Diversity and Representation

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1. How have the courts been involved with promoting diversity in Canada?

*Answer: Discuss how specific Charter cases have resulted in decisions that have affected multiculturalism, gender, or diverse policies. For example:R v. Morgentaler,Persons case, same sex marriage, Egan v. Canada,Bedford v. Canada, and R v. Sparrow among others. Discuss the role of human rights commissions and tribunals.

2. What are some of the challenges that Indigenous people have faced in obtaining self-government in Canada?

*Answer: Discuss the efforts of the RCAP in recognizing the need for Indigenous self-government; discuss the role of the government (through the constitution, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Indian Act) and how these legislations set limitations on self-governing rights; discuss Treaty Federalism, nation-to-nation paradigm, third order of government, and the challenges associated with these; and use Cairn’s Citizen Plus as an example of self-governing limitations among the Indigenous community.

3. Describe and distinguish between Pitkin’s four types of representation.

*Answer: Describe and discuss the following: symbolic representation, formalistic representation, descriptive representation, and substantive representation.

4. Review the quotation attributed to Lincoln Alexander on page 448 of the textbook. Which form(s) of representation does Alexander appear to promote in accepting his seat in the House of Commons? Which form(s) does he appear to shun?

*Answer: Alexander appears more willing to accept his role as a substantive representative of visible minorities in Canada than as a symbolic representative of black Canadians. He wants to “speak for” black Canadians, not accept the “honour” of being their singular “spokesman”.

5. What is the difference between affirmative action and employment equity?

*Answer: Discuss affirmative action as a policy that consists of proactive measures to assist underrepresented groups; discuss how affirmative action is justified on the grounds that discrimination and social structures contribute to a greater proportion of marginalized groups experiencing difficult achieving standardized qualifications and provide examples; and describe and discuss employment equity as a specific legislation created by the federal government to consider employment for Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, women, and people with disabilities.

6. Does Canada suffer from a democratic deficit? Why or why not? If yes, how can this be fixed?

*Answer: Evaluate the critique that political institutions are failing to live up to standards, including power imbalances and lack of representation. Discuss and evaluate ways to reform Parliament, including loosening party discipline, affirmative action, the party nomination process, and work-life balance, including travel and legislative schedules.

7. If implemented, what impact would the policy changes proposed in the federal government’s 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy have on the representation of Indigenous peoples in Canada?

*Answer: Describe how the Indian Act institutionalized settler colonialism, including establishing the residential school system, imposing a regressive reserve system and paternalistic form of Band governance, removing remnants of self-government, and forced relocation programs removing First Nations from their lands. Explain how the White Paper proposed to fully assimilate Indigenous peoples into whitestream society, which prompted First Nations leaders to mobilize and convinced them of the importance of forming cross-country organizations.

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