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History of Rights and Freedoms in Canada PowerPoint Presentation
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History of Rights and Freedoms in Canada

History of Rights and Freedoms in Canada

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History of Rights and Freedoms in Canada

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  1. History of Rights and Freedoms in Canada What are our rights? What are the barriers/limitations to our rights?

  2. Types of rights & freedoms • Civil Rights: Limit the power of the government over its’ citizens • Human Rights: Protect people from being discriminated against by other people

  3. Remember from unit 1 • The idea that everyone is equal under the law is quite new(ish) • The earliest legal codes had cruel laws and punishments • The Magna Carta (1215) was historic because it introduced the RULE OF LAW • But still only nobles and wealthy land owners could vote, etc and ordinary peoples’ rights were limited • In the late 1600’s philosophers began to think about the idea of NATURAL RIGHTS (i.e. The Declaration of Man and Citizen)

  4. the americans did something right... • 1775-American Revolution begins • “no taxation without representation!” • Created a Constitution (1788) but it did not have a Bill of Rights • “We hold these truths to be self evident...that all men are created equal” • 1791-ten amendments to the Constitution; became foundation for Bill of Rights today • Inspired the world

  5. Development of human rights • French Revolution—inspired by the Americans; produced The Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen guaranteeing all French citizens basic rights • World War II—United Nations formed (1945); adopted Universal Declaration of Human Rights; first time nations around the world signed a formal agreement on specific rights and freedoms for all humans Olympe de Gouges

  6. British North America Act (1867) [BNA Act] • Became a country called The Dominion of Canada • Passed into law by the British Parliament • Canada not fully independent—Britain in charge of foreign affairs • Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) was Canada’s highest court • Could only be changed or amended by British parliament • 1931 Canada gets its own foreign affairs and 1949 the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) • Lists federal (sec 91), provincial (sec 92), and territorial powers—provinces got education and health care! (sec 93)

  7. The bill of rights (1960) • Remember from Unit 1 most of Canada has a common law system which is based on unwritten customs, conventions, and court decisions • After horrors of WWII Canadians though rights needed to be written down • The Bill of Rights (PM Diefenbaker) legislated civil rights and freedoms Canadians already had • Remember that it was only a law so it could be changed at any time

  8. The debate: should Canada truly become independent? YES • Britain wanted it • We would be fully independent! NO • Provincial governments suspicious of each other • Provinces didn’t want to lose powers • Could not agree on a formula to amend (change) the constitution

  9. The Constitution Act (1982) [aka The Canada Act] • PM Pierre Trudeau wanted stronger guarantees on rights; “just society” • 1981—amending formula—requires consent of Canadian parliament AND 2/3rds of provinces with 50% of the population AND to approve any change • BNA Act was renamed Constitution Act, 1867 and is still the main part of the constitution • Constitution Act, 1982 added the amending formula and the new Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (civil rights) • Rights are entrenched (i.e. Sec 24—right to court) • Never signed/approved by Quebec

  10. Application of the Charter 1. Decision-Maker is Part of Government Member of Legislature, Executive, or Administration than Charter will apply to the decisions they make: (i) Applies to Legislation     (ii) People who enforce/apply the law (i.e. – employees of Government and Policemen) 2.  Applies to Exercising Governmental Functions (i.e. covers Municipalities) 3.  Implementing Government Policy (i.e. – even private company implementing Govt policy)

  11. Main Sections of the Charter Section 1: Section 2: Section 3-5: Section 6: Reasonable Limits Clause Fundamental Freedoms (conscience and religion; thought/expression; peaceful assembly; association) Democratic Rights Mobility Rights

  12. Main Sections of the Charter Sections 7-14: Section 15: Sections 16-22: Section 23: Legal Rights Equality Rights Official Languages of Canada Minority Language Education Rights

  13. Main Sections of the Charter Section 24: Sections 25-31: Sections 32-33: Enforcement General (including Aboriginal Rights and Multicultural Heritage) Application of Charter Sec 33=Notwithstanding Clause—power of provinces to override Sec 2 AND 7-15; 5 year max

  14. Fundamental Freedoms • Freedom of Religion - s. 2(a) • Freedom of Expression – s. 2(b) • Freedom of Peaceful Assembly – s. 2(c) • Freedom of Association – s. 2(d)