Canada in Focus: Making It Count

The generations-long struggle for voting equality in Canada.

Produced by Canada’s History

Posted August 30, 2022

Every Canadian over 18 has the right to vote, but these days, a third of us don’t even bother.

It’s a shame because it took centuries of struggle to win that precious right — the democratic right to decide how we’re governed. 

In this episode of Canada in Focus, host Jodi Kristjanson highlights a “brief history” of voting rights in Canada beginning with the millennia-old democracy of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. And while the European settlers brought their idea of “democracy” to the colonies in the late 1600s, only a small fraction of the populace could actually vote. It’s only over the past one hundred years that voting rights have been expanding to various marginalized groups, most recently in 2002 to include prisoners.

Watch the series

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Were Canada’s Treaties based on a major misunderstanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples?

Canada in Focus: Free Health Care?

Who pays for Canada’s health-care system? And, how did it come to be?

Canada in Focus: Bilingual, But More

Canada may be officially bilingual — but in reality, it’s a land of many languages.

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History provides a much-needed context for understanding current topics and conversations in today’s society. It helps us understand notions of change, impact, and progress and provides us with tools for interpreting the world around us. In an era of misinformation and increasing divisiveness, history is needed more than ever for encouraging deep thinking and respectful dialogue.

Canada in Focus is a five-part video series that seeks to explain the historical context of current Canadian topics and issues by tracing a current topic back through history, highlighting key events and turning points.

Each video is accompanied by related support material (see below), including teachers’ manuals and strategies, so viewers can engage with the content more deeply.

Voting Rights in the Classroom

In this guide, educators share how they teach voting rights in the classroom, including advice, online resources, books, and lesson plans.

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