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Article

The Great Flag Debate

The long and often bitter debate over the new Canadian flag began in the House of Commons on 15 June 1964. It ended by closure on 15 December 1964. Feelings ran high among many English Canadians. Opposition leader John Diefenbaker demanded that the flag honour Canada’s “founding races” and feature the Union Jack. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson insisted on a design that conveyed allegiance to Canada while avoiding colonial association. A prolonged, heated debate ensued. Historian Rick Archbold described it as “among the ugliest in the House of Commons history.” The new flag, designed by George Stanley with final touches by graphic artist Jacques Saint-Cyr, was approved on 15 December 1964 by a vote of 163 to 78. The royal proclamation was signed by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 January 1965. The national flag was officially unfurled on 15 February 1965.

Article

Communist Party of Canada

The Communist Party of Canada, founded in 1924 as the Canadian branch of the international Communist movement, is a fringe political party that advocates for a pure socialist society based on the ideas of Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx.

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Faint Hope: Background

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 18, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

Danny Homer’s calm, detached tone belies the fact that he is talking about the murder that put him behind bars for life. The prisoner, now 38, explains that he was a teenager living in Regina in January, 1977, when he killed Ira McDonald, a 23-year-old partner in crime.

Article

Château Clique

 Château Clique, nickname given to the small group of officials, usually members of the anglophone merchant community, including John MOLSON and James MCGILL, who dominated the executive and legislative councils, the judiciary and senior bureaucratic positions of LOWER CANADA until the 1830s.

Article

Advance Directives

An advance directive (sometimes referred to as a "living will") is a legal mechanism which enables individuals to plan for their own incapacity, and specifically for the situation where decisions have to be taken with respect to their health care after they are no longer mentally capable of making (or communicating) these decisions personally.

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IRA Bomb Shatters the Peace

The modernistic landscape that has sprouted over London's once-derelict Docklands since the 1980s is the kind of target the Irish Republican Army loved to hit. Its centrepiece is Canary Wharf, the sometimes-maligned 52-storey office tower that is the tallest building in Britain.

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Canadian Bill of Rights

The Canadian Bill of Rights was the country’s first federal law to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. It was considered groundbreaking when it was enacted by the government of John Diefenbaker in 1960. But it proved too limited and ineffective, mainly because it applies only to federal statutes and not provincial ones. Many judges regarded it as a mere interpretive aid. The bill was cited in 35 cases between 1960 and 1982; thirty were rejected by the courts. Though it is still in effect, the Bill of Rights was superseded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982.

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Monarchism

Monarchism is support for Canada’s system of government as a constitutional monarchy. Monarchism is distinct from royalism in that it is support for monarchy as a political institution, rather than for an individual monarch. Monarchism played a key role in the development of Canada and continues to be part of political and popular discourse.

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Law and Society

One of the most historic ideas about the LAW is that it is based on human nature or reason, and therefore simply reflects what is natural or reasonable, enabling society to function in a just and effective manner.

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Official Languages Act (1988)

The Official Languages Act (1988) consolidates all of the changes made to the Official Languages Act of 1969, providing more detail and making them clearer within a new legislative framework. This version highlights the responsibilities of federal institutions with respect to the official languages (see also Language Policy in Canada).

This is the full-length entry about the Official Languages Act of 1988. For a plain language summary, please see The Official Languages Act (1988) (Plain Language Summary).

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The White Paper, 1969

The 1969 White Paper (formally known as the “Statement of the Government of Canada on Indian Policy, 1969”) was a Canadian government policy paper that attempted to abolish previous legal documents relating to Indigenous peoples in Canada, including the Indian Act and  treaties. It also aimed to assimilate all “Indian” peoples under the Canadian state. The 1969 White Paper was proposed by Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development  Jean Chrétien and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau to widespread criticism. The policy proposed to eliminate Indian Status, incorporate First Nations under provincial government responsibilities, and impose land decisions, notions of private property and economic agendas on Indigenous communities. The backlash to the 1969 White Paper was monumental, leading not only to its withdrawal in 1970, but to a wave of activism, academic work and court decisions over the next five decades. (See also Indigenous Political Organization and Activism in Canadaand Indigenous Peoples in Canadian Law.)

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Softwood Lumber Dispute

Softwood Lumber Dispute first arose in 1982 with a complaint by the US lumber industry that low Canadian stumpage rates constituted an unfair advantage. In Canada, provinces own most of the forest resource and administer the rates whereas in the US rates are set at an auction.

Article

Red Tory

The language of Red Toryism became popular in the mid-1960s when Gad Horowitz suggested that George Grant was Red Tory.

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Girls Kill Teenage Schoolmate

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 8, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

The waterfront park where Reena Virk was viciously beaten and left to drown looks like a Canadian dream: clumps of trees dot one shore, while attractive middle-class homes line the opposite bank.

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Jane Stewart Scandal

No one ever suggested Mel Cappe was much of a micromanager. Cappe's reputation in Ottawa's public service is as a big-picture guy, a bureaucrat more interested in the sweep of policy-making than the dotted i's of program management.

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