Social Laws & Programs | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    Abortion in Canada

    Abortion is the premature ending of a pregnancy. Inducing an abortion was a crime in Canada until 1988, when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the law as unconstitutional. Since then, abortion has been legal at any stage in a woman’s pregnancy. Abortion is publicly funded as a medical procedure under the Canada Health Act. (See Health Policy.) However, access to abortion services differs across the country. Despite its legalization, abortion remains one of the most divisive political issues of our time.

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    Adoption, is the legal process of severing ties between a child and his or her biological parents (or "birth parents" as they are called today), who are unable or unwilling to care for the child, and creating new ties between a child and people who are not her or his natural parents.

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    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

    The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or simply the Charter, is the most visible and recognized part of Canada’s Constitution. The Charter guarantees the rights of individuals by enshrining those rights, and certain limits on them, in the highest law of the land. Since its enactment in 1982, the Charter has created a social and legal revolution in Canada. It has expanded the rights of minorities and criminal defendants, transformed the nature and cost of criminal investigations and prosecutions, and subjected the will of Parliament and the legislatures to judicial scrutiny — an ongoing source of controversy.

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  • Article

    Child Labour

    Child labour is defined as the regular employment of boys and girls under the age of 15 or 16. Attitudes toward child labour have altered dramatically since the late 18th century, when it was generally assumed that children should contribute to the family economy from about age seven. By the beginning of the 20th century most Canadian provinces had enacted labour legislation to restrict the employment of children.

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  • Article

    Day Care

    The licensed or approved care of young children, for all or part of the day, outside the children's own home. The 2 most common types of day care are centre care and family day care.

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    Enfranchisement was the most common of the legal processes by which Indigenous peoples lost their Indian Status under the Indian Act. This is the full-length entry about Enfranchisement. For a plain language summary, please see Enfranchisement (Plain Language Summary).

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    Canadian Foreign Relations

    Throughout its history, Canada has taken a series of steps to develop from a British colony into an independent nation. Both the First and Second World War were turning points; Canada’s military sacrifices gave it the strength and confidence to demand its own voice on the world stage. In the postwar era, Canada maintained its role in both Western and global alliances. (See NATO; NORAD; GATT.) However, economics have shaped Canadian diplomacy to a remarkable extent. Because of the United States’ singular importance to Canadian security and trade, relations with the US have dominated Canada’s foreign policy since Confederation.

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  • Article

    Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee

    The Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee was established 28 August 1980 to review CULTURAL POLICIES for Canada. Its chairman was Louis APPLEBAUM and its co-chairman was Jacques HÉBERT. Other members included Thomas SYMONS, Mary PRATT and Rudy WIEBE.

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  • Article

    History of Birth Control in Canada

    Human beings have practised birth control throughout history. However, in 19th-century Canada, this practice was largely forbidden or taboo. It was only in the 1920s that groups of citizens formed to defend birth control. The information, services and products related to this practice became increasingly accessible after the war. During the 1960s, Canada decriminalized contraception and abortion. In the 1970s, the number of organizations and services promoting access to contraception and family planning began to increase. From then on, birth control became an integral part of the public health approach to sexual health.

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    Indian Status (OLD)

    Indian is a term that is now considered outdated and offensive, but has been used historically to identify Indigenous peoples in South, Central and North America. In Canada, “Indian” also has legal significance. It is used to refer to legally defined identities set out in the Indian Act, such as Indian Status. For some Indigenous peoples, the term “Indian” confirms their ancestry and protects their historic relationship to the Crown and federal government. For others, the definitions set out in the Indian Act are not affirmations of their identity.

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    Industrial Relations

    The phrase "industrial relations" became widely used during WWII, for two main reasons: the major growth of the numerous war-time industries and, even more, the adoption of PC 1003 by the federal Cabinet on 17 February 1944.

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    Industrial Unionism

    The first significant attempt to organize on an industrial basis was undertaken in the 1880s by the KNIGHTS OF LABOR, which advocated unity of the producing classes and opposed employer blacklists and discrimination.

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    Labour Force

    PreviousNext The labour force refers to the total adult population available to the labour market at a specific time; defined by Statistics Canada as "that portion of the civilian noninstitutional population 15 years of age and over who, during the reference week [in which the employment survey was taken], were employed or unemployed." Employed persons include all those who worked, part or full time, and those who would have been at work were it not...

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    Labour History

    Labour History, see WORKING-CLASS HISTORY.

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    Labour Policy

    Labour policy includes policies concerned with relations between employers and employees and those concerned with the employment, training and distribution of workers in the LABOUR MARKET.

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