Housing Redevelopment Area, Montreal, Quebec, October 1959.
National Archives of Canada (PA-113310).

Housing Redevelopment Area, Montreal, Quebec, October 1959.

Canadians expect to live wherever they choose, provided they can find work and housing. The main circumstances that have interfered with that expectation have been economic depression and population explosion. For example, during the baby boom years of the 1950s, our housing supply was hard pressed to meet the demands of a rapidly increasing population. Urban redevelopment, as pictured here, was one solution.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms defines mobility rights in two basic ways. First, citizens of Canada have the right "to enter, remain in and leave Canada." This basic right allows Canadians to move from place to place within the nation and to exit and enter the country at will. Second, the Charter guarantees Canadian citizens and permanent residents the right to live and gain employment or establish businesses in any province or territory they wish. This provision means that Canadians can pick where they want to live in the country. They can choose to live in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Halifax, Toronto, or Iqaluit.

Often times, we take these mobility rights for granted. In many countries, however, people have been ordered to leave their homes, forced to live in segregated areas, or forbidden to associate with others.

Kurdish Refugees, Iskederun, Turkey, 1991.
Corbis (Image ID: TL001065). Available online at www.corbis.com/Peter Turnley, [20 March 2000].

Kurdish Refugees, Iskederun, Turkey, 1991.

In the aftermath of the Gulf War, the Iraqi government launched a campaign of oppression against the country's Kurdish minority. Denied political freedom and victimized by numerous bombing raids, the Kurds were forced from their home territory in Northern Iraq. Many fled to Turkish refugee camps.
 

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