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Copy of CCLET presents the Acorn Test (for ages 12 and up)

The Acorn test is a tool to help you decide when it is fair and reasonable to place limits on our rights and freedoms

April Julian

on 19 November 2014

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Transcript of Copy of CCLET presents the Acorn Test (for ages 12 and up)

The Acorn Test is a way to help us decide when it is fair and reasonable to place limits on our rights and freedoms
Generally speaking, anyone in Canada, regardless of their status as a refugee, immigrant, permanent resident, or citizen, is guaranteed basic fundamental rights and freedoms by The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
There are some exceptions however. For example, the right to vote and the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada only apply to Canadian Citizens
life, liberty and security of the person
not be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned
vote (for citizens)
Some of your rights include the right to...
be secure against unreasonable search or seizure
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;
freedom of association
Because the Charter is part of the Canadian Constitution, it is the supreme law of Canada. This means that Government actions or laws that violate Charter rights and freedoms may be invalid unless it is shown that those laws or actions are REASONABLE and JUSTIFIABLE. This requirement is found in section 1 of the Charter
Section 1: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
Under what circumstances is it reasonable to limit our rights and freedoms?
What are our rights and freedoms anyway?
The Acorn test is a simplified version of the Oakes Test, and is composed of 3 questions:
The Oakes Test was developed by judges, and is a series of questions that helps determine whether a rule, law or action that limits a Charter right or freedom is “reasonable.”
Some of your freedoms include...
What is the purpose of the limit?
Will it work? Is the limit effective in achieving its intended purpose?
What else might it do? (What are the side-effects or unintended consequences of the limit?)
What are the possible consequences or side-effects of not allowing anyone under the age of 18 to vote?
Why does the government only want citizens who are 18 years of age or older to vote? What is the purpose of doing so?
Does limiting voting to only those people 18 years of age and older achieve the intended results?
Let's give the Acorn Test a try, shall we?
The Canada Elections Act says that no Canadian citizen under the age of 18 may vote. This law clearly places a limit on the Charter rights of Canadian citizens who are under 18 years of age.
Do you think that is a reasonable and justifiable limit?
The Acorn Test
So what's your opinion on the voting age? After answering the questions in the Acorn test, do you think it is reasonable to limit the voting rights of Canadian Citizens who are under the age of 18?
Full transcript