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Patriation of the Constitution

In 1982, Canada fully broke from its colonial past and “patriated” its Constitution. It transferred the country’s highest law, the British North America Act (which was renamed the Constitution Act, 1867), from the authority of the British Parliament to Canada’s federal and provincial legislatures. The Constitution was also updated with a new amending formula and a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These changes occurred after a fierce, 18-month political and legal struggle that dominated headlines and the agendas of every government in the country.

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McIvor Case

The McIvor v. Canada case was about gender discrimination in section 6 of the 1985 Indian Act, which deals with Indian status. Sharon McIvor — a woman who regained status rights after the passing of Bill C-31 in 1985 — was not able to pass on those rights to her descendants in the same way that a man with status could. In her case against the federal government, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that section 6 did, in fact, deny McIvor’s equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In response to this case, the federal government introduced new legislation (Bill C-3) in 2011 to counter gender discrimination in the Indian Act.

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Human Smugglers

"Eightball" pulls back his long black hair, adjusts his balaclava and peers across the St. Lawrence River through his night-vision binoculars.

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General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was an international trade agreement. It was signed by 23 nations, including Canada, in 1947 and came into effect on 1 January 1948. It was refined over eight rounds of negotiations, which led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It replaced the GATT on 1 January 1995. The GATT was focused on trade in goods. It aimed to liberalize trade by reducing tariffs and removing quotas among member countries. Each member of the GATT was expected to open its markets equally to other member nations, removing trade discrimination. The agreements negotiated through GATT reduced average tariffs on industrial goods from 40 per cent (1947) to less than five per cent (1993). It was an early step towards economic globalization.

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Trades and Labor Congress of Canada

Founded in 1883, the Trades and Labor Congress of Canada (TLC) was the first union central to take lasting root in Canada. Principally bringing together craft unions, the TLC was the largest workers’ organization in Canada at the turn of the 20th century. The TLC saw its membership fluctuate in the 20th century because of the fierce competition between national and international unions and the rise of industrial unionism. In 1956, the organization merged with the Canadian Congress of Labour to become the Canadian Labour Congress.

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Ombudsman

An ombudsman is an independent officer of the legislature who investigates complaints from the public against administrative action and, if finding the action unfair, recommends a remedy.

Article

Housing and Housing Policy

Canadian housing takes many forms. More than half of Canadian homes are single-family detached houses; 17% are other ground-oriented forms such as row houses, duplexes, semi-detached or movable; 18% are lowrise apartments and 10% are highrise apartments.

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Scott Talks His Way into Trouble

There is plenty to gossip about at the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel in Fredericton these days. For years, a collection of local lawyers, businessmen, politicians and backroom party types - most of them Liberals - have gathered Saturday mornings in the hotel’s restaurant to sip coffee and discuss politics.

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Filibuster

A filibuster is a parliamentary delaying tactic. It is typically employed by opposition parties to delay or prevent the passage of a bill they don’t like. A filibuster is brought about when legislators speak at great length in opposition to a bill; propose numerous, often trivial amendments; or raise many parliamentary points of privilege. All of this is designed to keep the bill from coming to a vote. The goal of a filibuster is to either change a bill or stop its passage.

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Provincial Orders

On 9 May 1991 Provincial Orders were incorporated into the Order of Precedence for Canadian Orders, Declarations and Medals through Order in Council approved by the government of Canada.

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Krever Report Released

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

They still serve up doughnuts and juice afterward. Otherwise, much has changed for anyone giving blood at a Red Cross clinic in Canada. The questions are chastening. Have you ever paid for sex, a nurse asks.

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Martin's 1996 Budget

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 18, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

If Martin has his way, there will be one more budget - if only because he could then announce the virtual elimination of the federal deficit by the turn of the century.

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Power Deal

Tobin's chipper words aside, there remain daunting hurdles to overcome if the premier's power play is to become a reality by 2007, the target completion date.