Those hyperventilating about the more frequent use of the notwithstanding clause are directing their concern in the wrong direction. Legislatures are using the notwithstanding clause to fight back against overreaching courts. Better late than never.
This article brings together a series of essays originally released in three parts exploring the intricacies of nationhood with respect to Canadian federalism.
The concept of an “English-Canadian nation” was just a theoretical construct that most Quebeckers of Pierre Trudeau’s generation assumed must exist as the natural counterpart to the French-Canadian nation. It didn’t exist then, and it doesn’t exist now.
For culture to be a definitive component of national identity, it must be rooted in and reinforced by factors that are separate not just in degree but in kind from anything experienced in other parts of the country. The distinct features of Quebec’s society are linguistic and cultural.
Country, Province, and Nation: How Saskatchewan is right and wrong in its bid to end asymmetrical federalism
For several years Saskatchewan has been quietly asserting its claims to provincial autonomy and endeavours to present itself as a distinct nation. What is gained, though, by saying Saskatchewan should be a nation when it is already a province?
George Orwell once wrote a curious article describing his ideal pub. The qualities of this fictional pub, which he named The Moon Under Water, were both specific and ephemeral. Reflecting…
Pierre Trudeau enacted his rationalist Constitution just as the corrosive logic of liberalism was fracturing our society. Its legacy is a post-rational, post-liberal system where the most important issues are subject to the whims of judicial power.
Pierre Trudeau chose to enact his liberal rationalist Constitution as our social order was fracturing. To the extent it has succeeded, it has done so through irrational exercises of illiberal judicial power.
Because our liberal constitutional order claims the authority of a universal principle, it must spread and occupy every corner of society, colonising our speech and even how we think about every question of law and morality.
Pierre Trudeau’s constitutional reforms went right for the pre-Enlightenment heart, injecting the adrenaline of the American and French revolutions into our sleepy constitutional compromise. For the first time in a Westminster parliamentary system, the principles of government were written down and the abstract notion of universal rights was elevated above the sovereignty of parliament.