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Freedom of Conscience

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

Freedom of conscience is one of the fundamental freedoms protected by section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[1] What is the legal impact of this freedom? Ultimately, the […]

Key Terms
Positive and Negative Rights

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2), Equality Rights (Section 15), Minority Language Education Rights (Section 23)

This article was written by a law student for the general public. Some constitutional rights outline the activities that the government must do, while other constitutional rights outline the activities that the […]

Key Terms
Bill of Rights

Category: Democratic Governance

What is the Canadian Bill of Rights? The Bill of Rights became law in 1960 to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals against federal laws and government actions authorized by those […]

Key Terms
Bill 101

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2), Minority Language Education Rights (Section 23)

This article was written by a law student for the general public. The Charter of the French Language (S.Q. 1977, c. 5), an important statute adopted by the Quebec National Assembly in […]

Key Terms
Plan A and Plan B

Category: Federalism

Plan “A” ‘Plan “A”’ is the term given to the federal initiatives designed to address Quebec’s traditional demands through constitutional and non-constitutional channels after the federalist’s narrow victory in the […]

Key Terms
Freedom of Association

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

Freedom of association is one of the fundamental freedoms protected under section 2 of the Charter.[1]Its purpose is to recognize the social nature of human activities and allow individuals to work […]

Key Terms
Belanger-Campeau

Category: Federalism

In 1990, immediately after the collapse of the Meech Lake Accord, the National Assembly established the ‘Belanger-Campeau Commission’ (formally known as the Commission on the Political and Constitutional Future of […]

Key Terms
Pith and Substance

Category: Federalism

This article was written by a law student for the general public. Pith and Substance is the first tool that courts use to determine which level of government has authority […]

Key Terms
Beaudoin-Edwards Committee

Category: Democratic Governance, Federalism

In the aftermath of the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, the federal government sought to find a means of amending the Constitution. On 30 January 1991, a Special Joint […]

Key Terms
Federalism

Category: Federalism

‘Federalism’, in general usage, describes a method of political organization in which two levels of government have constitutional power to legislate and govern; one level governs with respect to the […]

Key Terms
Beaudoin-Dobbie Committee

Category: Democratic Governance, Federalism, Aboriginal Rights

One of the recommendations of the Beaudoin-Edwards Committee on the process of constitutional amendment was that a joint committee be appointed to examine the substance of any proposed constitutional changes. […]

Key Terms
Peace, Order and Good Government

Category: Federalism

The Constitution Act, 1867 (“Constitution”) has a chapter in it called the Distribution of Legislative Powers.[1] This chapter divides law making authority (heads of power) between the federal and provincial […]

Key Terms
Federal Spending Power

Category: Democratic Governance, Federalism

Parliament has authority to spend as it chooses moneys collected pursuant to its taxing and regulatory powers (the “federal spending power”). The authority arises from Parliament’s power to legislate in […]

Key Terms
Balancing Rights (section 1)

Category: The Charter

Section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms reflects the basic principle that individual rights and freedoms cannot be absolute and that, in some circumstances, they must be limited […]

Key Terms
Asymmetrical Federalism

Category: Federalism

Ronald L. Watts distinguishes ‘political asymmetry,’ which “is characteristic of all federations” and arises from the relative influence of different units within the federation, and ‘constitutional asymmetry’ which assigns differing […]

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