When you become a permanent resident of Nova Scotia, you are entitled to the same rights as everyone else living here except you can’t vote or run for political office and hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance. Your legal rights, human rights and privileges of living here are automatically given to you when you arrive.
To become a Canadian citizen (and qualify for a Canadian passport), you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be a permanent resident of Canada
- Have lived in Canada for at least three of the four years before applying
- Be able to communicate in either English or French (and have proof of it)
- Know about Canada
- Know about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship
There are many steps and requirements involved with the Citizenship process. See the Government of Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration website for complete details.
In Canada, political leaders are chosen by the citizens through an electoral system. In federal, provincial and municipal elections, the public votes for political leaders by secret balloting. Secret balloting means you vote in private and no one can find out who you voted for.
To vote in a federal election you must be:
- A Canadian Citizen
- Age 18 or older
- Registered on the voters list
Visit Elections Canada for more information.
To vote in a Nova Scotia provincial or municipal election, you must be:
- A Canadian Citizen (provincial election only)
- Age 18 or older
- Registered voter in the electoral district
- A resident of Nova Scotia for at least 6 months prior to election date (provincial election only)
Visit Elections Nova Scotia for more information.
Servicing people with disabilities
Nova Scotia has many resources for people with disabilities. The government also provides financial assistance to people with a recognized disability. In all government buildings there should be wheelchair access. In most public places such as malls and schools, there is access for people with disabilities. For more information, go to the Nova Scotia Disabled Persons Commission or visit the Governments of Canada’s Person with Disabilities Online.
Every resident of Nova Scotia has the right to practice their religion or creed. It is a right of all Canadians as outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. An employee cannot be fired because of his or her religious beliefs.
Nova Scotia has become a home to many different religious groups from around the globe including Anglican, Baptist, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Roman Catholic.
You may find a place of worship easily by looking in the phone directory or doing an online search.
Nova Scotia human rights
As stated by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, “Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Act is a provincial law that states that every person is free and equal in dignity and rights without regard to age, race, colour, religion, creed, sex (gender), sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, ethnicity, national or aboriginal origin, family or marital status, source of income or political belief, affiliation, or activity. The Act also prohibits sexual harassment in all areas of public life.”
This means that it is against the law to be judged, or refused employment or equal pay for any of the reasons listed here. If you feel your human rights, as defined above, have been violated, you can ask for legal advice or action. More on this can be found by reading the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.