Browse "Politics & Law"

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Bank Act

The Bank Act is the law passed by Parliament to regulate Canada's chartered banks. The Act has 3 main goals: protecting depositors' funds; insuring the maintenance of cash reserves (see Monetary Policy); and promoting the efficiency of the financial system through competition.

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Bank of Canada Act

Bank of Canada Act, 3 July 1934, created the Bank of Canada 1935 in response to the 1933 Royal Commission on Banking and Currency. The Bank of Canada was at first privately owned, but was nationalized by 1938.

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Barrister

Barrister, member of legal profession in England who has exclusive right of audience in high and superior courts. Usually retained by a solicitor, barristers have unique legal status.

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Bartle Case

In the Bartle case (1994), Mr Bartle was arrested at 1:00 a.m. on a weekend for driving a vehicle while impaired. After failing the "Alert" road test, he was brought to the police station, where he was promptly informed of his right to consult a lawyer, including available legal aid services.

Macleans

BC Referendum Controversy

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 13, 2002. Partner content is not updated. The beauty of a referendum is that no matter how complex or inappropriate the question, the answer can only be Yes or No. Except, apparently, in British Columbia, where Up Yours is also gaining a measure of popularity.

Macleans

BC to Vote on Electoral Reform

HOW BRUTAL is BRITISH COLUMBIA political life? Consider Liberal Premier Gordon CAMPBELL, who has survived - so far, and notwithstanding a disastrous drunk driving conviction - his first term in office.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on April 4, 2005

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Beauharnois Scandal

Beauharnois Scandal Beauharnois Scandal became public between June 1931 and April 1932 when committees of the House of Commons and Senate investigated allegations that the Beauharnois Light, Heat and Power Co had made substantial contributions to the Liberal Party in return for permission to divert the St Lawrence River 30 km west of Montréal to generate hydroelectricity. Company director R.O. Sweezey testified that Liberal senators W.L. McDougald and Andrew Haydon had personally received...

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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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Bennett's New Deal

In the mid-1930s, at the height of the Great Depression, Prime Minister R.B. Bennett’s political demise seemed inevitable. He sought to reverse the tide running against his Conservative Party. In January 1935, he began a series of live radio speeches outlining a “New Deal” for Canada. He promised a more progressive taxation system; a maximum work week; a minimum wage; closer regulation of working conditions; unemployment insurance; health and accident insurance; a revised old-age pension; and agricultural support programs. But Bennett’s 11th-hour proposals were seen as too-little, too-late. He lost the 1935 election to William Lyon Mackenzie King and the Liberals.

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Berger Commission

In 1974, the federal government formed a royal commission to consider two proposals for natural gas pipelines in the North. Thomas Berger, a judge, led the inquiry. Over the next two years, the Berger Commission assessed the potential impacts of the proposed pipelines. Berger held formal and informal hearings. These included 45 community hearings from the Northwest Territories and Yukon to Southern Canada. His 1977 report made several recommendations. He called for further study and the settlement of Indigenous land claims. He also called for a 10-year ban on pipeline construction in the Mackenzie Valley. Berger opposed building any pipeline across the sensitive caribou habitat of the northern Yukon. The Berger Commission involved the public and included Indigenous views more than any resource-related consultation had done before in Canada. Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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Bering Sea Dispute

During the 1880s, while Americans hunted seals on the Pribilof Islands, which the US had acquired from Russia in 1867, Canadians conducted sealing in the open waters. In 1886 US government revenue cutters, claiming to protect "American property," began seizing Canadian sealing vessels.

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Biculturalism

This neologistic term came into public consciousness with the appointment of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism in 1963. On examining its terms of reference the commission could not find the word in a dictionary.

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Bilingualism

Bilingualism is the ability to speak fluently in two languages. In Canada, the term has taken on a more particular meaning: the ability to communicate, or the practice of communicating, in both of Canada's official languages, English and French. According to the 2021 census, 18 per cent of Canadians are able to speak in both English and French. See also Canadian English; French Language; Indigenous Languages of Canada.