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Articles | April 10, 2020
Emergency Powers and the Emergencies Act

Category: Federalism, Pandemic

* This article is an edited excerpt of “Climate Emergency vs Emergency Powers” by Michael Graham, Student Researcher, originally published on June 27, 2019.

Articles | Russell Green | August 9, 2019
The Feds and a Conversion Therapy Ban: Mixed Messages and Constitutional Challenges

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2), Legal Rights (Sections 7-14), Federalism

In 2019, the federal government has been inconsistent about a potential ban on conversion therapy even though the practice is harmful and professionally disregarded. This article will pose and attempt […]

Articles | Russell Green | July 22, 2019
A National Pharmacare Plan Requires Cooperative Federalism

Category: Federalism

Introduction: Proposed Pharmacare Canada is the only OECD country with universal health coverage that does not include prescription drugs.[1] Canadian provinces have different regulations for prescription coverage – offering a mix […]

Articles | Julia Amelio | July 18, 2019
Wrangling with the Law: Can Federalism Save Rodeo Animals?

Category: Federalism

Introduction The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta. The event hosts one of the world’s largest rodeos in which people from all […]

Articles | Michael Graham | July 17, 2019
The ‘Carbon Tax’. Wait, can the feds do that?

Category: Federalism

The highest provincial courts of Saskatchewan and Ontario both found the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (“the Act”), better known as the ‘carbon tax’, constitutional. But not everyone agrees.[1] Debating the constitutionality of […]

Articles | Julia Amelio | July 12, 2019
Back to the basics – Pipeline dispute sees use of traditional constitutional doctrines

Category: Federalism

Introduction The Trans Mountain (“TMX”) pipeline expansion was reapproved in June 2019. While awaiting the decision, the province of British Columbia considered introducing environmental legislation that would allow them to […]

Articles | Russell Green | July 5, 2019
A Long and Uncertain Road to Alberta Independence

Category: Federalism

Alienation Accelerated Premier Jason Kenney has suggested that Canada is facing a “crisis of national unity” because Albertans, and other western Canadians, are feeling disrespected by the rest of the […]

Key Terms
Opting Out

Category: Federalism

The term ’opting out’ in Canadian constitutional discourse refers broadly to any action by which a province, of its own volition, is excluded from a measure that applies to the […]

Key Terms
Natural Resources

Category: Federalism

By contrast to the manufacturing economies of Ontario and Quebec, the economies of the western provinces have traditionally emphasized primary production of oil, gas, wood, minerals and grains. These natural […]

Key Terms
Meech Lake Accord

Category: Federalism

Quebec’s refusal to accept the patriation package in 1981 caused it to feel somewhat alienated from the Canadian ’constitutional family.’ This led to renewed constitutional discussions, beginning around 1985, in […]

Key Terms
Watertight Compartments

Category: Federalism

This article was written by a political sciences student for the general public. ‘Watertight Compartments’ ‘Watertight compartments’ is an expression used to describe a particular vision of federalism. Also known […]

Key Terms
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

Category: Democratic Governance, Federalism

From 1867 until 1949 the ‘Judicial Committee of the Privy Counsel’ (JCPC), a British institution, served as Canada’s highest court of appeal. Ottawa abolished appeals to the JCPC in 1949. […]

Key Terms
Victoria Charter

Category: Democratic Governance, The Charter, Federalism

The ‘Victoria Charter’ refers to a package of changes to the Canadian Constitution that was debated by Prime Minister Trudeau and the provincial Premiers in Victoria in June 1971. The […]

Key Terms

Category: Federalism

Disputes over the existence and use of vetoes have played an important part in Canada’s constitutional development. During the Patriation Round, Quebec asserted the existence of a convention requiring unanimous […]

Key Terms
Jordan’s Principle

Category: Federalism, Aboriginal Rights

What is Jordan’s Principle? Jordan’s Principle is a principle that puts First Nations children’s needs first.[1] The goal of the principle is to ensure that First Nations children can access public […]

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