Cdn. Provinces&Federalsystem Essay, Research Paper
The Provinces and the Federal System
The three areas of federal and provincial relations where decentralization is made evident are as follows:
First and foremost is the Judicial Interpretation. When the first Canadian laws were drawn up in1867 Canada s final appeal in constitutional decisions was the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, England. In section 91 of the 1867 act, in the Peace, Order and Good Government Clause (POGG) all powers in section 92 are left to the federal government. In this section there were 29 examples given of federal power. It was later decided that these examples were real federal government powers and ignored the POGG clause except in time of national emergency. This, as a result of decentralization and the ways certain laws were interpreted, made the difference between federal and provincial jurisdiction. An example of this change would be the Toronto Electric Commissioners vs. Snider, 1925, were the federal legislation to deal with serious strikes was ruled unconstitutional because labour and management relations fall under the matters of property and civil rights which is provincial jurisdiction and could only be subject to federal legislation if it were an emergency.
The second area where decentralization is made evident is in federal and provincial finance. At confederation the federal government was originally given the power to levy all kinds of taxes while the province could only tax directly. As a result of decentralization both government were more or less independent of each other on taxing and spending. An example of this would be the fact that both governments levy their own taxes e.g. corporate and personal tax. Since WWII the levels government of government are becoming more intertwined in federal and provincial financial matters, such as provinces levying a percentage of the federal tax.
The third area where decentralization is evident is in the grants the provinces receive from the federal government. The federal government gives the provinces money for health as an example and then the provinces decide how the money will be spent for healthcare. Because the federal government did not have full control over healthcare as a result of decentralization, problems arose such as hospital and doctor user fees. To remedy this in 1984 the federal government passed the Canada Health Act.