Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Canadian Citizen

Before you become the citizen of one of the world’s most thriving economies, you must be fully aware of the rights and responsibilities you will have once you become a Canadian citizen.


Rights of all Canadian Citizens


Canadian citizens have rights and responsibilities that are secured by the Canadian law, and which reflects Canadian traditions, values, and identity. The Canadian law has several sources, including laws passed by the Parliament and provincial legislatures, the English common law, the civil code of France, and the unwritten constitution which Canadians inherited from the Great Britain. The Magna Carta which was signed in England back in 1215 (also known as the Great Charter of Freedoms), provides for all Canadian citizens:

  • Freedom of conscience and religion;
  • Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of speech and of the press;
  • Freedom of peaceful assembly; and
  • Freedom of association.


Through the Habeas corpus, a Canadian citizen has the right to challenge unlawful detention by the state. This right comes from the English common law. In the year 1982, the Constitution of Canada was amended to entrench the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The Charter attempts to summarize fundamental freedoms while also setting out additional rights to Canadian citizens that did not exist before. The most important of these include:

  • Mobility Rights
  • Aboriginal Peoples’ Rights
  • Official Language Rights and Minority Language Educational Rights
  • Multiculturism


Both men and women are equal under Canadian law. Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerates spousal abuse, gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, honour killings, forced marriage, etc. Those who are found guilty of these crimes are severely punished under Canada’s criminal laws.


Responsibilities of all Canadian citizens


In Canada, citizenship rights come with citizenship responsibilities. These include, but not limited to:

  • Obeying the law
  • Taking responsibility for oneself and one’s family
  • Serving on a jury
  • Voting in elections
  • Helping others in the community
  • Protecting and enjoying Canadian heritage and environment, etc.


Serving in the military is not compulsory in Canada. However, serving in the regular Canadian Forces (navy, army, and air force) is a noble way to contribute to Canada and an excellent career option. Explore available Canadian armed forces jobs by clicking here.  


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