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Roger Tasse, Architect of Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, Dies At 85

05/21/2017 02:22 EDT | Updated 05/21/2017 02:23 EDT
Colin McConnell via Getty Images
CANADA - MARCH 24: Patrick O'Callaghan (Right) and W. Roger Tasse (Photo by Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

MONTREAL — Roger Tasse, who is considered the architect of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, died in hospital Saturday in Gatineau, Que.

He was 85.

His wife, Renee Marcil Tasse, was at his bedside. She told The Canadian Press Tasse had been receiving dialysis treatment for several years and that doctors had been closely monitoring his condition since discovering water in his lungs.

In 1980 Tasse led a team of Justice Ministry lawyers tasked with helping political leaders reach an agreement on The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

roger tasse

Patrick O'Callaghan (right) and Roger Tasse (left) speak in 1994. (Photo: Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

In 1982 he was deputy justice minister in the Liberal government of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau where he played a lead role in the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution.

During his long career in federal politics Tasse also served as deputy solicitor general in the 1970s, then attorney general. In the 1980s and 90s he represented the government in negotiations of the Meech Lake accord and subsequent Charlottetown accord.

In 1992, when he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Quebec at Hull, he said the biggest challenge he faced in drafting the Charter was "to find the right balance between, on the one hand, greater protection of our fundamental freedoms and, on the other, the demands of the common good.''

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