Brief Insight:  How Dates of Colonization and Levels of Rootedness Influence the Constitutional Perceptions of Canada’s Regions

The Turn-key West: Ready-made... by the East, protected by the Government

The Turn-key West: Ready-made… by the East, protected by the Government.  Unpack your bags, move in!

Big Intro

For the purpose of my legal studies, I am currently translating an article by Paul Gérin-Lajoie which appeared in a 1951 issue of The Canadian Bar Review.

Paul Gérin-Lajoie was a Rhodes Scholar.  He won the Prix David  (Grand Prix de la Province de Québec pour les sciences morales et politiques, 1950) for his PhD dissertation at Oxford entitled Constitutional Amendment in Canada, which he wrote in English and published as a book in 1950.

In contrast, the comparatively brief article in French in the Canadian Bar Review  in 1951 was an undoubted nod of respect to his French-Canadian constitutional law fellows.  This very handy, concise but comprehensive summary by Mr. Gérin Lajoie himself of his own larger work has given his French-Canadian colleagues an important window into his prize-winning law book in English.

Readers of ModernFathers1867, and of the constitutional law and history of Canada, can benefit from Lajoie’s very useful insights into the regional dynamics of the country.  In addition to influencing provincial attitudes toward constitutional amendment, these flares of perception illuminate our internal relations as a quasi-legislative federal country.

A Memo to Western “Separatists”

The West is young, but it was laid upon foundations built for it for generations by the East.  The West was not and could not have been self-created.  It could not have been otherwise.  The government of the new, united colonies, the Dominion of 1867 — set upon firm roots piercing the Shield and the East for generations — built the railroads and brough people in to populate the West.  It was on our credit, and on our backs (the credit of the East, the backs of the East, including the backs of the French Canadians) that the West was built.

The Dominion of Canada, its government and Parliament, by way of constitutional statutes and orders-in-council, created the legal underpinnings for completing the Union of 1867.

On these moorings, the East erected the western provinces.  They were and remain a part of one nation, this  one, Canada.

While the West needs to understand the East  without which the West would not exist — the East needs to understand the West, because the East created the West.  It must come to terms with the generational difference presented to it by its own political offspring.  For, if ever accommodations are to be reached, on any subject, they will be found within  this country, and not outside of it.  And the framework will be the lawful Constitution, not a replacement for it.

Here, I address myself to people of the Western Canada Concept party, its clone, the Western Bloc party, and to personable seditionists past and present, including the ghost of the late Doug Christie and the flesh and bones of his heirs and successors, i.e., currently Paul St. Laurent et als.

A part of the reason for creating the western Provinces was to prevent our encirclement by the USA to annex us.

Therefore, you are now going to get a constitutional law lesson before we get to my Lajoie excerpt.

For too long, what is called the “rest of Canada,” as though it were disconnected from its Eastern bedrock, has forgotten that it owes its very being to the pioneers who came before it.  And who for hundreds of years dug this country out of the rock and snow, creating the foundation for others to come.

The Canadian West has forgotten that it came into existence as a part of a permanent undertaking.  And that we are one country, and at all times work together, for the “Union” of 1867 and for “purposes connected therewith.”:  remember your Long Title!

More than one western separatist has been found chirping the fraudulent “secession” opinion of the post-1982 (s)upreme (c)ourt of Canada.  The West would like to stick its nose up at Canada, and high-tail it out of here, while dragging along the heritage of the rest of us.

Sir John G. Bourinot

Sir John G. Bourinot



Let the western “separatists” keep this in mind:  secession is illegal under the lawful Constitution.  Promotion of it is treason and criminal sedition, including by those lying red scoundrels at the (s)upreme (c)ourt of Canada.  Canada’s law and history books are proof of their crime.

As one example, Sir John G. Bourinot, at pp. 95-96 of his 1903 edition of Parliamentary Procedure and Practice, points out why there is no doctrine of “State Rights” in Canada:

My translation:  Le «partage de pouvoirs législatifs … la doctrine de la souveraineté d’état avait été pressée aux longueurs extrêmes aux Etats-Unis, et avait formé un des arguments les plus puissants des adhérents de la sécession.  Cette doctrine a eu son origine dans le fait que tout les pouvoirs, pas expressément conférées sur le gouvernement central, sont réservés dans la constitution aux états… maintenant, dans la constitution fédérale du Canada l’inverse direct de ce principe obtient, avec l’objet avéré de renforcer la base de la confédération … » [Emphases added.]

Distribution of Legislative Powers … The doctrine of state sovereignty had been pressed to extreme lengths in the United States, and had formed one of the most powerful arguments of the advocates of secession.  This doctrine had its origin in the fact that all powers, not expressly conferred upon the general government, are reserved in the constitution to the States … Now, in the federal constitution of Canada the very reverse principle obtains, with the avowed object of strengthening the basis of the Confederation …” [Emphases added.]

At page 30 (page 31 in French) of the Parliamentary Debates on the Subject of The Confederation of the British North American Provinces in 1865, John A. Macdonald makes the purpose of the division of powers clear.  No province may do anything to affect the whole country.  The object was to prevent secession.  Secession would affect the whole country, therefore it can’t be done, because the powers are divided to deny “national” or “general residual” sovereignty to the Provinces:

« Mais, dans la constitution projetée, tous les sujets d’intérêt général, tout ce qui affecte les provinces comme un tout, seront laissés exclusivement à la législature générale, pendant que les législatures locales régle¬ront les intérêts locaux, QUI, SANS INTERESSER LA CONFEDERATION ENTIERE, ont un haut intérêt local. » [Emphasis added.]

“In the proposed Constitution all matters of general interest are to be dealt with by the General Legislature; while the local legislatures will deal with matters of local interest, WHICH DO NOT AFFECT THE CONFEDERATION AS A WHOLE, but are of the greatest importance to their particular sections …” [Emphasis added.]

In the 1865 Debates on Confederation in the old Province of Canada, the division of powers planned for the British North America Act was deemed effective to eliminate secession as a risk. In evidence, the words of Attorney General East, George Etienne Cartier, at page 56 in both the English and the French Hansard on Tuesday, February 7th:

“[I]l n’est pas étonnant que les annexion­nistes canadiens-français laissent percer le but qu’ils ont en s’opposant à la confédé­ration, et que leurs collègues d’origine anglaise affectent de craindre que leurs droits soient en danger sous la confédération.  Ils savent qu’aussitôt que ce projet sera adopté, personne ne demandera plus à faire partie de l’union américaine.  (Ecoutez !)

Attorney General East, George Etienne Cartier

Attorney General East, George Etienne Cartier

“It was no wonder, then, that the French Canadian annexationists betrayed their purpose in opposition to British North American Confederation … We knew their object in this — that they were aware  that as soon as this project was adopted, there would be no avail in any cry of separation to form a part of the American Union.”  [Emphases added.]

In French, Cartier said, once the BNA Act is passed, nobody will be able to demand annexation to the American union.  In other words, the BNA Act makes it impossible to pull a chunk of Canada out to annex it.  No secession.  All of the old law books know this.  The 1998 ‘secession’ opinion is fraud from top to bottom, and high treason by our non-independent judiciary whose chief justice, Lamer, was a judge on the 1981 “patriation reference” when again the supreme court judges, at that time under the lawful Constitution, aided the 1982 overthrow  by lying through their teeth to help the perpetrators of the Southern-Rhodesian-style coup on Canada.

Justice John Wellington Gwynne

Justice John Wellington Gwynne

Justice John Wellington Gwynne, writing in Citizens’ and The Queen Insurance Cos. v. Parsons, (1880), 4 S.C.R. 315, at pp. 346-347 reflected what was then well known:

“Now the provinces of the Dominion of Canada, by the wise precaution of the founders of our constitution, are not invested with any attribute of National Sovereignty; The framers of our constitution, having before their eyes the experience of the United States of America, have taken care that the B.N.A. Act should leave no doubt upon the subject …”

Canada’s Constitution, says Justice Gwynne, leaves “no doubt” that the Provinces have no national powers.  And yet, in 1996, with a virtually identical division of powers in the coup constitution of 1982, and having illegally pursued “secession” in Quebec for decades before the coup, the federal de facto  regime addressed the non-judicial advisory board of the (s)upreme (c)ourt of Canada with that very question, as though all were “unaware” that everything done for decades was high treason.  Gwynne continues (p. 347):

“… The object of the B.N.A. Act was to lay in the Dominion Constitution the foundations of a nation, and not to give to provinces carved out of and subordinated to, the Dominion, anything of the nature of a national or quasi national existence … ; The logical result of a contrary decision would afford just grounds to despair of the stability of the Dominion.”

Sir John A. Macdonald, a Founding Father of Canada

Sir John A. Macdonald, a Founding Father of Canada

In the Correspondence of Sir John Macdonald, selected by Macdonald’s literary executor, Sir Joseph Pope and published in 1921 by Doubelday, Sir John warned of the consequences of habitually putting questions to the courts.  In a letter from Macdonald to Sir John Thompson on 24th July, 1889, Macdonald states:

“I have made a note on the margin on the 10th page, merely for the purpose of calling your attention to the grave danger of the practice of summary application for advice to the Supreme Court being resorted to.  It would quickly grow, and a Dominion ministry, careless or ignorant of constitutional principles, might on every question of public interest, for popularity or some sinister purpose, freely use the power of reference. …

The courts below would gradually be ousted of their jurisdiction, and a new Star Chamber formed.  I don’t think this at all an imaginary danger.”

Supreme “Star Court” Destroys Canada

In the 1998 Secession opinion, as in the 1981 Patriation opinion, both at the (s)upreme (c)ourt of Canada, we have two prime examples of “sinister purpose” being executed by malign governments against the people of this country.  By whom I mean the British North Americans, the Founding Peoples of Canada.

In September of 1996, the (s)upreme (c)ourt federal advisory board had been asked by the other scoundrels who put them up to it, whether a province could secede by a certain procedure, i.e. “unilaterally”.  The question put to the Board assumes that the legislative or constitutional “power” to secede exists (it does not; a province can do nothing that is not expressly authorized at s. 92, or ss. 93-95 of the Constitution of 1867).

The federal question is therefore a trick question addressed to the court sitting as an advisory board; for the board to give back to the Fed a “formula,” (i.e., a procedure) to follow in order to secede (“negotiation”).  However, there can never be a procedure if there is no power, or the power is denied.  The trick question read:

L’Assemblée nationale, la législature, ou le gouvernement du Québec peut-îl, en vertu de la Constitution du Canada, procéder unilatéralement  à la sécession du Québec du Canada ?  (Emphasis added.)

“Under the Constitution of Canada, can the National Assembly, legislature or government of Quebec effect the secession of Quebec from Canada unilaterally?”  (Emphasis added.)

Notice the French word, “procéder” (proceed, as in procedure).  The Fed is not asking, “is there a power?”; it is asking the SCC to hand them back a procedure.  The Fed is using the non-judicial advisory board under the pretense  that it is a “court” acting “judicially” to settle a “case”, when in fact it is a Star Court (a political court, abolished and forbidden under Charles I in 1661) arbitrarily ordering the country to negotiate” its own dismantling.

You will also note that the lawful “Constitution of Canada” was overthrown in 1982 (also with the aid of our Supreme Star Court), but the current division of powers is largely the same:  the power is denied.  When a power is denied, you can’t do anything; there is no procedure.  No procedure can be formulated because you cannot take a step in the direction of doing what is prohibited by denial of the power.  (Equally, no Province could formulate a procedure to allow it to use a federal power that doesn’t belong to it.  Again, no power, or denial of power = no procedure.)

What does that mean?  Let’s say you want to get married a second time while still married to your first spouse.  You say to a lawyer, I’m already married in another Province, but I’d like to walk down the aisle with this other person nonetheless.  The lawyer will tell you no, you can’t, that’s bigamy.

If you went to a new lawyer and said, I want to tango  down the aisle with this other person, it would still be bigamy; you’d have just changed the procedure.  Instead of walking, you’d be dancing, which does not alter the legal  situation that forbids bigamy.

The trick federal question makes the procedure the focus, ignoring the fact it’s illegal; and the SCC advisory board says, yeah, go right ahead; but you can’t just walk down the aisle, you have to tango!

In other words, the illegal act is to be done  under the pretense that a method  of doing it makes it legal.  The choice of method is “negotiated,” not “unilateral”.  It’s still  illegal.

The whole point being that they want  to dismantle the entire country.  For this, they must get all the provinces and territories involved.  They need  the “negotiations”.  And thus, the trick question.

By dressing up the illegal procedure in the form of a “supreme court” opinion, and then the Clarity Act to ‘give effect’ to that opinion, they also give the international community a pretext to “recognize” the destruction of the country.  They therefore leave it to the UNO to declare the Canada gone, while getting themselves off the hook for treason with a little “tango“.

Three Striped Cats *

Three Striped Cats

All three “secession” questions of the federal government to the (s)upreme (c)ourt advisory board are Striped Cats.  They are all trick questions.

I usually illustrate the federal trick question with my story about Three Striped Cats.  Here goes:

I find an apartment I like, so I say to the landlord, “I have a striped cat, do you allow striped cats?”  The landlord replies, “Oh, I’m sorry.  We don’t allow cats at all.”

The federal question is a striped-cat question.  Secession is illegal; it doesn’t matter whether it’s striped or plain; tango’d or walked; unilateral or negotiated; those are just types, or approaches to doing something that is forbidden.

Unilateral secession is a procedure.  Negotiated secession is a procedure.  Neither  procedure can be done because secession itself is illegal.  The legal power to carry out either procedure is denied.  But that question, the only appropriate question — Is it legal? — has been avoided because they know it’s illegal  and they want to do it anyway, and trick you into accepting it.  They will even make you “vote” to ratify it!  And then they will call it “democracy“.

They are tricking you into accepting the dismantling of Canada.  As long as you see a tango, and the “court” has said you must tango to secede, you will let them get away with it.

All three federal questions in the Secession Reference are tricks.  All three questions are Striped Cats and Tangos.

I hope you’ve learned a little bit of constitutional law today.  Just to make it official, I’ll give you the technical term for Striped Cats and Tangos.  In Latin, it’s the ejusdem generis* rule.  And these are my illustrations, patented; so don’t swipe my Striped Cats and Tangos; full credit due and owing, thank you.  Basically, in application it means that if something is legal, any sub-variety of it is legal; but if something is illegal, any sub-variety of it is also illegal.

I’m going to share something with you.  I’ve made a chart of the Three Trick Questions-Les Trois Questions.  If there’s a law student out there who has had their caffeine this morning and can see straight, perhaps you can pick out the glaring problem illustrated by these charts (beyond the mere trick questions).

Now for my extract from Gérin-Lajoie’s 1951 article, Du pouvoir d’amendement constitutionnel au Canada  (CBR, Volume 29 No. 10, 1951);  translation:  The Power of Constitutional Amendment in Canada.

Extracts from Gérin-Lajoie’s 1951 Du Pouvoir

Exclusive English translation by Kathleen Moore

1170  The Canadian Bar Review  [VOL. XXIX

1170  The Canadian Bar Review  [VOL XXIX

Les divergences de vue sur le sujet [de l’amendement constitutionnel] épousent de façon signifi­cative les différences économiques et sociales d’une région à l’au-

The differences in opinion on the subject [of constitutional amendment] are coupled to a significant degree with the economic and social differences from one region to an-

1951]  Du pouvoir d’amendement constitutionnel  1171

1951]  The Power of Constitutional Amendment  1171

tre du pays.  Les provinces des Prairies, par exemple, préféreraient une procédure à la simple majorité des provinces, à condi­tion que ces provinces représentent au moins la moitié de la population du Canada.  Les provinces Maritimes seraient satis­faites, semble-t-il, d’une procédure à la majorité des deux-tiers des provinces, représentant au moins soixante pour cent de la population du Canada, quitte à exiger l’unanimité pour la modification de certains pouvoirs provinciaux.  La Colombie-Britanni­que semble adopter une attitude à peu près semblable, sauf qu’elle requerrait l’unanimité dans le cas de vastes domaines législatifs provinciaux, tels que “La propriété et les droits civils” et d’autres item de l’article 92.  L’Ontario étendrait encore davantage la règle de l’unanimité, tandis que le Québec parait l’exiger pour toute modification quelconque aux compétences législatives ou administratives des provinces. 101

other of the country.  The Prairie provinces, for example, would prefer a procedure by a simple majority of the provinces, provided that these provinces represent at least half of the population of Canada.  The Maritime provinces would be satisfied, it seems, with a procedure by a majority of two-thirds of the provinces, representing at least sixty percent of the population of Canada, even if it means requiring unanimity for the amendment of certain provincial powers.  British-Columbia seems to have adopted a similar attitude, except that it would require unanimity in the case of vast provincial legislative fields, such as “property and civil rights” and other items under section 92.  Ontario would extend the unanimity rule considerably, while Quebec seems to require it for any amendment whatsoever to the legislative or administrative powers of the provinces. 101

Ces attitudes s’expliquent par les conditions économiques et sociales qui prévalent dans chacune des régions visées.  Les pro­vinces des Prairies n’ont pas une longue histoire et des traditions locales en propre.  Elles sont, selon l’expression d’un homme d’Etat suisse observateur des choses canadiennes, des prolongements de l’Est:  prolongements de la province de Québec, prolongements de l’Ontario, prolongements des provinces Maritimes, prolonge­ments de plusieurs pays d’Europe.  Elles témoignent des traditions et des cultures propres à ces divers coins de terre et elles ont fourni le cadre géographique pour en favoriser l’amalgamation et la transformation.  Mais un demi-siècle, tout au plus trois quarts de siècle, d’histoire en propre, surtout si l’on tient compte des mouvements considérables de population dont ces provinces ont été l’objet pendant cette période, ne sont pas suffisants, pour pro­duire un particularisme très marqué.  D’autant plus que les habi­tants de ces provinces ont des horizons s’étendant bien au delà des frontières provinciales à cause du souvenir encore vivant de leurs petites patries d’origine et à cause surtout des marchés extérieurs dont dépend leur existence, soit pour l’écoulement de leur grande production de blé, soit, tout récemment, pour l’écoulement de leurs inestimables richesses de pétrole.  Leur mode de vie est beau­coup plus sensible aux influences extérieures que celui des établisse­ments isolés des XVIIe, XVIIIe et XIXe siècles.

These attitudes are explained by the social and economic conditions prevailing in each of the regions concerned.  The Prairie provinces have no long history and local traditions of their own.  They are, according to the expression of an observant Swiss statesman of things Canadian, prolongations of the East:  extensions of the province of Quebec, extensions of Ontario, extensions of the Maritime provinces, extensions of a number of countries of Europe.  They testify to the traditions and the cultures specific to these various corners of the Earth and they have provided the geographical framework to further their amalgamation and their transformation.  But a half-century — at most three-quarters of a century — of history of their own, above all if one takes account of the considerable movements of population to which these provinces were subject in this period — are not sufficient to produce a very marked particularity.  More especially as the inhabitants of these provinces have horizons extending well beyond provincial borders because of the still-vivid memory of their little homelands of origin and also because of the outside markets on which their existence depends either for the flow of their great production of corn, or, very recently, for the flow of their inestimable wealth of oil.  Their lifestyle is much more susceptible to outside influences than that of the isolated establishments of the XVIIth, XVIIIth and XIXth Centuries.

Ces provinces ne connaissent donc pas dans la même mesure qu’ailleurs l’obstacle d’institutions sociales profondément en-

These provinces thus do not have to the same degree as elsewhere the obstacle of social institutions deeply ro-

101  Ce relevé sommaire d’opinions est basé partiellement sur les comptes rendus des conférences fédérales-provinciales cités plus haut (notes 98 et 100).

101  This brief account of the viewpoints is partially based on the reports of the federal-provincial conferences cited above (notes 98 and 100).

1172  The Canadian Bar Review  [VOL. XXIX

1172  The Canadian Bar Review  [VOL XXIX

racinées au sol, que l’intervention du gouvernement fédéral serait susceptible de bouleverser.  On comprend alors que l’efficacité administrative paraisse être, à leurs yeux, le seul critère pour dé­cider de la centralisation ou décentralisation de tel ou tel pouvoir.  On comprend qu’en pareilles circonstances ces provinces, dé­pendantes des marchés internationaux et largement dépourvues de ressources fiscales comparativement aux autres provinces, favorisent le transfert de pouvoirs considérables des provinces au gouvernement fédéral, qui a la direction des relations interna­tionales, qui puise ses ressources fiscales à travers tout le Canada et dont l’autorité n’est pas entravée dans son exercice par l’exis­tence des frontières de provinces.  Le désir d’une procédure d’a­mendement relativement facile à mettre en oeuvre ne fait que découler de ce désir de centralisation.

oted in the soil, which the intervention of the federal government would be likely to upset.  One thus understands that in their view, administrative effectiveness seems to be the only criterion for deciding on centralization or decentralization of such and such a power.  One understands that in similar circumstances these provinces, dependent on international markets and largely lacking in fiscal resources compared to the other provinces, favor the transfer of considerable powers of the provinces to the federal government, which has the management of international relations, which draws its tax resources from all across Canada and whose authority is not obstructed in its exercise by the existence of provincial borders.  The wish for a relatively easy-to-implement amending procedure is merely the result of this desire for centralization.

Les provinces Maritimes, par contre, ont chacune une longue tradition de self-government  qui leur a permis de développer des institutions, une mentalité et un mode de vie assez caractéristi­ques.  Leur sens profond de l’autonomie locale est, toutefois, de plus en plus menacé par le défaut de ressources fiscales.  Ces pro­vinces doivent compter largement sur l’aide du gouvernement fédéral et elles pressentent avec regret le jour où le maintien de leur standard de vie au même niveau qu’en d’autres provinces et pays exigera de sacrifier au trésor fédéral une partie de l’autonomie locale.  Elles ne veulent donc pas que les amendements à la Cons­titution soient trop difficiles à obtenir; mais elles ne veulent pas non plus d’un système à la simple majorité des provinces.  Une formule exigeant la majorité des deux tiers des provinces (sept sur dix) permettrait au bloc Maritime (si on y inclus Terre-Neuve qui ne partage pas, toutefois, les liens historiques qui unissent les trois traditionnelles provinces Maritimes) d’empêcher l’adoption d’un amendement.  Tout en paraissant disposées à se rallier à une telle solution, les provinces Maritimes s’en tiennent néanmoins à la règle de l’unanimité pour la modification de certaines compé­tences provinciales qu’elles jugent plus essentielles à leur autono­mie.

The Maritime provinces, on the other hand, each has a long tradition of self-government  which has allowed them to develop institutions, a mentality and a quite characteristic lifestyle.  Their deep sense of local independence is, even so, increasingly threatened by the lack of fiscal resources.  These provinces must largely count on federal government aid and they sense with regret that the day is coming when the maintenance of their standard of living even at the same level as that of other provinces and countries will require the sacrifice to the federal treasury of a part of their local autonomy.  They thus do not want amendments to the Constitution to be too difficult to obtain; but neither do they want a system of a simple majority of the provinces.  A formula requiring the majority of two-thirds of the provinces (seven of ten) would allow the Maritime bloc (if Newfoundland is included which however event does not share the historic links which unite the three Maritime provinces) to prevent the adoption of an amendment.  While appearing disposed to rally to such a solution, the Maritimes nonetheless hold to the unanimity rule to amend some provincial powers which they judge more essential to their autonomy.

La Colombie-Britannique a une histoire qui remonte à peine à plus de cent ans et une population dont la très grande majorité n’y est pas installée depuis plus de deux générations.  Mais l’origine commune, en provenance des Iles Britanniques, de presque toute sa population pendant plusieurs décades, l’aisance relative du principal noyau de population autour de Victoria et de Vancouver, les richesses naturelles, l’isolement entre l’océan Pacifique et les Rocheuses, ont favorisé le développement d’un sens communau-

British Columbia has a history which goes back a bit over a hundred years and a population the great majority of whom have no roots deeper than two generations.  But the common origin in the British Isles of practically the whole population, going back decades, the relative well-to-do of the main core of the population around Victoria and Vancouver, the natural resources, the isolation between the Pacific Ocean and the Rockies, have favored the development of a sense of commun-

1951]  Du pouvoir d’amendement constitutionnel  1173

1951]  The Power of Constitutional Amendment  1173

taire, d’un particularisme et d’une autonomie qui ne cessent de se manifester.  La procédure à la majorité des deux tiers des provinces que le gouvernement de la Colombie-Britannique parait prêt à accepter tient compte du fait que la majorité des autres provinces canadiennes ont également un sens réel de l’autonomie et qu’il parait sage de s’en remettre d’avance au voeu d’une majorité qualifiée d’entre elles, sauf dans le cas d’importantes exceptions où l’unanimité serait exigée.

ity, of a particularity and an autonomy which never cease to manifest themselves.  The two-thirds of the provinces majority procedure that the government of British Columbia seems ready to accept is due to the fact that the majority of the other Canadian provinces also have a real sense of autonomy and that it seems wise to concede in advance to the wish of a qualified majority among them, except in the case of major exceptions where unanimity would be required.

La province d’Ontario a une assez longue histoire en propre et un sens communautaire marqué.  Elle est la plus populeuse et la plus riche en ressources naturelles et en ressources fiscales.  Elle a manifesté depuis le début de la Confédération un grand atta­chement à son autonomie.  II faut dire que, par sa représentation au Parlement fédéral, elle joue un rôle prépondérant dans l’orienta­tion de la politique canadienne.  De ce chef, elle ne devrait pas craindre indûment les effets d’une certaine centralisation législa­tive.  Pour divers motifs, toutefois, l’expérience est tout autre.  L’accord que le gouvernement de la province semble avoir mani­festé relativement à la procédure d’amendement en 1950, tel que mentionné plus haut, constitue véritablement de la part de cette province une concession en faveur d’une procédure flexible, en dé­pit de la règle de l’unanimité qui serait requise pour certaines catégories d’amendement.

The Province of Ontario has quite a long history of its own and a marked sense of community.  It is the most populous and the richest in natural resources and in fiscal resources.  From the start of Confederation, it exhibited a great attachment to its autonomy.  It must be said that, by its representation in the federal Parliament, it plays a paramount role in the orientation of Canadian policy.  For this main reason, the effects of a certain legislative centralization ought not to be unduly feared.  For various reasons, however, the experience has been quite otherwise.  The agreement that the government of the province seems to have expressed regarding an amending procedure in 1950, as mentioned above, really constitutes, on the part of this province, a concession in favour of a flexible procedure, in spite of the unanimity rule which would be necessary for certain categories of amendment.

La province de Québec offre un cas spécial.  Seule de toutes les provinces canadiennes elle a une population en très grande majorité de langue française et de religion catholique.  Elle a 350 ans d’histoire en propre (pour ne pas remonter plus loin que la fondation de Québec) pendant lesquels elle a développé une vie familiale, adapté un système de droit civil, organisé ses professions libérales, ses hôpitaux, ses institutions d’enseignement et de charité, ses ordres religieux, organisé ses institutions municipales, administré la justice, régi les terres publiques, la colonisation et l’exploitation des ressources naturelles.  Plus récemment, elle a régi les relations des collectivités humaines aussi bien que celles des individus.  Les autorités civiles et la hiérarchie catholique y ont maintenu des relations étroites depuis le début de la Confédération.  La philosophie catholique, les habitudes de vie locales et la tournure d’esprit canadienne-française y contribuent largement à l’orientation de la législation.

The province of Quebec is a special case.  Alone of all the Canadian provinces it has a very large Catholic, French-speaking majority population.  It has 350 years of history of its own (if one goes no further back than the founding of Quebec City) during which it developed a family life adapted to the civil law system, organized its liberal professions, its hospitals, its teaching and charitable institutions, its religious orders, organized its municipal institutions, administrated its justice, regulated its public lands, the colonization and exploitation of its natural resources.  More recently, it regulated relations among human collectivities as well as those of individuals.  The civil authorities and the Catholic hierarchy have maintained closely linked relations from the start of Confederation.  Catholic philosophy, local living practices and the French-Canadian turn of mind broadly contribute to the orientation of legislation.

Le particularisme québécois ne réside pas, comme plusieurs semblent le croire, dans une langue et un culte qui pourraient être formellement garantis.  Il réside dans un mode de penser et de vivre qui se sont formés au cours des siècles et dont les institutions

Québec particularism does not reside, as some appear to believe, in a language and a form of worship capable of being formally guaranteed.  It resides in a manner of thought and of living formed over the centuries and whose institutions

1174  The Canadian Bar Review  [VOL. XXIX

1174  The Canadian Bar Review  [VOL XXIX

sociales québécoises sont le produit constamment en évolution.

are the product, continually in evolution.

L’intervention du gouvernement fédéral dans des domaines réservés jusqu’ici aux provinces aurait des répercussions beaucoup plus considérables sur une telle collectivité que dans les autres provinces.  Ces autres collectivités provinciales ont un fond commun par l’origine britannique de la majorité de leur population, par leurs institutions de droit coutumier, par la langue, et en grande partie par les principes communs aux diverses églises chrétiennes séparées de Rome.  Par leur représentation prédominante au Parlement fédéral et surtout dans le fonctionnarisme fédéral, elles seraient susceptibles d’orienter la législation suivant leurs conceptions propres. 102

The intervention of the federal government in domains reserved up till now to the provinces would have far more considerable repercussions for such a collectivity than in the other provinces.  These other provincial collectivities have a common foundation by the British origin of the majority of their population, by their common-law institutions, by language, and in large part by the shared principles of the various Christian churches separate from Rome.  By their predominant representation in the federal Parliament and above all in the federal civil service, they would be likely to orient legislation according to their own conceptions. 102

Quelles seraient les répercussions possibles dans Québec d’un système fédéral d’assurance-santé, par exemple?  Le système québécois d’hôpitaux et d’institutions charitables est propre à cette province.  Le rôle social du médecin y est particulier.  Le bouleversement risquerait alors d’y être beaucoup plus considérable que dans les autres provinces où les systèmes se ressemblent les uns les autres.

What would be the possible repercussions in Quebec of a federal system of health insurance, for example?  The Québec system of hospital and charitable institutions is unique to this province.  The social role of the doctor is unique there.  The upheaval there would then risk being much more considerable than in the other provinces where the systems resemble each other.

L’intervention fédérale dans le domaine de l’enseignement pourrait saper à leur base toutes les institutions québécoises.  L’octroi de subsides fédéraux pourrait à lui seul produire une petite révolution.  Imaginons, par exemple, que le gouvernement fédéral décide de donner un octroi substantiel à certaines facultés universitaires à l’exclusion d’autres facultés auxquelles la province de Québec attache la plus grande importance, contrairement aux autres provinces.  Les répercussions ne seraient pas lentes à se faire sentir dans l’orientation de la pensée, le sens des valeurs et, éventuellement, les institutions sociales.

Federal intervention in the field of education might undermine at their base all of Quebec’s institutions.  The granting of federal subsidies alone might produce a small revolution.  Imagine, for example, that the federal government decides to give a substantial grant to certain university faculties to the exclusion of other faculties to which the Province of Quebec attaches the greatest importance, contrary to the other provinces.  The repercussions would not be slow to be felt in the orientation of thinking, the sense of values and, ultimately, the social institutions.

Il ne s’agît pas de représenter le gouvernement fédéral comme ennemi du Québec.  Loin de là!  Mais le danger existe qu’en étendant les compétences fédérales à des domaines qui ne sont pas

This is not to depict the federal government as the enemy of Quebec.  Far from it!  But the danger exists that in extending the federal powers into fields which are not

102  On pourrait, dans une large mesure, appliquer aux diverses collectivi­tés provinciales en dehors du Québec les paroles qu’Alexis de Tocqueville écrivait au sujet des Américains d’origine britannique en 1835:  “Le seul lien de la religion a suffi au moyen âge pour réunir dans une même civilisation les races diverses qui peuplèrent l’Europe.  Les Anglais du nouveau monde ont entre eux mille autres liens, et ils vivent dans un siècle où tout cherche à s’égaliser parmi les hommes. … Si ce mouvement d’assimilation rapproche des peuples étrangers, il s’oppose à plus forte raison à ce que les rejetons du même peuple deviennent étrangers les uns aux autres.  Il arrivera donc un temps où l’on pourra voir dans l’Amérique du Nord cent cinquante millions d’hommes [peu importe le chiffre ici] égaux entre eux, qui tous appartiendront à la même famille, qui auront le même point de départ, la même civilisation, la même langue, la même religion, les mêmes habitudes, les mêmes moeurs, et à travers lesquels la pensée circulera sous la même forme et se peindra sous les mêmes couleurs.”  (De la Démocratie en Amérique, t. I, pp. 622-3.)

102  One might, on the whole, apply to the various provincial communities other than Quebec the words that Alexis de Tocqueville wrote concerning the Americans of British origin in 1835:  “The sole bond of religion was enough in the Middle Ages to unite the various races which populated Europe in the same civilization.  The English of the new world have among them a thousand other bonds, and they live in a century when all are seeking to be equalized among men. … If this movement of assimilation brings foreign peoples closer, even more, it prevents the offspring of the same people from becoming strangers to one another.  The time will therefore come when in North America one may see a hundred fifty million men [the figure is irrelevant here] the equals of each other, who will all belong to the same family, who will all have the same point of origin, the same civilisation, the same language, the same religion, the same habits, the same mores, and over whom thought will circulate in the same form and will paint itself in the same colors.”  (De la Démocratie en Amérique, Vol. I, pp. 622-3.)

NB:  The whole Lajoie article is 43 pages; when I’ve finished the translation, I’ll post it online.
*  I’m writing a story on and off called Alice in Referendumland.  It’s a spoof on our legal situation in Canada.  And there are many, many Striped Cats in Referendumland, darting and yowling from every fence post.


“Of the same kind, class, or nature.  In statutory construction, the “ejusdem generis rule” is that where general words follow an enumeration of persons or things, by words of a particular and specific meaning, such general words are not to be construed in their widest extent, but are to be held as applying only to persons or things of the same general kind or class as those specifically mentioned.  Black, Interp. Laws, 141 ; Cutshaw v. Denver, 19 Colo. App.341, 75 Pac. 22; Ex parte Le- land, 1 Nott & McC. (S. C.) 462; Spalding v. People, 172111. 40, 49 N. E. 993.”

Now, don’t you prefer my Striped Cats and Tangos?