Canadian Laws and Rights

Canadian Laws and Rights

Learning objective: After reading this information sheet you must be able to identify and understand the values and culture of Canadians.


Some Canadian Laws You Should Be Aware Of:


  1. It is illegal to drive without a driver’s license, registration and insurance.
  2. It is illegal to drive if you have been drinking alcohol.
  3. The driver and all passengers must wear seat belts at all times when driving in Canada.
  4. Babies and children who are too small to wear seat belts must be placed in properly installed infant or child car seats.
  5. Children under 12 years of age cannot be left at home alone, or to take care for younger children
  6. All children aged 6-16 must attend school.
  7. Smoking is not permitted in federal buildings, elevators, Canadian Airlines, on buses and on other public transportation, banks, shops, restaurants and other public building.
  8. You must be either 18 or 19 years old to buy or drink alcohol in any form.
  9. It is against the law to hit your spouses or children, either in the home in public.
  10. It is illegal to use, buy or sell marijuana, heroin, cocaine and other addictive drugs.
  11. It is illegal to make any kind of sexual remarks or advances if the other person does not like them.

Interacting with Officials:

  • there is no need to worry about making mistakes, except for matters of law, officials who knew that you are a newcomer will make allowances for your inexperience with Canadian ways.


Public Officials:

  • Public officials follow set procedures, they do not make the rules. Never try to bribe a public official. Bribery and other forms of corruption are illegal and will offend most Canadians. It is a serious crime.


Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Do not stare Canadians they find it rude.
  2. Do not blow your horn when driving because pedestrian have the right of way.
  3. Do take of your shoes when entering the house and any house.
  4. Do not come empty handed when you are invited guest for lunch or dinner.
  5. Do leave/give a tip ALWAYS for any service (restaurant, delivery, taxi, etc.)
  • 20% if you really liked the service
  • 10 % if the service is good


Important Social Standard

  1. Lining up or queuing
  • People normally line up or queue according to the principle of “first-come, first-served.” They will be angry if you push ahead in a line-up instead of waiting your turn.
  1. Not smoking in private homes
  • Most Canadians do not smoke. When you are in people’s homes, you should always ask the permission to smoke. If they do not smoke themselves, they may ask you to go outside to smoke.
  1. Being on time
  • You should always arrive on time- at school, at work and for any meeting. People who are often late may be fired from their jobs or suspended from school. Many Canadians will wait more than 10 or 15 minutes for someone who has a business meeting. For social events people expect that you will arrive an hour of the stated time.
  1. Respect for the environment
  • Canadians respect the natural environment and expect people to avoid littering (dropping waste paper and other garbage on the street or throwing it out of your car). They will expect you to carry your garbage until you can find a proper garbage can.
  1. Bargaining
  • Bargaining for a better price is not common in Canada, but there are some exceptions. You can bargain for a better price when you are going to buy a car or a house.


Physical Abuse

  • Is any intentional physical contact that causes injury. For example: spanking a child long enough or hard enough to cause bruises, or spanking with anything other than an open hand, is a form of abuse.
  • Cultural practices, such as female circumcision, are also considered physical abuse and are against the law.


Psychological Abuse

  • Includes terror and humiliation.


Sexual Abuse

  • Includes any form of sexual contact between an adult and a child.



  • Is also a form of child abuse.


Women’s Right

  • In Canada, men and women have the same legal status, rights and opportunities. Canadian men respect women as equal – socially, in the workplace and in the home.


Becoming a Canadian Citizen

  • Once you have been in Canada for at least 3 years, you may apply to become a Canadian citizen. Immigrants who become citizens have the same rights as citizens who were born in Canada. As a citizen you can:
  1. Vote and be a candidate for political office in federal, provincial and territorial election.
  2. Apply for a Canadian passport.
  3. Enter and leave Canada freely.
  4. Enjoy full economy rights, including the right to own any type of property and;
  5. Be eligible for some pension benefits.


An Adult Applying for Canadian Citizenship:

  1. Must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Must be a permanent resident of Canada who entered the country legally.
  3. Must have in Canada for 3 – 4 years before applying for citizenship.
  4. Must speak either English/French.
  5. Must know the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
  6. Must apply for citizenship and pass the citizenship test.
  7. Must take the oath of citizenship.


What if you are Arrested by a Police Officer?

  1. Police officers must tell you who they are and show you their bandage number.
  2. They must explain why they are arresting you and tell you what your rights are.
  3. They must allow you to call a lawyer right away. If you don’t have a lawyer, they must give you the Legal Aid telephone number and let you call.
  4. You do not have to give any information, other than your name and address until you have talked to a lawyer.


Rights And Freedom

  • As a newcomer, you should be aware of your rights and obligations. Having the right to participate in Canada society also means that you have a responsibility to respect the rights and freedoms of others and to obey Canada’s laws.
  1. The right to life, liberty and personal security.
  2. Freedom of religion.
  3. Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.
  4. Freedom to hold peaceful meetings.
  5. Freedom to join groups.
  6. The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
  7. the right to have lawyer.
  8. The right to a fair trial through due process of law.
  9. The right to equal protection and benefit under the law, without discrimination.


Children’s Rights

  1. You required by law to properly care for your children.
  2. Police, doctors, teachers and children’s aid officials will act when children are being abused.



  • Physical, psychological or sexual, all forms of child abuse are serious crime. In serious cases of abuse, children can be taken away from their parents.


You Cannot Become a Canadian Citizen if You:

  1. Are considered a risk to Canada’s security.
  2. Are under a deportation order.
  3. Are in prison, on parole from prison or on probation.
  4. Have been found guilty of a serious crime within the past 3 years.

Client : Human Values

Category :

Date : 15 Aug 2023

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