Legislation | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    Assisted Suicide in Canada

    Assisted suicide is the intentional termination of one’s life, assisted by someone who provides the means or knowledge, or both. (See also Suicide.) Between 1892 and 2016, assisted suicide was illegal in Canada under section 241(b) of the Criminal Code. In 2015, after decades of various legal challenges, the Supreme Court of Canada decided unanimously to allow physician-assisted suicide. In June 2016, the federal government passed the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) Act, which established the eligibility criteria and procedural safeguards for medically assisted suicide. In March 2021, new legislation was passed that expanded eligibility for MAID. This article contains sensitive material that may not be suitable for all audiences.

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    https://d2ttikhf7xbzbs.cloudfront.net/media/Categories_Placeholders/Dreamstime/dreamstimeextralarge_1507037041.jpg Assisted Suicide in Canada
  • Article

    Autonomy Bills

    The Autonomy Bills were the 1905 laws that created the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta out of the North-West Territories (1870–1905). Despite strong support for provincehood, frustrations were evident. The Bills’ most fiercely contested elements revolved around boundaries, the federal government’s ongoing control over public lands and resources and the educational clauses in the Bills.

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  • Article

    Bedard Case

    R v. Bedard (1971) challenged section 12(1)(b) of the Indian Act, which concerns the rights of Status Indian women in Canada. The appellant in the case, Yvonne Bedard, took the federal government to court after losing her rights as a Status Indian because of her marriage to a Non-Status man. In 1973, before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Bedard case merged with AG v. Lavell, another case concerning gender discrimination (see Status of Women) in the Indian Act. Although Bedard ultimately lost her reinstatement claims, her case inspired future legal battles regarding women’s rights and the Indian Act, including Lovelace v. Canada (1981) (see Sandra Lovelace Nicholas) and the Descheneaux case (2015).

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    https://d2ttikhf7xbzbs.cloudfront.net/media/Categories_Placeholders/Flickr/4892749341_a5c8b85f32---resized.jpg Bedard Case
  • Article

    Bill 101 (Charter of the French Language)

    Introduced by Camille Laurin, Bill 101, the Charter of the French Language (1977), made French the official language of the Government and the courts of Quebec. French became the ″normal, everyday language of work, instruction, communication, commerce and business."

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    https://d2ttikhf7xbzbs.cloudfront.net/media/media/63ea5597-513b-430a-9543-65b47114f12b.jpg Bill 101 (Charter of the French Language)
  • Article

    Bill 101 Case

    On 26 July 1984, the Supreme Court of Canada declared invalid section 72 and section 73 of Bill 101 (the Charter of the French Language) concerning English-language schooling in Québec on the grounds that those provisions were incompatible with section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The constitutionality of the legislation had been challenged primarily by several Protestant school boards. Section 23 of the Charter gave Canadians, whose first language learned and...

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    https://d2ttikhf7xbzbs.cloudfront.net/media/Categories_Placeholders/Dreamstime/dreamstimeextralarge_3134337973.jpg Bill 101 Case
  • Article

    Bill 178

    In December 1988 the Liberal government of Québec introduced Bill 178, an Act to amend Bill 101, Charte de la langue française.

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    https://d2ttikhf7xbzbs.cloudfront.net/media/media/4895dc54-1140-4625-918c-279bb935291c.jpg Bill 178
  • Article

    Bill 22

    Bill 22, the Official Language Act, sponsored by the Québec Liberal government of Robert Bourassa and passed by the legislature July 1974. It made French the language of civic administration and services, and of the workplace.

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    https://d2ttikhf7xbzbs.cloudfront.net/media/media/4895dc54-1140-4625-918c-279bb935291c.jpg Bill 22
  • Article

    Bill 63

    Bill 63, (Nov 1969), required children receiving their education in English to acquire a working knowledge of French and required everything to be done so that immigrants acquired the knowledge of French upon arrival in Québec.

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    https://d2ttikhf7xbzbs.cloudfront.net/10022750263_777cc2f581_k.jpg Bill 63
  • Article

    Bill 86

    In December 1988, Bill 178 was adopted by the Québec government after the Supreme Court found provisions of Bill 101, those regarding commercial signs and advertising, contrary to the guarantee of freedom of expression in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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  • Article

    Canadian Free Trade Agreement

    The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is an inter-governmental trade agreement regulating trade within Canada. It took effect on 1 July 2017. The goal of the agreement was to reduce or eliminate regulations against the free movement of goods, services, and investments within Canada. The officials who framed the new deal said they wanted to ensure that Canadian firms got the same access to the Canadian market as firms from the country’s international trading partners. CFTA also more closely matches the terms of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), which began taking effect in 2017.

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    https://d2ttikhf7xbzbs.cloudfront.net/media/media/133a2d02-51cc-4318-b7c7-5aeb80b30cf3.png Canadian Free Trade Agreement
  • Article

    Capital Punishment in Canada

    In pre-Confederation Canada, hundreds of criminal offences were punishable by death. By 1865, only murder, treason and rape were still considered capital offences. In 1962, Ronald Turpin and Arthur Lucas were the last of 710 prisoners to be executed in Canada since 1859. After 1976, the death penalty was permitted only for members of the Armed Forces found guilty of cowardice, desertion, unlawful surrender, or spying for the enemy. The federal government completely abolished state executions in 1998.

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  • Article

    Children, Education and the Law

    In Canada, political and law-making power is shared by the provincial and federal levels of government, as set out in the constitution. Section 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867 gives the provincial governments the exclusive jurisdiction to make laws governing education.

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  • Article

    Disallowance

    The CONSTITUTION ACT of 1867 provides that any ACT of a provincial legislature must be promptly sent to the GOVERNOR GENERAL and that the governor general-in-council (federal CABINET) may disallow any such Act (wipe it off the statute book) within one year.

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    https://d2ttikhf7xbzbs.cloudfront.net/media/Categories_Placeholders/Dreamstime/dreamstimeextralarge_1507037041.jpg Disallowance
  • Article

    Dominion Lands Act

    The Dominion Lands Act was a federal law that received royal assent on 14 April 1872. It allowed for lands in Western Canada to be granted to individuals, colonization companies, the Hudson’s Bay Company, railway construction, municipalities and religiousgroups. The Act set aside land for First Nations reserves. Métislands were organized by the government outside the Dominion Lands Act, using the scrip system. The Act also set aside lands for what would become National Parks(1883). The Dominion Lands Act devised specific homestead policies to encourage settlement in the West. It covered eligibility and settlers’ responsibilities, and outlined a standard measure for surveying and subdividing land. Some 1.25 million homesteads were made available over an expanse of about 80 million hectares — the largest survey grid in the world. The Act was repealed in 1930, when lands and resources were transferred from the federal government to the provincesof Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. From 1870 to 1930, roughly 625,000 land patents were issued to homesteaders. As a result, hundreds of thousands of settlers poured into the region.

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  • Article

    Election Expenses Act

    There have been problems with the interpretation and application of this legislation, partly as a consequence of imprecise or ambiguous wording in the Act itself. Many of these questions were examined by the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing which reported early in 1992.

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