Federalism and the Constitution of Canada
Published: October 2010© 2010
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 240 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
240 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.80 in
The Canadian system of federalism divides the power to govern between the central federal parliament and the provincial and territorial legislative assemblies. In what can be seen as a double federation, power is also divided culturally, between English and French Canada. The divisions of power and responsibility, however, have not remained static since 1867. The federal language regime (1969), for example, reconfigured cultural federalism, generating constitutional tension as governments sought to make institutions more representative of the country's diversity.
In Federalism and the Constitution of Canada, award-winning author David E. Smith examines a series of royal commission and task force inquiries, a succession of federal-provincial conferences, and the competing and controversial terms of the Constitution Act of 1982 in order to evaluate both the popular and governmental understanding of federalism. In the process, Smith uncovers the reasons constitutional agreement has historically proved difficult to reach and argues that Canadian federalism 'in practice' has been more successful at accommodating foundational change than may be immediately apparent.
- Primary Matters: Federalism and the Constitution
- The Measure of Freedom
- 'A Constitution in Some Respects Novel'
- Parliamentary Federalism
- The Practice of Federalism
- Courts and Charter: Constitution and Federalism
- The Habit of Federalism
'David E. Smith has written another outstanding book. His assessment of federalism adds important perspectives to well-known issues. Remarkably, he also brings fascinating insights into federalism as something that Canadians experience daily.' Allan Tupper, Professor and Head, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia
'Federalism and the Constitution of Canada is an elegant and stimulating analysis of some of the deeper issues and problems of Canadian government, including the complexities of the party system, the Crown, and the citizen's role. David E. Smith expands the discussion of federalism with a rich historical perspective and a wide overview of Canada's social pluralism and political traditions. The book is insightful, original, and profound—as I read I kept asking myself, "Why didn't I think of that?"' Hugh Thorburn, Professor Emeritus, Queen's University