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Canadian Constitutional Law

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					Name(s): ________________________________________


                         Canadian Constitutional Law
Constitutions are the “power map” of nations. They are the highest law of the land. Constitutions embody the values
and goals of a nation. They are written to create the political and legal framework of a nation. However, they also
include means by which they can be changed. But, as the highest law of the land, changing a constitution should not be
easy. The intent is that a constitution will provide order and stability to a nation.

We are all too familiar with nations that seem to be in constant political chaos. We see stories about such nations on
television on a regular basis. As Canadians, we should not take our political and legal stability for granted. Have you ever
wondered why we can change governments and leaders without complete turmoil? We should ask questions like “Why
is our country stable?” and “What creates order in our nation?” Learning more about our constitution will help you to
answer these questions.

This activity will give you the opportunity to learn more about the Canadian Constitution and how it shapes law-making
and the legal system in Canada.


Assignment Part 1
You are hired by the Canadian government to produce educational materials for newly arrived immigrants to Canada.
Your first project is to create either a slideshow or an educational pamphlet teaching newly arrived immigrants about
the structure and function of the Canadian government by looking at the Canadian constitution.

On your own, or with a partner, your task is to create an educational slideshow or pamphlet (one or the other, not
both). Remember, the intended audience is newly arrived immigrants to Canada, so your language should be clear,
concise, and should be written at the appropriate level for your audience to understand.

Your slideshow/pamphlet should cover the following items:

    a. a definition or explanation of what a constitution is;
    b. an explanation of these key events in Canadian constitutional history:
                       i. the British North America Act 1867,
                      ii. the Statute of Westminster 1931,
                     iii. the Constitution Act 1982,
                     iv. the Meech Lake Accord 1987, and
                      v. the Charlottetown Accord 1992;
    c. distinguish between the law making powers of the federal, provincial, and municipal governments;
    d. an explanation of what the term “entrenched” means;
    e. an explanation of the term “residual power”;
    f. an explanation of what an amending formula is;
    g. a description of the amending formula for the Canadian Constitution.
    h. a list of three websites that the users of your slideshow/pamphlet can use for additional information. Briefly
       explain why each website is credible: why they can trust the information at that website.

Your pamphlet/slideshow should include relevant pictures or graphics with original captions written by you.
Name(s): ________________________________________

Assignment Part 2
A. Learn more about the Canadian Constitution by comparing it to a constitution from another nation. Note: only one
   pair/student per country. Please advise me of your other country – first come, first served!!!

   Compare both constitutions for the following things:

       1. structure of government (offices, branches),

       2. jurisdiction - division of powers (What branches get the authority to make laws on specific items.),

       3. legal system (levels of courts),

       4. social and political values (Identify and explain three values you see written into each constitution.), and

       5. differences (Identify and explain at least two differences between the constitutions of each nation, for
          example: offices, rights, values, and other important factors.)

    Complete this task using the organizer on the following page.

B. Once you have compared the constitutions, analyse and assess, through research, whether or not the other country
   you selected is living up to the expectations laid out in its constitution.

   How?
   You will use the time provided to you in the lab effectively in order to complete this task ON TIME. If you do not
   complete it in the time you have been given in class, you must complete it on your own time.

       1. Locate a constitution on-line for the country of your choice.

       2. Read through this constitution and highlight 3 sections which interest you and that you want to investigate
          further.

       3. Research information about the country (include newspaper and magazine articles).

       4. Make a determination as to whether the constitution is actually followed and whether or not the country is
          living up to the expectations laid out in their constitution.

       5. Support your opinions through research.

       For example: In the Chinese constitution, it states that everyone should be entitled to practice their religion
       freely, whereas there is widespread evidence (newspaper/magazine reports, t.v. news, documentaries) to show
       the religious intolerance of the Chinese government towards Christianity and other religions.

       Presentation: You will be required to present your findings and conclusions for this part to the class. You need
       to refer directly to passages of the country’s constitution and use research to support or refute the country’s
       adherence to their constitution. Your presentation should be no longer then 5-7 minutes and I require a concise
       1 – 2 page summary of your conclusions, properly sourced (APA format).

       Presentation Dates: Week of April 5th (presentations will be selected at random; you must be prepared when
       called upon or you will receive a “0” for your presentation)
  Name(s): ________________________________________


                          Constitution Comparison Chart
Item                        Canadian Constitution     ________________’s Constitution


Government (branches,
offices)




Division of Powers




Legal System




Social/Political Values




Differences
   Name(s): ________________________________________




          Rubric – Part 1


Categories                        Level 1                   Level 2                   Level 3                   Level 4
                                (50 - 59%)                (60 - 69%)                (70 - 79%)                (80 - 100%)


Knowledge                 -distinguishes between    -distinguishes between    -distinguishes between    -distinguishes between
-distinction between      the law-making powers     the law-making powers     the law-making powers     the law-making powers
the law -making           of levels of              of levels of              of levels of              of levels of
powers of the federal,    government with           government with some      government with           government with
provincial, and           limited effectiveness     effectiveness             considerable              exemplary
municipal                                                                     effectiveness             effectiveness
governments               -explains what a          -explains what a
                          constitution is and why   constitution is and why   -explains what a          -explains what a
-explanation of what a    it is necessary with      it is necessary with      constitution is and why   constitution is and why
constitution is and       limited effectiveness     some effectiveness        it is necessary with      it is necessary with
why it is necessary                                                           considerable              exemplary
                                                                              effectiveness             effectiveness

Thinking                  -evaluates the            -evaluates the            -evaluates the            -evaluates the
-evaluation of the        credibility of sources    credibility of sources    credibility of sources    credibility of sources
credibility of sources    and information with      and information with      and information with      and information with
and information           limited effectiveness     some effectiveness        considerable              exemplary
                                                                              effectiveness             effectiveness


Communication             -explains and discusses   -explains and discusses   -explains and discusses   -explains and discusses
-explanation,             legal topics with         legal topics with some    legal topics with         legal topics with
discussion, and           limited effectiveness     effectiveness             considerable              exemplary
interpretation of legal                                                       effectiveness             effectiveness
topics using a variety
of formats and forms
of communication


Application               -conducts research        -conducts research        -conducts research        -conducts research
-conduction of            with limited              with some                 with considerable         with exemplary
research on legal         effectiveness             effectiveness             effectiveness             effectiveness
topics



   Note: A student whose achievement is below Level 1 (50%) has not met the expectations for this assignment or activity.
Name(s): ________________________________________

Your slideshow/pamphlet should cover the following items:

       a definition or explanation of what a constitution is;
       an explanation of these key events in Canadian constitutional history:
              the British North America Act 1867,
              the Statute of Westminster 1931,
              the Constitution Act 1982,
              the Meech Lake Accord 1987, and
              the Charlottetown Accord 1992;
       distinguish between the law making powers of the federal, provincial, and municipal governments;
       an explanation of what the term “entrenched” means;
       an explanation of the term “residual power”;
       an explanation of what an amending formula is; and
       a description of the amending formula for the Canadian Constitution.

Your pamphlet/slideshow should include relevant pictures or graphics with original captions written by you.

You should include a list of three websites that the users of your slideshow/pamphlet can use for additional information.
You should briefly explain why each website is credible: why they can trust the information at that website.
Name(s): ________________________________________


          Constitution Analysis – Oral Presentation Evaluation
1. Knowledge

Demonstrates knowledge of issues as it relates to the constitution   0   2   4   6      8    10

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Content – sufficient research evident                                0   1   2   3      4    5

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. Thinking

Demonstrates awareness of problems/contradictions                    0   2   4   6      8    10

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. Communication

Presents information in a convincing way                             0   1   2   3      4    5

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Word choice, clarity, speaks clearly; Posture and Eye Contact        0   1   2   3      4    5

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Application

Handout is concise and contains all relevant info                    0   1   2   3      4    5

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________



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