Canadian Bill of Rights
The Canadian Bill of Rights is a federal statute and bill of rights enacted by the Parliament of Canada on August 10, 1960. It provides Canadians with certain quasi-constitutional rights at Canadian federal law in relation to other federal statutes, it was the earliest expression of human rights law at the federal level in Canada, though an implied Bill of Rights had been recognized in the Canadian Common Law. The Canadian Bill of Rights remains in effect but is acknowledged to be limited in its effectiveness because it is a federal statute only, so not directly applicable to provincial laws; as to Canadian federal law, the Bill of Rights has subsequently acquired through judicial interpretation a quasi-constitutional status through the paramountcy doctrine. These legal and constitutional limitations were a significant reason that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was established as an unambiguously-constitutional-level Bill of Rights for all Canadians, governing the application of both federal and provincial law in Canada, with the patriation of the Constitution of Canada in 1982.
Since patriation, its usefulness at federal law in Canada is limited to issues pertaining to the enjoyment of property, as set forth in its section 1]—a slightly-broader "life and security of the person" right than is recognized in Section Seven of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1947, Saskatchewan passed into law a bill of rights which covered both fundamental freedoms and equality rights. Saskatchewan's Bill of Rights is considered to have had a formative influence on John Diefenbaker, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Thirteen years Diefenbaker introduced the Canadian Bill of Rights, in 1960. In 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Civil rights activists in Canada had for some time been advocating for the elimination from Canadian laws of discrimination based on sex, ethnicity and religion. In 1936, four years before being elected to Parliament, John Diefenbaker began drafting his Bill of Rights; as a young boy, he saw injustice first-hand in the form of discrimination against French-Canadians, natives, Métis and European immigrants.
On March 16, 1950, a decade before the Canadian Bill of Rights became law, Diefenbaker a Saskatchewan MP, told a public forum why such a law was needed. Individuals' freedoms of religion, press and association are threatened by the state, he said. A Bill of Rights was needed to take a "forthright stand against discrimination based on colour, creed or racial origin". Diefenbaker advocated for the adoption of a bill of rights during the federal election campaign of 1957. In 1960, as prime minister, Diefenbaker introduced the Canadian Bill of Rights, it was enacted by Parliament; the Canadian Bill of Rights protects numerous rights, most of which were included in the Charter. Examples include: Freedom of speech in Canada and freedom of religion in Canada equality rights The right to life and security of the person, in another section, rights to fundamental justice The right to enjoyment of property, not enshrined in the Charter The right to counsel. Section 2 of the Bill of Rights reads as follows: 2.
Every law of Canada shall, unless it is expressly declared by an Act of the Parliament of Canada that it shall operate notwithstanding the Canadian Bill of Rights, be so construed and applied as not to abrogate, abridge or infringe or to authorize the abrogation, abridgement or infringement of any of the rights or freedoms herein recognized and declared, in particular, no law of Canada shall be construed or applied so as to authorize or effect the arbitrary detention, imprisonment or exile of any person. The notwithstanding wording of section 2 is a precursor to the notwithstanding clause of the Charter. While the Bill of Rights is considered only quasi-constitutional because it was enacted as an ordinary Act of the Parliament of Canada, it contains the following provision: 3. Subject to subsection, the Minister of Justice shall, in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Governor in Council, examine every
Seigneurial system of New France
The manorial system of New France was the semi-feudal system of land tenure used in the North American French colonial empire. Both in nominal and legal terms, all French territorial claims in North America belonged to the French king. French monarchs did not impose feudal land tenure on New France, the king’s actual attachment to these lands was non-existent. Instead, landlords were allotted land holdings and presided over the French colonial agricultural system in North America. Manorial land tenure was introduced to New France in 1627 by Cardinal Richelieu. Richelieu granted the newly formed Company of One Hundred Associates all lands between the Arctic Circle to the north, Florida to the south, Lake Superior in the west, the Atlantic Ocean in the east. In exchange for this vast land grant and the exclusive trading rights tied to it, the Company was expected to bring two to three hundred settlers to New France in 1628, a subsequent four thousand during the next fifteen years. To achieve this, the Company subinfeudated all of the land awarded to it by Cardinal Richelieu — that is, parceled it out into smaller units that were run on a feudal-like basis, worked by habitants.
Despite the official arrangement reached between Cardinal Richelieu and the Company of One Hundred Associates, levels of immigration to French colonies in North America remained low. The resulting scarcity of labor had a profound effect on the system of land distribution and the habitant-seigneurial relationship that emerged in New France. King Louis XIV instituted a condition on the land, stating that it could be forfeited unless it was cleared within a certain period of time; this condition kept the land from being sold by the seigneur, leading instead to its being sub-granted to peasant farmers, the habitants. When a habitant was granted the title deed to a lot, he had to agree to accept a variety of annual charges and restrictions. Rent could be set in money, produce or labour. Once this rent was set, it could not due to inflation or time. An habitant was free to develop his land as he wished, with only a few obligations to his seigneur. A seigneur did not have many responsibilities towards his habitants.
The seigneur was obligated to build a gristmill for his tenants, they in turn were required to grind their grain there and provide the seigneur with one sack of flour out of every 14. The seigneur had the right to a specific number of days of forced labour by the habitants and could claim rights over fishing and common pastures. Though the demands of the seigneurs became more significant at the end of French rule, they could never obtain enough resources from the habitants to become wealthy, nor leave their tenants in poverty. Habitants were free individuals; the seigneur–habitant relationship was one where both parties were owners of the land, who split the attributes of ownership between them. In practice, the lands were arranged in long, narrow strips, called seigneuries or fiefs, along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, its estuaries, other key transit features; this physical layout of manorial property developed as a means of maximizing ease of transit and communication by using natural waterways and the few roads.
A desirable plot had to be directly bordering or in close proximity to a river system, which plot-expansion was limited to one of two directions—left or right. Estates in free socage were the most macro-level of land division in New France but, within them, there existed several tenurial subdivisions. Below the level of free socage was that of the villeinage. Throughout New France, several thousand estates in villeinage were developed. Furthermore, these villein tenancies were remarkably uniform in terms of size. Barring extreme cases, it is estimated that around 95% of all villein estates were between 40 and 200 arpents in size, though most were 120 arpents or less. Estates of less than 40 square arpents were considered to be of little value by villein socagers. To maximize simplicity when surveying, estates in villein socage were invariably distributed in rectangular plots following a rowed system, wherein the first row bordered the river, was the first to be filled, followed by the second behind it and so on.
The proportions of such rectangles coincided with the ratio of 1:10 for width and length, respectively. However, extremes all the way up to 1:100 are known to have occurred; this method of land division confers obvious advantages in terms of easy access to transportation and cheap surveying, but allowed socagers to live remarkably close to families on neighboring plots—often within a few hundred yards—creating something of a proto-neighborhood. Although legislation and enforcement varied depending on the period and administration, a socager’s rights of entitlement to their villeinage could not be revoked as long as they paid their duties and fees to the lord of the manor and satisfied the requirements of tenir feu et lieu; this stipulated that they were obliged to improve their landholdings or these would be confiscated. By ordinance of the Intendant in 1682, a socager could not hold more than two villeinages; the lord of the manor rented most of the land to tenants, known as censitaires or habitants, who cleared the land, built houses and other buildings, farmed the land.
A smaller portion of the land was kept as a demesne, economically significant in the early days of settl
Bill of Rights 1689
The Bill of Rights known as the English Bill of Rights, is an Act of the Parliament of England that sets out certain basic civil rights and clarifies who would be next to inherit the Crown. It received the Royal Assent on 16 December 1689 and is a restatement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William III and Mary II in February 1689, inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England; the Bill of Rights lays down limits on the powers of the monarch and sets out the rights of Parliament, including the requirement for regular parliaments, free elections, freedom of speech in Parliament. It sets out certain rights of individuals including the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and reestablished the right of Protestants to have arms for their defence within the rule of law. Furthermore, the Bill of Rights condemned several misdeeds of James II of England; these ideas reflected those of the political thinker John Locke and they became popular in England.
It sets out – or, in the view of its drafters, restates – certain constitutional requirements of the Crown to seek the consent of the people, as represented in Parliament. In the United Kingdom, the Bill of Rights is further accompanied by Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act 1679 and the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 as some of the basic documents of the uncodified British constitution. A separate but similar document, the Claim of Right Act 1689, applies in Scotland; the Bill of Rights 1689 was one of the inspirations for the United States Bill of Rights. Along with the Act of Settlement 1701, the Bill of Rights is still in effect in all Commonwealth realms. Following the Perth Agreement in 2011, legislation amending both of them came into effect across the Commonwealth realms on 26 March 2015. During the 17th century, there was renewed interest in Magna Carta; the Parliament of England passed the Petition of Right in 1628 which established certain liberties for subjects.
The English Civil War was fought between the King and an oligarchic but elected Parliament, during which the idea of a political party took form with groups debating rights to political representation during the Putney Debates of 1647. Subsequently, the Protectorate and the English Restoration restored more autocratic rule although Parliament passed the Habeas Corpus Act in 1679, which strengthened the convention that forbade detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence. Objecting to the policies of King James II of England, a group of English Parliamentarians invited the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau to overthrow the King. William's successful invasion with a Dutch fleet and army led to James fleeing to France. In December 1688, William took over the provisional government by appointment of the peers of the realm, as was the legal right of the latter in circumstances when the King was incapacitated, summoned an assembly of certain members of parliament; this assembly called for an English Convention Parliament to be elected, which convened on 22 January 1689.
The proposal to draw up a statement of rights and liberties and James's violation of them was first made on 29 January 1689 in the House of Commons, with members arguing that the House "cannot answer it to the nation or Prince of Orange till we declare what are the rights invaded" and that William "cannot take it ill if we make conditions to secure ourselves for the future" in order to "do justice to those who sent us hither". On 2 February a committee specially convened reported to the Commons 23 Heads of Grievances, which the Commons approved and added some of their own. However, on 4 February the Commons decided to instruct the committee to differentiate between "such of the general heads, as are introductory of new laws, from those that are declaratory of ancient rights". On 7 February the Commons approved this revised Declaration of Right, on 8 February instructed the committee to put into a single text the Declaration, the resolution of 28 January and the Lords' proposal for a revised oath of allegiance.
It passed the Commons without division. On 13 February the clerk of the House of Lords read the Declaration of Right, the Marquess of Halifax, in the name of all the estates of the realm, asked William and Mary to accept the throne. William replied for his wife and himself: "We thankfully accept what you have offered us", they went in procession to the great gate at Whitehall. The Garter King at Arms proclaimed them King and Queen of England and Ireland, whereupon they adjourned to the Chapel Royal, with the Bishop of London preaching the sermon, they were crowned on 11 April. The Coronation Oath Act 1688 had provided a new coronation oath, whereby the monarchs were to "solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this kingdom of England, the dominions thereunto belonging, according to the statutes in parliament agreed on, the laws and customs of the same", they were to maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel, the Protestant Reformed faith established by law. This replaced an oath.
The previous oath required the monarch to rule based on "the laws and customs... granted by the Kings of England". The Declaration of Right was enacted in an Act of Parliament, the Bill of Rights 1689, which received the Royal Assent in December 1689; the Act asserted "certain ancient rights and liberties" by declaring that: the pretended power of suspending the laws and dispensing with laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal.
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The Acts created a new unified Kingdom of Great Britain and dissolved the separate English and Scottish parliaments in favour of a single parliament, located in the former home of the English parliament in the Palace of Westminster, near the City of London; this lasted nearly a century, until the Acts of Union 1800 merged the separate British and Irish Parliaments into a single Parliament of the United Kingdom with effect from 1 January 1801. Following the Treaty of Union in 1706, Acts of Union ratifying the Treaty were passed in both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, which created a new Kingdom of Great Britain; the Acts dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new parliament, referred to as the'Parliament of Great Britain', based in the home of the former English parliament. All of the traditions and standing orders of the English parliament were retained, as were the incumbent officers, members representing England comprised the overwhelming majority of the new body.
It was not considered necessary to hold a new general election. While Scots law and Scottish legislation remained separate, new legislation was thereafter to be enacted by the new parliament. After the Hanoverian King George I ascended the British throne in 1714 through the Act of Settlement of 1701, real power continued to shift away from the monarchy. George was a German ruler, spoke poor English, remained interested in governing his dominions in continental Europe rather than in Britain, he thus entrusted power to a group of his ministers, the foremost of whom was Sir Robert Walpole, by the end of his reign in 1727 the position of the ministers — who had to rely on Parliament for support — was cemented. George I's successor, his son George II, continued to follow through with his father's domestic policies and made little effort to re-establish monarchical control over the government, now in firm control by Parliament. By the end of the 18th century the monarch still had considerable influence over Parliament, dominated by the English aristocracy, by means of patronage, but had ceased to exert direct power: for instance, the last occasion on which the Royal Assent was withheld was in 1708 by Queen Anne.
At general elections the vote was restricted to freeholders and landowners, in constituencies that had changed little since the Middle Ages, so that in many "rotten" and "pocket" boroughs seats could be bought, while major cities remained unrepresented, except by the Knights of the Shire representing whole counties. Reformers and Radicals sought parliamentary reform, but as the French Revolutionary Wars developed the British government became repressive against dissent and progress towards reform was stalled. George II's successor, George III, sought to restore royal supremacy and absolute monarchy, but by the end of his reign the position of the king's ministers — who discovered that they needed the support of Parliament to enact any major changes — had become central to the role of British governance, would remain so after. During the first half of George III's reign, the monarch still had considerable influence over Parliament, which itself was dominated by the patronage and influence of the English nobility.
Most candidates for the House of Commons were identified as Whigs or Tories, but once elected they formed shifting coalitions of interests rather than dividing along clear party lines. At general elections the vote was restricted in most places to property owners, in constituencies which were out of date and did not reflect the growing importance of manufacturing towns or shifts of population, so that in the rotten and pocket boroughs seats in parliament could be bought from the rich landowners who controlled them, while major cities remained unrepresented. Reformers like William Beckford and Radicals beginning with John Wilkes called for reform of the system. In 1780, a draft programme of reform was drawn up by Charles James Fox and Thomas Brand Hollis and put forward by a sub-committee of the electors of Westminster; this included calls for the six points adopted by the Chartists. The American Revolutionary War ended in the defeat of a foreign policy seeking to forcibly restore the thirteen American colonies to British rule which King George III had fervently advocated, in March 1782 the king was forced to appoint an administration led by his opponents which sought to curb royal patronage.
In November 1783 he took the opportunity to use his influence in the House of Lords to defeat a bill to reform the British East India Company, dismissed the government of the day, appointed William Pitt the Younger to form a new government. Pitt had called for Parliament to begin to reform itself, but he did not press for long for reforms the king did not like. Proposals Pitt made in April 1785 to redistribute seats from the "rotten boroughs" to London and the counties were defeated in the House of Commons by 248 votes to 174. In the wake of the French Revolution of 1789, Radical organisations such as the London Corresponding Society sprang up to press for parliamentary reform, but as the French Revolutionary Wars developed the government took extensive repressive measures against feared domestic unrest aping the democratic and egalitarian ideals of the French Revolution and progress toward reform was stalled for decades. In 1801, the Parliament of the United Kingdom was created when the Kingdom of Great Britain was merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800.
List of Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain List of Parliaments of Great Britain First Parliament of Great Br
The Province of Lower Canada was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. It covered the southern portion of the current-day Province of Quebec and the Labrador region of the modern-day Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Lower Canada consisted of part of the former colony of Canada of New France, conquered by Great Britain in the Seven Years' War ending in 1763 Other parts of New France conquered by Britain became the Colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island; the Province of Lower Canada was created by the "Constitutional Act of 1791" from the partition of the British colony of the Province of Quebec into the Province of Lower Canada and the Province of Upper Canada. The prefix "lower" in its name refers to its geographic position farther downriver from the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River than its contemporary Upper Canada, present-day southern Ontario; the colony/province was abolished in 1841 when it and adjacent Upper Canada were united into the Province of Canada.
Like Upper Canada, there was significant political unrest. Twenty-two years after the invasion by the Americans in the War of 1812, a rebellion now challenged the British rule of the predominantly French population. After the Patriote Rebellion in the Rebellions of 1837–38 were crushed by the British Army and Loyal volunteers, the "1791 Constitution" was suspended on 27 March 1838 and a special council was appointed to administer the colony. An abortive attempt by revolutionary Robert Nelson to declare a Republic of Lower Canada was thwarted; the provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada were combined as the United Province of Canada in 1841, when The Union Act of 1840 came into force. Their separate legislatures were combined into a single parliament with equal representation for both constituent parts though Lower Canada had a greater population; the Province of Lower Canada inherited the mixed set of French and English institutions that existed in the Province of Quebec during the 1763–91 period and which continued to exist in Canada-East and in the current Province of Quebec.
Lower Canada was populated by Canadiens, an ethnic group who trace their ancestry to French colonists who settled in Canada from the 17th century onward. Traveling around Lower Canada was made by water along the St. Lawrence River. On land the only main route was the Chemin du Roy or King's Highway, built in the 1730s by New France; the King's Highway remained as an alternate means of travel until the challenge of steamboats and trains on land began to challenge the royal road. Challenged by boats and trains, the royal road's importance waned after the 1850s and would not re-emerge as a key means of transportation until the modern highway system of Quebec was created in the 20th century; the Canadas Upper Canada French colonial empire French and Indian War Province of Quebec Former colonies and territories in Canada Canada East, period after the Act of Union List of lieutenant governors of Quebec Ottawa River timber trade Timeline of Quebec history National Patriots' Day Republic of Lower Canada Robert Christie.
A History of the Late Province of Lower Canada, Quebec City: T. Cary/R. Montreal: Worthington, 1848–1855 François-Xavier Garneau. History of Canada: from the time of its discovery till the union year, Montreal: J. Lovell, 1860 Media related to Lower Canada at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of Lower Canada at Wiktionary Lower Canada from The Canadian Encyclopedia Lower Canada - Encyclopædia Britannica Gouvernors of Lower Canada - Histoire du Québec Lower Canada - Library and Archives Canada Lower Canada - Quebec Parliament library
Letters Patent, 1947
The Letters Patent, 1947 are a legal instrument introduced by King George VI, which came into effect on 1 October 1947 and continue to, along with parts of the Constitution Act, 1867, constitute the Office of the Governor General. These letters served to expand the role and powers of the governor general in exercising the Royal Prerogative and allows the governor general to carry out an increased number of the Sovereign's duties in "exceptional circumstances". While the letters patent allow the governor general to use most of the "powers and authorities" lawfully belonging to the Canadian sovereign, this permission can be revoked, altered, or amended by the sovereign at any time and these powers and authorities thus remain with the monarch and are carried out by the governor general on his or her behalf; the first letters patent in Canada were, starting in 1663, issued to the governors of New France by the kings of France. At that time, the letters patent outlining the office of the governor and its role were issued with a commission appointing the occupant to the office, as well as an accompanying set of royal instructions.
In this way, a different set of letters patent were issued by the Crown each time a new governor was appointed, a custom, continued by the British following the surrender of New France in 1763 to the United Kingdom. This system remained unchanged until 1947 with two exceptions: The first was the granting of the title commander-in-chief in 1905 and the second occurred in 1931 when the governor general went from acting as an agent of the British government to a representative of the Canadian Crown; the experiences of the Kingdom of Iceland during the Second World War gave Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent an example of how the lack of a regency act or similar mechanism could, in certain circumstances, evoke a constitutional crisis; when Denmark was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1940, Iceland found itself in the peculiar position wherein its king, Christian X, king of and resided in Denmark, was cut off and unable to perform his constitutional duties, such as passing bills and exercising the royal prerogative, in Iceland.
With no method to allow for the incapacity of the sovereign, the Icelandic parliament was forced into passing an illegal declaration of independence, with the appointment of Sveinn Björnsson as regent. The subject of the Canadian governor general's ability to act in the absence or incapacitation of the monarch was discussed in the House of Commons in 1947; this discussion brought up Canada's lack of something similar to the United Kingdom's Regency Act, which further underscored the need for such a mechanism within the Canadian political structure. As a result, the 1947 Letters Patent were issued by the King that year, allowing the governor general to carry out nearly all of the sovereign's duties in case of capture or incapacity and thus negated the need for His Majesty's Canadian government to go through the process of passing legislation equivalent to the Regency Act. While the governor general is authorised by the Queen to exercise the authority of the Crown on the monarch's behalf, there is no legal impediment to the Queen exercising any of her powers herself, only the Queen can revoke, alter, or amend the 1947 letters patent.
Subsequently, despite the permissions in the Letters Patent 1947, the Canadian sovereign continues to wield "her prerogative powers in relation to Canada concurrently with the Governor General". As a matter of law, the Governor General of Canada is not in the same constitutional position as the sovereign and, as such, the Office of Governor General has never been invested with the powers of the Royal Prerogative, a fact the Constitution Act, 1867 leaves unchanged. Further, unlike other parts of the constitution, the letters patent are a creation of the monarch's Royal Prerogative and cannot be repealed by parliament, conversely, the Letters Patent 1947 would not be sufficient to effect such a dramatic change as a transfer of power from the Queen to the governor general, as any changes to the role of both of these positions are subject to the amending formula provided in section 41 of the Constitution Act, 1982. For example, the position of Commander-in-Chief, while expressly delegated to the governor general in the Letters Patent, cannot be construed as an abdication of this role by the Queen, as any changes to this position would require a constitutional amendment of section 15 of the Constitution Act, 1867.
While the issuance of the Letters Patent in 1947 has sometimes been portrayed as a complete transfer of power, thus a radical departure from previous practices, they are in reality remarkably similar to previous letters patent, above all those of 1931. At the time, it was remarked that "there seems to be no change in the status of governor-general" and that the governor-general "still remains an officer to whom his Majesty has committed extensive but definite powers and functions." The intent behind the letters patent was never to alter the existing practice where certain matters were always referred to the sovereign, but to redraft the 1931 Letters Patent into a uniquely Canadian document empowering the governor general by way of "enabling legislation". Prime Minister Mackenzie King wrote to the King, stating that "unless exceptional circumstances made it necessary to do so, it was not proposed by the Canadian Government to alter existing practices without prior consultation or notification to the Governor General and the King".
Many years after the implementation of the letters patent, a variety of matters continue to be submitted to the sovereign, such as the creation of honours, the appointment of governors general, authorising