8 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2018
    1. The Federal character of the United States Government has been referred to prove that it has increased the prosperity of the people living under it; but in point of fact the great and relentless war that is now raging there—that fratricidal war in which brother is arrayed against brother, filled with hatred toward each other, and which has plunged the country into all the horrors of the deadliest strife—is the strongest comment upon the working of the Federal principle—the strongest argument against its application to these provinces. (Hear, hear.) The French element in Lower Canada will be separated from us in its Local Legislature and become less united with us than it is now ; and therefore there is likely to be disagreement between us. Still more likely is there to be disagreement when the people of Upper Canada find that this scheme will not relieve them of the burdens cast upon them, but, on the contrary, will subject them to a legislature that will have the power of imposing direct taxation in addition to the burdens imposed by the General Government. When they find that this power is exercised, and they are called upon to contribute as much as before to the General Government, while taxed to maintain a separate Local Legislature—when they find that the material question is to weigh with them, they will look to the other side of the line for union. I feel that we are going to do that which will weaken our connection with the Mother Country, because if you give power to legislate upon the same subjects to both the local and the federal legislatures, and allow both to impose taxation upon the people, disagreements will spring up which must necessarily have that effect. (Hear, hear.) Then again, by this scheme that is laid before us, certain things are to be legislated upon by both the general and the local legislatures, and yet the local legislation is to be subordinate to the legislation of the Federal Parliament. For instance, emigration and agriculture are to be subject to the control of both bodies. Now suppose that the Federal Legislature chooses to decide in favor of having emigration flow to a particular locality, so as to benefit one province alone—I do not menu this expression to be understood in its entire sense, because I think that emigration in any one portion will benefit the whole, but it will benefit the particular locality much more at the time—and if provision is made by the General Legislature for emigration of that kind, and grants are made from the public funds to carry it out, it will cause much complaint, as the people who are paying the greatest proportion of the revenue will be subject to the drafts upon them as before.

      Preamble, §§.91, 92, and 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. There is also the question of education. Upon this question, as upon all others, the Lower Canadian delegates have seen to the preservation of certain privileges, and that question has been lift to our Local Legislature, so that the Federal Legislature shall not be able to interfere with it. It has been said that with respect to agriculture the power of legislation would bu exercised concurrently by the Federal Legislature and the local legislatures. But the House is perfectly well aware for what reason that concurrent power was allowed. Everyone, indeed, is aware that certain general interests may arise respecting which the intervention of the Central Legislature may be necessary; but , Mr. SPEAKER, all interests relating to local agriculture, everything connected with our land will be left under the control of our Lower Canadian Legislature, and this is a point upon which we invariably insisted, and which was never denied us in the Conference.

      §§.93 and 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. to impose export duties on these articles. This provision, it seems, was too favorable to Lower Canada ; for it would have allowed Lower Canada to impose an export duty upon Upper Canadian timber. HON. MR. HOLTON—AS New Brunswick does upon American. HON. MR. DORION—And by this means raise a sufficient revenue, at the expense of Upper Canada, to meet its local expenditure. This mistake seems to have been corrected, for, in this respect, the resolutions before the House have been changed, but hardly amended. HON. MR. HOLTON—Changed in a sense hostile to Lower Canada. (Hear.) HON. MR. DORION—The clause of the resolutions to which I refer now reads, that the General Parliament shall have power to make laws ” respecting the imposition or regulation of duties of customs on imports and exports—except on exports of timber, logs, masts, spars, deals and sawn lumber from New Brunswick, and of coal and other minerals from Nova Scotia.” That is, the General Government may impose a tax for its own benefit upon all timber and minerals exported from Upper or Lower Canada, but not from New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. (Hoar, hear.) Then, among the powers granted to local legislatures, we find the power to pass by-laws imposing direct taxation. (Hear, hear.) That is the first power they have, and I have no doubt that, before many months have passed after they are constituted, they will find it necessary to resort to it. But, in addition to this, I find that New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, which, no doubt, are the favored children of the Confederation, have powers not granted to the other provinces. New Brunswick, the resolution declares, shall have the power to impose an export duty on timber, logs, masts, spars, deals and sawn lumber, and Nova Scotia on coal and other minerals, for local, purposes ; so that while our timber and minerals exported from Upper and Lower Canada will be taxed by the General Government for general purposes, the timber and minerals of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will be exempt, the revenue derived from them going to the benefit of the local governments, to be expended on local objects. (Hear, hear.) This is one of the results of the Conference in which, of course, New Brunswick counted as much as Upper and Lower Canada, and Nova Scotia and the other Lower Provinces had the balance of influence.

      §§.90 and 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

  2. Mar 2018
    1. Though he thought the general interest might have been promoted, if we could have gone to Europe and put one comprehensive scheme of colonization and emigration before the world at large, that was prevented now, and all we could hope for, was that such wise measures might be adopted by the Local Legislatures as would have the same results. While it was necessary to leave in the hands of the Local Parliaments and Governments the power of determining the rates or terms on which lands might be obtained by emigrants when they reached us, or when the, natural increase of our own population required our young men to take up lands in the back country, he did not think it should be apprehended that the Local Governments would adopt any policy which would check that which was manifestly for the interest of the community at large. Whatever policy were adopted, whether a wise or a foolish one, must be a policy applying equally to all. No distinction could be drawn, with reference to nationality or creed, among those who went upon the Crown domain to buy lands.

      §.95 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. He had omitted referring to these, when be was reading the list of subjects confided to the General Legislatures, in which they were also included—because he was aware they would come up again, in going over the subjects to be dealt with by the Local Legislatures. These two matters of Agriculture and Immigration must certainly be considered as common in a great measure to all, but at the same time legislation with regard to them might be affected by certain measures which might have only a local bearing. Consequently it was provided that there should be concurrent jurisdiction on these two questions. But, with this concurrent jurisdiction, in the event of any clashing taking place between the action of the General Government and the action of the Local Governments, it was provided that the general policy, the policy of the General Government, that which bad been adopted for the good of the country at large, should supersede and override any adverse action which the Local Legislature might have taken with a view to purely local purposes. The design was to harmonize the system of Immigration and Agriculture over the whole of British North America, while locally it might be subjected to such regulations and stipulations as the Local Legislatures might determine from any cause to apply to it.

      §.95 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

  3. Sep 2016