April 16

Law 30 08.1 The Charter – Summaries & Cases

Looking at the different sections of the Charter, use either the Text for support or online sources to develop a clear summary of the rights/freedoms protected within each of the sections as well as a collection of Cases that have been tried in the court system to test the limits of each section.

Textbook Chapter – pdf – it’s been emailed to you through your Sunwest email

Websites useful in Charter Case Studies:


Extension Questions: Questions we have from our discussionImage result for discussion icon png

  1. The court is meant to balance against government abusing power to create new legislation. What if the courts aren’t balanced either ideologically and decisions are made leaning towards whoever was able to add judges to the bench?


Question to answer in your Comment: What understanding do you have now of Canada’s Supreme Court make up and whether it could be used by a government to predict decisions, as it often is in the States. In your opinion, can we trust the balance the courts offer against government power?

April 9

Law 30 07 Changing the Constitution – The Why

As Canada developed further as a country, it grew in population and diversity. Eventually, it was believed that protections needed to be included in the Constitution level of law to protect that diversity – thus the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Resources to Support Learning for This Section:

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April 5

07 Protections from Judicial Pressure – Documentary

The general public likely has nothing to fear within the judicial system, but it would be naive to believe only guilty people are convicted of crimes. There are many examples of individuals found guilty of serious offences, including murder, serving a number of years in prison, only later to be exonerated and their convictions erased, because of new evidence revealed. Andy Rose is one such individual.

“Someone Got Away With Murder” Fifth Estate Documentary – how far can police go in pressuring a suspect to gain evidence to use against them in a trial? And at what cost?

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March 27

Law 30 05 Fiduciary Duty to First Nations

Another important part of understanding the laws of Canada related to its early beginnings is to understand the unique relationship government has with our third cultural component – the First Nations people that lived on the land that became part of Canada.

Because King George III initially promised to deal with the Aboriginal groups in the newly developing land as a sovereign nation, still today any decision made within Canada must consider whether it impacts First Nations rights and then has a responsibility to consult. It arises in the news often, including some recent events you may have heard of, like:

Gitdumt'en Under Siege

SHARE WIDELY – Wet'suwet'en territory is under siege by RCMP tactical forces, who are working with TransCanada to force a pipeline through our territory. Yesterday Gitdumt'en people and supporters were forcibly removed from our homelands for upholding our Wet'suwet'en laws. Militarized police confronted unarmed Indigenous people with assault and sniper rifles and made 14 arrests. As of now, Gitdumt'en Clan spokesperson Molly Wickham remains in state custody along with several others.We have never signed treaties with Canada or given up our rights and title to these lands. Canada is violating Anuk Nu'at'en (Wet'suwet'en law), it's own colonial laws, and UNDRIP. The violent separation of our people and our lands is no different today than it was 150 years ago.We fear for our neighbours at Unist'ot'en Camp who now face a similar prospect of state violence.Today there are international solidarity actions with the Wet'suwet'en. Attend one near you: https://www.facebook.com/events/2225649537692362/For ways to support: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=225163691762758&id=212798726332588To donate: https://www.gofundme.com/gitdumt039en-access-point#WETSUWETENSTRONG #NOTRESPASS #WEDZINKWA #NOPIPELINESNo use of footage without consent. Direct media enquires to michaeltoledano@gmail.com

Posted by Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidumt'en Territory on Tuesday, January 8, 2019

You have several questions to research and find responses to. To help some (who’ve missed some classes) to catch up, here are links you could reference.

  1. Summarize the Indian Act and its main points.
  2. What was the purpose/intent of the Indian Act? Who contributed to developing it?
  3. What is the fiduciary responsibility of Canada to the Aboriginal peoples who lived in the territories Canada assumed control of? What does it mean in terms of decisions made regarding First Nations in Canada?
  4. Explain the meaning of the government’s responsibility to “consult and inform” First Nations people. What types of issues did the Federal government have a “duty to consult” them on?
  5. Identify and summarize two specific events of Canadian history where conflict arose regarding whether consultation and informing between the government and First Nations people happened properly.
  6. How did the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement (1930) have an impact on First Nations people of Canada?
  7. What was unique about the First Nations people of Newfoundland and Labrador once those provinces joined Confederation? How was this resolved, ultimately?
  8. Identify the purpose or complaint in the R. v. Geurin (1984) Supreme Court Case and the resulting judgement. How has it continued to impact First Nations of Canada?
  9. Identify the purpose or complaint in Sparrow v. The Queen (1990) court case and the resulting judgement. How has it continued to impact First Nations of Canada?
  10. What year and under what circumstances could First Nations people first vote in a Canadian election?
  11. There have been many criticisms of the Indian Act over the decades since its development. Identify and explain three of them.
  12. Select and summarize any two recent events involving First Nations groups or communities that connect back to the relationship established with them as a sovereign nation in Canada at Confederation. Include a personal conclusion of how each event has had an additional impact on Canadian development as a whole.


Some positive things are changing with the Canadian government’s relationship with Aboriginal groups in Canada. They’re involved in great economic partnerships and contributing billions of dollars into Canada’s economy. Some of the boil-water advisories in FN communities have been resolved and the rest are expected to be completed by 2021. There is a long way to go, though.

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March 21

Law 30 04 Roots of a Pluralistic Society

Canada’s beginnings were the result of struggles between three founding cultures: the French, First Nations, and British. One of the main ideas of this section is understanding the cause and effect of Quebec becoming a distinct province within Canadian Confederation. To this day, culture and the idea of “being Canadian” is practiced differently (with some limitations) within the province of Quebec.

Recent Event Examples of Quebec Interaction with the Country:


Supporting Resources:




Animated map showing the border changes in North America from 1750–2008 via over 70 slides
By EsemonoOwn work, Public Domain, Link


Canada – a union of four provinces by BNA Act 1867


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February 11

Law 30: 03 Divisions of Law

Links and resources to help support the discussion of the levels of law in Canada.

  1. Common Law/Case Law
    1. Here’s What Judges Will Consider When Sentencing McArthur and Bissonnette (concurrent/consecutive/precedent) Feb 06, 2019 CBC
    2. Appeal Court to Rule in Case Involving Legal Definition of Death Feb 11, 2019 CBC
    3. Search Warrant’s Impossible Execution Date Should Have Been Noticed (Nova Scotia 2016 – appealed 2018)
  2. Statute Law
    1. Canlii Statute Law Acts – website lists government Acts
    2. Cannabis Act – 2018-06-21
    3. Bills Put Forward by 42nd Parliament – started Dec 2015
    4. Nine Bills Passed by Parliament Before the Summer Break 2016
  3. Constitutional Law
    1. Five Supreme Court Cases That Could Reshape Canadian Law Oct 2018
    2. Thirty-five Charter Related Cases – verdicts continue to help clarify the meaning and application of the law
    3. Supreme Court Finds Teacher Guilty of Voyeurism (Feb 14, 2019)












Read/Summarize Activity: From either of the links above related to Charter cases, pick one, read it, and write a Comment to this blog post to summarize it for the class.

Image result for blog icon




Public vs Private Law Categories:

  • Media Bias website: from a list of Canadian media sources, check them for bias and accuracy to determine which news sources you’ll feel comfortable referencing through the course.
    • Globe and Mail
    • National Post
    • Global Media/CTV Media
    • Star Phoenix/Leader Post
    • CBC
    • Huffington Post Canada
  • Gathering News Articles per category – Socrative Activity
January 31

Law 30: 02 Why we Need Laws

Some links and resources posted here that go along with our section.

  • Watch the Without Rule of Law video (below) – open it in YouTube to play it and watch to 16 minutes worth.

  • Personal Inquiry Search: Select one of the two following options and develop a personal summary – either in written form (half page typed) or an audio reflection (4 minutes min) – of what you have or can learn from the topic selected.
    • Research to learn whether Venezuela has Rule of Law right now and if not what is causing WROL (without rule of law). Consider, too, how long the situation there has been escalating – long term or mostly recent? Was there a specific trigger that’s changed things?
    • Explore the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2017-2018 and read the Report Highlights. You can search certain country pages (Canada vs Denmark or U.S.A) to see how they’re rated differently. Develop a personal summary of your findings/what you can learn from the site.
  • Viewing Activity: “You Should Have Stayed Home” Fifth Estate documentary on police use of force during 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto. Even countries with high Rule of Law function can fall victim to moments of WROL. Watch and take notes of significant details or comments you’d like to make to add to the discussion.


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January 30

01 Intro to Law

Media to support initial conversations of legal matters in Canada.

  1. Is it assault to pie someone in the face? Is this a crime? It is often done in a political statement – in protest of something.

2. Example of the legal issue in parents wanting to maintain life support despite a hospital supporting taking someone off it.

       3. Man is given surgery and released despite his hesitancy/readiness and suffered a stroke hours later leaving him disabled and unable to speak. Liability on part of hospital or a specific individual?

Morals shift and so do our laws.

Text pdf What is Law Why do we Have it-2o3tn0j

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