Canada is a free and democratic society, and this philosophy is the foundation of our constitution. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is entrenched in (i.e., part of) our constitution. The Charter defines who we are as Canadians. It represents the morals and values we cherish, and it celebrates the many cultures that have found Canada to be their home. It is a document that represents fairness, tolerance, bilingualism, and multiculturalism. Look at the photographs on pages 88 and 89 of your textbook. Answer the questions under each picture. Describe how living in a free and democratic society affects your citizenship, identity, and quality of life. Rights and Freedoms
Youth Guide to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms right: refers to the things that we deserve as human beings (e.g., the right to clean water, food, shelter, reasonable access to health care) Legal rights are more specific and refer to rights secured by law, which cannot be denied from one situation to the next. In Canada, all citizens have a legal duty to respect the legal rights of others. If citizens feel their legal rights are being violated, they can turn to the law to ensure their legal rights are respected. freedom: implies that no one will interfere with what you want to do No one is obligated to ensure that your freedoms are not being violated. The government has a responsibility to ensure that legal rights do not unjustifiably limit your freedoms. Read the comic “Crossing the Line” on pages 93 through 95 of your textbook. As you read the comic, identify what issues related to the Charter and individual rights and freedoms are explored in the comic. Respond to the question that is addressed on the bottom of page 95.
Analyze the different points of view presented by the lawyers. See how they responded to the Supreme Court of Canada case on the use of drug-sniffing dogs in schools. -Answer the following question: To what extent should individual rights and freedoms be protected in society? Use evidence from the cartoon “Crossing the Line” as well as the lawyers’ quotes to support your personal response
Turn to page 96 in your textbook. Write down in your note book the bullets that describe the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Respond to the blue question mark on the side bar. As you respond, consider the following: The Supreme Court uses the Charter to determine if laws in Canada are fair and reasonable. Judges try to ensure that laws be consistent with the objectives of the Charter and the constitution. It allows people to challenge the application of laws to ensure that judges are upholding Charter rights. Now, read Jean Chrétien’s quote on the bottom of page 96 as he describes a free and democratic society and the importance of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. HOMEWORK Research Canada’s Passenger Protect program. (This is called the Canadian “no-fly list” in Canada’s media.) Open an Internet browser, and use the keywords “Passenger Protect Program.” Investigate the following: Identity Screening Regulations Specified Persons List Reconsideration and Appeals Privacy and Human Rights How does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms affect the decisions made by the government and Canada’s Passenger Protect program?
Your individual rights may be something you take for granted, such as what you believe, what you wear, or who your friends are. Because you live in a free and democratic society, you may not have even questioned what your individual rights are. You may not have realized that, in some countries, people don’t have the same rights as you or that, in Canada, many individuals did not have rights before the Charter. In 1948, the United Nations saw the horrible tragedies that occurred during World War II. People suffered terrible injustices because of their race, religion, or colour of their skin. The United Nations, as a global community, created the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights stating the rights that every human being is entitled to. prejudice: a prejudgment or an opinion, point of view, or perspective that a person makes without understanding all the facts In the Inquiry Activity at the start of this section you investigated human rights issues and milestones in Canada that occurred over the last 100 years. Human rights in Canada have evolved over the last century. There was a time, however, when people suffered great prejudices in their everyday life. Individual Rights
As you have explored different milestones in establishing human rights, you have also been analyzing the historical context in which these changes occurred. Read the “Did You Know?” on page 101 of your textbook for information on historical context.
Think of a time when something has happened to you, a friend, or a family member and you wondered why it happened. When you question why something happens, you are trying to understand how it affects you or what the outcome will be. There is always a cause-and-effect relationship with events. For example, a person may be late for school because the alarm clock did not go off. Or a student may score a low mark on a test because he or she did not study. An individual may win a citizenship award after volunteering with a charitable organization. By investigating the cause and effect of historical events or human rights milestones, and the context in which the events took place, you can better understand issues that will affect quality of life, citizenship, and identity today. Your world and the world of future generations will be a better place. Explore one of the human rights milestones from Canada’s history. The following example will help you to understand cause and effect. What was the event? The Chinese Immigration Act was passed in 1900 to restrict Chinese immigration to Canada. This act included the Chinese head tax, a charge that every Chinese immigrant had to pay. What was the cause of the event? (Think about the people involved.) The Canadian government was concerned that there would be a huge influx of Chinese to Canada. There was a feeling that Chinese customs and way of life would not fit into Canadian society.However, many male Chinese immigrants were welcomed to Canada to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway because of a lack of available Canadian labourers. Many Chinese immigrants planned to bring their families to Canada when they had saved enough money. What were the intended or unintended effects? (What were the consequences for Canadians or on worldviews?) Due to restrictions and the increasing cost of the Chinese head tax, immigration of Chinese decreased. In 1923, a new policy stopped Chinese from coming to Canada. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensures equality rights. Laws that do not apply to all Canadians are called discriminatory. If you need help with how to analyze cause and effect, read pages 104 and 365 of your textbook. There are other examples of cause and effect available on page 365 of your textbook.
Read pages 100 to103 of your textbook as you investigate five examples of human rights issues in Canada. Go to Cause and Effect. You may create your own cause-and-effect chart or use the following handouts. In the previous activity you identified individual rights that Canadians did not have. Through your cause-and-effect charts, you saw how the Indian Act restricted rights and freedoms of First Nations peoples. You saw gender discrimination, as women did not have the right to vote. You saw how the government stripped the individual rights from Ukrainian-Canadians, Italian-Canadians, and Japanese-Canadians by interning them.
On pages 105 through 109 of your textbook, there are four examples where the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was used to challenge government decisions that people felt violated their individual rights. Choose one of the four issues you read about in your textbook to explore. Inquire Notes What is the topic or issue? What is the issue question/statement? What is your position as a writer? Provide at least two supporting facts that support your position. Provide (if possible) two quotes or two examples to support your position. Provide at least two differing viewpoints, perspectives, and/or values of others. Recap general understandings; your position is restated.
Have you ever been employed? Perhaps you have worked as a babysitter, shoveled walks for neighbours, or completed odd jobs for your family. You might have been paid cash for the jobs you had. A rite of passage for youths aged 12 to 14 is often applying and getting a first real job. The thrill of receiving that first paycheque is very exciting. There are many different jobs that youth 12 to 14 years old are legally allowed to have in Alberta. These include jobs such as deliveries for a retail store delivering newspapers or flyers working as clerks in offices or retail stores working certain jobs in restaurants and the food service industry The rules are a little different for youths 15 to 18 years old in Alberta. Youths aged 15 to 18 years may also work in the following locations: retail stores selling food or beverages retail businesses selling gasoline or other petroleum products hotel or motel services (A youth cannot work between midnight and 6 a.m. without parent consent and adult supervision.) Some stores won’t allow youth to work until age 18 due to safety concerns (e.g., building supply stores). Whatever the job is, there are rules that apply. Some rules are established by the employer, such as dress code, the time that the job begins and ends, and work responsibilities. The employer, however, must also follow rules that are established by the provincial government. These rules help to protect the employer and the individual rights of the employees. In this lesson you will examine this question: How has or will the Charter protect my individual rights in the workplace? Individual Rights in the Workplace
In the 1800s, many children did not attend school. They were expected to contribute to the family economy. Sometimes, this meant working for parents in the home or on the farm or it might have been working in industries, such as factories, mills, or mines. Often, children were exploited; they worked in poor conditions for long hours and received little pay. In 1959, the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (UNDRC). These are rights that every child is entitled to. These rights include the following: The right to a name and nationality. The right to affection, love, and understanding. The right to adequate nutrition and medical care. The right to special care for a person with a disability. The right to be among the first to receive protection and relief in times of disaster. The right to be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty, and exploitation. The right to free education and to the opportunity for play and recreation. The right to develop to full potential in conditions of freedom and dignity. The right to be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, and friendship. The right to enjoy these rights regardless of race, colour, sex, religion, and national or social origin. What individual rights do you think the children may not have been guaranteed at the time these photographs were taken? Remember the historical context of these events and how these events helped to shape the values and attitudes Canadians have today.
Chandler’s Mill. In this historical drama, you will see how workers, especially child workers, face poor working conditions, long hours, and low wages. This video illustrates the real issues of child labour, worker’s rights, and union organizing in nineteenth-century Canada. Individual and workplace rights continue to evolve. Sometimes the changes occur as a result of challenges to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Complete the Cause and Effect: Charter Challenge activity. You will identify a workplace Charter challenge and the decision that resulted. Research and investigate two or more Charter challenges that detail how the Charter affects individual rights and the workplace. These challenges could include gender issues, such as women’s rights or equality in the workplace age issues, which include forced retirement based on age race issues, such as hiring people belonging to visible minorities religion issues, such as the Lord’s Day Act You may want to research case studies found within the Human Rights in Canada: A Historical Perspective or your read pages 113 to 115 of your textbook. You may use a cause-and-effect chart—the Charter challenge is the cause, and the decision is the effect. Or you may use a graphic organizer of your choice to record your findings.
Answer “Critical Thinking Challenge” on page 114 of your textbook. • When rights are equal for everyone, people feel that they belong and that they are neither superior nor inferior to anyone else, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, and education. • The challenge for Canada is to build a society that recognizes and includes all citizens and to find ways to address issues when some citizens feel excluded from some aspects of society, such as some Aboriginal peoples, immigrants and refugees, and citizens dealing with poverty. • Individual rights connect to citizenship because those rights are shared by your next door neighbour in Alberta as well as a friend you may have in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. These are rights that generally cannot be taken away from you. These rights are common ground for the actions and responsibilities of all Canadians.
Investigate child labour in the world today. Open an Internet web browser. Enter the key search term “worldmapper” in a search engine. Once you are on the site, search for a map titled “Child Labour.” On the upper right side of the web page, click “Open PDF poster.” Examine the poster and the statistics for child labour in the world today. To further your understanding of the Rights of the Child, go to the following website: http://www.knowyourrights2008.org/index.php?nav=childrens “CyberSchoolBus” “UNICEF: Voices of Youth” “Animated Children’s Rights” Then take the “Children’s Quiz.” How well do you understand the United Nations and its role? Homework
As an active Canadian citizen, you may have made the commitment to be environmentally friendly in all the things you do. You have taken the responsibility to understand what it means to recycle, reduce, and reuse. There are many opportunities for a person to make a commitment. In your community a person may have made the commitment to volunteer at a local animal shelter. The person would have taken the responsibility to help find homes for lost and unwanted pets. In a school, a student may have made the commitment to be part of a school-wide citizenship project. This person may be responsible to get the student body involved to collect warm socks for the homeless. In a home, a person may have made the commitment to make lunches for the members of the home. Responsibilities come in all shapes and sizes. What responsibilities do you have at home, at school, in your community, or as a Canadian citizen? Create a chart, and list the responsibilities under each of the headings: home, school, community, and citizen. If you do not have any responsibilities, perhaps it is time for you to become an active and responsible Canadian! In your chart identify some responsibilities that you would like to have. In this lesson you will examine this question: What responsibilities do individuals have because of the rights and freedoms granted in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Responsibilities
Rights and freedoms come with responsibility. In this cartoon the child is confused about his human rights and his responsibility in his home. Create a new caption for this cartoon. In your caption describe the rights that this child has and the responsibility he has as a member of his family. Rights and freedoms outlined in the Charter are more specific than the rights a person may find in a home and a school. The rules established by a family or a principal determine the rights an individual has. Test yourself to see if you can determine the difference between rights, freedoms, and responsibilities as described in the Charter.
You investigated government legislation and decision making, youth justice, and the role of citizens and organizations. You explored the concepts of fairness, justice, and equity. Canada’s justice system protects all citizens living in Canada. In the justice system all youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who commit a crime are dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Through participation of Canadian citizens and organizations in the justice system, youth are treated fairly and equitably. However, an important responsibility for all youth is to understand the laws that protect them. Play the following games to test your knowledge and understanding of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Legal Eagle Know Your Rights Animation Word Search