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Articles | Russell Green | July 30, 2019
Comparing Federal Government and Indigenous Perspectives on Self-Government Agreements

Category: Aboriginal Rights

Introduction: Agreements for Self-Government Indigenous peoples have lived in what is now Canada for thousands of years, governing themselves and developing unique legal orders. The Canadian state, with its colonial roots, has been slow to recognize this reality. However, there

Articles | Julia Amelio | July 29, 2019
Solitary, Segregation or a Structured Intervention Unit – An Unconstitutional Way to Do Time?

Category: The Charter

Introduction The Government of Canada has stated they are ending the practice of segregating inmates and leaving them in cells alone for extended periods of time. While Canada does not use the term solitary confinement, the term is used internationally

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 of programs that subsidize drug costs, often depending on factors

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 over the world come to compete. However, each year a

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 the ‘carbon tax’ appears to be the new national pastime.

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 regulate the transport of hazardous substances, including heavy oil, within

Articles | Russell Green | July 12, 2019
Delay in Alberta Public Sector Arbitration: Responsible Measure or Illegal Attack?

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

Introduction: Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act On June 28, 2019, the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act became law in Alberta.[1] The Act suspends and delays binding wage arbitrations between various public sector unions and their members’ employer – the provincial government. The

Key Terms
Habeas Corpus

Category: The Charter

Existing since the 13th century, habeas corpus is both a free-standing right and, more recently, a right protected under section 10(c) of the Charter.[1] Habeas Corpus translates to “produce the body”.[2] A habeas corpus application is used by persons who feel they are being wrongfully detained. Upon application, the

Articles | Julia Amelio | July 9, 2019
Is it Time to Dust-Off Section 28 of the Charter?

Category: The Charter

Introduction Quebec has passed Bill 21, An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State (“the Act”) which bans some public sector workers from wearing religious symbols while on the job. The Act uses the notwithstanding clause of the Charter which means the Act remains

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 country.[1] Premier Kenney has cited a poll from the Angus Reid Institute where

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 other provinces. However, it is important to distinguish clearly between

Key Terms
Official Languages

Category: The Charter, Official Languages of Canada (Sections 16-22)

‘Official language(s)’ refer to the language(s) in which states normally conduct their business and communicate with their citizens. Many of the world’s constitutions privilege particular languages as ‘official’ by so declaring them. Some go on to designate their official languages

Key Terms
Oakes Test

Category: The Charter

The Oakes test was created by the Supreme Court of Canada in the 1986 case of R v Oakes.[1]  The test interprets section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states that rights are guaranteed, “subject only to such reasonable limits . . .

Key Terms
Notwithstanding Clause

Category: The Charter

33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2

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 resources are sold largely in interprovincial and international markets. In

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