POL214 Canadian Politics w/1 September 14
What is a constitution? Three pillars of canadian constitution. Differentiate between the big “C”
constitution and the small “c” constitution.
Constitution:Outlines divisions of power between levels of government. A body of fundamental
principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is
acknowledged to be governed. Supreme law of the land in a given territory.
1867; constitution act; British North America Act (BNA Act). 1982; changed to the constitution
Constitution Act 1982; does not replace the BNA act, it adds to it. It says about the constitution:
section 52 of the constitution act the constitution. of canada is the supreme law of canada and
any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution is to the extent of the
inconsistency that law has no force or effect.
Part of constition; Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1982 people became part of the
constitution. Constitutionalized rights; before the only right had that couldn’t be taken away was
free of charge of crime to plead case in english or french.
Violated Section 8; everyone has right to be safe against unreasonable search and seizure.
Anyone whos rights and freedoms are denyed, they can apply to a court for revenue
Constitution establishes and defines political community. Defines what canadian values are.
19th Century, constitution referred to the parliament; held by the parliament. The rights currently
had, were whatever parliament gave you. Is no longer just the structures of governmental
powers, incoroporates feminine rights and freedoms and individuals and groups. Not so much in
the United States. Language groups have certain rights, as do aboriginals in canada.
Both the federal and provincial levels can argue in protecting fisheries there’s an environmental
concern. Every constitution deals with issue of who should rule. Because the constitution
includes charter of rights, doesn’t mean they’re being protected.
In U.S constitution treated like a sacred text.
1988: Malroney: the constitution of canada is not worth the paper its written on. A constitution is
something shared by a society.Documents that link past present and future Essence of a
constitution is not what’s written down. It’s what we think the constitution is; our imagination of
it. Government is whoever governor general allows. Constitutional convention: unwritten
constitution, but it’s understood and obligatory. If government loses the confidence of the
people, they must dissolve.
87% of canadians believe violent crime in canada has gone up in the last 10 years.
Developing countries have higher homicide rates. Toronto has 5mil people, 100 homicides.