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CANS 200 (36)

The Rights Movement

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Canadian Studies
CANS 200
Elsbeth Anne Heaman

The Rights MovementEarly debates about rights Canadian rights as British rights rather than thhuman rights until the mid 20 centuryCivil rights movement in Canada merges with postcolonial Prehistory of Canadian rights British rightsBritish political culture is steeped in rights talk dating back to Magna Carta Such as No taxation without representationHabeus corpus no imprisonment without evidence trialThese are among the historically negotiated rights of British subjectsAlso abstract and theoretical rightsLiberal political theory suggest that a right is a need something we absolutely must have th 17 century Hobbes social contract we have a right to life because we need our lives And so we have a right to resist governments that threaten our right to life Locke adds and we need property tooUneasy fit with British rightsUnder British rule British rights are extended to the new subjects indigenous peoples French CanadiansTheres also some recognition of aboriginal rights including some sort of entitlement to the land they live on however narrowly definedPursuit of the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness is seen revolutionary dangerous decadent unBritish and therefore unCanadian Canadian is POGG peace order good governmentth Middle third of the 19 century FrenchCanadian rouge party is fiercely committed to civil rights but is defeated by the Catholic Church in QuebecWilfrid Laurier is a transitional figure explicitly espouses British rather than French rights and so rehabilitates Liberal Party in Quebec Two impediments to civil rights in Canada Along with the Catholic Church totally against itThe British rights upheld in Canada tend to enforce cultural and political assimilation upon minority groups in Canada Minorities are seen to have no needs that could possibly trump the benefits of acquiring a British identity Some exception for French Canadian identity achieved through negotiationbut lots of English Canadians dont really believe itThe people who espouse civil rights tend to be blacked by association with CommunismLe debates around 1937 Padlock law in Quebec that criminalizes even peaceful communist associationJohn Diefenbaker is a lawyer an activist believes in civil rights Not only arguing for civil rights finally gets elected at the end of the 30s
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