The Canadian Bill of Rights

Canadian Institute Of Public Opinion
The Gallup Poll of Canada
EM. 4-2113
55 Wellington Street West
Toronto-Ontario

The Hon. John Diefenbaker,
Leader of the Opposition,
House of Commons,
Ottawa,
ONTARIO.

Dear Mr. Diefenbaker,

I have been meaning to write to you, congratulating you and the Conservative Party, on your new status. Good luck to you!

Attached is the first of three releases on Civil Liberties which I thought would be of interest to you. Your office subscribes to the Gallup Poll releases, so this has probably come to your attention – but knowing of your interest in the matter, I wanted to drop you a note about them.

It is an interesting contrast with ten years ago, isn’t it? I still think that a ratio of 6 who believe Civil Liberties are being fully protected, compared to 4 who do not think so – or who have no opinion, is a poor showing for a 90 year old Democracy.

With every good wish.

Sincerely yours,

Canadian Institute of Public Opinion.

[signature]

Byrne Hope Sanders,

Co-Director.

Public Opinion News Service
Canadian Institute of Public Opinion
Gallup Poll of Canada
For Release – after 9 a.m. on Saturday February 2nd, 1957.
Gallup Poll of Canada

Voter Concern for Personal Liberties Declines in Decade
But One in Five Still Feels Civil Rights are Endangered

By Canadian Institute of Public Opinion

Ninety years after Confederation only about 6 in 10 Canadians think a person’s individual rights are being fully protected. The other 4 in 10 think they are in danger, or have no opinion on the matter.

While some citizens may be startled at this fairly narrow margin for those who are firmly convinced that Democracy is working for them personally, to the full, it is a direct reversal of the situation in Canada ten years ago. In 1947, less than 4 in 10 thought individual liberties were being safeguarded, as opposed to more than 6 in 10 who felt they were being endangered, or who had no opinion to give.

Main reason for the reversal lies in the lessening fear of communism, socialism, and left-wing political movements in Canada. A decade ago, 11 per cent named these forces as the reason for personal rights being threatened. Today only 1 per cent say this.

Question put to a cross-section of the voting public by interviewers for the Gallup Poll was the same in both surveys.

CIPO Insignia.

“As you know the idea of democracy is to give the people personal rights and freedom. Do you think personal rights are being fully protected in Canada, or do you think they are in any danger?”
Comparitive [sic] attitudes nationally, in the two time-periods are these:

For release on Saturday, February 2nd. 1957.

  1947 Today
Rights fully protected 35% 63%
Rights in danger 43 19
No Opinion 22 18

Eastern Canada is happier about the situation than Western provinces, as shown by the fact that 68 per cent in the Maritimes and Quebec say “fully protected,” as compared to only 56 per cent who say this in the West. In Ontario 61 per cent are of this opinion.

Here are the top-ranking theatres to person liberty as voters see them today:

“Government” – “not representative”
“Not doing its duty”, “Too many restrictions’ etc: 6%
“Four freedoms in danger” “No equality of justice” etc: 4
“Threat of communism of socialism”: 1
“Labor”, “strikes”, “power of unions”: 1
“Too many immigrants”: 1
Miscellaneous: 4
Don’t know: 2
Total who think rights are in danger: 19%

In the study made ten years ago “Monopolistic Corporations” obtained a 3 per cent rating. A slightly larger proportion then, gave reasons such as the danger of war, the cost of living or high taxes, than named them today.

Today’s study shows that there is a considerably greater degree of apprehension in regard to civil liberties among those with a University training than among those with lower levels of education. This is due, in part, to the fact that a larger proportion of the latter have no opinion to give. Here is the picture:

  Fully protected In danger No opinion
Public or no schooling.  61%  15% 24%
High School 65 20 15
University 62 26 12


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