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Meech Lake Accord: Document
Canada’s Cold War Purge of LGBTQ from Public Service
Between the 1950s and the 1990s, the Canadian government responded to national security concerns generated by Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union by spying on, exposing and removing suspected LGBTQ individuals from the federal public service and the Canadian Armed Forces. They were cast as social and political subversives and seen as targets for blackmail by communist regimes seeking classified information. These characterizations were justified by arguments that people who engaged in same-sex relations suffered from a “character weakness” and had something to hide because their sexuality was considered a taboo and, under certain circumstances, was illegal. As a result, the RCMP investigated large numbers of people. Many of them were fired, demoted or forced to resign — even if they had no access to security information. These measures were kept out of public view to prevent scandal and to keep counter-espionage operations under wraps. In 2017, the federal government issued an official apology for its discriminatory actions and policies, along with a $145-million compensation package.
Canada and the United States
"The Americans are our best friends whether we like it or not." This statement, uttered in the House of Commons by
Robert Thompson, the leader of the Social Credit Party early in the 1960s, perhaps best captures the essence of Canada's
complex relationship with its nearest neighbour.
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 Though it is still in effect, the Bill of Rights was superseded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982.
Lobbying in Canada
Lobbying is the process through which individuals and groups articulate their interests to federal, provincial or municipal governments to influence public policy or government decision-making. Lobbyists may be paid third parties who communicate on behalf of their clients; or they may be employees of a corporation or organization seeking to influence the government. Because of the possibility for conflict of interest, lobbying is the subject of much public scrutiny. At the federal level, lobbying activities are governed by the Lobbying Act. Provinces and municipalities have their own lobbying laws and by-laws.
Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada is the court of last resort for all legal issues in Canada, including those of federal and provincial jurisdiction. From humble beginnings as an opaque body subject to being overruled by the British Privy Council, the court now has the final judicial say on a broad range of contentious legal and social issues, ranging from the availability of abortion to the constitutionality of capital punishment and assisted suicide.
Westray Charges Stayed
As other Canadians prepared last week to celebrate the country's 131st birthday, families of the 26 men who died in the May, 1992, Westray mine explosion girded themselves for a more sombre undertaking.
NS Premier John Savage Resigns
According to his friends and longtime political associates, there are two John Savages. The first is the private man, whom they describe as warm and compassionate, a doting grandfather, an affable golf companion.
Chechen Leader Killed
In the end, a dangerous and irresistible vanity - talking on the phone - proved fatal for Dzhokar Dudayev.
US Abortionist Slain
The soft-spoken Vancouver doctor, in her late 40s and a mother of three, does not want her name used. Nor does the 52-year-old doctor in Edmonton, a father of two. Another Vancouver gynecologist, a bespectacled grandfather, wont reveal his name or even his approximate age.
Book Reviews: Bernardo Case
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on October 9, 1995. Partner content is not updated.Most of the gaps have been filled by the publication of Deadly Innocence (Warner, 564 pages, $6.99), written by Toronto Sun reporters Scott Burnside and Alan Cairns, and Lethal Marriage (Seal, 544 pages, $7.99), by The Toronto Star's Nick Pron.
International homicide statistics are generally unreliable and always outdated, but Canada usually ranks at the lower end among similar nations. In 1996, for example, Canada's rate of 2.1 per 100 000 population ranked above Japan (1.0), Sweden (1.1) and England (1.
Canada's Sex Offender Registry a National Embarrassment
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on January 14, 2008. Partner content is not updated.
Social security refers to government programs that replace people's income lost due to pregnancy, illness, accident, disability, the death or absence of a family's breadwinner, unemployment, old age or retirement.
Monetary policy refers to government measures taken to affect financial markets and credit conditions, for the purpose of influencing the behaviour of the economy. In Canada, monetary policy is the responsibility of the Bank of Canada, a federal crown corporation that implements its decisions through manipulation of the money supply.
Council of the Federation (Canada's Premiers)
The Council of the Federation (COF, also known as “Canada’s Premiers”) is the organization which supports top-level provincial-territorial (PT) relations in Canada. It was founded in 2003 as a formalization of the Annual Premiers’ Conference, which had occurred annually from 1960 to 2003. Although frequently focused on the federal government, COF also serves as an increasingly important forum for provincial-territorial relations (separate from the federal government) in Canada.
Successor of the Parti patriote, the Parti rouge was a radical liberal political party from Canada East (Québec).