Minorities and the Law
January 1, 1975
Think back to the way things were in 1900, 1925 or even 1950. If you were in a minority group, visible or not, there wasn't much the law could do to protect you from discrimination.
Not any more! The list of milestones in human rights over the past 25 years is really pretty cool, when you think about it. In the past century, Canada's record on human rights has gone from terrible to first-rate.
There are no restrictions on the right to vote that are based on race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, physical disability, sex or sexual orientation.
Provincial human rights codes forbid discrimination in services and employment on those same grounds as well.
A federal Human Rights Act is on the drawing board, and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms will become law later this year.
However, good laws can be changed for worse, or even repealed. Canada still lacks overriding human rights protection for all its citizens.
Homosexuality is no longer a crime.