Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982

VI. DISTRIBUTION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS

Powers of the Parliament

Marginal note:Legislative Authority of Parliament of Canada

 It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate and House of Commons, to make Laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada, in relation to all Matters not coming within the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces; and for greater Certainty, but not so as to restrict the Generality of the foregoing Terms of this Section, it is hereby declared that (notwithstanding anything in this Act) the exclusive Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada extends to all Matters coming within the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say,

  • 1. 
    Repealed. (44)
  • 1A. 
    The Public Debt and Property. (45)
  • 2. 
    The Regulation of Trade and Commerce.
  • 2A. 
    Unemployment insurance. (46)
  • 3. 
    The raising of Money by any Mode or System of Taxation.
  • 4. 
    The borrowing of Money on the Public Credit.
  • 5. 
    Postal Service.
  • 6. 
    The Census and Statistics.
  • 7. 
    Militia, Military and Naval Service, and Defence.
  • 8. 
    The fixing of and providing for the Salaries and Allowances of Civil and other Officers of the Government of Canada.
  • 9. 
    Beacons, Buoys, Lighthouses, and Sable Island.
  • 10. 
    Navigation and Shipping.
  • 11. 
    Quarantine and the Establishment and Maintenance of Marine Hospitals.
  • 12. 
    Sea Coast and Inland Fisheries.
  • 13. 
    Ferries between a Province and any British or Foreign Country or between Two Provinces.
  • 14. 
    Currency and Coinage.
  • 15. 
    Banking, Incorporation of Banks, and the Issue of Paper Money.
  • 16. 
    Savings Banks.
  • 17. 
    Weights and Measures.
  • 18. 
    Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes.
  • 19. 
    Interest.
  • 20. 
    Legal Tender.
  • 21. 
    Bankruptcy and Insolvency.
  • 22. 
    Patents of Invention and Discovery.
  • 23. 
    Copyrights.
  • 24. 
    Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians.
  • 25. 
    Naturalization and Aliens.
  • 26. 
    Marriage and Divorce.
  • 27. 
    The Criminal Law, except the Constitution of Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction, but including the Procedure in Criminal Matters.
  • 28. 
    The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Penitentiaries.
  • 29. 
    Such Classes of Subjects as are expressly excepted in the Enumeration of the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces.

And any Matter coming within any of the Classes of Subjects enumerated in this Section shall not be deemed to come within the Class of Matters of a local or private Nature comprised in the Enumeration of the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces. (47)

Exclusive Powers of Provincial Legislatures

Marginal note:Subjects of exclusive Provincial Legislation

 In each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Matters coming within the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say,

  • 1. 
    Repealed. (48)
  • 2. 
    Direct Taxation within the Province in order to the raising of a Revenue for Provincial Purposes.
  • 3. 
    The borrowing of Money on the sole Credit of the Province.
  • 4. 
    The Establishment and Tenure of Provincial Offices and the Appointment and Payment of Provincial Officers.
  • 5. 
    The Management and Sale of the Public Lands belonging to the Province and of the Timber and Wood thereon.
  • 6. 
    The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Public and Reformatory Prisons in and for the Province.
  • 7. 
    The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Hospitals, Asylums, Charities, and Eleemosynary Institutions in and for the Province, other than Marine Hospitals.
  • 8. 
    Municipal Institutions in the Province.
  • 9. 
    Shop, Saloon, Tavern, Auctioneer, and other Licences in order to the raising of a Revenue for Provincial, Local, or Municipal Purposes.
  • 10. 
    Local Works and Undertakings other than such as are of the following Classes:
    • (a
      Lines of Steam or other Ships, Railways, Canals, Telegraphs, and other Works and Undertakings connecting the Province with any other or others of the Provinces, or extending beyond the Limits of the Province:
    • (b
      Lines of Steam Ships between the Province and any British or Foreign Country:
    • (c
      Such Works as, although wholly situate within the Province, are before or after their Execution declared by the Parliament of Canada to be for the general Advantage of Canada or for the Advantage of Two or more of the Provinces.
  • 11. 
    The Incorporation of Companies with Provincial Objects.
  • 12. 
    The Solemnization of Marriage in the Province.
  • 13. 
    Property and Civil Rights in the Province.
  • 14. 
    The Administration of Justice in the Province, including the Constitution, Maintenance, and Organization of Provincial Courts, both of Civil and of Criminal Jurisdiction, and including Procedure in Civil Matters in those Courts.
  • 15. 
    The Imposition of Punishment by Fine, Penalty, or Imprisonment for enforcing any Law of the Province made in relation to any Matter coming within any of the Classes of Subjects enumerated in this Section.
  • 16. 
    Generally all Matters of a merely local or private Nature in the Province.

Non-Renewable Natural Resources, Forestry Resources and Electrical Energy

Marginal note:Laws respecting non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources and electrical energy
  •  (1) In each province, the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to

    • (a) exploration for non-renewable natural resources in the province;

    • (b) development, conservation and management of non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province, including laws in relation to the rate of primary production therefrom; and

    • (c) development, conservation and management of sites and facilities in the province for the generation and production of electrical energy.

  • Marginal note:Export from provinces of resources

    (2) In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the export from the province to another part of Canada of the primary production from non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the production from facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy, but such laws may not authorize or provide for discrimination in prices or in supplies exported to another part of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Authority of Parliament

    (3) Nothing in subsection (2) derogates from the authority of Parliament to enact laws in relation to the matters referred to in that subsection and, where such a law of Parliament and a law of a province conflict, the law of Parliament prevails to the extent of the conflict.

  • Marginal note:Taxation of resources

    (4) In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the raising of money by any mode or system of taxation in respect of

    • (a) non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the primary production therefrom, and

    • (b) sites and facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy and the production therefrom,

    whether or not such production is exported in whole or in part from the province, but such laws may not authorize or provide for taxation that differentiates between production exported to another part of Canada and production not exported from the province.

  • “Primary production”

    (5) The expression “primary production” has the meaning assigned by the Sixth Schedule.

  • Marginal note:Existing powers or rights

    (6) Nothing in subsections (1) to (5) derogates from any powers or rights that a legislature or government of a province had immediately before the coming into force of this section. (49)

Education

Marginal note:Legislation respecting Education

 In and for each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Education, subject and according to the following Provisions:

  • (1) 
    Nothing in any such Law shall prejudicially affect any Right or Privilege with respect to Denominational Schools which any Class of Persons have by Law in the Province at the Union;
  • (2) 
    All the Powers, Privileges, and Duties at the Union by Law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and School Trustees of the Queen’s Roman Catholic Subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queen’s Protestant and Roman Catholic Subjects in Quebec;
  • (3) 
    Where in any Province a System of Separate or Dissentient Schools exists by Law at the Union or is thereafter established by the Legislature of the Province, an Appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or Decision of any Provincial Authority affecting any Right or Privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic Minority of the Queen’s Subjects in relation to Education;
  • (4) 
    In case any such Provincial Law as from Time to Time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section is not made, or in case any Decision of the Governor General in Council on any Appeal under this Section is not duly executed by the proper Provincial Authority in that Behalf, then and in every such Case, and as far only as the Circumstances of each Case require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial Laws for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section and of any Decision of the Governor General in Council under this Section. (50)
Marginal note:Quebec

 Paragraphs (1) to (4) of section 93 do not apply to Quebec. (51)

Uniformity of Laws in Ontario,  Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick

Marginal note:Legislation for Uniformity of Laws in Three Provinces

 Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Parliament of Canada may make Provision for the Uniformity of all or any of the Laws relative to Property and Civil Rights in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and of the Procedure of all or any of the Courts in those Three Provinces, and from and after the passing of any Act in that Behalf the Power of the Parliament of Canada to make Laws in relation to any Matter comprised in any such Act shall, notwithstanding anything in this Act, be unrestricted; but any Act of the Parliament of Canada making Provision for such Uniformity shall not have effect in any Province unless and until it is adopted and enacted as Law by the Legislature thereof.

Old Age Pensions

Marginal note:Legislation respecting old age pensions and supplementary benefits

 The Parliament of Canada may make laws in relation to old age pensions and supplementary benefits, including survivors’ and disability benefits irrespective of age, but no such law shall affect the operation of any law present or future of a provincial legislature in relation to any such matter. (52)

Agriculture and Immigration

Marginal note:Concurrent Powers of Legislation respecting Agriculture, etc.

 In each Province the Legislature may make Laws in relation to Agriculture in the Province, and to Immigration into the Province; and it is hereby declared that the Parliament of Canada may from Time to Time make Laws in relation to Agriculture in all or any of the Provinces, and to Immigration into all or any of the Provinces; and any Law of the Legislature of a Province relative to Agriculture or to Immigration shall have effect in and for the Province as long and as far only as it is not repugnant to any Act of the Parliament of Canada.