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POL337Y1 Lecture Notes - Big Country, Lower Canada, New Economics Foundation

Political Science
Course Code

of 3
Oct 23 2012
POL 337Y1 Canadian Constitution
Prof. Vuk Radmkovic
Page 1
POL 337Y1 Canadian Constitution
Lecture 7 Tuesday, Oct 23, 2012
What is the key issue in advising governor general?
- It doesn’t seem right to parole parliament based on your political
experiment. But it would be hard to diffuse that request.
What is federalism?
- You must know this
- Doubt to legislate within particular set of jurisdictional area neither of
which can subjugate the other. Each level of government are in that sense
Evolution of Canadian federalism
- 1. Lower Canada consist mostly of French-speaking people. Upper Canada is
Southern Ontario where there are mostly English-speaking people
- 2. New Brunswick
- 3. Nova Scotia
- John A. McDonalds
- George Etienne Cartier
o Friend of McDonalds
o French Canadian,
o Was not that important at the time but today he is considered
- Shadow of US
o Creating a big country to defend itself
o 1867 there are not many countries that are federal. Canada is
thinking of having this federal system of govt. Then US is, and it just
had civil war. So this has perception that federalism is messy and
leads to war.
- Shadow of Great Britain
o On the other hand, GB is calmer.
- Goal was creating one Canada.
o Common defense
o Commercial prosperity
Political expansion etc.
o Bridging the ethno-linguistic divide
Canada has a significant territorially concentrated linguistic
Oct 23 2012
POL 337Y1 Canadian Constitution
Prof. Vuk Radmkovic
Page 2
How to create government structure that allows English
speaking and French speaking Canadians to live together
US doesn’t provide anything in that regard because it is not
- 3 key factions
o One supported by John A McDonalds and unitarists
They like unitary government (Great Britain style) and fear
federalist government particularly through what happened to
US (Civil War)
Federalism was something strange, sinister, and might not
integrate properly.
Want to create new primary identity and new uniform
legislative union
o Quebec and the provincial right activists
How do you protect culture? Local government does.
Their interest of having as much power as possible on some
provincial level
Merely delegate the power to that central government
True confederation
Wanted to preserve homogeneity in local identities and social
o George Etienne Cartier
French Canadian and friends with McDonalds
Key to getting French speaking support toward the union
Believed in federalism
Trudeau (French Canadian who believed in federalism)
- Constitution Act 1867
o At the time known as British North American Act
o 2 key features
LeSelva: Intellectual father is Cartier
Making French and English speaking people to live in
He believed that the two are utopian because they
relied on notion of societal hegemony, because you will
always have diversity
By embracing this diversity, new nationality can be
formed which is not ethic but political
Beginning of Canadian federalist theory
LeSelva created Canada because at the time people
didn’t have strong attachment of Canada
Sections 91-93 Division of powers
o Dominance of national government
Oct 23 2012
POL 337Y1 Canadian Constitution
Prof. Vuk Radmkovic
Page 3
MacDonald’s input
US enjoy residual power. MacDonald feared the state power
and he didn’t want to make the same mistake. He wanted to
have a powerful central government.
The raising of money by any mode of system of taxation
Power to disallow provincial legislation
Power to appoint Lieutenant governors
Power to appoint provincial judges
Power to bring local works under national jurisdiction
- Quasi federalism and early federal dominance
o There is almost a colonial relationship between the federal and
provincial government
o Historically over time, there has been a revolution on the authentic
federal system. Today there is a meaningful coordinancy between the
two governments, because of 2 factors
One of them has been case law, how judges of traditional have
Over time, provinces have succeeded in gaining financial
autonomy of provinces
It doesn’t make sense for one government to be elected so that
another level of government that hasn’t been elected by those
people pertaining to that jurisdictional authority to disallow
that legislation. That was not considered democratic but it also
creates accountability problems
Great subjects that MacDonald was talking about
- Civil rights at the time meant something different than what it is today
- In 1867 when the constitution was written people were not really talking
about it
- Provision in subsection 13 becomes important whereby depending on how
court interprets this it can be even more important
- Exclusive yet overlap with one another
- Is that exclusivity unrealistic?
- It is difficult in today’s world to pass legislation that deals with only one issue
- If government fails at cooperation they may sue each other
- Allowing for overlap or exclusivity - which will bring more actors?
End of lecture