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Towards a Constitutional Charter for Canada

Towards a Constitutional Charter for Canada

ALBERT S. ABEL
Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1980
Pages: 105
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt15jjdg0
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  • Book Info
    Towards a Constitutional Charter for Canada
    Book Description:

    In this timely book, edited from a manuscript left unfinished at his death, one of Canada's leading constitutional scholars presents his prescription for constitutional change.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-5242-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[v])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vi]-2)
  3. ALBERT ABEL’S CONSTITUTIONAL CHARTER FOR CANADA: Introduction
    (pp. 3-6)
    JOHN B. LASKIN

    Albert Abel’s death interrupted his work on devising a new constitution for Canada, and on the book in which he had begun setting out and elaborating his constitutional proposals. What follows is the first, largely completed, portion of that unfinished book.

    The conception of the constitution which animated his proposals was far from unfinished or incomplete. As a critic of past constitutional interpretation, he had reproached the courts with ignoring what he saw as the organizing premise of the British North America Act’s allocation of legislative power: that parliament should manage the national economy, while ‘the patterns, values, and institutions...

  4. 1 GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND PRIMARY ASSUMPTIONS
    (pp. 7-15)

    Assertion of one’s own personality seems a primary desire of those formed in the western cultural tradition. We do not like to be told what we may or must do. Many, though, feel qualified, as having a mission even, to prescribe rules of conduct for others, not necessarily from a naked wish to bully but often in complacent confidence that applying their scale of values will promote the common good. Friction is inevitable.

    Foregoing absolute individual autonomy is a cost of living together. Society entails accommodation. Therein lies the occasion for and the office of governments. Their great diversity illustrates...

  5. 2 THE PROVINCIAL RESIDUARY POWER
    (pp. 16-34)

    Each provincial legislature may make laws operative within the province as to anything not assigned by section ( ) to parliament. This power extends but is not limited to laws dealing with

    1 The constitution of the province.

    2 Municipal and local authorities.

    3 The raising of money by any mode or system of taxation.

    4 Civil and criminal law and procedure without prejudice to the power of parliament to provide for carrying out measures enacted in the exercise of powers given it by this Constitution.

    The existence of non-hierarchical political units partitioning the universe of authority over a single...

  6. 3 TAXATION
    (pp. 35-54)

    Parliament may make laws as to…

    4 The raising of money by any mode or system of taxation.

    Each provincial legislature may make laws operative within the province … dealing with…

    5 The raising of money by any mode or system of taxation except duties on imports.

    Trade commerce and intercourse among the provinces shall be absolutely free.

    No lands or property belonging to Canada or to any province shall be liable to taxation.

    The naive view of taxes is to see them as the device governments use to get the money to pay their living expenses. They are to...

  7. 4 SPENDING: SCOPE OF THE SPENDING POWER
    (pp. 55-79)

    Federal moneys may be used for carrying out laws in effectuation of the powers granted to or recognized in the federal government by this Constitution and otherwise only as directed by the Canadian Equalization Council except with the unanimous concurrence of the provinces.

    The draft proposal and the discussion that follows deal only with federal spending. Issues raised by provincial spending are almost wholly political, seldom constitutional. Prescribed appropriation procedures must be followed and specific prohibitions on use respected but those are the only constraints. In particular, the expenditure of state or provincial money in furtherance of action in matters...

  8. 5 SPENDING: THE CANADIAN EQUALIZATION FUND AND COUNCIL
    (pp. 80-105)

    A There shall be a Canadian Equalization Fund administered by the Canadian Equalization Council.

    B The fund shall consist of the net proceeds of duties on import and of such federal revenues whether derived from taxation or otherwise as are in excess of expenditures in execution of federal purposes under section ( ) and of any reserve provision thereof which the council may from time to time direct.

    C There shall be a Canadian Equalization Council of one member designated by each province and one federal member. Each member shall have such qualifications and be chosen in such manner and...

  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 106-106)