What are the Rights and Resposibilities of Being a Canadian Citizen Eh?

Peter B. Giblett By Peter B. Giblett, 20th Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/vii5k_8g/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Immigration & Emigration

This is the second of a series or articles about becoming a Canadian Citizen, This is intended to assist people who may be applying for their citizenship in this great and diverse land. This of course is a personal viewpoint.

Great Charter of Freedoms

According to the booklet "Discover Canada" published by Citizenship and Immigration Canada "Canadian citizens have rights and responsibilities. These come to us from our history, are secured by Canadian law and reflect our shared traditions, identity and values.

Yet at the start of our journey we can see that Canadian and English history are intertwined, back 800 years to the Magna Carta, also referred to as the Great Charter of Freedoms, signed in 1215. A document that this writer has spent time studying when it was located in the British Museum. This document is certainly historic, signed at Runnymede in Surrey, just a short carriage ride away from Windsor castle in southern England. The significance of this document is that it is the first that granted the following freedoms:

* Conscience and religion
* Thought, belief, opinion, and expression
* Peaceful assembly
* Freedom of association
* The right to challenge unlawful detention by the state (also called habeas corpus)

The fact that these freedoms were not a reality for many for over 700 years is part of another topic. In 1982 Canada also added its charter of human rights and freedoms, which has become the foundation for Canada's constitution. The freedom of expression is of-course the foundation of the freedom of the press and other media, including the right to express ourselves on the Internet.

Canada is founded on the rule of law and according to the "Discover Canada" booklet the fundamental rights are:

* Live and work anywhere they choose in Canada and to enter of leave the country freely.
* Not to adversely affect the native Canadians.
* Guaranteed the equal status of the English and French languages.
* Multi-culturalism

Equality under the Law

The laws of Canada apply irrespective of the creed, colour, religion, or sexual preference of the citizen. Each citizen is entitled to equal treatment under the law.

Canadian law treats women and men equally, although there may be many in society in general that do not do so and those found guilty of gender based violence will be severely punished under Canada's criminal law.


Some of the responsibilities of Canadian citizenship include:

* Obeying the law
* Taking responsibility for yourself and your family
* Performing jury service when asked to do so
* Protecting Canadian heritage and the environment

These responsibilities are key as they are the foundation of a good society. Canada is proud of being a lawful country. The homicide rate in Canadian cities is much lower than in American cities of the same type and size. Taking responsibility for yourself and your family include the ability to earn a living either by getting a job or earning a living through starting a business. Canada is in my experience a very entrepreneurial country.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada also place the following on the list:

* Voting
* Helping others in the community

Whether you wish to vote is to this writer a matter of finding a political party with whom you share fundamental values. Being a part of the electoral process is important as it gives the citizen a voice, but the citizen should never be persuaded to vote based on the best of a set of bad choices.

Whether you wish to volunteer and help others is entirely a personal choice, but the truth is that volunteering is a good way to make connections within the community and for the newcomer to Canada it can be a route to finding a job. Yet volunteering is not for everyone, or at least each person needs to find the way in which they can best help in their own community. This writer is a member of his local Toastmasters club.

Canadian Military

The final part of this section of the "Discover Canada" booklet is entitled "Defending Canada" and talks about military service, within the "Royal" Canadian forces, army, navy, air force, or coast guard. This is something that you may wish to consider. Certainly job prospects can open up in these services upon citizenship, the same can be said of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Border Services Agency and others.

Much to Discover

One thing about becoming a Canadian citizen it is, as the slogan of our province of Ontario says, "Yours to Discover" If you are on this journey with me then welcome along.

The first article in this series can be found at this page.


Canada, Canadian, Canadian Citizenship, Equal Access, Equal Rights, Equality, Great Charter Of Freedoms, Rights And Responsibilities, Volunteering, Volunteers, Voting

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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author avatar M G Singh
20th Sep 2011 (#)

hello Peter, I have half of my relations in Canada. Excellent post

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