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Charter of Rights and Freedoms

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1 Charter of Rights and Freedoms

2 History The Charter is part of the Canadian Constitution enacted under the Government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The Charter came into effect on April 17, It was part of a package of reforms contained in a law called the Constitution Act, The Constitution is a set of laws containing the basic rules about how our country operates

3 The Charter sets out those rights and freedoms that Canadians believe are necessary in a free and democratic society RIGHT: legal, moral, or social claim that people are entitled to, primarily from their government. Example – a person accused of committing an offence is entitled to a fair trial. FREEDOM: freedom is a right – the right to live your life without interference from the government. Example – you have the right to seek employment anywhere in Canada.

4 Rights and freedoms contained in the Charter
Fundamental Freedoms Freedom to express an opinion. Freedom to choose your religion. Freedom to organize peaceful meetings and demonstrations Freedom of association. Democratic Rights The right to vote in Canadian elections. The right to vote for a new government. Mobility Rights The right to move anywhere in Canada and earn a living there. The right of Canadian citizens to enter, stay in, or leave Canada.

5 Rights and freedoms contained in the Charter (Cont’d)
Legal Rights The right to be free of imprisonment, search, and seizure without reasons backed by law and evidence. The right to a fair and quick public trial by an impartial court that assumes you are innocent unless proven guilty. Equality Rights The right to be free from discrimination because of ethnicity (race), national origin, religion, gender, age, or mental or physical disability. Aboriginal peoples' rights. The right to use either of Canada's official languages. The protection of Canada's multicultural heritage

6 Life in Canada: Then versus Now...
What does the Charter reflect about today’s society compared to the past?

7 Case 1: The Indian Act 1876 Indian Act passed by Canadian Government
Affected First Nations who had concluded Treaties with Canada’s government Did not consult with First Nations Original goal: to assimilate

8 Case 2: Canadian women and the right to vote
Campaigning for the right to vote – Emily Howard Stowe Toronto Women’s Literary Club 1918 – women over 21 years of age allowed to vote in federal election Provincial elections decided by each province Quebec, 1940

9 Case 3: Internment of Ukrainian Canadians
Context of WWI More than 8000 people of Ukrainian origin sent to internment camps Government seizes property/businesses 2005: Canadian government offers formal apology Would this happen today?

10 Case 4: Internment of Italian Canadians
WWII 700 people affected War Measures Act 1990: Canadian government apologizes Why is it important that we learn this history?

11 Case 5: Internment of Japanese Canadians
WWII More than men, women, children Government sells houses, possessions 1988: Canadian government apologizes

12 Things to think about What is prejudice? WHY did this happen?
HOW does this differ from society today? Where does the Charter play a role in this? How does the charter prevent this from happening?

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