12 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2018
    1. It will be observed that the basis of confederation now proposed differs from that of-the-United States in several important particulars. It does not profess to be derived from the people, but would be the Constitution provided by the Imperial Parliament; thus affording the means of remedying any defect, which is now practically impossible under the American Constitution.

      §§.91, 91(1), and 92(1) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

      Part V of the Constitution Act, 1982.

  2. Sep 2018
    1. It appears therefore that the only alternative which now offers itself to the inhabitants of Lower Canada is a choice between dissolution pure and simple, or Confederation on one side, and representation by population on the other. And however opposed Lower Canada may be to representation by population, is there not imminent danger that it may be finally imposed upon it, if it resist all measures of reform, the object of which is to leave to the local authorities of each section the control of its own interests and institutions. We should not forget that the same authority which imposed on us the Act of Union, or which altered it without our consent, by repealing the clause which required the concurrence of two thirds of the members of both Houses in order to change the representation respecting the two sections, may again intervene to impose upon us this new change.

      Preamble, Part V, §§.51, 52, 91, 91(1), 92, and 92(2) of the Constitution Act, 1867. of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. ” The Local Government and Legislature of each province shall be constructed in such manner as the existing legislature of each such province shall provide.” I do not understand from this whether it is competent or not for us in this Legislature, before there is a Federal union, to make provision for the Local Government and Legislature, or whether we are to await the action upon the subject of Federation of the Imperial Government. Our action, one should suppose, ought to be taken after the Imperial Government has pronounced. Perhaps this is the intention. Mr. SPEAKER, they refuse to tell us anything about it. It may be that, as soon as these resolutions are carried, we will be sent about our business ; that the Imperial Legislature will be invited to pass an act, and that they will convene us again, provision being made for that course, and so in point of fact, having once affirmed the principle of Federation, we will have to accept such local legislatures as they choose to give us.

      Part V of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. they will soon be dispensed with, just as in a machine we do away with useless and expensive wheelwork. Nothing will then be left to us but the legislative union which the honorable members have not ventured to propose, because they are compelled to admit it would be an act of crying injustice to Lower Canada. But we are told to rely on article 42, which gives to the local legislatures the right of amending or changing their Constitutions from time to time, and it is said that when Lower Canada is separated from Upper Canada, she may alter her Constitution if she pleases, and adapt it to her own views.

      Part V of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. It is true that, according to the 41st article of the resolutions, ” The local governments and legislature of each province shall b3 constructed in such manner as the existing legislature of each such province shall provide.” But the English element is at present in the majority. We are told that the English are naturally favorable to responsible government. That is true when it relates to themselves ; for how many years did Canada remain without responsible government ? The painful events of 1837 and 1838 were the result of that anomaly in the parliamentary system. Upper Canada will not need, as we shall, a local responsible government ; it will not have, as we shall have, to defend a nationality which will be in a minority in the Federal Parliament, but which, at least, ought to enjoy in Lower Canada those powers which parliamentary authority everywhere accords to the majority. Upper Canada only desires to make of her local legislature a municipal council on a large scale ; she will fight out her party quarrels in the wider arena of the Federal Parliament. The English of Lower Canada, who will gain nothing by having a responsible local government, because that government is the government of the majority, will unite their votes with those of Upper Canada to impose upon us the same system of government as in the other section. The local parliaments, in the event of that system being adopted, having no part in the government, will soon become perfectly useless, and

      Part V of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. I contend that the local constitutions are as much an essential part of the whole as the general Constitution, and that they both should have been laid at the same time before the House. (Hear, hear.) We ought, besides, to have a clear statement of what are the liabilities specially assigned to Upper and Lower Canada.

      Part V of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. a Constitution with the Upper House as proposed, without knowing what sort of local legislatures we are to have to govern us ? Suppose, after we have adopted the main scheme, the Government come down with a plan for settling the local legislatures upon which great differences of opinion will arise, may it not happen then that the majority from Lower Canada will unite with a minority from Upper Canada and impose upon that section a local Constitution distasteful to a large majority of the people of Upper Canada.

      Part V of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. And as I have said, the process of submitting any statute to the popular vote, in order to give it the force of law, is unheard of in British constitutional practice.

      Part V of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. alluded the other day to the conservative feature of the Senate in the United States, in allowing the same representation to small states as to the larger states. But this does not at all affect the general arrangement, because the large majority are large states. But while my honorable friend approves of this portion, he should have expressed an opinion on the whole system. In the United States, no change of Constitution can be effected without the consent of two-thirds of both branches of the Legislature, and that must afterwards be sanctioned by three fourths of the state governments. This is a conservative feature also.

      Part V, §§.22 and 92(1) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. The Federal Government will have the right of imposing taxes on the provinces without the concurrence of the local governments. Under article five of the 29th resolution, the Federal Government may raise moneys by all modes or systems of taxation, and I look upon this power as most excessive. Thus, in case it should happen, as I said a moment ago, that the Lower Canada Government refused to undertake the payment of the debt contracted for the redemption of the Seigniorial Tenure, the Federal Government would have two methods of compelling it to do so. First, by retaining the amount out of the eighty cents per head indemnity to be accorded to the Local Government, and secondly, by imposing a local and direct tax. The Lieutenant Governor of the Local Government will be appointed by the Federal Government, and will be guided by its instructions. We are not told whether the Local Government will be responsible to the Local Legislature; whether there will be only one or two branches of the Legislature, nor how the Legislative Council will be composed, if there is to be one ; we are refused any information whatsoever on these points, which are nevertheless of some importance.

      Preamble, Part V, §§.90 and 91(3).

  3. Aug 2018
    1. questions in respect of which we are in complete ignorance, and in relation to which the Government will say nothing whatever. And, with respect to the constitution of the local governments, are we, in case the Upper Canada majority choose to impose their ideas upon us, are we, I say, to submit to them ?

      Part V of the Constitution Act, 1867.

  4. Mar 2018