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Framing Canadian Federalism

Framing Canadian Federalism

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    Framing Canadian Federalism
    Book Description:

    Covering themes that include the Supreme Court of Canada, changing policies towards human rights, First Nations, as well as the legendary battles between Mitchell Hepburn and W.L. Mackenzie King, this collection illustrates the central role that federalism continues to play in the Canadian polity.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8813-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-14)

    To a very great degree, the story of Canada is the story of federalism. There is an implied dichotomy to our national tale, a bifurcation of narratives, a form of federalism in the way we understand ourselves. In order to understand Canada, one must not only acknowledge the federal structure of our constitutional institutions, but also the federal tone of our story. All historians of Canada have dealt, in one way or another, with this federal reality. They have explored, in a multiplicity of ways, Canada’s ‘historic unwillingness to choose either “the one” or “the many” [which] has produced a...

  5. 1 One Version of History: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Use of History in the Quebec Secession Reference
    (pp. 15-50)

    This article considers and critiques the vision of Canadian constitutional history presented by the Supreme Court of Canada in its 1998 Secession Reference decision.¹ The Supreme Court held that while Quebec does not have the right to unilaterally secede, the rest of Canada would have a constitutional obligation to negotiate Quebec’s withdrawal from the federation after a clear majority of Quebec citizens voted yes on a clear question of sovereignty. As part of its decision, the Court offered (after many years of avoiding the topic) an extended consideration of the history of Canadian federalism.

    This article demonstrates that the Court...

  6. 2 ‘A New Federal Vision’: Nova Scotia and the Rowell-Sirois Report, 1938–1948
    (pp. 51-74)

    In the decade after the Second World War, the federal government of Canada expanded its reach into areas of taxation and spending that had traditionally belonged to the provinces. The trend of centralization of powers and resources had begun in earnest during the war and was bolstered by a series of tax rental agreements negotiated by Ottawa with most provincial governments. Many students of Canadian history assume that these developments were perfectly in line with the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations, better known the Rowell-Sirois Commission. Indeed, some draw a straight line between the Rowell-Sirois Report and...

  7. 3 The Obligations of Federalism: Ontario and the Origins of Equalization
    (pp. 75-94)
    P. E. BRYDEN

    In the aftermath of a relatively recent failed attempt to amend Canada’s constitution, Robert Vipond noted that the idea of provincial equality had slipped into political discourse quietly but had nevertheless become a powerful concept in constitutional battles. The Meech Lake Accord could be criticized for entrenching Quebec’s demands in a manner that ‘could not be reconciled with the constitutional equality of the provinces’ and the subsequent Charlottetown Accord could somewhat ahistorically depict provincial equality as ‘one of the foundational principles upon which the Canadian nation is built.’¹ But just as we have moved towards an expectation of constitutional equality,...

  8. 4 ‘As the Indians were wards of the Dominion Government’: The Anishinabe of McIntyre Bay in the Hepburn-King Constitutional Battles
    (pp. 95-117)

    Jack Saywell devoted the last half-century to dissecting the litany of constitutional battles that have shaped our federation since 1867. He focuses special attention on the caustic conflicts that marked relations between the Liberals in Toronto and Ottawa during the ‘Hepburn-King era.’ In doing so, Saywell highlights the subjects – such as hydro and taxation powers – over which the most important campaigns were fought. In these disputes, he underscores how each side took a ‘no holds barred’ approach to outdoing the other.

    The battles between ‘Mitch’ and King were not limited to these jurisdictions, however, as they also included dealings with...

  9. 5 From ‘On-to-Ottawa’ to ‘Bloody Sunday’ Unemployment Relief and British Columbia Forests, 1935–1939
    (pp. 118-150)

    Canadian political history, Jeremy Mouat notes, ‘is often little more than the history of federal–provincial relations writ large.’¹ Mouat’s observation caught my eye in considering British Columbia’s Depression-era forest relief projects, a subject that supports his contention. while Ottawa’s interest in the revenue generated by BC forest exploitation has remained constant, direct federal involvement has waxed and waned over the years in response to a host of infl uences. During the latter years of the Great Depression, massive unemployment called for a measure of federal spending in support of the province’s effort to cope with the western tide of...

  10. 6 Canada and the Implementation of International Instruments of Human Rights: A Federalist Conundrum, 1919–1982
    (pp. 151-184)

    Canadian governments and Parliament have confronted a fundamental federalist conundrum since 1919 when Prime Minister Borden signed the Treaty of Versailles along with the treaties creating the two institutions that flowed from it, the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization (ILO). As Canada achieved control over its foreign policy, Cabinet’s treaty-making powers were questioned and eventually challenged. Provincial rights advocates contended that Parliament’s treaty-implementing powers were constrained by the distribution of powers delineated in sections 91 and 92 of the British North America Act, 1867.

    Following the First World War, an ongoing series of political crises proved increasingly...

  11. 7 Cars, Conflict, and Cooperation: The Federalism of the Canadian Auto Industry
    (pp. 185-210)

    The automobile is a central fact of modern Canadian life. Few Canadians can imagine their world without the ubiquitous and pervasive influence of the car, and all it represents. The automobile industry that builds these cars, too, is a central fact of the Canadian economy. The early twenty-first century auto sector is Canada’s leading employer, its largest exporter (and importer), and unquestionably the country’s most important economic sector.¹ At the same time, while Canadians might be hard-pressed to imagine a world without cars, imagining a world without the auto industry itself is all too easy – and all too dismal, given...

  12. 8 Ottawa, the Provinces, and the Evolution of Canadian Trade Policy since 1963
    (pp. 211-230)

    Let me begin with a proposition articulated by James Rosenau with which I agree, that politics is no longer happening in discrete spheres of governance – international and domestic. Rather, Rosenau suggests, there are intense political contests happening in the spacebetweenthese spheres of governance. In short, ‘politics is happening along the domestic-foreign frontier.’¹ This development presents a challenge to Canada’s federal system, as it has been based upon the compartmentalization of responsibility and jurisdiction into what were conceived of as ‘watertight’ compartments. This certainly applies to the evolution of the country’s trade policy since 1867, but more particularly, from...

  13. 9 Implementing the ‘Innovation’ Strategy: Post-secondary Education in the Chrétien Years
    (pp. 231-254)

    Over the course of its mandate, the government led by Jean Chrétien (1993-2003) first neglected and then embraced Canada’s university sector. The period began with dramatic cuts to social spending, including higher education, and concluded with a flurry of initiatives designed to draw universities into a national economic development strategy. In an era of globalization, university-based research, in particular, was identified by the federal government as a critical instrument in the cultivation and sustenance of a ‘knowledge society.’ The commitment to this cause so impressedGlobe and Mailcolumnist Jeffrey Simpson that he urged his readers to ‘think R& D...

  14. 10 The Unrealized Benefits of Canada’s Unfederal Judicial System
    (pp. 255-271)

    When one thinks about the judiciary and Canadian federalism, the subject that immediately comes to mind is judicial interpretation of the constitution and its influence on the federal division of legislative powers. This is the focus of John Saywell’s seminal work on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and of nearly all other writing on the judicial aspects of Canadian federalism. In this essay I will explore another dimension of the judicial side of the Canadian federation that has attracted much less scholarly or political interest: the structure of Canada’s court system. The main point of the story I...

  15. Epilogue Celebrating Jack
    (pp. 272-284)
  16. Contributors
    (pp. 285-286)
  17. Index
    (pp. 287-307)