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Citizenship Training
EO 412.01 - Discuss Citizenship

Citizenship is a subject that you will be running into every year that you are in cadets. There will be a little bit of theory and plenty of practice. You might be asked to participate in the Terry Fox run, visit a senior citizen's home, prepare Christmas baskets for the underprivileged, plant trees or help other community groups in your neighbourhood. The best way to be a good citizen is to get out into the community and help out! So what are you waiting for?

Definition of a Citizen
All people born in this country are considered to be Canadian citizens. Likewise, anyone born to a Canadian parent is considered to be a Canadian citizen. Canadian Citizenship can also be achieved by applying for citizenship and passing a citizenship test. Canada welcomes about 100 000 new citizens through immigration each year.

What does Canadian Citizenship mean? Canadian history and traditions have created a country where our values include tolerance and respect for cultural differences, and a commitment to social justice. We are proud of the fact that we are a peaceful nation and that we are accepted in many places around the world as peacekeepers.

Canadian Values:

  1. Equality – we respect everyone's rights, including the right to speak out and express ideas that the others might disagree with. Governments have to treat everyone with dignity and respect, which are both fundamental to our form of democracy;
  2. Tolerance – we try to understand and appreciate the cultures, customs and traditions of our neighbours;
  3. Peace – we are proud of our non-violent society and our  international role as peacekeepers; and,
  4. Law and Order – we respect democratic decision making and the "rule of law". We promote due process so that the courts and the police will treat everyone fairly and reasonably, and we ensure that our elected governments remain accountable to Canadians.

The Canadian Human Rights Act (1977)
The idea behind the act is that people should not be placed at a disadvantage simply because of their age, sex, race, or any other ground covered by the Act. That is called discrimination and is against the law. The Canadian Human Rights Act bans it in federal or federally regulated organizations, and the provinces and territories have similar laws forbidding discrimination in their areas of jurisdiction.

Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is against the law to discriminate on the basis of: race, colour, National or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy and childbearing), marital status, family status, physical or mental disability (including dependence on alcohol or drugs), pardoned criminal conviction or sexual orientation.

It is also against the law for a person against whom a complaint has been filed to retaliate or threaten retaliation against the individual who filed the complaint, or against the alleged victim.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1981)

Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms – " Guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society."

Fundamental Freedoms – " Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association."

Democratic Rights – " Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the house of commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein."

Mobility Rights – “Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada. Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right: to move to and take up residence in any province; and to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province."

Legal Rights – " Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principals of fundamental justice."

Equality Rights – " Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability."

Official Languages of Canada – " English and French are the official languages of Canada and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the parliament and government of Canada."

Enforcement – " Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances."

  • Guide to the Canadian Charter of Human Rights - This guide is published by the Human Rights Directorate of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Its aim is to increase understanding of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to heighten awareness of its importance in our daily lives.

As a citizen you have a responsibility to:

  1. vote in elections;
  2. help others in the community;
  3. care for and protect our heritage and environment;
  4. obey Canadian laws;
  5. express opinions freely while respecting the rights and freedoms of others; and,
  6. eliminate discrimination and injustice.

The most important rights and privileges for a Canadian citizen are to vote and run for office. Only a Canadian citizen can run for office in a federal election.

The Oath of Citizenship

“ I, (name in full), swear/affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”

National Anthem
Canada has a National Anthem. It is titled "O Canada". The music was composed by Caliza Lavallee. The French lyrics were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. The English lyrics were written by R. Stanley Weir. The official version was proclaimed by the Canadian Government on 1 July 1980 by Bill C36. The words are printed in both official languages. Every cadet must know the words to the National Anthem in at least one official language.

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The true North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et la valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

The Canadian Flag and Anthem
A flag is often used to represent a people and their common history. Canada has used five flags throughout its development.

St. George's Cross of EnglandIn the 15th century, the flag of Great Britain was the St. George's Cross. This flag was probably the first one flown in Canada. It was carried here by the explorer John Cabot who reached North America in 1497.

Flag of Royal FranceAnother flag to fly over settlements in Canada was the flag of Royal France. This flag was raised by Jacques Cartier when he first landed at Gaspe harbour in 1534.

St. George's Cross+St. Andrew's Cross=First Royal Union Flag of the United Kingdom (1606)
After its creation in 1606, the Union Jack was flown over British settlements in Newfoundland and later in Nova Scotia.

First Royal Union Flag of the United Kingdom (1606)+St. Patrick's Cross of Ireland=2nd Royal Union Flag of the United Kingdom (1801)

First Red Ensign (1707)The Red Ensign was created in 1707. In 1892, the 
Red Ensign was first authorized for use among Canadian ships at sea. 

In 1924, a Canadian order-in-council provided that the Canadian Red Ensign could be displayed at Canadian Government buildings abroad. Another order-in-council in 1945 authorized the use of the same flag on federal buildings inside and outside of Canada until Parliament took action toward formal adoption of a national Flag.

The present Canadian FlagThe present National Flag adopted by Parliament was proclaimed by Her Majesty the Queen on 15 February 1965. The flag is red with a white square in the centre which contains an eleven pointed maple leaf. the national Flag is always twice as long as it is wide so that it forms a square when folded in half. The national colours of red and white were given to Canada by King George V on 21 November 1921.

The National Flag can be flown by individuals or organizations as long as it is treated with dignity and respect and can be displayed properly.

The flag is flown daily from sunrise to sunset at all government buildings, airports and military bases.


Your Turn...
1. The present National Flag of Canada was proclaimed by Her majesty the Queen on 15 February, 1965.
True   or      False
2. The National anthem was used long before its proclamation date of 1 July 1980.

True   or      False

3. What bill introduced the official national anthem?
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  • Army Cadet Reference Book (A-CR-CCP-121/PT-001)
  • Green Star Course Training Plan (A-CR-CCP-118/PH-001)

Last Updated: Monday October 12, 2009 08:44 AM