Supreme Court of Canada

Supreme Court of Canada: Role, History, and Operation

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jul 16, 2008

This educational feature examines the the Supreme Court of Canada, including its place in Canada’s court system, its history, its modern organization and operation, as well as key issues and debates regarding the Court.

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Federal Campaign Finance Laws in Canada

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jul 21, 2009

Campaign finance refers to the rules that govern the use of money in electoral processes such as general elections, by-elections, and referenda. In this context, Canada has adopted a broad set of rules in relation to key political actors, including election candidates, political parties, electoral district associations, and third parties. This article provides an introduction to federal campaign finance laws, including their history, content, and administration. It also explores a number of key issues regarding the regulation of money in elections.

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Charlottetown Accord: History and Overview

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Feb 10, 2009

The Charlottetown Accord is a set of failed constitutional amendments, proposed in the early 1990s, to gain Quebec’s formal acceptance of the Canadian Constitution. The Charlottetown Accord was the second attempt to bring Quebec into the constitutional fold, and was initiated after the failed Meech Lake Accord of 1987. This article provides an introduction to the history and substance of the Charlottetown Accord.

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Canada’s Human Rights Commission System: Introduction to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Nov 18, 2008

The Canadian human rights commission system is constituted by two key federal agencies: the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. These agencies administer, promote, and adjudicate Canada’s federal human rights and employment equity legislation. This article provides an introduction to the history, role, structure, and key issues concerning these agencies.

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The Canadian Human Rights Act: Introduction to Canada’s Federal Human Rights Legislation

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Nov 18, 2008

One of Canada’s central rights documents is the Canadian Human Rights Act, which protects Canadians’ against discriminated against in areas of federal jurisdiction. This article presents the purpose and history of the Act, and provides an overview of its key provisions, application and administration.

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A proposal to fix an outdated provision in election law

By Harold Jansen on Oct 6, 2008

With just a week or so to go to the election, we're about to run into a part of Canada's election law that always irks me. Section 329 of the Elections Act prohibits the publication on election results while the polls are still open locally. As someone who grew up in Alberta, I understand the reason for this. We're better served by not knowing what is happening out east. In 1980, I remember turning on the TV at 8:00 PM (poll closing time back then) and being informed that there would be a Liberal majority government. At that point, they had not counted a single vote from Alberta yet. It's a nice reminderof why your vote doesn't matter. It's hard enough to get people out to vote now; more disincentives are not useful.

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Federalism in Canada: Basic Framework and Operation

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jan 11, 2008


p>Central to the organization of government in Canada is the principle of federalism. Under this principle, Canada is divided into two constitutionally autonomous levels of government: the federal or central government, and the provincial governments. The nation’s basic division of government plays an important role in public finances and public policy.

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Supreme Court of Canada Appointment Process

The Supreme Court of Canada is this country’s highest court, and is the final authority for all legal disputes, settling matters between individuals, o

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The Notwithstanding Clause: Section 33 of the Charter

Section 33 of the Charter, commonly referred to as the Notwithstanding or Override clause, has an important place in Canada's constitutional development, as well as the relationship between the legislative and judicial branches of government. This article provides an introduction to the nature, operation, and history of the Notwithstanding clause.

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The Charter & Health Care in Canada

The issue of waiting lists in Canada's public health care system has given rise to a new national debate: the nature of health care rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

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