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Impact Of Prime Minister Trudeau’s 1982 Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

757 words - 4 pages

Throughout Canada’s moderately short history, there have been many acts and treaties made by the residing government, or monarch. Some, more than others, were demonstrated examples of positive rights, where more power was given to Parliament rather than the communities the agreement, or law, was made for. The evolution of rights and freedoms in Canada was a long process that included many stages. Three specific instances that will be mentioned later in this paper include the Numbered Treaties and the Indian Act (year), which were negotiations made between the government and the residing Native chiefs from across Canada with regard to land and status. Finally, the Chinese Head Tax in 1885 ...view middle of the document...

” The Charter applies to this particular situation with the rule in section 2a where, “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of conscience and religion,” meaning that the government does not have control over your beliefs or culture. In Sarah Carter’s article ‘A Unique and Unenviable Place’: Canadian Federal Indian Policy she mentions some democratic issues when it comes to Natives participating in government. Aboriginals in Canada in the 19th century were classified as “British subjects,” and were not full citizens, because of this title it “established the federal government as their guardians,” and were therefore, “…not allowed to vote in federal or provincial elections, and as they were not voters, they were legally prohibited from the professions of law and politics.” This meant that there was no representation for the Native communities in Canada in government, nor did they have the ability to choose whom they wanted in Parliament because of their race. That is unless they agreed to give up their Indian status, and assimilate into the Euro-Canadian society. Prime Minister Trudeau changed this with the 1982 Charter where, “Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or...

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