Eugenics & The Non-Therapeutic Sterilization of Incapable Ad

Eugenics & The Non-Therapeutic Sterilization of Incapable Adults
Eugenics is the science of improving the population by controlled breeding for desirable inherited characteristics.The horrible effects of Canada's eugenics movement, which spanned from 1885 to 1945, still resound through Canadian courts to this day.The eugenics movement spawned the horrific practices of government-enforced, involuntary sterilization programs such as the Sexual Sterilization Act passed in Alberta.Alberta was one of two provinces (B.C. 1933), to pass such legislation.
The Sexual Sterilization Act, which was introduced in 1928 in Alberta, was based on the principals of eugenics, meaning “good birth”.In the 1920's, it was believed that if only those people with desirable genes bore children, the human race as a whole would improve.The Alberta government and pressure groups including the United Farm Women of Alberta sought to limit the reproduction of many kinds of people, including visible minorities and the “feeble-minded”. They associated much of the rise of crime, poverty, alcoholism and other vices to these people.
Regardless of the reasons in support of sterilization at the time, restricting an individual's ability to reproduce is viewed as a violation of their constitutional rights.It is for this reason that the province repealed its Sexual Sterilization Act in 1972.
Leilani Muir was a victim of Alberta's former sterilization laws.Her case was brought before Alberta Provincial Court in 1996.Her case set a precedent for many future settlements awarded to other sexual sterilization victims.In 1999, the Alberta government offered an $82-million compensation package and apology to those who were forcibly sterilized under the Sexual Sterilization Act of 1928.
Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we are guaranteed equal protection under the law (S.7).This right has come under severe scruti…