christ[2]

“However,” Trudeau continues, “one tends to forget that constitutions must also be made by men and not by force of brutal circumstance or blind disorder. In this arena, more than any other, one must know where a policy leads.”[3] The policy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in the arena of Canadian identity, promulgates the necessity of equality in a government[4] reaching to and effecting its people; it is a policy that  Trudeau ensured was to lead into the future,[5] a policy undeniable and guaranteed, “… subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”[6] It can be deduced from the quote above that Trudeau’s plan and goal for a constitution was a document that ensured such rights to all men, as that is who such things are made for.[7]

The Charter provides for citizens numerous fundamental freedoms,[8] the one which will be discussed within this examination of its impacts is that of conscience and religion.[9] The Charter also provides for remedy[10] of any government infringement of a citizens’ rights, and may even allow a government in Canada to override the freedoms therein the Charter set out, using the ‘notwithstanding clause’,[11] a tool which Trudeau though, never intended to be included in the document.[12] Beyond the scope of the government’s ability to deny certain rights is the precept in the remainder of 1982’s Constitution Act[13] which proclaims the supremacy of these constitutional documents[14] and which recognizes the powers of the Supreme Court of Canada to entirely invalidate[15] those laws and policies which cannot be “…demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”[16] Of great note is the first occasion when Canada’s Supreme Court examined any of the fundamental freedoms[17] drawn up by Trudeau in the Charter.

The first fundamental freedom to ever be decided on by the Supreme Court was the freedom of conscience and religion.[18] Involving the validity and “ … demonstrably justified … ”[19] nature of Sunday shopping regulations and state preference of a religion[20] in a “ … free and democratic society”,[21] R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd. not only found Canada’s day-of-rest laws illegal, but highly in conflict with the guarantees of the Charter. In 1985, when that case was heard and decided, the legislation was struck down with the Court finding no secular purpose or benefit to it.[22] Every province in Canada immediately withdrew its enforcement of such outdated and biased legislation and began to permit Sunday shopping and activity.[23] There is but one province where such legislation is still in force, in invalid operation;[24] Nova Scotia’s day-of-rest laws are unconstitutional.

Much evidence can be found in support of this, namely, the Lord’s Day Act and the Supreme Court of Canada decision invalidating it and all similar legislation; an examination of Nova Scotia’s still-existing equivalent to this law and the lobby group which fought to pass such laws; finally, the implications of the Canadian constitutional documents on the right to freedom of conscience and religion, and the powers vested in those documents to overthrow such biased laws as that in question, among other relevant Charter guarantees.

To begin, the predominant law in Canada which made the observance of Sunday not as a mere day-of-rest whereon no commerce or certain recreational activities could occur, but also an enforceable observance by all of Sunday as a holy day, the Lord’s Day Act was the poster-child for state religious preference.[25] Introduced in 1907 by the government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and only after much extensive and fervent lobbying by the Lord’s Day Alliance, an organization which will be discussed later; the law provided for fines and other legal repercussions if any person or business was to operate on a Sunday and too, if the day was not being observed as one of rest with the Christian doctrine of the Sabbath in mind.[26] This law was in effect, unchallenged for some seventy-eight years before 1985 when the case of Big M Drug Mart arose. On May 30, 1982, which was a Sunday, a drug store in Calgary, Alberta operated just like it did any other day of the week. After it was observed that the store had sold some of its goods, local police charged it “ … with unlawfully carrying on the sale of goods on a Sunday contrary to the Lord’s Day Act of 1906.”[27] Going to trial, Big M Drug Mart was acquitted, but the provincial government of Alberta was determined to put the store and its owners to justice and appealed the acquittal. Subsequently the province’s Court of Appeal threw the case out. Consequently, the Alberta government petitioned the Supreme Court of Canada, determined to uphold their charges. At issue was the Lord’s Day Act’s relation to the Charter’s guarantee of freedom of conscience and religion and if the government of Alberta was permitted by the Charter’s ‘notwithstanding clause’ to override that right. The Supreme Court of Canada, on April 24, 1985, ruled that the provincial courts had been correct in their decisions in the matter previously, and that, indeed, the Lord’s Day Act was not only unlawful, but unconstitutional, and outdated.[28] With regard to the implication this decision had on Nova Scotia, it must be noted that, invoking the right guaranteed them by section 52 (1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, [29] the Supreme Court of Canada automatically invalidated the Lord’s Day Act, a piece of legislation which was national, applying to all provinces and citizens nationwide, it was represented and enforced in each province by each province’s authority, when it found it unconstitutional, in accordance with section 52. It generally went by the same name, Lord’s Day Act, in each province, with some variation in title, e.g. Lord’s Day Act of New Brunswick, Lord’s Day Act of Ontario, et cetera. Nova Scotia, of course had one too, and still continues to, but it is enacted under a different title now, the Nova Scotia Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act.[30] Once the Supreme Court had ruled in the Big M matter, the Lord’s Day Acts were almost simultaneously repealed in each province, as whether or not they were subjected to repeal, the acts had no enforcement any longer and citizens ever since have been free to shop and engage in all recreational activities on Sundays, and no longer can any provincial or the federal government show state preference of a certain religion, which is what R. v. Big M Drug Mat Ltd. found the Act did Interestingly, Nova Scotia is the only province—the only jurisdiction in North America—which still enforces such a law and does not allow shopping or certain recreational activities on Sunday.[31] By continuing to recognize Sunday as a day-of-rest and legally consider it a holy day[32], Nova Scotia is assigning their sanction, their endorsement and approval of a religion and that religion’s day-of-rest. Of course, Sunday is the Sabbath day of Christianity.[33] So the government of Nova Scotia is favouring Christianity, and by enforcing by law that faith’s holy day, all citizens of the province must obey that faith. Also of note is that R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd. found that the province of Alberta, by charging Big M, and by citing that charge under the Lord’s Day Act, had been forcing a business to belong to a faith; the Supreme Court ruled along with the invalidity of the Act, that no business or corporation can belong to a faith, regardless of its affiliations. Alberta had basically deemed Big M to be Christian and stating that the business was in violation of the pro-Christian Lord’s Day Act, had been breaking both spiritual and secular law.[34] In other words, by forcing businesses to close on Sunday, Nova Scotia is in yet another way, violating that landmark 1985 ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada; Nova Scotia is forcing businesses to be Christian, and according to the Court, this is not possible, in any way. Already, it is clear Nova Scotia is in violation of Canada’s constitution.

With it now established that the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest court in the nation, has found—twenty years ago now it should be noted, in 1985—that legislation in Canada enforcing the sanctity and observance of Sunday as a spiritual and secular day-of-rest, legislation which forced the closure of businesses and recreational activities on Sunday nationwide, to be invalidated on account of its unconstitutionality, and that all provinces in Canada have obeyed that decision and repealed their Sunday legislation, except Nova Scotia, and the fact that Nova Scotia is not merely the only province Canada without Sunday shopping, but the only jurisdiction in North America without it, one can determine that the thesis of this examination—that Nova Scotia’s day-of-rest laws are unconstitutional—is quickly being verified and proven to be true. To continue this exploration of the seemingly endless factors showing that the province of Nova Scotia is at grave unconstitutional fault, let it now be described, the Nova Scotia Retail Business Uniform Closing day Act; the law which is essentially and literally unconstitutionally in force in that province. The Nova Scotia Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act is the Nova Scotia law which prohibits shopping and certain commercial and recreational activities on Sundays.[35] As stated before, it is the only day-of-rest/anti-Sunday shopping law left in force in Canada.[36] Also, it is essentially the mere renamed and slightly reworded Nova Scotia Lord’s Day Act, 1805, which was one of the very first such laws in all of Canada.[37] How such a law came into being has been lightly touched upon previously. The Lord’s Day Alliance of Canada, a lobby group founded in 1888 to promote and lobby Sunday as a day-of-rest, the group had convinced after much effort, Laurier’s government to pass the Lord’s Day Act. This group was still active in 1982, when the Charter was introduced and during hat year, changed its name to the less obvious one of People for Sunday Association of Canada. It operates as lay organization under the care of the Presbyterian Church and their official objective is to “combat Sabbath secularization”; restrict Sunday trade, labor and recreation, and promised in 1906, a legislated weekly rest day, which they succeeded in obtaining for Canada. Despite their influence and success, the Lord’s Day Act met very strong opposition, even back in 1907 and has been struggling to secure enforcement and reintroduction of the Lord’s Day Act ever since.[38] All of this adversely effects Nova Scotian law and society because it hinders economic pursuit and advancement; it creates numerous inconveniences for people; limits employment opportunities, complicating shift work and availability; conflicts with the promotion and maintenance of multi-cultural heritage as guaranteed by the Charter; and, the Nova Scotia Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act reflects old values, failing to reflect changing ones. Nova Scotia’s day-of-rest laws hinder economic pursuit and advancement by forcing businesses to close on Sunday, which forces business owners to lose one day of possible profits and income, similarly, workers lose one day of possible income and profit. This law creates numerous inconveniences for people by hindering their access to retail services they might otherwise need or wish to make use of on a Sunday, and forces people to use Sunday as a day off when another day might be more feasible. Relating again to business, Nova Scotia’s day-of-rest laws limit employment opportunities; when certain citizens are only available to work on the weekend, they can only work one day instead of two; if they have shift work and their personal circumstances allow them only to work on Sunday, they will not get a shift for that day that week, and numerous other conflicts arise. More severely, Nova Scotia’s day-of-rest laws conflict with the promotion and maintenance of multi-cultural heritage within the province as outlined in the Charter[39] By sanctioning and endorsing Sunday, the Christian day-of-rest, as the spiritual and secular day-of-rest in the province, Nova Scotia not only ignores all other religions in the province and their respective days-of-rest, it also prefers Christianity by marking Sunday as such a day. It is saying either that all Nova Scotians are Christian, should be, or if not Christian, then their differing religion is of little or no value in comparison to the state one they are virtually deeming Christianity to be. Finally, the Nova Scotia Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act is painfully outdated. As mentioned earlier, it is the fairly unchanged artifact of the very first Lord’s Day Act of 1761 in the province. These constitute the most publicized reasons why Sunday shopping is unconstitutional. Yet there is still one more defining examination which will undoubtedly be indicative of the crime being committed by Nova Scotia’s government by violating the Supreme Court’s decision invalidating day-of-rest legislation.

There is one final, supreme example of constitutional authority outlawing the existence of Nova Scotia’s day-of-rest legislation. It is supreme in the literal sense that it is the constitution of Canada, particularly the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The highest law in the land provides for the freedom of conscience and religion,[40] the “ … preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians[,]”[41] and the deletion of all laws invalidated by the Supreme Court of Canada.[42] Nova Scotia has failed its obligation of complying with the Charter, in spite of all this authority vested in that supreme document. There is the argument that with the ‘notwithstanding clause’, Nova Scotia is permitted to commit these violations against citizens and their Charter rights. One must only look closer at the Charter to see that this is not the case; the Charter, does indeed, allow governments in Canada to override the rights in section 2, including that in question of freedom of conscience and religion, but “ … only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” If a law which violates section 2 cannot be proven to operate within those “ … reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society[,]” then it is not valid, and certainly not constitutional. Fortunately, this is what has happened to the Lord’s Day Act by way of the Big M decision of 1985 by the Supreme Court of Canada, which found that “The appellant [the Government of Alberta] did not establish that the Lord’s Day Act constituted a reasonable limit, demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society and therefore it cannot be saved pursuant to s. 1 of the Charter.”[43] Since the Lord’s Day Act could not pass the test outlined in section 1 of the Charter, it was not a valid use of the ‘notwithstanding clause’, which, in turn, means that the Lord’s Day Act—and its equivalents, for it has already been established above that it was a federal law existing in each province—has no legal authority; it is unenforceable, useless. The importance of the Big M decision is that it was not only the first visit of section 2 by the Supreme Court as outlined earlier, but that it was the first law entirely struck down and invalidated by the Charter. This set a huge legal and religious precedent in Canada; no longer did any law exist that favoured Sunday, the Christian Sabbath, as a day-of-rest. There are other parts, too, of the Charter which can be used to show the invalidity of Nova Scotia’s day-of-rest legislation. Refer to sections 1, 2, 2 (a), 27, 31, 32, and 33 (2) of the Charter; each of these sections were cited in Big M and each is a bold statement of why such legislation is in defiance of each.[44] Considering that the Charter is the most important law in Canada, Nova Scotia cannot propose to override it, especially since the Supreme Court has already determined that it will not work for a province to enforce the Lord’s Day Act and its equivalents. Nova Scotia is blatantly violating the laws which are above it.

It must now be evident that the Supreme Court has already ruled—twenty years ago— that day-of-rest legislation violates the Charter; that Nova Scotia is the only jurisdiction in Canada and North America where such legislation still exists; that Nova Scotia’s day-of-rest legislation favours Christianity and discriminates against the multi-cultural heritage of the province and the nation; that such laws in that province hinder economic pursuit and advancement, create numerous inconveniences for its citizens, limits employment opportunities, conflicts with the change in values of society over time; that the Charter is above all other law in Canada and that the remainder of Canada’s constitution allows the courts to invalidate violating laws; that Nova Scotia, in spite of the supremacy of the Charter, is still enforcing legislation that is derogatory to all of its citizens, that much action must now be taken. All in Nova Scotia who value and recognize the supremacy of Canada’s constitution must take up the peaceful arms of research, law, and interpretation and fight the injustice their province is propagating. Immediate effort must be made to end this perpetual Sabbath in the province of Nova Scotia; it has been enduring since 1761 and has not been valid or needed since 1985, as the facts presented have stated. The evidence could not be more accessible and relevant. Nova Scotia’s day-of-rest laws are unconstitutional.

“Not life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but peace, order, and good government are what the national government of Canada guarantees.” — W. L. Morton[45]

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING

BOOKS & PERIODICALS

Ash, R. (Ed.). (2001). The top ten of everything, 2002: Canadian edition. Toronto: Dorling Kindersley.

Burey-Heslop, A. (1983). Understanding the charter: A Nova Scotia guide to the charter of rights and freedoms. Halifax, NS: Public Legal Education Society of Nova Scotia.

Cohen, A., & Granatstein, J. L. (Eds.). (1998). Trudeau’s shadow: The life and legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Toronto: Random House of Canada.

Colombo, J. R. (Ed.). (1992). The Canadian global almanac 1993: A book of facts. Toronto: Macmillan Canada.

Constitution and constitutional law. (1988). In The new encyclopaedia Britannica, fifteenth edition (Vol. 16, p. 692). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

Genesis. Holy Bible: King James Version, Self-pronouncing. (n.d.). Cleveland, OH: The World Publishing Company.

Gibbons, R. (1990). Conflict and unity: An introduction to Canadian political life. Scarborough, ON: Nelson Canada.

Guy, J. J. (1986). People, politics, and government – political science: A Canadian perspective. Don Mills: Collier Macmillan Canada, Inc.

Mark. Holy Bible: King James Version, Self-pronouncing. (n.d.). Cleveland, OH: The World Publishing Company.

Meen, S. P. (1985). Lord’s day alliance of Canada. In The Canadian encyclopedia (Vol. 2, p. 1035). Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers.

Morton, W. L. (1961). The Canadian identity. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.

Protestants’ numbers decline by 773,000. (2003, May 14). The Globe and Mail, p. A4.

Smith, W. R. (1886). Sabbath. In The encyclopaedia Britannica: A dictionary of arts, sciences, and general literature, ninth edition (Vol. 21, p. 124). Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black.

Stuart, J. (1982). The law of your land: A practical guide to the new Canadian constitution. Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Enterprises.

Trudeau, P. E. (1968). Federalism and the French Canadians. Toronto: Macmillan.

Williams, J. (1887). Sunday. In The encyclopaedia Britannica: A dictionary of arts, sciences, and general literature, ninth edition (Vol. 22, p. 653). Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black.

WEBSITES

Canadian Department of Heritage. (2003 December 17). Guide to the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms. Human Rights Program. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/canada/guide/overview_e.cfm

Canadian Human Rights Commission. (n.d.). Freedom of religion. Human Rights in Canada: A Historical Perspective. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/en/browseSubjects/freedomReligion.asp

Canadian Protestant Sundays. (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://individual.utoronto.ca/hayes/Canada/sundays.htm

Editors of Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia. (n.d.). R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_v._Big_M_Drug_Mart_Ltd.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. (2003 March 10). Weekly Rest-Day and Sunday Closing. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/lp/spila/clli/eslc/04Weekly_rest_day_and_Sunday_closing.shtml

Landry, P. (2005). Book number two: The awakening – part four: Nova Scotia at the turn of the nineteenth century – Nova Scotian society: The people. History of Nova Scotia. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://www.blupete.com/Hist/NovaScotiaBk2/Part4/Ch02.htm

Magnet, J. E. (2001). Research note: Canada’s constitution prior to 1982. Constitutional Law of Canada Online. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://www.constitutional-law.net/chartersample.html

Mellor, C. (2003 July 21). Liberals say Sunday shopping in store. The Halifax Chronicle-Herald Online. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://www.herald.ns.ca/cgi-bin/home/displaypackstory?2003/07/21+134.raw+PE03Jul21+2

Nova Scotia Department of Finance. (2005). Nova Scotia population by age and sex. Economics and Statistics. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from  http://www.gov.ns.ca/finance/statistics/agency/index.asp?p=1&s=1b

Robertson, V. (2004 October 22). I’ve got the Sunday shopping blues. CBC News: Analysis and Viewpoint. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_robertson/20041022.html

Skuterud, M. (n.d.). The Impact of Sunday Shopping on Employment and Hours of Work in the Retail Industry: Evidence from Canada. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/~skuterud/eer.pdf

Statistics Canada. (2005 January 25). Population by religion, by provinces and territories: 2001 census –  Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick. Canadian Statistics. Retrieved November 26, 2005 from http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/demo30a.htm

STATUTES

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Constitution Act, 1867.

Constitution Act, 1982.

Lord’s Day Act, Consolidated Statutes of Nova Scotia 1805, p. 64. Halifax: John Howe, Printers to the King.

Lord’s Day Act, 1906 (Can.), c. 27.

Lord’s Day (Nova Scotia) Act, R.S.N.S. 1967, c. 172.

Lord’s Day Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. L-13, s. 4.

Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 402, s. 1.

CASE LAW

Birks v. City of Montreal [1955] S.C.R. 799.

Central Alberta Dairy Pool v. Alberta (Human Rights Commission) [1990] 2 S.C.R. 489.

Central Okanagan School District No. 23 v. Renaud [1992] 2 S.C.R 970.

Ontario (Human Rights Commission) v. Simpson-Sears Ltd. [1985] 2 S.C.R. 536.

R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295.

Robertson and Rosetanni v. R. [1963] S.C.R. 651.


[1] From “Federalism and the French Canadians”, 1968. Also found in “Trudeau’s Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau”, edited by Andrew Cohen and J.L. Granatstein, 1998.

[2] “And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”, from Mark ii. 27, King James Version of the Holy Bible.

[3] Same source as footnote 1: From “Federalism and the French Canadians”, 1968. Also found in “Trudeau’s Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau”, edited by Andrew Cohen and J.L. Granatstein, 1998.

[4] See section 32 (1), (a) and (b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: “32. (1)This Charter applies a) to the Parliament and government of Canada … b) to the legislature and government of each province … ”, stating that the Charter applies only to dealings with the governments of Canada.

[5] “The Charter was to apply to the provinces even without their agreement.” According to “Trudeau’s Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau”, edited by Andrew Cohen and J.L. Granatstein, 1998. Trudeau intended that the Charter be beyond the interference of the bickering provincial governments.

[6] Taken directly from section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is against this provision that all disputes arising from the Charter must be weighed in the courts.

[7] It is generally accepted by political scientists and scholars that this quote refers to all citizens of the country, as it is relating to the constitution Trudeau was drafting and this quote was published in that context, being that the constitution applies to all in the nation.

[8] See section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: “2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms … ”

[9] Section 2 (a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms clearly mentions the guarantee of such a right, “2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedom … a) freedom of conscience and religion … ”

[10] Refer to section 24 (1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which declares: “24. (1) Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain … remedy … ”; also see “Guide to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”, a booklet published by the Canadian Department of Canadian Heritage, 2003: “Anyone who believes his or her rights or freedoms under the Charter have been infringed by any level of government can go to court to ask for a remedy.”

[11] Section 33 (1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms permits this: “33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare … [to] … operate notwithstanding a provision included in … this Charter.” Only very rarely is this provision invoked.

[12] “Despite his singular achievement in securing a constitutional Charter for Canada, Trudeau has complained that political exigencies forced him to settle for a flawed instrument, a Charter that failed to put fundamental rights and freedoms beyond the reach of the legislative process. He has been particularly critical of the notwithstanding clause.” From “Trudeau’s Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau”, edited by Andrew Cohen and J.L. Granatstein, 1998.

[13] The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was enacted in 1982 as a part of the whole revision of Canada’s constitutional documents. Refer to the Constitution Act, 1982 for a schedule of all acts and documents it included.

[14] Section 52 (1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 is very important as it declares: “52. (1) The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada[.]”

[15] See again, section 52 (1) of the Constitution Act, 1982: “52. (1) … any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.” It is, naturally, up to the courts to examine issues relating to the Charter, and with this clause, constitutional authority is vested in them to invalidate laws that do not comply with the provisions and values of the Charter.

[16] Again, reference is being made to section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, where this quote is directly taken from.

[17] “R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295, 1985 SCC 15 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 Charter. This case had many firsts in constitutional law including being the first to interpret section 2.” Taken from the article, “R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd.” in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia Online, 2005.

[18] Again, refer to the article “R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd.” in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia Online, 2005.

[19] See section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

[20] Consult the Supreme Court of Canada decision, R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295, 1985 S.C.C. 15 for details.

[21] Again, section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

[22] In the Supreme Court of Canada decision for the case, the Court finds: “The appellant did not establish that the Lord’s Day Act constituted a reasonable limit, demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society and therefore it cannot be saved pursuant to s. 1 of the Charter.” Therefore, it invalidated the law in question. See R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295, 1985 S.C.C. 15 for details.

[23] Since 1985, many legislative changes have occurred which tend to confirm the trend toward the repeal of the Lord’s Day Acts, or the equivalent legislation, and their replacement with provisions that permit commercial activities on Sundays. Provincial legislation and municipal by laws have become increasingly permissive[.]” Taken from the article “Weekly Rest-Day and Sunday Closing”, by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2003.

[24] According to former Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader Danny Graham in a 2003 issue of the Halifax Chronicle Herald newspaper, “Nova Scotia is the only jurisdiction in all of North America without some form of Sunday shopping,”

[25] See R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295, 1985 S.C.C. 15 for a thorough description of the law; also consult the article “R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd.” in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia Online, 2005.

[26] The Canadian Encyclopedia, 1985, has one of the most informative accounts of the Lord’s Day Alliance and how the Lord’s Day Act was passed in its article, “Lord’s Day Alliance of Canada”.

[27] See R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295, 1985 S.C.C. 15 for a thorough description of the law; also consult the article “R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd.” in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia Online, 2005.

[28] See R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295, 1985 S.C.C. 15 for a thorough description of the law; also consult the article “R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd.” in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia Online, 2005.

[29] See again, section 52 (1) of the Constitution Act, 1982: “52. (1) … any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.” It is, naturally, within the jurisdiction of the courts to determine the validity of laws and how they comply with the provisions of the Charter.

[30] “The predominant statute …  is the federal Lord’s Day Act. Because it makes the non-observance of Sunday as a day of rest a criminal offence, it has been deemed a valid exercise of the federal’s power over criminal law. … The Lord’s Day Act … always affected the constitutional powers of both levels of government in the labour law field.” From the article “Weekly Rest-Day and Sunday Closing” by the Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, 2003. The remainder of this article goes on to describe the names of each provincial equivalent when it was in force, and a brief description of Nova Scotia’s still-enacted law.

[31] According to former Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader Danny Graham in a 2003 issue of the Halifax Chronicle Herald newspaper, “Nova Scotia is the only jurisdiction in all of North America without some form of Sunday shopping,” Also see the article “Weekly Rest-Day and Sunday Closing” by the Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, 2003. It outlines the Sunday procedures in each province as they are today. Nova Scotia still has no Sunday shopping.

[32] Consult the Nova Scotia Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act which lists certain days, namely Sunday, which are differentiated between being ‘holy days’ and ‘holidays’.

[33] “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” From Genesis ii. 2-3, found in the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

[34] For more details about the Supreme Court’s interpretation, consult the official decision, R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295, 1985 S.C.C. 15.

[35] “2 (e) “uniform closing day” means … (vii) Sunday[.]3 (1) No person shall on a uniform closing day (a) sell, offer for sale or purchase any goods or services by retail; or (b) admit the public to any premises where a retail business is carried on except as otherwise provided in this Act.” From sections 2 (e), (vii) and 1 (a), (b) of the Nova Scotia Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act.

[36] “Nova Scotia, the province I proudly call home, has the distinct honour of being the only remaining province in Canada to prohibit Sunday shopping.” From the article “I’ve got the Sunday Shopping blues” by Vicki Robertson, found on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News Online website, 2004.

[37] “Sundays were preserved as days of rest and prayer. The Lord’s Day Act dates back to 1761.54 No shops could be open; no labour; and, no sports…. see The Consolidated Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1805 (Halifax: John Howe, Printers to the King, 1805), p. 64.” Taken from “History of Nova Scotia” by Peter Landry, 2005. Also, the article “Weekly rest-Day and Sunday Closing” by the Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2003.

[38] This information relating to the Lord’s Day Alliance of Canada has all been obtained from the article “Lord’s Day Alliance of Canada” found in the Canadian Encyclopedia, 1985.

[39] “27. This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.” As found in section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. People of all races, religions and ethnic backgrounds must be recognized.

[40] Section 2 (a) of the Charter guarantees this: “2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms … a) freedom of conscience and religion[.]”

[41] Taken from section 27 of the Charter.

[42] Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982 states that the constitution is the supreme law of Canada and irrevocable; it also empowers the courts to invalidate any laws inconsistent with the principles of the Charter.

[43] For the complete decision, consult the official ruling, R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295, 1985 S.C.C. 15.

[44] These sections, in order of citation, correspond as follows: “Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms”, “Fundamental Freedoms”, “Freedom of Conscience and Religion”, “Preservation and enhancement of Multicultural Heritage”, “Extension of Legislative Powers”, “Application of Charter” and the “Notwithstanding Clause”. See the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

[45] From “The Canadian Identity”, by W. L. Morton, 1961.