Lesson 5: Legal and Equality Rights


Legal Rights

  1. Contact a school board official in the Abbotsford School District and conduct a brief interview on the use of drug sniffing dogs in the district’s high schools. Prepare your questions in advance and be respectful of the position taken by the official. You will find contact information on the website www.sd34.bc.ca.
  1. Conduct research on a precedent-setting case from the Supreme Court of Canada on one or more of the legal rights found in s. 7-14 of the Charter. Prepare a summary of each case, including parties involved, issue, legal ruling and final judgment. You will find the website canlii.org very useful for searching out digital copies of important SCC decisions.
  1. Research the protection of legal rights in Canada pre-Charter. Rights such as habeas corpus have existed for several centuries in English Common law. Write a report outlining if and how these rights were protected in law or practice before 1982. See British North America Act, 1867.
  1. Research legal rights protection in the United States and create a compare and contrast chart between Canadian and American legal rights. You can find the legal rights of Americans protected under the Fourth to Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the USA: www.usconstitution.net/const.html.
  1. Students can research and report on any number of cases related to student legal rights and the Charter outside of the school context. Start with a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Kang-Brown, (2009) SCC 18.
  1. Attend a school board (board of trustees) meeting in your school district (www.bcsta.org) and direct a question at the board with respect to the use of drug sniffing dogs. Report back with the response from the board. Alternatively you can write (email) a trustee with your question and report back on their response.

Equality Rights

  1. Watch Canadian Identity video (Classroom Videos).
  1. Listen to the “I am Canadian” Molson Canadian Advertisement on Youtube and then write your own ideas for an ad. 
  1. Listen to the Spirit of the West’s song “Far Too Canadian” and discuss the meaning of the lyrics.
  1. Create: a poem, song/rap, collage with words and images or a final summary paragraph with the topic — “What is a Canadian?”
  1. Find out what is happening in your community during Citizenship and One World Week and report back to the class on activities they can take part in.