I agree with the study guide on The ‘Discover Canada’ booklet. I feel is very important for those who wish to become Canadian citizens. This offers the basic concepts with which the citizens benefit by enjoying equality rights, religious rights, and so on. The employment of these rights is however coupled with responsibilities that the citizens have to fulfill. Canadian citizens are required to respect the rule of law.
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Besides this, since they have the right to enjoy their freedoms and rights unperturbed, they should respect the right and freedom of others so as not to infringe them. The citizens should be ready to participate in the community by contributing their abilities, skills, and knowledge to make Canada a better country.
Rights and Responsibilities Come from the Rich History
I agree with the first quotation to the readers. The quotation says that it took the immigrant great courage to move to another country where she or he will be part of a great tradition built over by many generations. The new citizens will enjoy rights and Canadians but that has to come with responsibilities.
The reasons why I agree are several. First, Discover Canada highlights the freedoms and rights of the citizens, and these are based on the rich history that the country has acquired over the years (Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration 14). The right and the responsibilities are bound by the Canadian legislature and they are a reflection of the shared traditions, values, beliefs, and identity (Sears & Cairns, 32). The laws inclusive and protect the integrity of humanity. They are drawn from several sources like from the English common law, French civil code and the rules developed and passed by the parliament.
All these sources have been able to capture the over 800-year-old culture that dates back to 1215 when Magna Carte was signed in England. Their freedoms included here are the freedom of conscience and religion; expression, opinion, and belief; and freedom of association among others (Sears & Cairns, 32). To enjoy these, it requires conscientiousness.
Criticism notwithstanding, this new guide for the rights and freedoms is a much better version since it presents an honest history of Canada and its progress story until now. The Discover Canada article also acknowledges the marginalized histories like Native residential schools etc. it however recognizes non-Canadians but very important people in its history like the French, Aboriginals, and the British as among the founding members of the Canadian republic (Trackman & Gatien 62).
As much as I agree with the guide quotation as wholesome small things feel were not addressed adequately. The historical narrative in the document has its limitations which include inaccuracies of historical events (Trackman & Gatien 62). It was stated in the documents that the great-great-grandfathers of the aboriginal tribes moved to the current location from Asia some thousands and thousands of years ago (Sears & Cairns, 34). This means the Aboriginals were settlers. The article is very biased as it focuses so much on the Aboriginal people.
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The truthfulness of the narrative is what matters. However, the way the document is being used to create distance between what can be described as racist and colonial periods already in absolving the current and future of the social injustices is critical (Trackman & Gatien 62). The activities, deal, and experiences or racial issues and colonialism are hence obliterated. For instance, history shows that the accords negotiated with the early inhabitants of the area (aboriginals) were never respected by the Europeans (James 59).
Also very important is the residential school system explained in Canada and this begun from the 1800s to the 1980s. The human rights guide further offers an apology to the statements initially made by the federal government in the year 2008 (Trackman & Gatien 63). The guide acknowledges the contribution of the aboriginal people currently take pleasure in renewed pride and self-belief (Macklem, 119). This demonstrates that even though the colonial injustices instigated some type of social structure; they clearly had a start and were now finished or done away with (Naiman 45).
Canadian constitution was amended in 1982 to allow the government to entrench the most important part of any constitution, that of the human rights and freedoms of its citizens. The charter starts by declaring that Canada was founded on standards that recognized the pre-eminence of God and rule of law. This is specifically significant as it underscores the value religion has been accorded in the Canadian society and underlines as well the dignity and worthiness of humanity (Trackman & Gatien 66).
Fundamental freedoms have been summarized with the inclusion of other important rights to humanity. The most important ones include movement rights where Canadian citizens have the right to live and work in any part of Canada, get in and out of the country. The aboriginal people have their rights protected where the charter will not in any way invade the treaties as well (Macklem, 119). The minority groups like the French and English have their rights protected even though there is an official language.
The right to education is also entrenched under this provision (Ghosh& Aden, 23), this is a very important gesture that I feel supports the sustainability and empowerment of future generation. Multiculturalism is a pertinent factor that has been recognized as well because of the increasing migration into the country (Day 170). The heritage and identity of Canada have great changes. The existence of one another is celebrated and enjoyed as well as respected.
I also want to state that the equality of men and women has been an issue to deal with cautiously because the traditional cultures had differently viewed on this but the new law allows men and women equal status in life and the law (Day 170). The cultural and barbaric abuses against women have been banned (Naiman 65). Therefore other related issues like female genital mutilation, domestic violence, honor killing, and forced marriage are made illegal under this provision and the consequences of violation of these laws have severe penalties.
Responsibilities of Canadians
In Canada, as already indicated, citizenship rights are bound with responsibilities. I feel that as much as the citizens need to enjoy their freedoms and rights, they have a duty to humanity, to the government, to their employer, and God. Therefore the citizens are expected to obey the laws. There are government laws and not some arbitrary rules. Each individual has the right to take care of his/her family as a responsible citizen year (Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration 14).
This includes getting a job, a decent home, and working hard to benefit from the abilities of an individual. Works give people self-respect, dignity, and contributes greatly to the prosperity of Canada. There is the right to vote (Cheal 33), and serve on a jury as well (Hébert 71). Canadian citizens are expected to contribute or give back to the community by participating in community service free of charge, like donating time and other resources. As regarding the environment and heritage, citizens are required to take up measures that help protect natural resources and cultural heritage (Hébert 71).
I feel that having been granted freedoms and rights that are guarded by the law of the land, it is proper to also reciprocate by being a good citizen. Or by protecting that land, Canada. Military service is not compulsory; nonetheless, serving in the regular Canadian forces is a very dignified way of serving and protecting the country. In the forces, an individual learns discipline, respect, responsibility, and acquire other important life skills (Angelini 34).
I think even though the charter is detailed, it lacks a description of the peacekeeping role during the cold war yet Canada was a very important player. The role of Lester Pearson during the Suez crisis brought Canada on the global map about peace. The contribution of the Canadian regime towards the development of the UN human rights principles and the universal declaration was also absent. The article describes a domestic policy in greater detail where the most solemn and atrocious situations are included like education for Aboriginal children, tax on Chinese immigrants, etc. issues of child poverty, affordable housing, insurance, and salaries. Generally, I must agree that the guide offers much information to the prospective citizens and immigrants as they need to know.
Angelini Ubaldo., Our Society: Human Diversity in Canada, Scarborough, ON: Nelson Education Limited, 2003. Print.
Cheal, David. Aging and Demographic Change in Canadian Context, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002. Print.
Day, Richard., Multiculturalism and The History Of Canadian Diversity, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000. Print.
Ghosh, Kiran., and Abdi, Aden., Education and the Politics of Difference: Canadian Perspectives. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press. 2004. Print.
Hébert, Yvonne M., Citizenship in Transformation In Canada, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002. Print.
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James, Carl. Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Identity. In Seeing Ourselves: Exploring Race, Ethnicity and Culture (4th Ed.). Toronto, ON: Thompson, 2010. Print.
Macklem, Patrick. Indigenous Difference and the Constitution of Canada, Toronto: University Of Toronto Press, 2002. Print.
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. Discover Canada, The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, Study Guide, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2011. Web.
Naiman, Joanne. How Societies Work Class, Power, And Change In A Class, Power, And Change In A Canadian Context (4th Ed), Ontario: Irwin publishing, 2000. Print.
Sears, Alan and Cairns, James., A Good Book, In Theory Making Sense Through Inquiry, 2nd Ed, Toronto: University Of Toronto Press, 1999. Print.
Trackman, Leo and Gatien Sean, Rights and Responsibilities, Toronto: University Of Toronto Press, 1999. Print.