October 17

Social 10 Balance of Rights/Freedoms – Confederation



































Canada is considered one of the best societies in the world with high quality of living. Part of that measurement is because there are strong individual rights protected by law in Canada. Their source is Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This section explores that and what it means to Canadians.

  1. These rights apply to Canadian citizens, including people with Permanent Resident status. They only lack two “Rights” other Canadians enjoy.
  2. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms set out the protections for individuals, but as society changes and our needs so do the laws supporting those protections. The Supreme Court of Canada is the final say for laws in Canada.
    1. Example: Ban on Sikh kirpan overturned by Supreme Court
    2. Example: The 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision giving Nova Scotia Mikmaq peoples their right to fish for a “moderate livelihood” outside of the fishing season.
  3. Decision-making power in any country is of primary importance. Who gets that power, how they use it, who is excluded from it: these are all important characteristics that can change what a society looks like. Canada’s Constitution document establishes that process and levels of power for decision-makers.
    1. Example: If a single dictator makes all decisions, it is a very different type of society as a result, than if every citizens has a part in the decision-making power, like we do in Canada.
    2. Example: Court cases are heard at the different levels, all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada. They make legal decisions that affect the law as it’s applied for all Canadians.
  4. How is power divided in Canada? By the Canadian Constitution document that first established Canada as a country.
      1. It was first made and named the British North America Act of 1867 (after the British defeated the outnumbered French troops in New France, the area first settled in Canada).
      2. Initially Canada was only made of four provinces
      3. The rest of the land within Canada’s current landmass was held as colonies by the British. Parts of Canada were added to Canada as provinces and territories over time.
      4. The decision-making power was held in Canada by government, but was still under the responsibility and authority of the British Crown, as part of the British colonies.
      5. Canada was later given freedom from the colonies, becoming truly its own country, with autonomy (its own decision-making control).
      6. An essential part of the original BNA Act are two Sections of the document which divide the decision-making responsibilities of the Federal (country-wide) and Provincial (regional) governments.
        1. Section 91 – Federal responsibilities
        2. Section 92 – Provincial responsibilities
      7. The British North America Act was later amended to be called the Constitution Act of 1982 in a big ceremony where the Queen of England came to Canada and brought with her the original BNA document that established Canada’s beginnings.
      8. Now a complete country made up of many provinces and territories, the federal Canadian government and provincial leaders negotiated an adjustment to the new document that would define how Canada as a country and society would function.
      9. A big part or change in that document was the creation/inclusion of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 
      10. Top Five Charter Facts You May Not Know infographic
  5. Peace, Order and Good Government: a set of values
    1. The values Canadian laws were built on were different than the values American laws were built on. From their very early beginnings, the two neighbouring countries with similar pasts were already heading in different directions, which 150 years later results in two countries that are quite different to live in.
      1. Canada’s value goals: peace, order, and good government
      2. America’s value goals: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness
  6. Review: The steps that got us to this place, this type of society and social contract?
    1. BNA Act creates Canada
    2. Powers set out for Federal (Canadian) government
    3. Powers set out for Provincial (Sask, BC, Manitoba, etc) government
    4. Relationship develops between Canada and its provinces/territories
    5. Bringing home the Constitution document – a British law becomes Canadian-owned
    6. Adding the Canadian Charter of Rights.
  7. Not Absolute Rights: Reasonable Limitations of our Charter Rights
    1. It’s well known Canadians have protected rights because of the Charter, but not a lot of people understand those rights aren’t absolute rights.
    2. Your rights end when another person’s rights begin.
    3. Slideplayer: Canadian Rights are not Absolute Rights
    4. Example of Balance of Rights: 12 year old boy given authority to wear his sikh kerpan
    5. Example: Quebec’s reasonable/temporary restriction on religious restrictions
    6. Example: Keegstra’s reasonable limitation on his freedom of expression
    7. Example: New Brunswick uses Notwithstanding Clause to force vaccinations of students attending schools



All these steps and parts of Canada’s social structure contribute to the reasons why Canadian society looks the way it does today and doesn’t look the way it does in Venezuela with corruption and poverty, or Syria with millions of citizens fleeing the country, or Nigeria with military soldiers firing on and killing civilian protestors.



Structure of Canada’s Court System – layers of decision-making power


September 19

Social 10 Activity: Sorting News Events into Elements of Social Contract

We’ve discussed the Social Contract that exists in a society, the agreed upon rules citizens and leaders accept to help keep the society running smoothly. Four of the essential elements to maintain that balance and structure are:

  1. Freedom: practicing and protecting our freedoms
  2. Order: trying to establish/maintain order in society
  3. Equality: maintaining and fighting to keep equality among groups
  4. Hierarchy:  the levels of responsibility some take on to provide for society

To get a better sense of what each of these provides for society, a list of events are compiled below. Consider each and decide which of the four essential elements of our Social Contract they fall under.

  1. Read the title carefully
  2. Skim the beginning of the article to get a sense of what the news article is informing readers about
  3. Consider your four possible element options
  4. Discuss with your partner(s) – what decision do you come to together?


News events/articles – samples of events in society that show evidence of the Freedom, Order, Equality, and Hierarchy that exists in Canada.

  1. Teachers “warned off” from voicing concerns about pond where kindergarten student drowned 1 year ago (says lawyer)
  2. Case of Toronto van attack suspect put over to May
  3. B.C. stock promoter charged with tax evasion
  4. Second Canadian judge suspends (blocks) Quebec’s face covering ban
  5. Loblaw’s tax case goes to appeals court
  6. Animal-rights group PETA’s beef with lobster industry comes to Canada 
  7. Iranian Canadian woman says she’s trapped in her marriage
  8. Coerced-sterilizations a “crisis” that needs a public inquiry
  9. Canada has taken in almost 300 million extra in tariffs on US imports
  10. Trump/Trudeau praise USMCA trade deal saying it will grow the middle class 
  11. Ottawa prepares to squeeze US tech firms over loss of media revenue for Canadian news outlets
  12. October 2020 will shape Canada’s immigration for years to come
  13. Canada’s largest provinces seeking clamp down on social gathering as Corona wave spreads
  14. Army commander orders Canadian troops to call out racism in the ranks
  15. “Blind recruitment” would lead to a more diverse workplace
January 21

Social 10: Canada’s Mixed Economy

Canada began with and is still widely reliant on its agriculture industry. Because of its importance to the country and globally, different initiatives have been developed to help support that industry.

  1. Research online to learn about the following topics:Image result for canadian wheat board
    1. Canada’s National Policy
    2. The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool
    3. The Co-operative/Credit Union movement
    4. The Canadian Wheat Board
  2. For each, find information to explain:
    1. why the policy or organization was necessary? (what did it hope to accomplish?)
    2. what effect did it have?
January 9

Social 10: 09 Standards of Living

Our Unit Three focuses on the study of Economics related to decision-making.

To understand the basics of Economics, this short video will give you an outline of it. Some concepts to focus on:

  • scarcity
  • types of resources
  • three economic questions: What to produce, How to produce, and Who to produce for?
  • types of economic systems
  • interdependence and specialization
  • production
  • wealth and money

Each country must make economic decisions that best support the standard of living for their citizens. The documentary below discusses some of the main concepts related to these resource-use decisions. Included are:

  • comparison between American (wealthy and poor) and Kenyan (wealthy and poor)
  • Those with wealth use more resources, generate more waste, and become influence in decision-making to determine how governments are run and spend money – influencing that gap between wealthy and poor
  • the definition of Trash- most trash could be reused. Could be reconsidered as being in-between the last user and the next. Food trash is considerable – 1/4 of food developed never makes it to a table.
  • What responsibility is it of the wealthy to help create education and supports for the poor, to help them rise up out of their lower living standards?

Countries can be assessed on a scale of greater and lesser quality of life. Do any parts of the following map surprise you?

Here are some additional sources to help us better understand some of the concepts we’re learning about:

  1. a) What does GDP stand for? Explanation and notes from video

1.b) Government spending it part of the calculation of GDP. What percentage of Canada’s GDP comes from government spending, compared to other countries? 

Canada Government Spending – percentage of GDP

1. c) Growth rate of Canada’s GDP (image below)













  1. d) Human Development Index: The measure by the United Nations that ranks countries according to literacy, life expectancy, and GDP.Human Development Index Website



2. World Bank measures the wealth of each country.

  • Consider from the website given the countries listed as wealthy compared to those listed as very poor. What do you recognize of where wealth in the world exists and where it doesn’t?

The World by Income – site














3. The World Bank (The International Monetary Fund – IMF)

The World Bank – Canada’s page

November 30

Social 10 Current Event Links

Our Social 10 studies have included the following topics:

  • necessity of a social contract in society
  • the roles of citizens and government in working together
  • Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • characteristics of Democracy Canada enjoys, but are not equal throughout the world
  • personal paradigms compared to political ideologies
  • philosophers that influenced political thinking related to needs of people vs government
  • Conservatism vs Liberalism ideologies, focused on different goals
    • whether a country is more left or right leaning on the horizontal scale of economy
    • whether a country is more left or right leaning (and up or down) on the vertical scale of social order


Examples from recent current events that connect to these ideas from class are posted below:

  • Supreme Court Rules Reporter Must Share ISIS Notes with Police (link)
October 17

Social 10 05.1 Inquiry Project Links

You’ve done research projects before, where you gathered data on a topic to learn more about it. The end result of that process was learning and possibly a summary of facts.

You’re about to do an Inquiry Project; this is different.

An Inquiry Project:

  • begins with a specific question on a topic you want to learn more about
  • it can be from a number of question options offered or one you develop on your own
  • from your research on that specific question, the goal is to find the answer and form a personal conclusion/judgement on the topic.


We’ve studied the number of ways Canada is a democracy. Your inquiry project will relate to democracy in some way, either related to Canada, in comparison of one country to Canada, or studying another country entirely.


The list of questions offered to help you get started in your thinking:
(The red font indicates someone’s picked this topic.)

  1. In comparing qualities of Canada to another country of the world, what makes Canada a better democracy than the other country?
  2. Consider whether all countries in the world should be democracies. (Luke) 
  3. Democracy is faltering in the international community; it’s weaker now than it’s been in ten years. Why is that?
  4. What is changing in Poland (Luke), Turkey, Hungary (Ayslee) or Venezuela (Connor) to jeopardize their democracy rating on the index?
  5. Some countries are rated to have lower freedom levels of their citizens. Pick one of these countries and find out what indicators exist to claim those citizens have a lower level of freedom?
  6. Is Canada (currently or within the last decade) improving or sliding on the index as a democracy? (Jaxon)
  7. Part of being a democracy is protecting the rights of citizens; when and how has Canada failed to protect citizens?(Lexi)
  8. Is Canada currently or has it ever violated the human rights of Canadians? (Cameron)
  9. What would make Canada more democratic on the index scale? (There are currently 5 other countries listed as more democratic than Canada.)
  10. How is the quality of life of a Canadian in a highly democratic nation different from the quality of life of a citizen in a flawed democracy or authoritarian country? (Macey)
  11. Myanmar was growing towards a democracy in the last few years, but many believe it has failed and stalled. What was changing in that country and is hope lost for the future of democracy for those people?


Resource Links: 

Discussion example: 
In 2004, I lived with teachers in Prince Albert who taught at the Carlton High School. They were Ukranian and I recall them being concerned with an upcoming leadership election in the Ukraine. There were concerns of political corruption or interference, so several people worldwide were selected to go to the Ukraine to “monitor” and be witness to that election to be able to report back to the global community about the fairness of the election. The father of the family I stayed with travelled there to be one of these witnesses. It was around the same time that one political leader of the Ukraine was potentially poisoned – it caused clear damage to his face and body. As someone unfamiliar with stories from other countries, you may be surprised to learn of such corruption. It makes us more appreciative of Canada’s rule of law.
Now, 14 years after his poisoning, this former Ukrainian president has shared his reflections of his experience. 

Image result for ukrainian politician poisoned


October 12

Social 10: 05 Making Decisions in a Parliamentary Democracy

Links to support the topics in the 05 section. This section covers the safeguards that work together in our Parliamentary system to ensure no one abuses power and it is held accountable.