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A better way to fix Canada Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 December 2005

What Alberta could propose

Let’s say the government of Alberta passed a constitutional resolution to do the following:

  • establish a Triple E Senate

  • stop Ottawa from taxing or spending for social and economic purposes

  • take regional transfers away from Ottawa, to be negotiated instead between the governments of “have” and “have-not” provinces, represented equally

  • transfer taxation and control over EI, CPP, Equalization and health standards to the (all-province) Council of the Federation

  • reduce Ottawa’s role in shared jurisdictions such as environment and culture, and transfer to provinces the right to license locally-important things like fisheries, charitable status and broadcasting

  • increase Ottawa’s power to facilitate movement of people, commerce, services and investment between provinces

  • transfer to provinces the right to appoint their own judges, as in most other federal systems in the world

  • require that any Charter impasse between courts and governments be resolved by referendum

All of the above is based on the federal principle of vesting power and responsibility at the lowest practical level. It would heavily shift authority to provinces.

But would other governments -- even provincial governments -- support it?

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