Textbook Notes (270,000)
CA (160,000)
UTSC (20,000)
Chapter 2

POLB50Y3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Terra Nullius, Quebec Act, Constitutional Basis Of Taxation In Australia


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLB50Y3
Professor
Christopher Cochrane
Chapter
2

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CANADIAN POLITICS CHAPTER 2
EARLY INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
Royal Proclamation of 1763
- issued by the British people, four years after the conquest
- created the British colony of Quebec from what was then called New France
- it was the first distinctively Canadian constitutional document
- it was a document that laid down the rules for governing the British North American colonies that comprised
the territory of what would later become the Canada
- the Royal Proclamation of 1763 includes the stipulation that laws in the new colony should be as close as
possible to those of Britain, which at the time contained many penalties and prohibitions aimed at Catholics
- early governors of the colony saw the danger of such a course of action and chose a more tolerant approach,
one eventually codified in the 1774 Quebec Act
Aboriginals and Royal Proclamation of 1763
o aboriginals did not have private property rights as they were conceptualized in much of Europe
o the Royal Proclamation was nonetheless an acknowledgement by the British crown that the old colonialist
doctrine of terra nullius
o terra nullius for which contends that land could be claimed by a colonial power provided that it was not
occupied when the colonial power discovered it does not apply in the Canadian Setting
o the aboriginal groups did occupy the land, and so acquiring this land for European settlements meant that
the British crown would have to negotiate with the aboriginal people
o these negotiations led to contacts, known as treatise, which guaranteed rights in perpetuity to Aboriginal
people in exchange for allowing settlements on their traditional territories
o Treaty Rights for Aboriginals
Historical-Institutional Approach
o emphasizes the importance of political history and the study of institutions
o argues that institutions are the principal objects of study in the discipline and that they determine much
of what happens in the broader political system
o RECALL “path dependence” for which it makes it difficult to change institutional agreements once they
are established
o 1867 decisions that were made in Canada have had lasting effects of the nature of the country
o the Canadian federalism, with much stronger provinces than originally intended, indicates that certain
basic changes can occur
o 1867, the most important powers of the government, along with the greatest taxation power, were assigned
to the federal level
o Provincial powers like education and health care were not very important in 1867
The 1774 Quebec Act
- established a council to advise the governor in the colony of Quebec
- this council was initially appointed rather than elected, but, importantly for the time, the governor was able
to choose French-speakers as well as English-speakers, and Catholics as well as Protestants
- the first elected assembly in the “Canadian” part of the British North America was summoned in Nova Scotia
in 1758, followed by Prince Edward Island in 1773
1776
- 13 “American” colonies declared their independence form the British Rule

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The 1791 Constitutional Act
- passed by Britain in response to pressure from those Loyalist who move into Ontario, and who were already
accustomed to operating with an elected assembly
- this gesture also served to reward the loyalty of the French from not joining the American Revolution
- the act is divided into two parts, each with a governor, an executive council, an appointed legislative council,
and a locally elected assembly
Lower Canada
o the appointed council were primarily composed of Anglophones, and the assembly, of francophones
Upper Canada
o almost exclusively English
o the constitutional act provided for British, rather than French civil law
o the executive council gradually evolve into the Cabinet, while the legislative council was the forerunner of
the state
Representative Government
- achieved by all colonies in 1791
- it is a set of political institutions that included an elected legislative assembly
- although these governments were representative in the sense of having elected assemblies, they were not
democratic because the government where real power lay was not obligated to follow the demands of the
elected assembly
- that elected assembly represented and articulated the views of the people but had no real power over the
governor and appointed councils.
Responsible Government
o reformers demand
o advisers to the governor would both be chosen from and reflect the views of the elected assembly
o this presented the problem in the colonies, however, because on many subjects Britain wanted the
governor to do its will, not that of the local assembly.
o the result, rebellions erupted in 1837 in both Upper and Lower Canada, led by William Lyon Mackenzie
and Louis-Joseph Papineau, and forced the British government to appoint Lord Durham to investigate the
situation
o remains the sacred principle of Canadian government and is usually expressed as follows, a form of
government in which the political executive must retain the confidence of the elected legislature and must
resign or call an election if and when it is defeated on a vote of nonconfidence.
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The 1839 Durham Report
- provided the blueprint for solving the problems of assembly executive relations, recommending that the
principle of responsible government be implemented with respect to local affairs so that the executive branch
would govern only as long as it is retained the confidence of the elected assembly.
- it outlined a division of powers between local and imperial authorities such that in local matter the governor
would follow the advice of colonial authorities, but in matters of imperial concern he would act as an agent of
the British Government
- the Responsible Government came into Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the colony of Canada in 1848, three
years later to Prince Edward Island
- all these pre-Confederation British colonies now operated on the basis that the governor chose the Cabinet or
executive council from the assembly and it had to resign if it lost the confidence of the elected members.
- also recommended that Upper and Lower Canada be united into a single colony of Canada, partly in one last
attempt to submerge and assimilate the French
The 1840 Act of Union
- came into effect in 1841
- colonies were reunited by this act
- English did not remain the sole language of government operations for so long
- French Canadians language (French) were also recognized as an official language of the legislature.
- most governments of the period were headed by a combination of English and French leaders.
THE ROAD TO CONFEDERATION
Double Majority
- public decisions had to be made in one large, combined set of governmental institutions, but the needs and
demands of the two parts were often quite different
- these decisions are often led to the practice requiring a “double majority”
- double majority is the majority of members from each part of the colony for the passage bills
- Confederation would allow greater autonomy to the two parts
o Central government would deal with problems that all the colonies had in common
o Provincial government would handle distinctive internal matters on their own
Charlottetown Conference
- formation of the Maritime Union between Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island
- Charlottetown Conference begun its purpose in 1864
- The London Conference of 1866 fine-tuned the agreement, leaving P.E.I and Newfoundland temporarily on
the sidelines
July 1, 1867
- Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,
and the colony of Canada united
by the British North America
Act, that was later named as the
Constitution Act 1867
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