What is Federalism?
-The power to make binding decisions for the population is divided between two
levels of government (Maclvor 2006)
-Constitutional authority to make laws is divided between the two levels- national
and regional levels – neither of which has sovereign authority on its own. (has to
work with provinces, doesn’t have sovereignty power on its own).
-Each level receives authority from the Constitution and is subordinate to it(only
thing subordinate too).
Contrast to Unitary System
-In a Unitary System, by contrast all sovereign authority of the nation-state resides
in one governing body.
-That body(national level) can delegate authority to lower levels, “to assist in the
delivery of services and the implementation of laws, but these agencies have no
independent status and may be abolished at any time” (Maclvor 2006)
-Global there are more unitary states than federal ones (approx. 169-24) but 40% of
global population live in federations.
Federal and Unitary States
Green countries = Federal state
Blue countries= Unitary state
Origins of Canadian federalism
1. To help break the French/English deadlock in the Province of Canada
2. To foster coordination of economic development
3. Increased security from US northern expansion
4. Helped relieve administration and troop provision duties from Great Britain
5. Western expansion would be easier and again would be protected from the
6. Amenable to Maritime provinces Formal Division of Powers
Federal Powers Provincial Powers Concurrent Powers
Trade and commerce Direct taxation within the -Agriculture
Any form of Taxation province -Immigration
National Defense -Public lands -Old age pension
Banking -Hospitals, charities and
Aboriginals health care
Criminal Law Municipal institutions
Interprovincial transportation -Education
and communication -Property and civil rights
(Canals, railways) Residual Administration of Justice
power(POGG clause) & powers
205-206 chart table 7.1 (brooks)
Compact vs. Contract
-Two interpretations of Canadian federalism at Confederation.
-That Confederation was a compact between French and English – Quebec
and Ontario. This supports the theory of dualism in Canada and that
Quebec/French Canadians are equal partners with English Canada in the
federation and must be accommodated inside of the Constitution.
-That Confederation was a contract between the provinces. This supports
the idea that the provinces are equal Constitutional members and will all be
accommodated equally inside of the Constitution.
-Both interpretations are at odds with one another and both carry weight today.
Decentralization vs. Cen