A Human Rights Overview
Who's In, Who's Out?
January 1, 1900
Aboriginal people are locked in a condition of near apartheid, with
few political rights and their culture under seige..
Visible minorities live on the fringes of society, unable to compete
equally for jobs, receive fair service, and in many jurisdictions, even
In 1900, white men - at least the ones with money - control society.
Only white men are fully entitled to the vote everywhere in Canada. Only
white men can live, work and play without discrimination.
Human rights? What human rights? Discrimination is rampant against women,
Aboriginal peoples, Asians, Blacks, Francophones, children, the elderly,
persons with disabilities, and other minorities. There are really no laws
The general notion that every human being is entitled to fair treatment
or has certain basic rights does not exist. For the most part, those rights
are reserved for the dominant political group - well-off white men.
Don't think that Canada is the human rights backwater of the world. It's
no worse than any other country on the planet, and in many ways is better
than most. Because its political and legal system springs from English
common law and French civil law, it is a country that is built on the
rule of law. The rule of law says that a government has to be run according
to the law, including the law of the Constitution, rather than at the
whim of the people or political leaders. This principle brings order and
stability to Canada.
However, the laws don't talk about discrimination or equal treatment
- except in criminal matters.
People charged with crimes have a number of protections based on English
common law. There is the right to a fair trial and the right to have fair
procedures. There is habeas corpus, which is the right of a person being
detained by the authorities to be brought in front of a judge to see if
the detention is valid. There is the right to be secure in your house
unless the police obtain a search warrant.
In many ways, a criminal has more laws to turn to for protection than
an ordinary Canadian who is the victim of discrimination.