The Canadian Bill of Rights

C H A P T E R III

Alberta Bill of Rights

The Alberta Bill of Rights which was assented to March 27, 1946 consists of two main parts. Part I, sets forth eight essential freedoms ranging from freedom of religion to freedom of opportunity. Part II provides the machinery for controlling the issue of credit by the banks of  Alberta as the means whereby Part I shall be achieved. The Alberta Court of Appeals held that Part I deals with property and civil rights in the Province, "a subject matter on which the Province has the right to legislate.” However, Part II was ultra vires since it deals with banks and banking, "a subject matter on which parliament (of Canada) is given the right to legislate." An appeal to the Privy Council resulted in the ruling, on July 24, 1947, that the entire act is invalid, Since the aims projected by Part I were felt to be dependent upon  the program of credit set up by Part II it was felt that consequently the complete Bill of Rights was invalid.

Handwritten note: “of such a nature that even Privy Council called it invalid”

CHAPTER  IV

SASKATCHEWAN

Saskatchewan Bill of Rights Act 1947

The Saskatchewan Bill of Rights was assented to April 1, 1947. “This Bill of Rights stresses tolerance, forbearance, and moderation. Persecution and discrimination are as contagious as disease and no citizen is safe no matter where he may live as long as they exist and flourish anywhere in the world.”

“Every person in Saskatchewan irrespective of race, creed, religion, colour or ethnic or national origin shall enjoy the right….to employment….to engage in business….to own and occupy property….to enter and use public places, hotels etc…..to membership in professional and trade societies….to education and enrolment in schools and universities.”

Handwritten note: “Nothing specific laid down – only rights we already have.”

Handwritten note: “On examination of statutes based in the provinces in connection with Bills of Rights I find in home prov of friends of oft”

CHAPTER V

MANITOBA

  1. Manitoba Bill of Rights Act 1947

The Manitoba Bill of Rights was introduced by Mr. M. A. Gray, M.L.A., in the Manitoba legislature. It was defeated by a vote of 32 to 18 with members of the Liberal government as well as C.C.F. members voting in favour of it.

The Bill guarantees in its first six articles the basic civil liberties of the land such as the right to freedom of conscience and the right to vote at elections, etc. The next six articles protect the civil rights of the individual. The right to employment….to engage in occupation….to own and occupy property….to access to public places….to membership in professional and trade associations….to education. Article 13 prohibits the publishing, displaying or broadcasting of any representations likely to restrict, because of race, or creed any person from the enjoyment of any right to which he is entitled under the law.

  1. Amendment to the Newspaper Act

This amendment was assented to April 5, 1934. Section 10 of the Newspaper Act was amended so as to require that “every printed advertisement….shall bear upon its face….the name and address of its printer or publisher, and any person…distributing or posting up such a document unless it bears upon its face such name and address, shall be liable to a penalty.”

  1. Section XIV (Race or Creed Libel) of the Manitoba Libel Act

Section XIV known as the Hyman Act, is the incorporation of Bill Number 65 (assented to April 6, 1934) into the Revised Statutes of Manitoba.

It provides that “the publication of a libel against a race or creed likely to expose persons belonging to the race or creed….to ridicule…and tending to raise unrest or disorder….shall entitle a person belonging to the race….to sue for an injunction.”


Copy of the Canadian Bill of Rights
Canadian Bill of Rights

Media and Document Gallery

Images

Canadian Bill of Rights
John Diefenbaker in Cornwall, Ontario
John and Olive Diefenbaker with a group of Polish children
John Diefenbaker at a Chinese Youth Services banquet
John Diefenbaker in House of Commons office
John Diefenbaker and a delegate to the Progressive Conservative General Meeting – 16

Audio

Speech by John Diefenbaker at the Young Progressive Conservative Convention, Ottawa

Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada Bill of Rights

Description: John Diefenbaker affirms his lifelong championing of human rights and calls upon the youth of the party to take on responsibility for leading Canada into the future

Date Created: 30 November1959

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T163-PAC23

Speech by John Diefenbaker to the Progressive Conservative Women’s Association, Ottawa

Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: John Diefenbaker declares his desire to have a Bill of Rights voted on by Parliament in the coming session

Date Created: 30 November1959

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T187-PAC39

Speech by John Diefenbaker to a Progressive Conservative banquet, Ottawa

Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Census

Description: John Diefenbaker advocates for a Canadianism which will find expression in the coming census when citizens will, for the first time, be asked whether they are a Canadian

Date Created: 17 March1961

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T203-PAC50

Documents

186000-8 Re: Bill of Rights – Amendment to Constitution

Creator: Department of Justice

Subject: Canada – Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights | Canada – Amendment to Constitution

Description: Describes the merit and means of accomplishing the entrenchment of the Bill of Rights through a constitutional amendment

Date Created: 2 November1959

Identifier:MG01/XIV/E/41 Volume 12

Supplementary and Consolidated Suggestions Concerning the Proposed Bill of Rights

Creator: Victor LaRochelle

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: Victor LaRochelle sends a list of suggestions concerning the basic principles of a proposed Bill of Rights to Diefenbaker

Date Created: 12 August1958

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285025 – 285027)

Confidential copy of Bill C - An Act for the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Creator: Queen’s Printer

Subject: Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: Copy of the first iteration of a proposed Canadian Bill of Rights, for first reading, House of Commons

Date Created: 28 May1958

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285069 – 285075)

The Bill of Rights of Wrong

Creator: Guy Kroft, The Manitoban

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: Outlines the author’s contention that the proposed Bill of Rights would be ineffective

Date Created: 28 September1958

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285298)

Letter from T.C. Douglas to John Diefenbaker

Creator: T.C. Douglas

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights | Canada – Amendment to Constitution | Saskatchewan – Premier

Description: T.C. Douglas, Premier of Saskatchewan, outlines his support for John Diefenbaker’s efforts to enact a federal declaration of Canadian civil rights; he also includes a proposed amendment to the British North America Act to protect Canadians’ fundamental rights and freedoms

Date Created: 19 January1959

Identifier:MG01/XIV/E/41 Volume 12

The PM’s Bill of Rights Freedom’s Advocate

Creator: Robert Moon, Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: Outlines the history of John Diefenbaker’s stance on human rights and notes that the proposed Bill of Rights legislation is a modified version of Diefenbaker’s human rights goals

Date Created: 24 May1958

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285089 – 285090)

Letter from Davie Fulton to John Diefenbaker

Creator: Davie Fulton

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights | Canada – Amendment to Constitution | Canada – Minister of Justice

Description: Davie Fulton, Minister of Justice, outlines proposed changes to the bill of rights legislation based on feedback received from various sources

Date Created: 11 May1959

Identifier:MG01/XIV/E/41 Volume 12

Orders-in-Council Threaten Your Citizenship

Creator: Vancouver Consultative Council

Subject: Canada – Government | Canada – Orders-in-Council | Canada – Japanese-Canadians

Description: Examines and decries the Government of Canada’s use of Orders-in-Council and attempted use of legislative initiatives to deport Japanese Canadians and strip them of their citizenship

Date Created:1945

Identifier:MG01/III/719 Volume 59 (047074-A – 047074-D)

Our Bill of Rights

Creator: Financial Post

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights

Description: Editorial which declares only a constitutional amendment could fully and legally establish Canadian civil rights, and that there is unlikely to be the unanimous provincial support required for such an amendment

Date Created:no date

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285059)

Provincial Bill of Rights Statutes – Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Creator: Compiled by The Social and Economic Research Committee, Canadian Jewish Congress

Subject: Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Provincial Statutes

Description: Analyses of human rights legislation of the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Date Created:no date

Identifier:MG01/III/29.1 Volume 2 (001162 – 001164)

Letter from Byrne Hope Sanders to John Diefenbaker

Creator: Byrne Hope Sanders

Subject: Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Parliamentarians |Canada – Opinion Polling

Description: Byrne Hope Sanders, Co-Director, Canadian Institute of Public Opinion, writes to Diefenbaker regarding the institute’s first of three news releases on its recent polling on civil liberties, which he includes

Date Created: 29 January1957

Identifier:MG01/IV/413.1 Volume 22 (15379 – 15381)

Should Canada have a Bill of Rights?

Creator: Peterborough Examiner

Subject: Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Bill of Rights | United States – Human Rights | Britain – Human Rights

Description: A selection of Peterborough-area citizens provide their views on whether Canada should have a Bill of Rights

Date Created: 17 May1958

Identifier:MG01/VI/413.1 Volume 365 (285101 – 285102)

What About the Japanese Canadians?

Creator: Howard Norman and The Consultative Council

Subject: Canada – Government | Canada – Human Rights | Canada – Japanese Canadians

Description: Criticizes various untruths used to justify mistreatment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War; itemizes government actions taken against Japanese Canadians

Date Created: 1 May1945

Identifier:MG01/XIII/163 Volume 20