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Canadian federalism


Canadian federalism

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

Canadian federalism is concerned with the current nature and historical development of federal systems within Canada. Canada is a federation with 11 distinct jurisdictions of governmental authority: the country-wide federal Crown and the 10 provincial Crowns. (There are also three territorial governments in the far north that exercise delegated powers under the authority of the Parliament of Canada.) All are generally independent of one another in their respective areas of legislative authority[1] and each derives its sovereignty and authority from the monolithic Canadian Crown; each jurisdiction includes the Queen-in-Parliament, the Queen-in-Council, and the Queen-on-the-Bench. Shared sectors include agriculture and immigration, but most are either entirely within federal jurisdiction, such as foreign affairs and telecommunications, or entirely within provincial jurisdiction, such as education and healthcare. The division of powers is outlined in the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly the British North America Act 1867), a key document within the Constitution of Canada.

The federal nature of the Canadian constitution was a response to the colonial-era diversity among the Maritimes and the Province of Canada, in particular the strong distinction between the French-speaking inhabitants of Lower Canada and the English-speaking inhabitants in Upper Canada and the Maritimes. John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, at first favoured a unitary system, but later, after witnessing the carnage of the American Civil War, supported the federal system; he sought to avoid violent conflicts by maintaining a fusion of powers rather than a separation of powers.[2]


  • History 1
    • Before World War I 1.1
    • 1914–1960 1.2
    • 1960–1982 1.3
    • Patriation 1.4
    • After 1982 1.5
  • The Crown 2
  • Distribution of legislative powers 3
    • Taxation and spending 3.1
    • Jurisdiction over public property 3.2
  • Nature of the legislative power within the federal structure 4
    • National and provincial concerns 4.1
    • Attaining a national dimension 4.2
    • Uniformity of federal law 4.3
    • Interplay of jurisdictions 4.4
    • Delegation and cooperation 4.5
    • The power to implement treaties 4.6
    • Limits on legislative power 4.7
  • Notes 5
  • Citations 6
    • References 6.1
    • Acts and other instruments 6.2
    • Case citations 6.3
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


Before World War I

The foundations of Canadian federalism were laid at the Quebec Conference of 1864. The Quebec Resolutions represented a compromise between those who wanted sovereignty vested in the federal government and those who wanted it vested in the constituent provinces. The compromise consisted in basing the federation on the constitution of the British Empire, under which the legal sovereignty of the imperial power was modified by the conventions of colonial Responsible government, making colonies of settlement such as those of British North America effectively self-governing in domestic affairs. A protracted political process ensued before the Quebec Resolutions were rendered into statutory form as the British North America Act of 1867. This process was increasingly dominated by John A. Macdonald, who connived with British officials in an attempt to make the federation more centralized than the Resolutions envisaged.[3]

Owing to the complexities of its genesis, the resulting constitution was couched in terms that were more centralist than the constitution was supposed to be in practice. As prime minister of Canada, Macdonald tried to exploit this discrepancy to impose his centralist ideal. His chief opponent was Oliver Mowat. In a series of political battles and court cases between 1872 and 1896,[1] Mowat managed to reverse Macdonald's early victories and entrench the co-ordinate sovereignty which, in his view, was enshrined in the Quebec Resolutions.[5] In 1888, Edward Blake summarized that view, saying, "[it is] a federal as distinguished from a legislative union, but a union composed of several existing and continuing entities... [The provinces are] not fractions of a unit but units of a multiple. The Dominion is the multiple and each province is a unit of that multiple..."[6] The accession of Sir Wilfrid Laurier as prime minister inaugurated a new phase of constitutional consensus marked by a more equal relationship between the jurisdictions. The federal government's quasi-imperial powers of disallowance and reservation, which Macdonald had abused in his efforts to impose central dominance, fell into disuse.


During the First World War, the federal Crown's power was extended via the introduction of income taxes and the passage of the War Measures Act, the scope of which was determined by several court cases.[2] The constitution's restrictions on parliamentary power were affirmed in 1919 when, in the Initiatives and Referendums Reference, a Manitoba act that provided for direct legislation by way of initiatives and referendums was ruled unconstitutional by the Privy Council on the grounds that a provincial viceroy, even on the advice of responsible ministers, could not permit "the abrogation of any power which the Crown possesses through a person directly representing it."[nb 11] Social and technological changes also worked their way into the scope of constitutional authority: The Radio Reference found that federal jurisdiction extended to broadcasting[nb 12] and the Aeronautics Reference held the same for aeronautics.[nb 13]

Dominion-Provincial Conference, 1927

In 1926, the King–Byng Affair resulted in a constitutional crisis that served as the impetus for changes in the relationship of the Governor General of Canada with the Prime Minister of Canada. While its key aspects were political in nature, its constitutional aspects continue to be argued.[7] One result was the Balfour Declaration issued later that year and the principles of which were eventually codified in the Statute of Westminster 1931. It, along with the repeal of the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865, gave the federal parliament the ability to make extraterritorial laws and to abolish appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Criminal appeals were abolished in 1933,[na 1] while civil appeals continued until 1949.[na 2] The last Privy Council ruling of constitutional significance occurred in 1954, in Winner v. S.M.T. (Eastern) Limited.[nb 14] Afterwards, the Supreme Court of Canada effectively became the final court of appeal.

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta John C. Bowen in 1937 refused to give Royal Assent to three bills of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Two would have put the province's banks under the control of the provincial government, while the third, the Accurate News and Information Act, would have forced newspapers to print government rebuttals to stories the provincial Cabinet deemed "inaccurate". All three bills were later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada in Reference re Alberta Statutes, which was upheld by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.[nb 15]

The broader scope of the Second World War required the passage of the National Resources Mobilization Act in order to supplement the powers contained in the War Measures Act in pursuing the national war effort. The extent to which federal power could expand during time of war was further clarified in the Chemicals Reference (which held that Orders in Council under the War Measures Act were equivalent to an Act of Parliament),[nb 16] and the Wartime Leasehold Regulations Reference (which held that wartime regulations were capable of displacing provincial jurisdiction for the duration of the emergency).[nb 17] Additional measures were also required in order to secure control of the economy during that time: Jurisdiction over unemployment insurance was transferred permanently into the federal sphere;[na 3] the provinces surrendered their power to levy succession duties and personal and corporate income taxes for the duration of the war (and for one year afterwards) under the Wartime Tax Rental Agreement;[8] and labour relations were centralized under federal control through the passing of the Wartime Labour Relations Regulations, to which the provinces ceded their jurisdiction (which lasted until 1948) over all labour matters falling neither under federal jurisdiction nor directly essential to the war effort.[9]

Canada emerged from the war with more association and cooperation between the federal and provincial areas of government. This led to the rise of the welfare state and the establishment of a government-funded health care system and the federal government introduced the practice of Keynesian economics. In 1951, section 94A was inserted into the British North America Act, 1867 to allow the Canadian parliament to make provision for pensions.[na 4] This was later extended in 1964 to allow for supplementary benefits (including disability and survivors' benefits).[na 5] The period also saw a rise in the use of First Ministers' Conferences for resolving federal-provincial issues. The Supreme Court of Canada became the sole court of final appeal following the abolition of appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1949 and the Parliament of Canada also received power to amend the constitution, limited to matters other than those affecting the provinces and subject to certain other constraints.[na 6]


1961 saw the last instance of a lieutenant governor reserving a bill passed by a provincial legislature: Frank Lindsay Bastedo, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, withheld Royal Assent and passed Bill 56, An Act to Provide for the Alteration of Certain Mineral Contracts, on to the federal Crown-in-Council for review. At the time, Bastedo issued a statement: "[T]his is a very important bill affecting hundreds of mineral contracts. It raises implications which throw grave doubts of the legislation being in the public interest. There is grave doubt as to its validity." The act was subsequently upheld through the passage of an order in council by the federal government.[10][na 7]

The Canadian parliament passed the Canadian Bill of Rights, which was the first time that such rights were placed on a statutory footing in the federal jurisdiction. Lester Pearson, during his term as prime minister, obtained passage of major social spending programs, including universal health care (a federal-provincial cost-sharing program), the Canada Pension Plan, and Canada Student Loans. At the same time, however, Quebec's Quiet Revolution encouraged increased administrative decentralization within Canada, with Quebec often opting out of other federal initiatives and instituting its own, such as the Quebec Pension Plan. The Quebec sovereignty movement lead to the victory of the Parti Québécois in the 1976 Quebec election, prompting consideration of further loosening ties with the rest of Canada. That was rejected in the 1980 referendum on the subject.

During the premiership of Pierre Trudeau, the federal government became more centralist in ideology, and Canada entered a stage of "conflictual federalism" that lasted from 1970 to 1984, generating tensions not just with Quebec, but with other provinces as well. The National Energy Program and other disputes over oil sparked a great deal of bitterness in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland against the federal government.[11]


Although Canada had achieved full status as a sovereign nation under the Statute of Westminster 1931, there was still no consensus as to a proper general amending formula for the constitution. Various attempts, such as the Fulton-Favreau formula in 1965 and the Victoria Charter in 1971, failed to obtain unanimous approval from both levels of government. When negotiations with the provinces stalled once more in 1982, Trudeau threatened to take the case for patriation straight to the British parliament "[without] bothering to ask one premier." The federal Cabinet and Crown counsel took the position that if the British Crown—in council, parliament, and on the bench—was to exercise sovereignty over Canada, it would do so at the request of the federal ministers only.[12]

Pierre Trudeau (left) and Jean Chrétien (right) at a session of the 1981 constitutional talks

Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Quebec posed reference questions to their respective courts of appeal, in which five other provinces intervened in support. In his ruling, Justice Joseph O'Sullivan of the Manitoba Court of Appeal held that the federal government's position was incorrect, as the constitutionally entrenched principle of responsible government meant that "Canada had not one responsible government but eleven."[12] Further, officials in the United Kingdom indicated that the British parliament was under no obligation to fulfill any request for legal changes desired by Trudeau, particularly if Canadian convention was not being followed.[13] The rulings from all courts were appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. In a decision that came to be known as the Patriation Reference, the court ruled that such a convention did exist, but it did not legally prevent the federal parliament from unilaterally seeking to amend the constitution without provincial consent. In addition, it was not the role of the courts to enforce constitutional conventions.

The Parliament of Canada then requested the British parliament to approve the Constitution Act, 1982, which the latter did through passage of the Canada Act 1982. This resulted in the introduction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the transfer of the procedure of constitutional amendment to a solely Canadian framework, and the addition of section 92A to the Constitution Act, 1867, which gave the provinces more power with respect to their natural resources.

After 1982

The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada under Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney favoured devolution of powers to the provinces, culminating in the failed Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords. After merging in 2003 with the heavily devolutionist Canadian Alliance party, the new Conservative Party of Canada, under Stephen Harper, has maintained the same stance. Thus, after Harper was appointed prime minister in 2006, the frequency of First Ministers' conferences declined significantly in the early part of the 21st century, but interprovincial cooperation notably increased through meetings of the Council of the Federation established by the provincial premiers in 2003.

After the 1995 Quebec referendum on Quebec sovereignty, one of several actions by then Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was to limit the ability of the federal government to spend money in areas of provincial jurisdiction. Thus, in 1999, the federal government and all provincial governments, except Quebec's, agreed to the Social Union Framework Agreement, which promoted common standards for social programmes across Canada.[14] Former Prime Minister Paul Martin has used the term asymmetrical federalism to describe this arrangement.[15][16] The Supreme Court of Canada now tends to favour the concepts of flexible federalism (where jurisdictions overlap) and cooperative federalism (where they can favourably interact),[17] as noted in its opinion in Reference re Securities Act.

The Crown

As a federal monarchy, the Canadian Crown is unitary throughout all jurisdictions in the country,[nb 18] with the headship of state being a part of all equally.[18] As such, the sovereignty of the each is passed on not by the governor general or federal parliament, but through the overreaching Crown itself as a part of the executive, legislative, and judicial operations in Canada's 11 (one federal and 10 provincial) legal jurisdictions; though singular, linking the various governments into a federal state,[19] the Crown is thus "divided" into 11 "crowns".[20] The Fathers of Confederation viewed the system of constitutional monarchy as a bulwark against any potential fracturing of the Canadian federation[21] and the Crown remains central to Canada's federalism.[22]

Distribution of legislative powers

The front page of the British North America Act, 1867

The federal-provincial distribution of legislative powers (also known as the division of powers) defines the scope of the powers of the federal and provincial legislatures. These have been identified as being either exclusive to the federal or the provincial jurisdictions or shared by all.

In order to rationalize how far each jurisdiction may use its authority, certain doctrines have been devised by the courts: pith and substance, including the nature of any ancillary powers and the colourability of legislation; double aspect; paramountcy; inter-jurisdictional immunity; the living tree; purposive approach; and charter compliance (most notably through the application of the Oakes test). Additionally, there is the implied Bill of Rights.

Section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867, provides the main listing of the federal parliament's powers, based upon the concept of peace, order, and good government. The act also puts under the purview of the federal legislature: remedial legislation with respect to education rights, uniformity of laws relating to property and civil rights in all provinces other than Quebec, creation of a general court of appeal and other courts "for the better Administration of the Laws of Canada" (but certain aspects relating to the Supreme Court of Canada were elevated to constitutional status in 1982),[nb 19] and implementing obligations arising from treaties with foreign countries. The same act lists the powers of the provincial parliaments, which include exploration, development, and export to other provinces of non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources, and electrical energy (subject to the federal parliament's authority to regulate interprovincial movements. Education also falls within provincial jurisdiction (subject to any rights to separate schools). Old age pensions, agriculture, and immigration are within federal and provincial jurisdictions concurrently. One is given paramountcy over the other, though: for pensions, federal legislation will not displace provincial laws and, for agriculture and immigration, it is the reverse.

The Constitution Act, 1871, allowed the same parliament to govern any territories not forming part of any province and the Statute of Westminster, 1931, gave the body the ability to pass laws having extraterritorial operation.

Taxation and spending

Taxation is a power belonging to the federal and provincial legislatures, though the latter is more restricted according to sections 92(2) and 92(9) of the Constitution Act, 1867. In addition, Allard Contractors Ltd. v. Coquitlam (District) has held that provincial legislatures may levy a fee that is of an indirect nature, where it is supportable as ancillary or adhesive to a valid regulatory scheme under a provincial head of power.[nb 20] In obiter, Gérard La Forest's observation was cited with approval that section 92(9) (together with the provincial powers over property and civil rights and matters of a local or private nature) allows for the levying of license fees even if they constitute indirect taxation.[23]

The Parliament of Canada has power to spend money on "The Public Debt and Property." While the Supreme Court of Canada has never ruled directly on the matter of constitutional limits on federal spending power,[nb 21][24] that legislature can transfer payments to the provinces.[3] This arises from the 1937 decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on the Unemployment Insurance Reference, where Lord Atkin observed: "assuming the Dominion has collected by means of taxation a fund, it by no means follows that any legislation which disposes of it is necessarily within Dominion competence... If on the true view of the legislation it is found that in reality in pith and substance the legislation invades civil rights within the Province, or in respect of other classes of subjects otherwise encroaches upon the provincial field, the legislation will be invalid."[nb 23] In Re Canada Assistance Plan, Mr Justice Sopinka held that the simple withholding of federal money that had been previously granted to fund a matter within provincial jurisdiction does not amount to the regulation of that matter. He declared that supervision of the spending power is not a separate head of judicial review.[nb 24]

Jurisdiction over public property

Proprietorial jurisdiction of Crown property is divided between the provincial legislatures and the Parliament of Canada, the key provisions being Sections 108, 109, and 117 of the Constitution Act, 1867. Public works are designated as property of the federal Crown, while natural resources are within the purview of the provinces.[nb 25] However, title to such property is not vested in one jurisdiction or another, as the Canadian Crown is indivisible.[25][26] In particular, Section 109 has been given a broad meaning;[27] provincial legislation regulating labour used to harvest and the disposal of natural resources does not interfere with the federal trade and commerce power [nb 26][28][nb 27][28] and royalties have been held to cover the law relating to escheats.[nb 28] Similarly, Canada cannot unilaterally create Indian reserves, as the transfer of such lands requires both federal and provincial approval by order in council (although there is discussion as to whether this is still sound jurisprudence[27]).[nb 29]

The provincial power to manage Crown land did not initially extend to Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan when they were created from part of the Northwest Territories, as such land continued to be vested in the federal Crown. It was vacated on some land[29] by British Columbia upon entering Confederation. Title to this land was not vested in those provinces until the passage of the Natural Resources Acts in 1930. The power is not absolute, however: provincial Crown land may be subjected to regulation, or expropriated, for federal purposes.[nb 30][nb 31] The administration of crown land is also subject to any rights accruing to First Nations,[nb 32] as they represent a relevant "interest"[nb 33] and provincial power "is burdened by the Crown obligations toward the Aboriginal people in question."[nb 34] There is debate as to whether such burdens apply in the same manner in the Western provinces under the terms of the Natural Resources Acts.[30]

The management of offshore resources is complex: while management of the beds of internal waters is vested in the provincial Crowns, the same of beds of territorial seas is vested in the federal Crown (together with management of the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone),[nb 35][nb 36][31] but the beds and islands of the waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia have been declared to be the property of the Crown in right of British Columbia.[nb 37] Federal-provincial management agreements have been implemented with respect to offshore petroleum resources in the areas surrounding Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.[na 8][na 9]

Nature of the legislative power within the federal structure

Much of the distribution of power has been ambiguous, leading to disputes that have been decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and, after 1949, the Supreme Court of Canada. The fundamental nature of the Canadian constitutional structure was described by the Privy Council in 1913 as not being truly federal (unlike the United States of America or Australia); though the British North America Act, 1867, states in its preamble the then colonies had expressed "their desire to be federally united into one Dominion", "the natural and literal interpretation of the word [federal] confines its application to cases in which these States, while agreeing on a measure of delegation, yet in the main continue to preserve their original Constitutions." The Privy Council determined the Fathers of Confederation desired a "general Government charged with matters of common interest, and new and merely local Governments for the Provinces." Matters other than those specifically listed in the British North America Act, 1867, as being the responsibility of either the federal or provincial parliaments fell automatically to the federal legislature, the exact opposite arrangement as that between the federal and state congresses in the United States.[nb 38]

National and provincial concerns

The preamble of section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867 states: 'It shall be lawful for the Queen, [...] to make laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada, in relation to all Matters not coming within the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces'. In addition to assigning powers that are not otherwise stated elsewhere (which has been very narrowly interpreted), this has led to the creation of the national emergency and national concern doctrines.

The national emergency doctrine was described by Mr Justice Beetz in Reference re Anti-Inflation Act in these words:[nb 39]

The national concern doctrine is governed by the principles stated by Mr Justice Le Dain in R. v. Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd.:[nb 41]

The federal government of Canada is partly limited by the powers assigned exclusively to the provincial legislatures. For example, the Canadian constitution created broad provincial jurisdiction over direct taxation and property and civil rights. Many disputes between the two levels of government revolve around conflicting interpretations of the meaning of these two powers.

By 1896, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council arrived at a method of interpretation that has been called the "four departments doctrine", where the allocation of jurisdiction over a matter is determined, in the following order:

  1. does it fall under Section 92, ss. 1–15?
  2. can it be characterized as falling under Section 91, ss. 1–29?
  3. is it of a general nature, bringing it within Section 91's residuary clause
  4. otherwise, it falls under Section 92, ss. 16[32]

By the 1930s, as noted succinctly in the Fish Canneries Reference and then subsequently in the Aeronautics Reference, the division of responsibilities between federal and provincial jurisdictions was summarized as follows by Lord Sankey:

While the Statute of Westminster 1931 declared that the Parliament of Canada possessed extraterritorial jurisdiction, the provincial legislatures did not achieve similar status. Instead, s. 92 states that "In each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws...".

If a provincial law affects rights of individuals outside the province:

  • if it is, in pith and substance, provincial, ancillary effects on the rights of individuals outside the province are irrelevant,[nb 43] but
  • where it is, in pith and substance, legislation in relation to the rights of individuals outside the province, it will be ultra vires the province[nb 5][nb 44]

In addition, in The Queen (Man.) v. Air Canada, it was held that the s. 92(2) power providing for "Direct Taxation within the Province" does not extend to taxing sales occurring in flights passing over or through a province as there was no substantial connection to it, but the question as to how far provincial jurisdiction can extend into a province's airspace was expressly left undecided.[nb 45] However, the property and civil rights power does allow for determining rules with respect to conflict of laws in civil matters.[na 10]

Attaining a national dimension

Federal jurisdiction therefore arises in several circumstances:

  • under the national emergency doctrine for legislation that is of a temporary nature (ie, the former War Measures Act)
  • under the national concern doctrine for:
    • new matters which did not exist at Confederation (ie, radio and television)
    • matters of a local or private nature in a province that have since, in the absence of national emergency, become matters of national concern (such as what can accrue to the general regulation of trade and commerce)
  • matters where the grant is exclusive under Section 91 (ie, criminal law)
  • matters where authority may be assumed (as with works for the general advantage of Canada)

In addition, the

Uniformity of federal law

Section 129 of the Constitution Act, 1867 provided for laws in effect at the time of Confederation to continue until repealed or altered by the appropriate legislative authority. Similar provisions were incorporated in the terms of union of other territories that were subsequently incorporated into Canada.

Uniformity of laws in some areas of federal jurisdiction was delayed for a significant length of time:

In addition, the provisions of the Civil Code of Lower Canada adopted in 1865 by the former Province of Canada that affected federal jurisdiction continued to be in force in Quebec (insofar as they had not been displaced by other federal Acts) until they were finally repealed on 15 December 2004.[na 11][34]

Interplay of jurisdictions

The Supreme Court of Canada noted, "our Constitution is based on an allocation of exclusive powers to both levels of government, not concurrent powers, although these powers are bound to interact in the realities of the life of our Constitution."[nb 46] In that regard, Dickson CJ observed the complexity of that interaction:

Among notable examples of this:

  • While the provinces have the power to create courts and police forces, which determines the level of law enforcement. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, however, as the federal police, also contracts for the provision of many provincial and municipal police forces.
  • The federal power to regulate fisheries does not override the provincial authority to require a permit for catching the fish within the waters under provincial control.[nb 49] However, the regulation of recreational fisheries has been partially delegated under the Fisheries Act[na 13] to the provinces, with respect to specified species in specific provinces.[na 14]
  • Works that affect navigation are subject to federal approval under the Navigable Waters Protection Act,[35] as well as provincial approval (as the beds of navigable waters are generally reserved to the Crown in right of the province)[36][37][38]
  • Although federal jurisdiction over broadcasting and most telecommunications is exclusive, the provinces may still regulate the type of advertising that is acceptable[nb 50] and whether cables may be installed above ground or underground[nb 51][39]
  • While the concept of marriage is under federal jurisdiction, the solemnization of marriages is controlled by the provinces.
  • The provincial power to regulate security interests under the property and civil rights power will be displaced by security interests created under a federal head of power – most notably under the banking power – but only to the extent that federal law has covered the field.[nb 52]
  • Similarly, laws arising from the property and civil rights power will be used to complement the interpretation of federal legislation where the federal Act has not provided otherwise, but the federal power cannot be used to create rules of private law in areas outside its exclusive jurisdiction[nb 53][na 15]
  • In the area of insolvency law, provincial statutes continue to operate by way of federal incorporation into the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. However, where a stay under federal law has been lifted in order to allow proceedings to take place, a province can still impose a moratorium on such proceedings that fall under provincial law[nb 54]

Delegation and cooperation

As early as 1899, Lord Watson asserted (during the argument in CPR v Bonsecours[nb 55]) that neither the federal parliament nor the provincial legislatures could give legislative authority to the other level.[40] Subsequent attempts to dovetail federal and provincial legislation to achieve certain ends met with difficulty, such as an attempt by Saskatchewan to ensure enforcement of a federal statute[na 16] by enacting a complementary Act[na 17] declaring that the federal Act would continue in force under provincial authority should it be held to be ultra vires. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, after so ruling with respect to the federal Act, held the provincial Act to be ultra vires as well, being void as an attempt by the Province to vest powers in Parliament that were not authorized by the BNA Act.[41][nb 56]

The matter was addressed directly in 1950 by the Supreme Court,[42] in holding ultra vires a proposed Nova Scotia Act that would have authorized interdelegation of legislative and taxation authority between Parliament and the Nova Scotia Legislature.[nb 57] In that decision, Rand J discussed the distinction between delegation to a subordinate body and that to a legislative body:

Later attempts to achieve federal-provincial coordination have proved successful with other types of legislative schemes,[43] involving:

  • conditional legislation (such as a federal Act providing that it will not apply where a provincial Act has been enacted in a given matter). As Rand J declared in 1959, "That Parliament can so limit the operation of its own legislation and that it may do so upon any such event or condition is not open to serious debate.[nb 58]
  • incorporation by reference or adoption (eg, a federal regulation prohibiting vehicles from operating on a federal highway except "in accordance with the laws of the province and the municipality in which the highway is situated.").[na 18]
  • conjoint schemes with administrative cooperation (such as the administrative authority granted by federal law to provincial transport boards to license extraprovincial transport undertakings).[na 19]

The power to implement treaties

In order to understand how treaties can be entered into Canadian law, there are three significant cases that must be considered:

The reasoning behind the judgments is complex,[44] but it is considered to break down as follows:

  • Aeronautics were held by the Aeronautics Reference to be within the exclusive authority of the Parliament of Canada by virtue of the power under s. 132 governing treaties entered into by the British Empire and it thus ousted any question of possible provincial jurisdiction (although, after the underlying treaty was replaced by one not entered into by the British Empire, it was subsequently held in Johannesson v. West St. Paul that, in accordance with Ontario v. Canada Temperance Federation, the field continued to be within federal jurisdiction under the power relating to peace, order and good government, as by then it had attained a national dimension).
  • Although an international agreement governing broadcasting was not a treaty of the British Empire, the Radio Reference held that it fell within federal jurisdiction, as Canada's obligations under its agreements in this field required it to pass legislation that would apply to all the dwellers in Canada, and the matter could be seen as being analogous to telegraphs, which already was in the federal sphere.
  • The Labour Conventions Reference dealt with labour relations (a matter that was plainly within provincial jurisdiction), and as the conventions were not treaties of the British Empire and no plausible argument could be made for the field attaining a national dimension or becoming of national concern, the Canadian Parliament was unable to exercise any new legislative authority.

Even though the Statute of Westminster 1931 had made Canada fully independent in governing its foreign affairs, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council held that s. 132 did not accordingly evolve to take that into account. As noted by Lord Atkin at the end of the judgment,

This case expressly left undecided the question as to the extent of the federal power to negotiate, sign and ratify treaties that deal with areas falling within provincial jurisdiction.

This judgment has generated extensive debate about the complications that were introduced in implementing Canada's subsequent international obligations,[45][46] and the Supreme Court of Canada has indicated in several dicta that it may be ready to revisit the issue in an appropriate case.[47]

Limits on legislative power

Outside of the questions of ultra vires and compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there are only a few absolute limits on what the Parliament of Canada and the various provincial legislatures can legislate. In the Constitution Act, 1867:

  • S. 96 has been construed to hold that neither the provincial legislatures nor Parliament can enact legislation that removes part of the core or inherent jurisdiction of the superior courts.[nb 60]
  • S. 121 states, "All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces."
  • S. 125 states, "No Lands or Property belonging to Canada or any Province shall be liable to Taxation."
  • Under s. 129, certain limits have also been placed on the ability of the legislatures of Ontario and Quebec to amend or repeal Acts of the former Province of Canada. Where such an Act created a body corporate that operated throughout the former Province, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council held that such bodies cannot have "provincial objects," and therefore only the Parliament of Canada had power to deal with such Act.[nb 61] It has also been held that such a restriction exists for any Act that applied equally to both Upper Canada and Lower Canada.[4] This jurisprudence proved to be problematic when the Civil Code of Lower Canada was being replaced by the Civil Code of Quebec.[50]


  1. ^ The federal regulation of trade and commerce was circumscribed by the provincial property and civil rights power as a result of Citizen's Insurance Co. v. Parsons,[nb 1] disallowance and reservation of provincial statutes was curtailed as a political consequence of McLaren v. Caldwell,[nb 2][4] and the double aspect doctrine was introduced into Canadian jurisprudence via Hodge v. The Queen.[nb 3] Not all rulings, however, went in the provinces' favour. Russell v. The Queen established the right of the federal parliament to make laws applicable in the provinces if those laws relate to a concern that exists in all jurisdictions of the country[nb 4] and in Royal Bank of Canada v. The King the provinces were held not to possess the power to affect extraprovincial contract rights.[nb 5] Pith and substance, used to determine under which crown a given piece of legislation falls, was introduced in Cushing v. Dupuy.[nb 6]
  2. ^ The Board of Commerce case affirmed that only a national emergency warranted the curtailment of citizens' rights by the federal parliament,[nb 7] subsequently reaffirmed by Fort Frances Pulp and Paper v. Manitoba Free Press,[nb 8] and was held to even include amending Acts of Parliament through regulations.[nb 9] However, Toronto Electric Commissioners v. Snider,[nb 10] held that such emergencies could not be used to unreasonably intrude on the provinces' property and civil rights power.
  3. ^ The Alberta Court of Appeal in Winterhaven Stables Limited v. Canada (Attorney General) characterized that as possessing the following nature: "[The federal parliament] is entitled to spend the money that it raises through proper exercise of its taxing power in the manner that it choses to authorize. It can impose conditions on such disposition so long as the conditions do not amount in fact to a regulation or control of a matter outside federal authority. The federal contributions are now made in such a way that they do not control or regulate provincial use of them. As well there are opting out arrangements that are available to those provinces who choose not to participate in certain shared-cost programs.[nb 22]
  4. ^ Ex parte O'Neill, RJQ 24 SC 304,[48] where it was held that the Legislative Assembly of Quebec was unable to repeal the Temperance Act, 1864,[na 20] but it could pass a concurrent statute for regulating liquor traffic within the Province.[49] However, it has also been held that the Parliament of Canada could not repeal that Act with respect only to Ontario.[nb 62]



  1. ^ Banting, Keith G.; Simeon, Richard (1983). And no one cheered: federalism, democracy, and the Constitution Act. Toronto: Methuen. pp. 14, 16.  
  2. ^ "John A. Macdonald on the Federal System". The Historica-Dominion Institute. Retrieved 24 December 2012. , quoting Parliamentary Debates on the Subject of the Confederation of the British North American Provinces—3rd Session, 8th Provincial Parliament of Canada. Quebec: Hunter, Rose & Co. 1865. pp. 29–45. 
  3. ^ Romney, Paul (1999). Getting it wrong: how Canadians forgot their past and imperilled Confederation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 100–2.  
  4. ^ Lamot 1998, p. 125.
  5. ^ Romney, Paul (1986). Mr Attorney: The Attorney-General for Ontario in court, cabinet and legislature, 1791-1899. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 240–281. 
  6. ^  
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Bélanger, Claude. "Canadian federalism, the Tax Rental Agreements of the period of 1941–1962 and fiscal federalism from 1962 to 1977". Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Ontario Labour Relations Board: History". Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  10. ^  
  11. ^ Dyck 2012, pp. 416–420
  12. ^ a b Romney 1999, pp. 273–274
  13. ^ Heard, Andrew (1990). "Canadian Independence". Vancouver: Simon Fraser University. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  14. ^ Noël, Alain (November 1998). "The Three Social Unions" (PDF). Policy Options (in French) (Institute for Research on Public Policy) 19 (9): 26–29. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Flexible federalism". The Free Library. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  16. ^ Douglas Brown (July 2005). "Who's afraid of Asymmetrical Federalism?". Optimum Online 35 (2): 2 et seq. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  17. ^ Hunter, Christopher. "Cooperative Federalism & The Securities Act Reference: A Rocky Road". The Court. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  18. ^  
  19. ^  
  20. ^ Jackson, Michael D. (2003). "Golden Jubilee and Provincial Crown" (PDF). Canadian Monarchist News (Toronto: Monarchist League of Canada) 7 (3): 6. Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  21. ^ Smith, David E. (1995). The Invisible Crown. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 8.  
  22. ^ Smith, David E. (10 June 2010), The Crown and the Constitution: Sustaining Democracy? (PDF), Kingston: Queen's University, p. 6, retrieved 18 May 2010 
  23. ^ La Forest, G.V. (1981). The Allocation of Taxing Power Under the Canadian Constitution (2nd ed.). Toronto: Canadian Tax Foundation. p. 159.  
  24. ^ "RB 07-36E: The Federal Spending Power". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  25. ^ Romney, Paul (1999). Getting it wrong: how Canadians forgot their past and imperilled Confederation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 274.  
  26. ^ Cabinet Secretary and Clerk of the Executive Council (April 2004), Executive Government Processes and Procedures in Saskatchewan: A Procedures Manual (PDF), Regina: Queen's Printer for Saskatchewan, p. 10, retrieved 30 July 2009 
  27. ^ a b Bowman, Laura. Revisited"Seybold"Constitutional "Property" and Reserve Creation: (PDF). Manitoba Law Journal (University of Manitoba, Robson Hall Faculty of Law) 32 (1): 1–25. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  28. ^ a b Hogg 2007, par. 29.2.
  29. ^ the Railway Belt and the Peace River Block
  30. ^ Lambrecht, Kirk (30 July 2014). Decision of the Supreme Court of Canada"Grassy Narrows"The Importance of Location and Context to the Future Application of the (PDF). 
  31. ^ Fisheries and Oceans Canada. "Canada’s Ocean Estate – A Description of Canada’s Maritime Zones". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  32. ^ for example, Claude Bélanger. "Constitution Act, 1867"Theories and Interpretation of the .  
  33. ^ Criminal Code, 1892, SC 1892, c 29
  34. ^ "Backgrounder: A Third Bill to Harmonize Federal Law with the Civil Law of Quebec".  
  35. ^ "NWPA Regulatory Framework". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  36. ^ "Policy PL 2.02.02 – Ownership determinations – Beds of navigable waters" (PDF). Ministry of Natural Resources of Ontario. 26 February 2007. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  37. ^ "Procedure PL 2.02.02 – Ownership determinations – Beds of navigable waters" (PDF). Ministry of Natural Resources of Ontario. 26 February 2007. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  38. ^ "Dams, Water Crossings and Channelizations – The Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act". Ministry of Natural Resources of Ontario. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  39. ^ "Canadian Municipalities and the Regulation of Radio Antennae and their Support Structures — III. An Analysis of Constitutional Jurisdiction in Relation to Radiocommunication".  
  40. ^ La Forest 1975, p. 134.
  41. ^ La Forest 1975, p. 135.
  42. ^ La Forest 1975, pp. 135–137.
  43. ^ La Forest 1975, p. 137–143.
  44. ^ Cyr, Hugo (2009). "I – The Labour Conventions Case". Canadian Federalism and Treaty Powers: Organic Constitutionalism at Work. Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang SA.  
  45. ^ Zagros Madjd-Sadjadi, Winston-Salem State University. "Subnational Sabotage or National Paramountcy? Examining the Dynamics of Subnational Acceptance of International Agreements" (PDF). Southern Journal of Canadian Studies, vol. 2, 1. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  46. ^ H. Scott Fairley (1999). "External Affairs and the Canadian Constitution". In Yves Le Bouthillier; Donald M. McRae; Donat Pharand. Selected Papers in International Law: Contribution of the Canadian Council on International Law. London: Kluwer International. pp. 79–91.  
  47. ^ "Canadian Interpretation and Construction of Maritime Conventions". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  48. ^ Lefroy, Augustus Henry Frazer (1918). A short treatise on Canadian constitutional law. Toronto: The Carswell Company. p. 189. 
  49. ^ Lefroy, Augustus Henry Frazer (1913). Canada's Federal System. Toronto: The Carswell Company. pp. 162–163. 
  50. ^ Leclair, Jean (1999). "Thoughts on the Constitutional Problems Raised by the Repeal of the Civil Code of Lower Canada". The Harmonization of Federal Legislation with the Civil Law of the Province of Quebec and Canadian Bijuralism (PDF). Ottawa: Department of Justice. pp. 347–394. 

Acts and other instruments

  1. ^ Criminal Code Amendment Act, S.C. 1932–33, c. 53, s. 17
  2. ^ Supreme Court Amendment Act, S.C. 1949 (2nd. session), c. 37, s. 3
  3. ^ British North America Act, 1940, 3–4 Geo. VI, c. 36 (U.K.)
  4. ^ British North America Act, 1951, 14–15 Geo. VI, c. 32 (U.K.)
  5. ^ British North America Act, 1964, 12–13 Eliz. II, c. 73 (U.K.)
  6. ^ British North America (No. 2) Act, 1949, 13 Geo. VI, c. 81 (U.K.)
  7. ^ "Order in Council P.C. 1961-675", Canada Gazette, 13 May 1961, retrieved 19 August 2012 
  8. ^ "Canada-Newfoundland Atlantic Accord Implementation Act (S.C. 1987, c. 3)". Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act (S.C. 1988, c. 28)". Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  10. ^ for example, , SBC 2003, c. 28"Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act". Queen's Printer of British Columbia. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  11. ^ , S.C. 2001, c. 4, s. 3"Federal Law-Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1". Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  12. ^ Constitution Act, 1867, s. 96
  13. ^ (R.S.C., 1985, c. F-14)"Fisheries Act". Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  14. ^ "Recreational Fishing Regulations".  
  15. ^ (R.S.C., 1985, c. I-21)"Interpretation Act".  codifies the general rule at s. 8.1.
  16. ^ Live Stock and Live Stock Products Act, R.S.C. 1927, c.120
  17. ^ Live Stock and Live Stock Products Act, R.S.S. 1930, c. 151
  18. ^ Government Property Traffic Regulations, C.R.C. 1977, c. 887, s. 6(1)
  19. ^ Motor Vehicle Transport Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 29 (3rd Supp.), s. 7
  20. ^ An Act to amend the laws in force respecting the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors and the issue of Licenses therefor, and otherwise for repression of abuses resulting from such sale, S.C. 1864, c. 18

Case citations

  1. ^ The Citizens Insurance Company of Canada and The Queen Insurance Company v Parsons [1881] UKPC 49, (1881) 7 A.C. 96 (26 November), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  2. ^ Caldwell and another v McLaren [1884] UKPC 21, (1884) 9 A.C. 392 (7 April), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  3. ^ Hodge v The Queen (Canada) [1883] UKPC 59 at pp. 9–10, 9 App Cas 117 (15 December), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Ontario)
  4. ^ Charles Russell v The Queen (New Brunswick) [1882] UKPC 33 at pp. 17–18, [1882] 7 App Cas 829, 8 CRAC 502 (23 June), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  5. ^ a b The Royal Bank of Canada and others v The King and another [1913] UKPC 1a, [1913] A.C. 212 (31 January), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Alberta)
  6. ^ Cushing v Dupuy [1880] UKPC 22 at pp. 3–4, (1880) 5 AC 409 (15 April), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Quebec)
  7. ^ The Attorney General of Canada v The Attorney General of Alberta and others ("Board of Commerce case") [1921] UKPC 107 at p. 4, [1922] 1 A.C. 191 (8 November), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  8. ^ The Fort Frances Pulp and Paper Company Limited v The Manitoba Free Press Company Limited and others [1923] UKPC 64 at p. 6, [1923] A.C. 695 (25 July), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Ontario)
  9. ^ In Re George Edwin Gray 1918 CanLII 86 at pp. 167–173, 180–183, 57 SCR 150 (19 July 1918), drawing on R v Halliday [1917] UKHL 1, [1917] AC 260 (1 May)
  10. ^ The Toronto Electric Commissioners v Colin G. Snider and others [1925] UKPC 2, [1925] AC 396 (20 January), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Ontario)
  11. ^ In the matter of The Initiative and Referendum Act being Chapter 59 of the Acts of Legislative Assembly of Manitoba 6 George V. [1919] UKPC 60, [1919] AC 935 (3 July), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Manitoba)
  12. ^ The Attorney General of Quebec v The Attorney General of Canada and others ("Radio Reference") [1932] UKPC 7, [1932] A.C. 304 (9 February), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  13. ^ The Attorney-General Canada v The Attorney-General of Ontario and others ("Aeronautics Reference") [1931] UKPC 93, [1932] A.C. 54 (22 October), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  14. ^ Israel Winner (doing business under the name and style of Mackenzie Coach Lines) and others v. S.M.T. (Eastern) Limited and others [1954] UKPC 8 (22 February), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  15. ^ Attorney General of Alberta v Attorney General of Canada [1938] UKPC 46 (14 July), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  16. ^ Reference as to the Validity of the Regulations in Relation to Chemicals Enacted by Order in Council and of an Order of the Controller of Chemicals Made Pursuant Thereto (The "Chemicals Reference") 1943 CanLII 1, [1943] SCR 1 (1 May), Canada)
  17. ^ Reference re Wartime Leasehold Regulations 1950 CanLII 27, [1950] SCR 124 (1 March), Canada)
  18. ^ Attorney-General of Canada v. Higbie 1944 CanLII 29, [1945] SCR 385 (23 March), Canada)
  19. ^ Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6 2014 SCC 21 (21 March 2014)
  20. ^ Allard Contractors Ltd. v. Coquitlam (District) CanLII 45, [1993] 4 SCR 371 (18 November)
  21. ^ Finlay v. Canada (Minister of Finance) 1993 CanLII 129 at par. 29, [1993] 1 SCR 1080 (25 March)
  22. ^ Winterhaven Stables Limited v. Canada (Attorney General) 1988 ABCA 334 at par. 23, 53 DLR (4th) 413 (17 October)
  23. ^ The Attorney General of Canada v The Attorney General of Ontario and others [1937] JCPC 7, [1937] AC 355 (28 January) (Canada)
  24. ^ Reference Re Canada Assistance Plan (B.C.) 1991 CanLII 74 at par. 93, [1991] 2 SCR 525 (15 August)
  25. ^ The Attorney General for the Dominion of Canada v The Attorneys General for the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia ("Fisheries Case") [1898] UKPC 29, [1898] AC 700 (26 May), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  26. ^ Smylie v. The Queen (1900), 27 O.A.R. 172 (C.A.)
  27. ^ Attorney-General for British Columbia and the Minister of Lands v. Brooks-Bidlake and Whitall, Ltd. 1922 CanLII 22, 63 SCR 466 (2 July)
  28. ^ The Attorney General of Ontario v Mercer [1883] UKPC 42, [1883] 8 AC 767 (8 July), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  29. ^ The Ontario Mining Company Limited and The Attorney General for the Dominion of Canada v The Attorney General for the Province of Ontario ("Ontario Mining Co. v. Seybold") [1902] UKPC 46, [1903] AC 73 (12 November) (on appeal from Canada)
  30. ^ Reference re Waters and Water-Powers 1929 CanLII 72, [1929] SCR 200 (2 May), Canada)
  31. ^ The Attorney General of Quebec v The Nipissing Central Railway Company and another ("Railway Act Reference") [1926] UKPC 39, [1926] AC 715 (17 May), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  32. ^ R. v. Sparrow 1990 CanLII 104, [1990] 1 SCR 1075 (31 May), Canada)
  33. ^ St. Catherines Milling and Lumber Company v The Queen [1888] UKPC 70, [1888] 14 AC 46 (12 December), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  34. ^ Grassy Narrows First Nation v. Ontario (Natural Resources) 2014 SCC 48 at par. 50 (11 July)
  35. ^ Reference Re: Offshore Mineral Rights } CanLII 71, [1967] SCR 792 (7 November), Canada)
  36. ^ Reference re Newfoundland Continental Shelf } CanLII 132, [1984] 1 SCR 86 (8 March), Canada)
  37. ^ Reference re: Ownership of the Bed of the Strait of Georgia and Related Areas } CanLII 138, [1984] 1 SCR 388 (17 May), Canada)
  38. ^ The Attorney-General for Commonwealth of Australia and others v The Colonial Sugar Refining Company Limited and others [1913] UKPC 76, [1914] AC 237 (17 December), P.C. (on appeal from Australia), and stated again in The Bonanza Creek Gold Mining Company Limited v The King and another }] UKPC 11, [1916] 1 AC 566 (24 February), Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from Canada)
  39. ^ Reference re Anti-Inflation Act 1976 CanLII 16, [1976] 2 SCR 373 (12 July), Canada), 463–464
  40. ^ Viscount Haldane in Fort Frances, p. 704
  41. ^ R. v. Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd. 1988 CanLII 63 at par. 33, 49 DLR (4th) 161; [1988] 3 WWR 385 (24 March), Canada)
  42. ^ Aeronautics Reference at p. 8
  43. ^ Edgar F. Ladore and others v George Bennett and others [1939] UKPC 33, [1939] 3 D.L.R. 1, [1939] AC. 468 (8 May), P.C. (on appeal from Ontario)
  44. ^ Re Upper Churchill Water Rights Reversion Act 1984 CanLII 17, [1984] 1 SCR 297 (3 May), Canada)
  45. ^ The Queen (Man.) v. Air Canada 1980 CanLII 16, [1980] 2 SCR 303 (18 July), Canada)
  46. ^ Canadian Western Bank v. Alberta 2007 SCC 22, [2007] 2 SCR 3 (31 May), par. 32
  47. ^ Ontario (Attorney General) v. OPSEU 1987 CanLII 71, [1987] 2 SCR 2 (29 July) at par. 27
  48. ^ Attorney General of Canada v. Canadian National Transportation, Ltd. 1983 CanLII 36, [1983] 2 SCR 206, Canada)
  49. ^ The Attorney General for the Dominion of Canada v The Attorneys General for the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia ("Fisheries Reference") [1898] UKPC 29, [1898] A.C. 700 (26 May), P.C. (on appeal from Canada)
  50. ^ Attorney General of Quebec v. Kellogg's Co. of Canada 1978 CanLII 185, [1978] 2 SCR 211 (19 January), Canada)
  51. ^ The Corporation of the City of Toronto v The Bell Telephone Company of Canada [1904] UKPC 71 (11 November), P.C. (on appeal from Ontario)
  52. ^ Bank of Montreal v. Innovation Credit Union 2010 SCC 47, [2010] 3 SCR 3 (5 November)
  53. ^ Clark v. Canadian National Railway Co. 1988 CanLII 18, [1988] 2 SCR 680 (15 December)
  54. ^ Abitibi Power and Paper Company Limited v Montreal Trust Company and others [1943] UKPC 37, [1943] AC 536 (8 July) (on appeal from Ontario), upholding The Abitibi Power and Paper Company Limited Moratorium Act, 1941, S.O. 1941, c. 1
  55. ^ Canadian Pacific Railway Company v The Corporation of the Parish of Notre Dame De Bonsecour [1899] UKPC 22, [1899] AC 367 (24 March), P.C. (on appeal from Quebec)
  56. ^ R. v. Zaslavsky 1935 CanLII 142, [1935] 3 DLR 788 (15 April 1935), Court of Appeal (Saskatchewan, Canada)
  57. ^ Attorney General of Nova Scotia v. Attorney General of Canada (the "Nova Scotia Inter-delegation case") 1950 CanLII 26, [1951] SCR 31 (3 October 1950)
  58. ^ Lord's Day Alliance v. Attorney-General of British Columbia 1959 CanLII 42, [1959] SCR 497 (28 April 1959)
  59. ^ The Attorney General of Canada v The Attorney General of Ontario and others ("Labour Conventions Reference") [1937] UKPC 6, [1937] A.C. 326 (28 January), P.C. (on appeal from Canada)
  60. ^ MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. v. Simpson 1995 CanLII 57, [1995] 4 SCR 725 (14 December 1995); Re Residential Tenancies Act 1981 SCC 24, [1981] 1 SCR 714 (28 May 1981); Crevier v. A.G. (Québec) et al. 1981 CanLII 30, [1981] 2 SCR 220 (20 October 1981); Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General) 2014 SCC 59 (2 October 2014)
  61. ^ Rev. Robert Dobie v The Board for Management of the Presbyterian Church of Canada [1882] UKPC 4, 7 App Cas 136 (21 January), P.C. (on appeal from Quebec)
  62. ^ The Attorney General for Ontario v The Attorney General for the Dominion of Canada, and the Distillers and Brewers’ Association of Ontario (The "Local Prohibition Case") [1896] UKPC 20, [1896] AC 348 (9 May), P.C. (on appeal from Canada)

Further reading

  • Lamot, Robert Gregory (1998). The Politics of the Judiciary: The S.C.C. and the J.C.P.C. in late 19th Century Ontario (PDF) (M.A.).  
  • J. Noel Lyon (1976). "The Central Fallacy of Canadian Constitutional Law" (PDF). McGill LJ (McGill Law Journal) 22 (1): 40–70.  
  • Oliver, Peter C. (2011). "The Busy Harbours of Canadian Federalism: The Division of Powers and Its Doctrines in the McLachlin Court". In Dodek, Adam; Wright, David A. Public Law at the McLachlin Court: the First Decade.  
  • Rocher, François; Smith, Miriam (2003). New Trends in Canadian Federalism (2nd ed.).  
  • Stevenson, Garth (2003). Unfulfilled union: Canadian federalism and national unity (4th ed.).  

External links

  • Federalism in Canada: Basic Framework and Operation
  • – published by Queen's University Institute of Intergovernmental RelationsFederalism-e
  • Canadian Federalism
  • Studies on the Canadian Constitution and Canadian Federalism
  • Constitutional Law professor Hester Lessard on the Downtown Eastside and Jurisdictional Justice
  • Canadian Governments Compared – ENAP
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