January 1, 1950
On the human rights front, the situation looks better than at any other time in the past 50 years. Perhaps inspired by the United Nation's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the intolerance that led to World War II, there is a growing awareness of basic rights for all peoples. Still, there is much work to be done.
The vote has finally been granted to Asians and the provincial vote to Aboriginal people everywhere in Canada. However, Aboriginal people are still unable to vote in federal elections, as are members of the Doukhobour religious sect.
For a nation that hasn't had any laws against discrimination, these are important breakthroughs that light the way for powerful and positive changes ahead.
The landmark Saskatchewan Bill of Rights forbids discrimination with respect to race or colour in accommodation, employment, occupation and education. It becomes the first statute devoted to the broad protection of human rights in Canada.
The Jeune Canada movement, which had started in the thirties, was a group of French-Canadian intellectuals who were fighting to enhance the status of the French language as an official language of Canada. This movement, like other associations of young French Canadians, observed that Canada had great difficulty recognizing the equality of the two founding peoples. It is only in Quebec that Francophones feel at home. There's talk about a French state....
Ontario's war-time Racial Discrimination Act bans the publishing of notices or signs that indicate racial discrimination. Unfortunately, the Act hasn't been able to fully prevent hateful signs, such as those on some Toronto beaches stating "No dogs, No Jews."
For the last twenty years or so, the issue of Jewish schools appears to have been settled in Quebec. It has taken long and difficult negotiations between the religious authorities, the representatives of the Jewish minority and the government to reach an agreement.
The first Canadian superior Court Judge of Jewish origin, Harry Batshaw, named on April 15, 1950 in Montreal at the Quebec Superior Court. In 1962, Judge Batshaw was awarded the Medal of Merit by the government of France for promoting good relations between France and Canada. Obituary