Local Government in Liberal Democracies: An Introductory Survey

By J. A. Chandler | Go to book overview

Chapter 9

Canada

John Kingdom


THE PRINCIPAL INSTITUTIONS OF THE STATE

Canada today is a federal union consisting of ten provinces and two northern territories. It was created by the British North America Act passed by the British Parliament on 29 March 1867, uniting New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Upper and Lower Canadas (now Quebec and Ontario) as the Dominion of Canada. It has grown by subsequent increments to include Manitoba (1870), British Columbia (1871), Prince Edward Island (1873), the Yukon Territory (1898), Saskatchewan (1905), Alberta (1905) and Newfoundland (1949).

The Act of 1867 can be said, in effect, to comprise the written part of the Canadian constitution, although it has been amended in a number of ways by various institutions including the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the Supreme Court of Canada, and the federal and provincial governments. In addition, administrative, political, economic, social and technological developments as well as two World Wars have resulted in a number of modifications in its practical operation. The Act remains an essentially pragmatic guide to government, containing nothing of the lofty sentiment found in those formal constitutions begat through revolutionary struggle. A number of important civil rights remain protected, as in Britain, through nothing more than the Common Law.

However, the traditions and patterns of the Canadian institutions of government had been nurtured well before confederation in the constitutional development of colonial British North America. The British parliamentary tradition was well established, with assemblies operating in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and both Upper and Lower Canadas, each on the basis of popular male suffrage, returning members to a lower house, which shared power with an upper house. Executives were appointed by a Governor who represented the British

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Local Government in Liberal Democracies: An Introductory Survey
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vi
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Bibliography 6
  • Chapter 2 - England and Wales 7
  • Bibliography 27
  • Chapter 3 - The Republic of Ireland 28
  • Chapter 4 - France 53
  • Chapter 5 - Italy 73
  • Bibliography 98
  • Chapter 6 - Germany 99
  • Bibliography 117
  • Chapter 7 - Sweden 118
  • Chapter 8 - The United States of America 138
  • Bibliography 158
  • Chapter 9 - Canada 159
  • Chapter 10 - Conclusion 188
  • Bibliography 200
  • Index 201
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