The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today announced the reappointment of Thomas J. Kaye to the Parole Board of Canada.
Today 67 Canadian police officers serving on the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) received medals in recognition of their peacekeeping service from UN Police Commissioner Luis Miguel Carrilho. Fifteen others received a service numeral for p…
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region, has released a list of fishermen convicted of various offences and fined under the Fisheries Act in the Magdalen Islands in January, 2014.
A commercial fishing boat master found guilty for the third time in the past six years of serious offences against the Fisheries Act, was sentenced on November 26, 2013, to six months in prison (concurrent on multiple counts), a $15,000 fine, and a 10-…
The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today recognized members of the Toronto Immigration Task Force following the arrest of Wei Can Xie in Markham, Ontario. Xie is inadmissible to Canada for serious crimin…
Today, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, Peter MacKay, Robert Goguen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister, announced $100,000 in funding to support a project that will train front-line community workers and criminal justice personnel from acros…
Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced $143,500 in funding for Victims of Violence Canadian Centre for Missing Children.
The Federal Victims Strategy was created in 2007 and made permanent in 2011. The objective of the Strategy, which is led by the Department of Justice Canada, is to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that 1051080 Ontario Inc. has paid a penalty of $200,000 on behalf of itself and certain subsidiaries operating as Weed Man Ottawa, Weed Man Montreal, Weed Man Hamil…
On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin, Blaine Calkins, will make an announcement related to crime prevention.
The following was issued today in light of the routine filing of the Government’s legal factum, the latest stage in the ongoing Scott et al. v. Attorney General of Canada proposed class action:
Today’s news speaks to some fairly basic constitutional ideas:
The Harper government said Monday it will not include Governor-General David Johnston in any future policy discussions with First Nations, further clouding its battle of wills with aboriginal leaders. A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said Monday Stephen Harper will meet with Assembly of First Nations’ National Chief Shawn Atleo “in the coming weeks,” and has no plans to abide aboriginal leaders’ demands for a summit Thursday. “[First Nations people] are very insistent on having the Governor-General there, but the Governor-General says this is a policy matter with the government and that [he] shouldn’t be there,” Andrew MacDougall said. “We agree with that.”
This is interesting stuff. What is a Prime Minister and what is a Governor-General? In his book Federalism and the Constitution of Canada, David E. Smith uses the proper name of one institution the Prime Minister leads: the Crown-in-Parliament. Even though the Glorious Revolution of 1688 changed a lot of the constitutional principles it did not great autonomous spheres of power so much as rearrange the existing ones. As a result, Smith can write:
Sovereignty in a constitutional monarchy rests in the Crown-in-Parliament (or, legislature), except where the subject is the reserve powers (dissolution of Parliament, for instance) that remain as a matter of prerogative in the hands of the Crown’s representative.
So, unless the topic is one reserved to the G.-G., it is a matter of Parliamentary oversight. In section 91 of our Constitution of 1867, part of the division of powers discussion it states “the exclusive Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada extends to all Matters coming within the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say,” and then lists a number of topics. It is generally taken that the list serves to distinguish between the Federal level and the Provincial one but the assignment of the classes of subjects is to the Parliament of Canada. Item number 24 in the list is “Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians.” Later in the constitution it states under the heading “Treaty Obligations” that:
The Parliament and Government of Canada shall have all Powers necessary or proper for performing the Obligations of Canada or of any Province thereof, as Part of the British Empire, towards Foreign Countries, arising under Treaties between the Empire and such Foreign Countries.
Interestingly, as Smith points out in his book, this only means that the Feds have the power to conclude treaties not to implement them. Where the subject matter is not in the list of subject matters assigned to the Federal Parliament, it is up to the Provinces to implement. And, in any event, the power relates to foreign countries. What was the nature of the “in Empire” domestic treaty that the British and then Canada happily signed from East to West as European Canada asserted itself? Mr. Harper is asserting that whatever it is, it is something that section 91(24) assigns to Parliament and he is the head of Parliament. Clearly an argument available to be made. Because he, like the G.-G. represents the Crown in his own way, too.