Tree symbolizes constitutional growth and change

A tree is the perfect symbol of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, says law student Lama Sabbagh.

“Like a tree, the charter grows and changes, evolving with society,” she said Tuesday as members of the Charter Project sponsored a tree planting outside the Ron W. Ianni Faculty of Law Building.

Plus, she added, the tree is a red maple, a symbol of Canadian identity.

The Charter Project is a nationwide educational and public awareness campaign aimed at involving Canadians in discussion of the constitutional document, which came into force on April 17, 1982. The students are promoting videos featuring celebrities observing the anniversary.

“More than anything, we want people to engage in a dialogue about what the Charter means for our society,” said Robert Onley, the project’s public relations officer. “People are protesting right now to obtain the freedoms that are enshrined for all Canadians in this document.”

The project is an undertaking of the Windsor Law graduating class of 2012. Sabbagh says the tree will provide a permanent reminder of the students’ involvement.

“We will be able to come back and visit it when we have our class reunions,” she said.

A plaque at the tree’s base reads:

This living tree was dedicated on April 17, 2012, the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It recognizes the Charter Project, which was created by the Windsor Law Class of 2012.

Learn more about the Charter Project on its Web site.

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