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Civics 10
Martin Aller-Stead's Students
Monarch Park Collegiate

Name: _______________________________

Consider the list of Rights you may enjoy in Canada in the light of our recent discussions. Develop answers for these three questions. Scrawl rough ideas on this sheet. Consider the discussions we have had in class concerning the paramountcy of Rights.

  1. A rock-band bus breaks down in the middle of Alberta, near Beiseker. The band members go to the only motel in the area and request rooms for the night. The band members have quite obviously been drinking heavily. The weather outside is terrible, with blowing snow and a temperature lower than -45 degrees. The motel-owner refuses to rent rooms to these guys on the grounds that he chooses not to because he has had too much trouble in the past with rock bands, and rooms have been wrecked. The owner of the motel tells them all to leave. They refuse, claiming it is not safe because the bus is kaput. Whose rights are paramount here; the right of the motel-owner to decide to whom rooms shall be rented, or the right of the band members to rent a room which is publicly advertised with the motel's "Vacancy" sign?

  2. A highly-trained woman, with wide experience, applies for a position in a major Canadian bank as a vice-president in charge of financial instrument management. She is well-known in the banking community, and highly respected for her acumen and wisdom. The position is one with great public visibility. She does not get the job, and the position is filled by a dapper young man just out of MBA school at the University of Toronto. She asks why she was not the successful candidate, and is told, "You weren't qualified for the position". Which right is the greater here; the bank's, to hire exactly whomever they wish, or the woman applicant, who is 62 years old, who feels that she was marvelously qualified to do the job, but she has been discriminated against on the grounds of age. (Her ability has not been questioned.)

  3. Three young people apply to a university for undergraduate entrance at a school which welcomes all applicants and supports affirmative action. Two are male. One is black, the other white. The third is female. Their grades are as follows: The young woman has a 91 average, the white male has a 92.4 and the black male an 87. The university has two spots open in the program. Given the history of difficulty gaining access to higher education for women, and inferior education backgrounds often offered to young blacks, who should be allowed into the university program? In what way will the institution be able to justify discrimination (for someone here is going to feel discriminated against)? Are quotas inherently unfair on the grounds of merit, or are they the affirmative action needed for disadvantaged groups?
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You may also contact me directly at martin@aller-stead.com