Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay. S. states of Maine, New Hampshire and New York. It shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by its second-largest administrative division, it is and politically considered to be part of Central Canada. Quebec is the second-most populous province of Canada, after Ontario, it is the only one to have a predominantly French-speaking population, with French as the sole provincial official language. Most inhabitants live in urban areas near the Saint Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City, the capital. Half of Quebec residents live in the Greater Montreal Area, including the Island of Montreal. English-speaking communities and English-language institutions are concentrated in the west of the island of Montreal but are significantly present in the Outaouais, Eastern Townships, Gaspé regions.
The Nord-du-Québec region, occupying the northern half of the province, is sparsely populated and inhabited by Aboriginal peoples. The climate around the major cities is four-seasons continental with cold and snowy winters combined with warm to hot humid summers, but farther north long winter seasons dominate and as a result the northern areas of the province are marked by tundra conditions. In central Quebec, at comparatively southerly latitudes, winters are severe in inland areas. Quebec independence debates have played a large role in the politics of the province. Parti Québécois governments held referendums on sovereignty in 1980 and 1995. Although neither passed, the 1995 referendum saw the highest voter turnout in Quebec history, at over 93%, only failed by less than 1%. In 2006, the House of Commons of Canada passed a symbolic motion recognizing the "Québécois as a nation within a united Canada". While the province's substantial natural resources have long been the mainstay of its economy, sectors of the knowledge economy such as aerospace and communication technologies and the pharmaceutical industry play leading roles.
These many industries have all contributed to helping Quebec become an economically influential province within Canada, second only to Ontario in economic output. The name "Québec", which comes from the Algonquin word kébec meaning "where the river narrows" referred to the area around Quebec City where the Saint Lawrence River narrows to a cliff-lined gap. Early variations in the spelling of the name included Kébec. French explorer Samuel de Champlain chose the name Québec in 1608 for the colonial outpost he would use as the administrative seat for the French colony of New France; the province is sometimes referred to as "La belle province". The Province of Quebec was founded in the Royal Proclamation of 1763 after the Treaty of Paris formally transferred the French colony of Canada to Britain after the Seven Years' War; the proclamation restricted the province to an area along the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. The Quebec Act of 1774 expanded the territory of the province to include the Great Lakes and the Ohio River Valley and south of Rupert's Land, more or less restoring the borders existing under French rule before the Conquest of 1760.
The Treaty of Paris ceded territories south of the Great Lakes to the United States. After the Constitutional Act of 1791, the territory was divided between Lower Canada and Upper Canada, with each being granted an elected legislative assembly. In 1840, these become Canada East and Canada West after the British Parliament unified Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada; this territory was redivided into the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario at Confederation in 1867. Each became one of the first four provinces. In 1870, Canada purchased Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company and over the next few decades the Parliament of Canada transferred to Quebec portions of this territory that would more than triple the size of the province. In 1898, the Canadian Parliament passed the first Quebec Boundary Extension Act that expanded the provincial boundaries northward to include the lands of the local aboriginal peoples; this was followed by the addition of the District of Ungava through the Quebec Boundaries Extension Act of 1912 that added the northernmost lands of the Inuit to create the modern Province of Quebec.
In 1927, the border between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador was established by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Quebec disputes this boundary. Located in the eastern part of Canada, part of Central Canada, Quebec occupies a territory nearly three times the size of France or Texas, most of, sparsely populated, its topography is different from one region to another due to the varying composition of the ground, the climate, the proximity to water. The Saint Lawrence Lowland and the Appalachians are the two main topographic regions in southern Quebec, while the Canadian Shield occupies most of central and northern Quebec. Quebec has one of the world's largest reserves of fresh water, occupying 12% of its surface, it has 3 % of the world's renewable fresh water. Mor
Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court of Canada, the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial and federal appellate courts, its decisions are the ultimate expression and application of Canadian law and binding upon all lower courts of Canada, except to the extent that they are overridden or otherwise made ineffective by an Act of Parliament or the Act of a provincial legislative assembly pursuant to section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The creation of the Supreme Court of Canada was provided for by the British North America Act, 1867, renamed in 1982 the Constitution Act, 1867; the first bills for the creation of a federal supreme court, introduced in the Parliament of Canada in 1869 and in 1870, were withdrawn. It was not until 8 April 1875 that a bill was passed providing for the creation of a Supreme Court of Canada. However, prior to 1949, the Supreme Court did not constitute the court of last resort: litigants could appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London.
As well, some cases could bypass the court and go directly to the Judicial Committee from the provincial courts of appeal. The Supreme Court formally became the court of last resort for criminal appeals in 1933 and for all other appeals in 1949; the last decisions of the Judicial Committee on cases from Canada were made in the mid-1950s, as a result of their being heard in a court of first instance prior to 1949. The increase in the importance of the Court was mirrored by the numbers of its members; the Court was established first with six judges, these were augmented by an additional member in 1927. In 1949, the bench reached its current composition of nine justices. Prior to 1949, most of the appointees to the Court owed their position to political patronage; each judge had strong ties to the party in power at the time of their appointment. In 1973, the appointment of a constitutional law professor Bora Laskin as chief justice represented a major turning point for the Court. In this period, appointees either came from academic backgrounds or were well-respected practitioners with several years experience in appellate courts.
Laskin's federalist and liberal views were shared by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who recommended Laskin's appointment to the Court. The Constitution Act, 1982 expanded the role of the Court in Canadian society by the addition of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which broadened the scope of judicial review; the evolution from the Dickson court through to the Lamer court witnessed a continuing vigour in the protection of civil liberties. Lamer's criminal law background proved an influence on the number of criminal cases heard by the Court during his time as chief justice. Nonetheless, the Lamer court was more conservative with Charter rights, with only about a 1% success rate for Charter claimants. Lamer was succeeded as chief justice by Beverly McLachlin in January 2000, she is the first woman to hold that position. McLachlin's appointment resulted in a more centrist and unified Court. Dissenting and concurring opinions were fewer than during the Lamer Courts. With the 2005 appointments of Justices Louise Charron and Rosalie Abella, the court became the world's most gender-balanced national high court, four of its nine members being female.
Justice Marie Deschamps' retirement on 7 August 2012 caused the number to fall to three, however the appointment of Suzanne Côté on 1 December 2014 restored the number to four. After serving on the Court for 28 years, 259 days, McLachlin retired in December 2017, her successor as chief justice is Richard Wagner. The structure of the Canadian court system is pyramidal, a broad base being formed by the various provincial and territorial courts whose judges are appointed by the provincial or territorial governments. At the next level are the provinces' and territories' superior courts, where judges are appointed by the federal government. Judgments from the superior courts may be appealed to a still higher level, the provincial or territorial courts of appeal. Several federal courts exist: the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada. Unlike the provincial superior courts, which exercise inherent or general jurisdiction, the federal courts' jurisdiction is limited by statute.
In all, there are over 1,000 federally appointed judges at various levels across Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada rests at the apex of the judicial pyramid; this institution hears appeals from the provincial courts of last resort the provincial or territorial courts of appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal, although in some matters appeals come straight from the trial courts, as in the case of publication bans and other orders that are otherwise not appealable. In most cases, permission to appeal must first be obtained from the court. Motions for leave to appeal to the Court are heard by a panel of three judges of the Court and a simple majority is determinative. By convention, this panel never explains why it grants or refuses leave in any particular case, but the Court hears cases of national importance or where the case allows the Court to settle an important issue of law. Leave is granted, meaning that for most litigants, provincial courts of appeal are courts of last resort, but leave to appeal is not required for some cases criminal cases and appeals from provincial references.
A final source of cases is the referral power of the federa
Section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a section that constitutionally guarantees Canadian citizens the democratic right to vote in a general federal or provincial election and the right to be eligible for membership in the House of Commons or of a provincial legislative assembly, subject to the requirements of Section 1 of the Charter. Federal judges and those in mental institutions have gained the franchise as a result of this provision, whereas the restriction on minors voting was found to be permissible due to section 1. Section 3 is one of the provisions in the Charter that cannot be overridden by Parliament or a legislative assembly under Section 33 of the Charter, the notwithstanding clause. Section 3's exemption from Section 33 provides extra legal protection to the right to vote and it may prevent Parliament or the provincial governments from disenfranchising any Canadian citizen for ideological or political purposes, among others. Under the heading "Democratic Rights," the section reads: No formal right to vote existed in Canada before the adoption of the Charter.
There was no such right, for example, in the Canadian Bill of Rights. Indeed, in the case Cunningham v. Tomey Homma, it was found that the government could deny the vote to Japanese Canadians and Chinese Canadians; the section has generated some case law expanding the franchise. In 1988, section 3 had been used to grant suffrage to federal judges and those in mental institutions. A more controversial example is Canada, in which it was found that prisoners could vote, they did so in the 2004 federal election, despite public opposition from Conservative leader Stephen Harper. In the 2002 case Fitzgerald v. Alberta, the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta found that although a minimum voting age of 18 violated section 3 of the Charter, it was justifiable under section 1 of the Charter; the decision was upheld upon appeal. In Figueroa v Canada the court determined that Section 3 explicitly grants both the right to vote and the right to run for office to all Canadian citizens. In Szuchewycz v. Canada the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta found that the $1000 federal candidate deposit requirement violated Section 3 and could not be justified under Section 1.
Justice Inglis noted in paragraph 59 "I agree that the potential to prevent a serious and impressive candidate from running in an election, due to the financial pressure a $1000 deposit could create, is a real risk of the requirement. In my opinion, the impugned Deposit Requirement Provision would infringe many individuals’ – including the Applicant’s – ability to communicate their messages to the public, participate meaningfully in the electoral process as a candidate." The courts have interpreted section 3 as being more generous than providing a right to vote. As stated in the case Figueroa v. Canada, the section has been viewed as a constitutional guarantee to "play a meaningful role in the electoral process," which in turn encourages governmental "respect for a diversity of beliefs and opinions." This does not mean, that interest groups have complete freedom to promote their beliefs and opinions. Since the voter must have an opportunity to balance various ideas in his or her own mind before meaningfully participating in an election, the Supreme Court has, in the case Harper v. Canada, upheld laws that limit the amount of money a single group can contribute in the election.
Although one cannot see this on the face of the Charter, the Supreme Court has ruled that section 3 guarantees a measure of equality in voting. In Reference re Prov. Electoral Boundaries, it was found that constituencies should have the same number of voters, although perfection was not required; the reasoning behind this expansion of section three's meaning was that it reflected the original purpose of the section, namely to allow "effective representation." The concession that perfection is not required stemmed from the fact that perfection would be impractical, given geographical limits in drawing boundaries and a general desire to give minorities more representation. While Saskatchewan's constituencies were found to be valid in the 1991 decision, Prince Edward Island's were deemed unconstitutional by the courts and the province's electoral map had to be redrawn. While section 3's reach has been expanded to cover the sizes of constituencies, it has not been extended to guarantee the right to vote in a referendum.
In Haig v. Canada, it was ruled that since section 3 was designed in specific reference to electing representatives, the right could not include participation in a "device for the gathering of opinions", it was noted that unlike elections, governments do not have to hold referendums, nor do governments have to commit themselves to the result of a referendum. Thus, how a referendum is administered is within governmental discretion. Overview of section 3 case law in the Canadian Legal Information Institute Fundamental Freedoms: The Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Charter of Rights website with video and the Charter in over 20 languages
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in Canada simply the Charter, is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. It forms the first part of the Constitution Act, 1982; the Charter guarantees certain political rights to Canadian citizens and civil rights of everyone in Canada from the policies and actions of all areas and levels of the government. It is designed to unify Canadians around a set of principles; the Charter was signed into law by Queen Elizabeth II of Canada on April 17, 1982, along with the rest of the Act. The Charter was preceded by the Canadian Bill of Rights, enacted in 1960. However, the Bill of Rights is only a federal statute, rather than a constitutional document; as a federal statute, it can be amended through the ordinary legislative process and has no application to provincial laws. The Supreme Court of Canada narrowly interpreted the Bill of Rights and the Court was reluctant to declare laws inoperative; the relative ineffectiveness of the Canadian Bill of Rights motivated many to improve rights protections in Canada.
The movement for human rights and freedoms that emerged after World War II wanted to entrench the principles enunciated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The British Parliament formally enacted the Charter as a part of the Canada Act 1982 at the request of the Parliament of Canada in 1982, the result of the efforts of the government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. One of the most notable effects of the adoption of the Charter was to expand the scope of judicial review, because the Charter is more explicit with respect to the guarantee of rights and the role of judges in enforcing them than was the Bill of Rights; the courts, when confronted with violations of Charter rights, have struck down unconstitutional federal and provincial statutes and regulations or parts of statutes and regulations, as they did when Canadian case law was concerned with resolving issues of federalism. The Charter, granted new powers to the courts to enforce remedies that are more creative and to exclude more evidence in trials.
These powers are greater than what was typical under the common law and under a system of government that, influenced by Canada's parent country the United Kingdom, was based upon Parliamentary supremacy. As a result, the Charter has attracted both broad support from a majority of the Canadian electorate and criticisms by opponents of increased judicial power; the Charter only applies to government laws and actions, sometimes to the common law, not to private activity. Under the Charter, people physically present in Canada have numerous political rights. Most of the rights can be exercised by any legal person, but a few of the rights belong to natural persons, or only to citizens of Canada; the rights are enforceable by the courts through section 24 of the Charter, which allows courts discretion to award remedies to those whose rights have been denied. This section allows courts to exclude evidence in trials if the evidence was acquired in a way that conflicts with the Charter and might damage the reputation of the justice system.
Section 32 confirms that the Charter is binding on the federal government, the territories under its authority, the provincial governments. The rights and freedoms enshrined in 34 sections of the Charter include: Precluding all the freedoms and forming the basis of the Charter, the first section, known as limitations clause, allows governments to justify certain infringements of Charter rights; every case in which a court discovers a violation of the Charter would therefore require a section 1 analysis to determine if the law can still be upheld. Infringements are upheld if the purpose for the government action is to achieve what would be recognized as an urgent or important objective in a free society, if the infringement can be "demonstrably justified." Section 1 has thus been used to uphold laws against objectionable conduct such as hate speech and obscenity. Section 1 confirms that the rights listed in the Charter are guaranteed. In addition, some of these rights are subjected to the notwithstanding clause.
The notwithstanding clause authorizes governments to temporarily override the rights and freedoms in sections 2 and 7–15 for up to five years, subject to renewal. The Canadian federal government has never invoked it, some have speculated that its use would be politically costly. In the past, the notwithstanding clause was invoked by the province of Quebec; the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta have invoked the notwithstanding clause, to end a strike and to protect an heterosexual definition of marriage, respectively. The territory of Yukon passed legislation once that invoked the notwithstanding clause, but the legislation was never proclaimed in force. Section 2: which lists what the Charter calls "fundamental freedoms" namely freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and of other media of communication, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association; the right to participate in political activities and the right to a democratic form of government are protect