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Quebec Language Policy

Quebec is the only province in Canada where francophones make up the majority population. For almost two centuries, many have maintained that preserving the French language was the only possible safeguard for the survival of the Quebec nation (see Francophone Nationalism in Quebec). However, it wasn’t until the Quiet Revolution in the 1960s that governments in Quebec began to actively legislate on the issue. Since 1974, French has been the only official language in the province, although some government services remain accessible in English. Quebec has the distinction of being bilingual on constitutional and federal levels, while officially allowing only French in its provincial institutions.

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Social Democracy

Social democracy, historically, is a term that has been used by individuals on both the far and moderate left to describe their beliefs, but in recent years the latter have embraced the term almost exclusively (indeed radical left-wing critics often use the term disparagingly).

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Political Songs

In contrast to patriotic songs, which are broad in appeal and generally avoid controversy, political songs usually display intense partisanship and relate to specific events or situations, such as elections, strikes, unemployment, racism or discrimination. They vent grievances and scorn, often through satire, and are meant to boost morale and rouse support.

Macleans

RCMP Raid BC Premier's House

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 15, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

B.C. Premier Glen Clark lives in a modest, shingled home on Anzio Drive on Vancouver's east side, near the Burnaby boundary. Last Tuesday night, his wife, Dale, a public school teacher, was home as usual with the couple's two young children, Reid and Layne. Around 7 p.m.

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Estates General of French Canada

The Estates General of French Canada were a series of conferences held from 1966 to 1969 which gathered over a thousand delegates from Quebec, Acadia, Ontario and Western Canada. These last patriotic assemblies organized after the Congrès de la langue française (1912, 1937, 1952) marked an important turning point in the history of French-Canadian nationalism and in that of the relationship between Quebec and the Canadian Francophonie.

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Canada and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a non-binding political commitment made by United Nations Member States to protect populations from genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes. Canadian leadership was instrumental in the establishment of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) in 2000, which led to the development and eventual adoption of R2P at the 2005 UN World Summit (see also Canada and Peacekeeping).

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Cod Moratorium of 1992

On 2 July 1992, the federal government banned cod fishing along Canada’s east coast. This moratorium ended nearly five centuries of cod fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador. Cod had played a central role in the province’s economy and culture.

The aim of the policy was to help restore cod stocks that had been depleted due to overfishing. Today, the cod population remains too low to support a full-scale fishery. For this reason, the ban is still largely in place.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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Canadian Human Rights Act

The Canadian Human Rights Act, created in 1977, is designed to ensure equality of opportunity. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, age, sex and a variety of other categories. The Act produced two human rights bodies: the Canadian Human Rights Commission and, through a 1985 amendment, the Human Rights Tribunal Panel (it became the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 1998). Decisions of both the Commission and the Tribunal can be appealed to the Federal Court of Canada. Unlike the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which provides Canadians with a broad range of rights, the Canadian Human Rights Act covers only equality rights. It also governs only federal jurisdictions. Each province and territory in Canada has its own human rights legislation, which apply to local entities such as schools and hospitals.

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Fisheries Policy

The challenge of fisheries policy is to preserve fish stocks while maximizing economic benefit to the people involved in the industry, to the communities that depend on it, and to the nation as a whole.

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Coalition Governments in Canada

Coalition governments are created when different political parties co-operate by forming a temporary alliance large enough to enjoy the confidence of Parliament, allowing them to form a government. Members of all parties in the coalition are appointed to Cabinet. This sometimes happens when no single party has achieved a majority of seats in the House of Commons or provincial legislature. Federal coalitions normally appear during periods of crisis such as war or political breakdown. The strengthening of party affiliations and the development of the party system since Confederation has made coalitions more difficult to negotiate. Politicians have become wary of the long-term results of coalitions and are reluctant to introduce them.

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Populism in Canada

Populism is a political ideology or movement that champions the idea of “the people,” usually in opposition to an established elite. It is often considered a right-wing ideology, but there are left-wing populists as well. Populism has a long history in Canada and continues to be an important factor in Canadian political culture and public life. In Canada, there have been right-wing populist parties (e.g., Social Credit Party, Créditistes, Reform) and left-wing populist parties (e.g., United Farmers of Alberta, Co-operative Commonwealth Federation). Although populism can be difficult to define, all populists claim to speak on behalf of ordinary people who have been let down in some way by an elite establishment.

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Referendum

A referendum is the asking of a political question to an electorate, for direct decision by general vote. Although federal referendums are rare in Canada, there have been numerous provincial referendums and plebiscites since Confederation.