Commissions & Reports | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Macleans

    1995 Federal Budget Briefs

    This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on March 13, 1995

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  • Article

    Applebaum-Hébert Report

    Applebaum-Hébert Report. Name commonly given to the report of the Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee appointed by the Liberal government in August 1980. This was the first review of Canadian cultural institutions and federal cultural policy after the Massey Commission report of 1951.

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  • Article

    Balfour Report

    The Balfour Report of 1926 was an important document in Canada’s evolution to become a fully self-governing nation. The report declared that Britain and its Dominions were constitutionally equal. The findings of the report were made law by the British Parliament in the 1931 Statute of Westminster. This was the founding document of the modern Commonwealth. Canada remained linked to Britain politically. But legal power shifted decisively to the Canadian Parliament and its prime minister. This shift quickly led to an independent Canadian foreign policy and to the creation of its diplomatic service. It took several decades before Canada assumed all of its other powers under the Statute.

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  • Article

    Berger Commission

    In 1974, the federal government formed a royal commission to consider two proposals for natural gas pipelines in the North. Thomas Berger, a judge, led the inquiry. Over the next two years, the Berger Commission assessed the potential impacts of the proposed pipelines. Berger held formal and informal hearings. These included 45 community hearings from the Northwest Territories and Yukon to Southern Canada. His 1977 report made several recommendations. He called for further study and the settlement of Indigenous land claims. He also called for a 10-year ban on pipeline construction in the Mackenzie Valley. Berger opposed building any pipeline across the sensitive caribou habitat of the northern Yukon. The Berger Commission involved the public and included Indigenous views more than any resource-related consultation had done before in Canada. Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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  • Article

    Brandy Parliament

    Brandy Parliament, an assembly of 20 notables of New France, who on 10 October 1678 were asked their opinion of the sale of brandy to the Indigenous peoples. The title was bestowed in 1921 by historian W.B. Munro.

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  • Article

    Canada Committee

    Canada Committee, a British parliamentary committee established 2 May 1828 to settle political disputes which were paralysing representative government in Lower Canada and creating difficulties in Upper Canada.

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  • Article

    Canadian Council on Social Development

    Founded in 1920 by Charlotte Whitton, the organization was initially known as the Canadian Council on Child Welfare. Ten years later, when its mandate was broadened to include families, it became the Canadian Council on Child and Family Welfare.

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  • Article

    Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission

    Created in 2000, the privately funded Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission (CDCAC) was co-chaired by Canadian publisher Avie Bennett and ex-NDP leader Ed Broadbent.

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  • Article

    Canadian General Standards Board

    The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) was established in 1934 under the National Research Council Act as the Government Purchasing Standards Committee and its present name was adopted in 1980.

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  • Article

    Canadian Human Rights Commission

    The Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Tribunal Panel were established under the 1977 Canadian Human Rights Act to investigate and resolve individual complaints about discriminatory employment practices.

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  • Article

    Commissioner for Oaths

    A Commissioner for Oaths is any person over 18 years of age commissioned by a lieutenant-governor to administer oaths and take affidavits.

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  • Article


    Parliament has many committees which perform functions that cannot be adequately accomplished in debate or question period.

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  • Article

    Deschênes Commission

    The Deschênes Commission (officially known as the Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals in Canada) was an independent commission of inquiry established by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Its purpose was to investigate accusations that alleged war criminals from the Second World War had found refuge and were living in Canada. The commission took a broad approach to its mandate, investigating war crimes as well as crimes against humanity. While war crimes had already been established as a specific kind of crime after the Second World War, crimes against humanity were not as clearly described, and therefore did not have a clear and defined punishment structure. The outcome of this report was to formalize crimes against humanity and create that framework. Specifically, the Criminal Code was amended so that war crimes would be offences under Canadian law regardless of Canada's involvement in said war. A two-part final report was completed and delivered at the end of 1986. The first part concluded that alleged Nazi war criminals were residing in Canada, but also that Canada lacked the legal means to prosecute those individuals. The second part of the report—that concerned with allegations against specific individuals—remains confidential.

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  • Article

    Document Balfour Report 1926

    Selected text of the Balfour Report:The Committee are of opinion that nothing would be gained by attempting to lay down a Constitution for the British Empire.

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  • Article

    Durham Report

    In 1838, the British politician Lord Durham was sent to British North America to investigate the causes of the rebellions of 1837–38 in the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada. Durham's famous Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839) led to a series of reforms and changes. These included uniting the two Canadas into a single colony, the Province of Canada, in 1841. (See also: Act of Union.) The report also paved the way for responsible government. This was a critical step in the development of Canadian democracy. The report played an important role in the evolution of Canada’s political independence from Britain.

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