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Outline: What are rights and freedoms History of Rights and Freedoms

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2 Outline: What are rights and freedoms History of Rights and Freedoms
Evolution of Rights and Freedoms in Canada Entrenching Rights and Freedoms in Canada

3 Freedom A legal, moral, or social entitlement that citizens can expect, mainly from government Example: People in Canada are entitled to a fair trial The right to conduct one’s affairs without government interference Example: You have the right to seek employment anywhere in Canada

4 Freedoms do have limitations however that are necessary to protect public safety and the fundamental rights and freedoms of others

5 What rights should people have?
Should some rights be absolute (meaning unrestricted)? Is everyone entitled to the same rights? What is the power of the government in creating and enforcing rights? How can people ensure that governments do not restrict their rights and freedoms?

6 Historical Documents at the Root of Canada’s Charter
Canadian Charter of Rights 1982 1) Magna Carta (England, 1215) (USA, 1776) 2) Declaration of Independence of Human Rights (1948) 3) U. N. Universal Declaration

7 The Magna Carta (1215) was the first step in establishing basic individual rights for the people of England -ie) Habeas Corpus Magna Carta overview Horrible Histories - Bad King John

8 The Bill of Rights (1689) gave the British Parliament supremacy over the monarchy and extended certain civil rights to citizens Declaration of Independence (1776) in the USA and the Declaration of Rights of Man (1789) in France declared all people have natural rights, and provided for inalienable rights of equality and liberty John Adams Clip john adams dec of ind

9 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights. . .” ~ Thomas Jefferson, 1776 “The law of the Creator, which invests every human being with an inalienable title to freedom, cannot be repealed by any interior law which asserts that man is property.” ~ Salmon P. Chase, c. 1830

10 Guaranteed entitlements that cannot be transferred from one person to another - we are born with them A theoretical set of human rights that are fundamental, are not awarded by human power, and cannot be surrendered These rights cannot be legislated away, nor are they subject to the momentary whim of an electoral majority Opposite of alienable rights - rights that can be bought or sold such as property rights

11 Inalienable rights include:
Freedom of Speech and Expression Freedom of Religion and Conscience Freedom of Assembly The Right to Equal Protection before the Law

12 Human rights movement began after World War II
Passed by the United Nations Recognized inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms

13 Guaranteed the freedoms of:
Thought Opinion Expression Conscience Religion Peaceful Assembly and Association It also declared: Equal rights for Men and Women Equality before the Law Innocent until Proven Guilty Education Rights Freedom from Torture or Inhumane Punishment E. Roosevelt and UDHR

14 Voting rights extended to women in 1918, to people of races in 1948, and to Status Indians in 1960
In 1929, Nellie McClung and the Famous Five challenged that women are persons to the Privy Council in England

15 Slavery is abolished under the British Emancipation Act in 1833
Women are allowed to stand in parliament in 1918 Slavery is abolished under the British Emancipation Act in 1833

16 The Canadian Parliament attempted to codify rights and freedoms across Canada in 1960


18 A statute law enacted by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, the Canadian Bill of Rights recognized:
The rights of individuals to life, liberty, personal security, and enjoyment of property Freedom of religion, speech, assembly, and association Freedom of the Press The right to counsel and the right to a fair hearing

19 The Bill of Rights had limitations:
It was a federal statute and it applied only to matters under federal jurisdiction Had the same status as other statutes: It did not take precedence over any other statute It could also be amended, or even eliminated by a majority vote in the House of Commons.

20 People including Pierre Trudeau believed the Bill of rights did not offer Canadians sufficient protection Sought to entrench rights and freedoms into the Canadian Constitution Entrench – to protect and guarantee a right or freedom by ensuring that it can only be changed by an amendment to the Constitution

21 When Canada's Constitution was patriated in 1982, the Constitution Act included the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Ensures that people are protected, regardless of the government in power Also means that these rights and freedoms became constitutional law, which overrides all other laws Any federal or provincial law must be consistent with the terms of the Constitution

22 Charter video overview

23 The Charter shifted the power from the supremacy of Parliament and legislatures towards supremacy of the Constitution and the courts which interpret it Not all premiers agreed with entrenching rights and freedoms in the Constitution Some felt that entrenching certain rights and freedoms would reduce the law-making powers of Canadian governments and give too much power to the courts

24 Premiers only agreed to the Charter on the condition they had limited power to override (to prevail over) it Section 33 of the Charter grants the federal government and provincial governments limited power to pass laws that may violate freedoms or rights in the Charter (s 2 and s 7 to 15 of the Charter) Exemption has a five year limit and must be renewed thereafter When invoked (to put into effect), the particular law must specify what sections of the Charter are being overridden

25 Quebec's Bill 101 required all public signs to be in French only
the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Quebec's Bill 101 was invalid because it infringed on freedom of expression The Quebec government responded by bringing in another bill and invoking the notwithstanding clause to allow the "French only" law to stand.



28 Influences on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
: Injustices committed in Canada during World War II. For example, the rights of Japanese Canadians were suspended (internment camps). : In 1945 (after WWII), the United Nations was created. In 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1960: A new social justice movement. In Canada, a number of groups, such as women, Aboriginals and visible minorities were being discriminated against and felt excluded from society 1960: The Canadian Bill of Rights was adopted. It had weaknesses. For example, it was just a statute and was not part of the Canadian Constitution.

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