Aaron Wudrick explains how redefining policy matters as fundamental rights would make an already flawed Charter even worse:
Most people who propose to include this or that policy in the Charter simply feel very strongly about it, and therefore seek to handcuff any politician with the opposite view. This is profoundly undemocratic. Just because something is really, really important does not necessarily mean it should be Charter protected. When people start to conflate fundamental rights like free speech and "life, liberty and security of person" with policy preferences such as the appropriate tax rate, the way health care is delivered, or what the acceptable level of pollution is - we end up trivializing fundamental rights. I, for example, feel very very strongly about low taxes. I think they are essential to the prosperity and well-being of all Canadians. Yet I would never for a moment suggest that low taxes be put in the Charter.
Worse yet, it would render the Charter unworkable while delivering more legislative power into the hands of the judiciary, who would receive more Charter challenges and spend more time and resources making policy decisions. Legislatures have trouble enough balancing competing policies, but they have the resources to study and debate them, and act on their own through legislation. Courts can only act on the cases before them, and if hard cases make bad law, we'd get plenty of bad law.
It would be a policy straitjacket out of which politicians could not escape to meet changing social and economic needs: it would be a document much like the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which, by entrenching policies such as collective bargaining, social assistance, and consumer protection, reduces the ability of governments to remedy severe economic distress and its attendant civil unrest.
Turning wants into needs and then into rights reduces all rights to a matter of power--namely, who has the power to enforce his wants. Human dignity and moral virtue become irrelevant.
Such a Charter would be a social engineer's dream, and our society's nightmare.