Canadian citizens and residents have rights

It is important for you to learn about your rights and duties in Canada. You should also know how important the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is to what we believe and how we live in Canada.

The Charter protects your rights

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of Canada’s Constitution and protects you from the moment you arrive in Canada. It sets out the values that Canadians live by and describes the kinds of personal human rights and freedoms we can expect in this country. Some of those rights and freedoms include:

  • The right to life, liberty and personal security
  • Freedom of conscience and religion
  • Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media
  • Freedom to hold peaceful meetings
  • Freedom to join groups
  • Protection from unreasonable search or seizure and unjustified detainment and imprisonment
  • The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty
  • The right to retain and instruct counsel (a lawyer) without delay
  • The right to a fair trial, through due process of law
  • The right to equal protection and benefit under the law, without discrimination

Rights come with responsibilities

People who live in Canada are expected to understand and obey Canadian laws, allow other Canadians to enjoy their rights and freedoms and help preserve Canada’s multicultural heritage.

It is also important for Canadians to become informed about politics and help to improve their communities and the country.

Citizens of Canada have other rights and freedoms, such as the right to vote in elections.