10 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2018
    1. Now, these rights, at the very least, ought certainly to be confided to the highest legislative authority. I go further and maintain that guarantees for those rights ought to be placed in the written Constitution, that they ought to be beyond the power of interference by the legislative authority, and that they should be guarded by the judicial decisions of the highest courts in the country. In that case there would be a protection for property, but in this Constitution there is no such protection for property either in Upper or Lower Canada.

      §§.91 and 92(13) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

  2. Aug 2018
    1. The 29th section of the scheme submitted to us says : ” The Federal Parliament shall have the power of making laws for the peace, the well-being, and the good government of the Confederate provinces, and in particular in respect of the following matters.” The powers of the Federal Government will be in reality unlimited. The fact of the enumeration of these thirty-seven heads does not in the least restrain the power of the Federal Government from legislating on everything. The exceptions are few. I would ask the Honorable Premier, for instance, whether the Federal Government has not the power to enact that marriage is a civil contract ? He cannot deny it, and I do not believe that that clause will in any way suit Lower Canada. In a matter of divorce, I consider that the power of legislating upon it ought to be vested in the Federal Government ; but as to the passing of a marriage act, we have the authority of the past to convince us that Lower Canada will never be satisfied with what is proposed in the plan of Confederation. On a former occasion, when a member of the Parliament of Canada moved to enact that marriage should be made a civil contract, all the members for Lower Canada voted against the motion, and the whole country was opposed to it. I shall also inquire whether the Federal Government will not have the right to enact that religious corporations shall no longer exist in the country, or that they shall not be allowed to hold real property, except what is absolutely necessary for their lodging accommodation. According to the resolutions which have been submitted to us, the Federal Government would certainly have this right. It has been said that article 15 of the 43rd resolution replies to this objection, but I can see nothing in that article which restricts the right of the Federal Government to legislate on this matter. The 43rd resolution defines the powers of the local governments, and article 15 of that resolution declares that they may make laws respecting ” property and civil rights, excepting those portions thereof assigned to the General Parliament.” That article reserves to the local legislatures nothing relative to religious corporations, and the Federal Government would have full power to decree that those corporations shall not hold immovable property. The supreme power is that which has the right to legislate upon, and regulate the existence of, the corporations in question, and they can only possess civil rights so long as the Government permits them to exist. The same might be said of most of the institutions to which Lower Canada is attached. I am therefore right in saying that, so far as those things which Lower Canada most holds to are concerned, Confederation is in fact a Legislative union, because upon the Federal Government is conferred the right of legislating upon those subjects which Lower Canada holds most dear.

      Preamble and §§.91(26)(29), 92(11)(12)(13), and 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

  3. Apr 2018
    1. But this precedent could not be urged as an objection to Federation, inasmuch as it would be for the General Government to deal with our commercial matters. There could be no reason for well-grounded fear that the minority could be made to suffer by means of any laws affecting the rights of property.

      §§.91(2) and 92(13) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

  4. Mar 2018
    1. The control of property and civil rights, the administration of justice, including the constitution, maintenance, and organization of the courts of civil jurisdiction, and the procedure in civil matters, were also left to the local legislatures. From the peculiar position of Lower Canada it was felt impossible to confide the matter of civil law to the General Legislature. The principles upon which the civil law of Lower Canada were founded differed entirely from those of the English law. Under it property was secured, and civil rights of every kind maintained, and the people had no particular wish to see it changed, especially at this moment, when the work of codifying and simplifying it was about completed, and when they knew that within the next three or four months they would have it put into their hands in one volume. He thought it was undesirable to do away with that law, which had been beneficial to the country and under which it had prospered. It was necessary to have it left to the local Legislature, because all in Lower Canada were unwilling to have substituted another law with which they were unacquainted.

      §§.92(13)(14) of the Constitution Act, 1867.