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date: 28 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the constitutional aspects of commercial law and focuses on division-of-powers issues relating to banking, bankruptcy, corporate, and securities law. The chapter makes two important observations. First, the broader jurisdictional lines in commercial law areas are mostly settled. Banking and bankruptcy are areas of federal jurisdiction, for example, whereas the provincial and federal governments have overlapping jurisdiction over corporate law. Securities law is an exception. Although securities law has historically been under provincial control, the appropriate role of the federal government has been the subject of recent controversy and litigation. Second, the chapter explains that although the provincial and federal governments have separate constitutionally protected roles in various areas of commercial law, the role is rarely exclusively assumed (or the field occupied) by one level of government. That is, provincial legislation in one area of law impacts what is otherwise federal constitutional jurisdiction, and vice versa.

Keywords: division of powers, commercial law, corporate law, banking, securities, bankruptcy

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