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Canada

Monthly Event Reports

March 2024 | Supreme Court of Canada rules on collective rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Supreme Court of Canada issued a ruling about collective rights of Indigenous Peoples. The ruling upheld the requirement that individuals who wish to be elected to the Vuntut Giwtchin First Nation of Yukon’s Council must reside on traditional lands. The case was brought by a member of the community who lives outside of traditional lands. The Court determined that the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples, protected by Section 25 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, prevail in certain circumstances over individual rights. That is, when a collision of irreconcilable rights occurs, those that are indispensable to the preservation of cultural differences and self-government should prevail. Dissenting judges, including Michelle O’Bonsawin, an Odenak First Nation Member, considered that Section 25 was applicable to cases brought by non-Indigenous people, and not to cases in which an Indigenous person alleges a transgression to her rights in her own Nation. The Court’s decision was hailed by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation as a recognition of Indigenous self-government. 

January 2024 | Court rules against government regarding use of Emergencies Act
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A ruling by a federal court has stated that the government’s use of the Emergencies Act to respond to the “Freedom Convoy” protests in 2022 was unreasonable and contrary to protesters’ rights. According to the federal judge’s decision, in a case brought by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Constitution Foundation, and two interested parties who had their bank accounts frozen on the basis of the Act, no national emergency justified its use.   The ruling contradicts the findings of the Rouleau Commission, a public inquiry mandated to investigate the use of the Emergencies Act, which concluded in February 2023 that the threshold needed for that effect had been met. The government has stated it will appeal the federal court’s decision. 

November 2023 | Amid a rise in hate crimes, a synagogue and Jewish community centre are targeted

An increase in hate crimes in Canada has been recorded since the October escalation of violence between Hamas and Israel. In Montreal, Molotov cocktails were set alight outside a synagogue and a Jewish community centre, and gunfire was reportedly directed against two empty Jewish schools. According to Montreal Police, since 7 October and as of early November, 48 hate incidents targeting the Jewish community had been recorded, as well as 17 hate incidents targeting the Arab-Muslim community. This constitutes a significant increase, given that during all last year, 238 incidents were recorded in total. Clashes and tension between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel protesters have also been reported, including in Montreal’s Concordia University, where a student was injured, and another charged with assault.

June 2023 | Online News Act becomes law

On 22 June the Online News Act became law.  According to the government, the Act aims to ensure a fair distribution of revenue between news sites and social media and online platforms (the latter would have to pay news organizations when their content is accessed on online platforms). As explained by the government, journalism lost major revenue streams from advertising to online platforms. It further claims that the Act will also facilitate the relationship between news media outlets and social media platforms, as well as strengthen media freedom. Because of the financial implications to their operations, Meta and Google have announced that they will cease providing Canadian news content on their websites. This reaction has been criticised, given the proportion of Canadians who access news through social media (social media comes in third after the internet and television).  In response, the Canadian government said it would stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram.  

Explore past monthly event reports

GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
38 246 110
System of government
Parliamentary system
Head of government
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (since 2015)
Head of government party
Liberal Party
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
First Past the Post
Women in lower or single chamber
30.5%
Women in upper chamber
48.9%
Last legislative election
2021
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
3.79
Head of state
King Charles III
Selection process for head of state
Hereditary or election by hereditary state rulers
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
11/05/2018
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
74.55%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
No Action
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
No Action
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
Regional Treaties
American Convention on Human Rights
No Action
Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
No Action
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
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Mar 2024
Representation neutral Rights
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Representation neutral Participation
Oct 2023
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Global State of Democracy Indices

Hover over the trend lines to see the exact data points across the years

Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

Use the slider below to see how democratic performance has changed over time

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