Browse "Politics & Law"

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Association des Frères-Chasseurs

The Association des Frères-Chasseurs was a secret society that aimed to free Canada from British rule. It was founded by Patriote exiles following their defeat in 1837. The association took several cues from the Masons, including a variety of rituals, oaths, hand signs and passwords. Commanded by Dr. Robert Nelson, the association quickly spread throughout the American borderland and Lower Canada. The association played a major role in the second phase of the Canadian rebellion, planning and leading the failed invasion of Lower Canada in November 1838. The Frères-Chasseurs and Hunters’ Lodges were part of the same general association with similar aims, practices and rituals. While one was organized by American sympathizers, the other was organized by Lower Canadian Patriotes.

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Attorney

Attorney, someone appointed to represent another or to act in his place. Power of attorney is the legal document appointing this representative.

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Attorney General

The office of attorney general is essentially that of the chief law officer of the Crown. In that capacity, the attorney general is responsible for the conduct of prosecutions of offences on behalf of the Crown and serves as solicitor to the Crown in respect of any civil matters.

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Autonomy Bills

The Autonomy Bills were the 1905 laws that created the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta out of the North-West Territories (1870–1905). Despite strong support for provincehood, frustrations were evident. The Bills’ most fiercely contested elements revolved around boundaries, the federal government’s ongoing control over public lands and resources and the educational clauses in the Bills.

Macleans

BC Referendum Controversy

The beauty of a referendum is that no matter how complex or inappropriate the question, the answer can only be Yes or No. Except, apparently, in British Columbia, where Up Yours is also gaining a measure of popularity.

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Bailiff

Bailiff, sheriff's deputy employed for the execution of judgements (eg, seizure of judgement debtor's goods, repossession of chattels, and evictions); also, an officer of the court having custody of prisoners under arraignment.

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Bait Acts

During the early 1880s the Newfoundland salt-fish trade was in trouble as the product's market value declined. A principal cause was increased competition from Norwegian and French fishermen, the latter heavily subsidized by the French government.

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Balfour Report

The Balfour Report of 1926 declared that Britain and its Dominions were constitutionally equal to each other. It was a landmark document confirming Canada as a fully independent country, united with Britain and the other Dominions through the Commonwealth.

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Baltej Dhillon Case

In 1991, Baltej Singh Dhillon became the first member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police permitted to wear a turban — as part of his Sikh religion — instead of the Mounties' traditional cap or stetson. Dhillon's request that the RCMP change its uniform rules triggered a national debate about religious accommodation in Canada.

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Bank Act

The Bank Act is the law passed by Parliament to regulate Canada's chartered banks. The Act has 3 main goals: protecting depositors' funds; insuring the maintenance of cash reserves (see Monetary Policy); and promoting the efficiency of the financial system through competition.

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Bank of Canada Act

Bank of Canada Act, 3 July 1934, created the Bank of Canada 1935 in response to the 1933 Royal Commission on Banking and Currency. The Bank of Canada was at first privately owned, but was nationalized by 1938.

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Barrister

Barrister, member of legal profession in England who has exclusive right of audience in high and superior courts. Usually retained by a solicitor, barristers have unique legal status.

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Bartle Case

In the Bartle case (1994), Mr Bartle was arrested at 1:00 a.m. on a weekend for driving a vehicle while impaired. After failing the "Alert" road test, he was brought to the police station, where he was promptly informed of his right to consult a lawyer, including available legal aid services.

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Bennett's New Deal

In the mid-1930s, at the height of the Great Depression, Prime Minister R.B. Bennett's political demise seemed inevitable. Seeking to reverse the tide running against his Conservative Party, in January 1935 he began a series of live radio speeches outlining a "New Deal" for Canada.

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Bering Sea Dispute

During the 1880s, while Americans hunted seals on the Pribilof Islands, which the US had acquired from Russia in 1867, Canadians conducted sealing in the open waters. In 1886 US government revenue cutters, claiming to protect "American property," began seizing Canadian sealing vessels.

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Biculturalism

This neologistic term came into public consciousness with the appointment of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism in 1963. On examining its terms of reference the commission could not find the word in a dictionary.