Study Questions: Chapter 12
1. What are the two reasons for the decline in the francophone share of the Canadian population after the late 1950s?
The end of la revanche des berceaux plus the fact that the vast majority of immigrants have chosen English as their adopted language. (p. 371)
2. What are the central characteristic of the new French Canadian nationalism?
The central characteristic of the new nationalism was a reliance on the Quebec state to achieve the economic, social, and political goals of Quebecers. The state would be used in an assertive way to shape Quebec society. Also, Quebec’s history was interpreted to be a story of domination by English Canada. (pp. 375–376)
3. What were the three main components of language equality set forth in the Official Languages Act implemented by Ottawa in 1969?
One is the public’s right to be served by the federal government in the official language of their choice; a second was the equitable representation of Francophones and Anglophones in the federal public service; and a third was the ability of public servants of both language groups to work in the language of their choice. (pp. 380–382)
4. For what three reasons are many Canadians outside Quebec opposed to recognizing Quebec as a distinct society in the Constitution?
Quebec’s distinctive linguistic characteristic does not warrant constitutional recognition of the province as a distinct society; constitutional recognition of distinct society status may result in Quebec getting increased powers not available to the other provinces; a gut feeling that distinct society status for Quebec undermines the idea of Canada—the two-nations idea of Canada has little resonance with them. (pp. 382–383)
5. Why has the proportion of non-heterosexuals and disabled people increased in Canada?
There is no reason to suggest that the proportion has changed significantly over the years. What has changed is the willingness of gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation. Similarly, it is doubtful whether the incidence of Canadians with a disability is greater today than in the past. What has changed is our society’s ideas about what constitute disabilities and the legal definition of what counts as a disability for purposes of pensions, social assistance, etc. (p. 387)
6. In terms of diversity, how did the 2010 cabinet of Stephen Harper compare with John A. Macdonald’s cabinet of 1878?
They are not as different as one might have expected. As in the Macdonald cabinet, Harper’s cabinet had an overwhelming majority with British or French origins. However, the Harper Cabinet had seven women and one Aboriginal, whereas Macdonald’s had none. (p. 389)
7. On what two levels has the subordination/marginalization of women taken place?
It has taken place on two levels. On the psychological level, the evidence suggests that the failure of society to recognize the value of domestic work and child-rearing has generated a sense of low self-esteem and frustration among women. Further, the consciousness that is likely to be produced by the traditional roles of women is not likely to generate the motivations, interests, and personal resources for political activism. With respect to status and professional achievements, women have traditionally been underrepresented in the occupations from which political office-holders are typically drawn. And even when they have made it in those occupations, the expectation is that they will take time out from their professional work to care for children and home, thus placing them in a disadvantageous position with respect to men. (p. 392)
8. How successful have women’s groups been at achieving their objectives through the courts?
Prior to the Charter, women’s groups had no success in the courts, with the notable exception of the Persons’ case. Since the Charter, the results have been mixed for women. In the first four years of the Charter, 44 cases of sexual discrimination under s. 15 were determined by the courts. Most of these cases were instigated by or on behalf of men. Only nine cases were equality claims made by women. Women were victorious in only some of these cases. Still, there were decisions that were major victories for women, including decisions on abortion and pay equity. (pp. 398–400)
9. Outline the guardian relationship established between the federal government and Indians living on reserves.
The legal ownership of reserve land belongs to the crown, but the land and all the resources appertaining to it must be managed for the Aboriginal people living there. The relationship is a paternalistic one but in recent years the federal government has become less intrusive. Still, Aboriginal peoples expect the federal government, in particular, to act in their best interests. This is known as the guardian or fiduciary or trust-like relationship. (p. 406)
10. Outline the major recommendations of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.