Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The division of legislative powers in the Constitution Act, 1867 is the most important textual expression of the federal principle that is at the heart of the Canadian constitutional order. The judiciary has the responsibility of interpreting these provisions and thus of determining the boundaries of the law-making powers of Canadian legislative bodies. In performing this high-stakes task, the courts have developed a rich jurisprudence that draws on text, history, structure, and principle. In recent decades, the Supreme Court has articulated a “modern” or “co-operative” approach that interprets both federal and provincial legislative powers generously, and tolerates a high degree of overlap and interplay between them. Despite this commitment to maximizing the democratic space available to all Canadian legislatures within their respective areas of jurisdiction, some doctrines developed by the courts have had asymmetric effects that favour the federal Parliament.

Keywords: cooperative federalism, distribution of powers, constitutional interpretation, pith and substance, double aspect doctrine, incidental effects rule, ancillary powers doctrine, subsidiarity, interjurisdictional immunity doctrine, federal paramountcy doctrine

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.