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Constitutional Struggle Constitutional Reform - Nov. 13.docx

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Political Studies
POLS 303
Joe Garcea

Constitutional Struggle: Constitutional Reform November-13-12 9:33 AM Constitutional Change (pre-1982)  Original BNA Act does not contain an amending formula.  As any Act of the UK Parliament, it can be changed like any legislative doctrine.  Between 1867 and 1982, BNA Act was changed 22 times.  Amending formula was added in 1982 Constitution. British Cabinet: Admission of New Provinces  BNA Act envisions the territorial expansion of the New Dominion.  S. 146 empower the British Cabinet the power to approve the admission of British Colonies.  Approves the entry of Rupert’s Land and NWT (1870), BC (1971) and PEI (1873). Federal Parliament: Creation of “new” provinces  Pursuant to federal Parliament’s residual powers, the creation of new provinces falls to feds. Changes to the Senate and House of Commons  S. 52 of the BNA Act grants Parliament the power to increase the size of the House of Commons “provided that the proportionate representation is not thereby disturbed.”  Federal powers limited to “house-keeping issues.”  Require Westminster support to alter the arrangements made in 1867. Imperial Conference 1926 (Balfour Declaration) moves towards greater independence.  Feds/provincial government seek to find a domestic amending formula between 1926-1935.  No conclusion, but three general observations are made:  Affecting the feds alone – enacted through normal legislation.  Affecting the provinces alone – enacted through normal legislation.  Affecting both provinces/feds – requires joint action by both parties. In 1949, the feds ask the UK government for power to amend the BNA Act in matters relating to federal jurisdiction.  S. 92 (1) gives provinces the power to change its constitution.  Many altered the upper appointed Senate at the time of Confederation.  Or, changed the manner of legislature rules.  Or extended the life of Parliament for five years (1943 in Ontario).  Quebec has/had a Senate? Early Constitutional Conventions  Because Canada exists as it borrowed most of its rules from the UK, conventions matter.  Most ideals are based on convention.  UK’s Parliament could only amend the BNA Act at the request of Canadian representatives. Quest for a domesti
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