Rights and Freedoms

Protecting Rights in Canada. Calgary: Weigl Educational Publishers, 2010.

Freedom In Canada

“There are many rights and freedoms in Canada, but the most important right is freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression. All other rights cannot be enjoyed if we do not have this basic freedom. Freedom to peacefully assemble, for instance, comes under freedom of thought and expression. Freedom to speak English or French in all federal institutions is a part of freedom of opinion and expression. Freedom of conscience and religion is a part of freedom of belief and expression. Freedom to petition the government is also a part of freedom of expression. Freedom to participate in fair elections is only possible if people have freedom of opinion and expression. If we did not have freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, then we would not be allowed to think for ourselves. For example, in Stalinist Russia, the people didn’t have this freedom; therefore they were forced to say that they liked the government. In China, nowadays, people are also forced to say that they like the government because they don’t have freedom of opinion. 

“However, there are limits to our freedom in Canada. Firstly, nobody is allowed to injure others, including animals. Nobody is allowed to hit somebody or call them names because they feel angry, even though that could be considered as freedom of expression. Nobody is allowed to hurt others mentally or physically, saying that they are using their freedom of belief, opinion, and expression. Secondly, nobody is allowed to endanger others, including animals, because of their actions. For example, nobody is allowed to carry guns, without a permit, because that could endanger other people’s safety. These two limitations – not injuring and not endangering others – justly restrict our rights in Canada and should be respected. Freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression is important because without this fundamental right, we would not be living in a democratic society today.” – Gurmuskaan, grade six   

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