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The GovernorGeneral and LieutenantGovern
The Lower House.
The Senate. The only powers conferred on the Dominion Parliament over the Senate are those for varying the number necessary to form a quorum and of hearing and determining any question that arises relating to the qualification of a senator or to a vacancy in the Senate. The Parliament cannot abolish the Senate, nor alter the number of members', except by providing for the representation of new provinces or of territories not in a province; nor prescribe what qualifications a senator should possess: all these matters are settled by the Act of Union and subsequent Acts, and can only be altered by the Imperial Parliament.
The Legislative Council. The provinces, on the other hand, have power not only to alter the constitution of the Council. Legislative Council but even to abolish it. By section 92
a provincial Legislature may amend from time to time the constitution of the province notwithstanding anything in the Act. The only legislative Council constituted in detail in the Union Act is that of Quebec, as the constitutions of the Legislative Councils in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were continued as they existed at the time the Act passed. Manitoba has taken advantage of the above power and abolished its upper House1o.
The House of Commons. As regards the House of Com
The Governor. The salary of the Governor-General may be varied by the Dominion Parliament', but otherwise the Parliament has no legal control over his office. The salaries of the Lieutenant-Governors are fixed and provided for by Parliament. The provinces have no legal control over the office of Lieutenant-Governor, but the Governor-General is by constitutional custom required to rely on the advice of his ministers in making or revoking an appointment*.
mons the Dominion Parliament has power to legislate on the
The distribution of seats,
the qualifications and disqualifications of members,
the voters at elections,
the oaths to be taken by voters,
returning officers, their powers and duties,
proceedings at elections',
periods during which elections may be continued,
trial of controverted elections",
vacating of seats of members,
execution of new writs in case of seats vacated otherwise than by dissolution".
The number of members may be increased every decennial census subject to the conditions specified in section 51.
Parliament may also make provision for the absence of the Speaker of the House of Commons.
The Legislative Assembly. The provincial Legislatures The Propossess the same powers for altering the constitution of the Lower Assembly that they have for altering the constitution of the Legislative Council, except that where the Legislative Assembly is the only House it cannot be abolished. It is true that there is no express provision in the Act against the abolition of a provincial Assembly, but in such a case it must be remembered not only that such an abolition would be inconsistent with the provisions of the Act, but that the power of a province to affect its constitution is a power to "amend" not to "abolish." The Union Act implies a Legislature of some kind in each province.
Privileges. The Dominion Parliament has power from Privileges time to time to define by Act the privileges, immunities and ment. powers to be enjoyed by the Senate and House of Commons, and by the members thereof respectively, but the privileges
1 As to punishment of bribery at elections, see Doyle v. Belle, 11 Ont., App. Rep. 32. 2 See ante, p. 137. 3 B. N. A. Act, ib. s. 41. 4 Ib. s. 47.
immunities and powers so conferred are not to exceed those enjoyed by the English House of Commons at the time of the passing of such Act1.
No express power was given to the provincial Legislatures cial Legis- to define their privileges, but Acts for that purpose have been latures. passed by Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia. Powers of Neither the Dominion Parliament nor the provincial Parlia- Legislatures can increase or vary the powers expressly or impliedly conferred on the Dominion and the provinces respectively by the Imperial Parliament.
The Dominion Parliament has no power to alter the alter Pro- constitution of any of the provinces admitted into the Union. And by the Imperial Act 34 Vic. c. 28, s. 6, it is not for instance competent for the Parliament to alter the 32 and 33 Vic. c. 3, providing a constitution for Manitoba, or any other Act establishing new provinces in the Dominion.
The Parliament of Canada may with the consent of the Legislature of a province alter the limits of a province upon the terms and conditions agreed on by such Legislature, 34 Vic. (i), c. 28.
The 34 Vic. (i.), c. 28, conferred on the Parliament of Canada power to make provisions from time to time for the administration, peace, order, and good government of any territory not for the time being included in any province. A clause in the order in Council surrendering the NorthWest Territory and Ruperts-land to the Dominion confers a similar power as regards these Territories, but the same order in Council imposes certain conditions, relating chiefly to the Hudson's Bay Company, that are binding on the Dominion Parliament and cannot be altered by it.
2. NEW PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES. At the time of the incorporation of the North-West
138 & 39 Vic, (i.) c. 38, s. 1.
2 See ante, p. 67.
3 See Appendix.
Territory, a doubt arose as to whether the Dominion had New
3. TREATY OBLIGATIONS.
The power of entering into treaties has not been con- Treaties. ferred on the Dominion, but the Parliament of Canada has "all powers necessary or proper for performing the obligations of Canada or of any province thereof as part of the British Empire towards foreign countries arising under treaties between the Empire and such foreign countries"."
4. PUBLIC PROPERTY.
The Public Property. s. 91 (1).
By sect. 108 of the B.N.A. Act it was enacted that the following public works and property in each province were to be the property of the Dominion Government:
1. Canals, with lands and water power connected there- Public
Property of the Dominion.
3. Lighthouses and piers and Sable Island.
4. Steam boats, dredges, and public vessels. 5. Rivers and lake improvements.
1 B. N. A. Act, s. 132.
6. Railways and railway stocks, mortgages, and other debts due by railway companies.
7. Military roads.
8. Custom Houses, Post Offices, and all other public buildings, except such as the Government of Canada appropriate for the use of the provincial Legislatures and Governments.
9. Property transferred by the Imperial government and known as Ordnance property.
10. Armouries, drill sheds, military clothing and munitions of war, and hands set apart for general public purposes.
The Act also by sect. 102 imposed upon the Dominion the charge of the general public debts of the several provinces, and vested in the Dominion the general public revenues as then existing of the provinces. But this provision was made subject to certain exceptions contained in sect. 126, viz. (1) such portions of the pre-existing duties and revenues as were by the Act "reserved to the respective Legislatures of the provinces ;" and (2) such duties and revenues as might be
received by them in accordance with the special powers conferred on them by the Act." As regards the first exception the only duties and revenues reserved to the provinces are specified in section 109, which enacted that all lands, mines, minerals and royalties belonging to the several provinces at the time of the Union were to remain vested in the provinces1; and it was provided that the several provinces should retain all their respective public property not otherwise disposed of by the Act, subject to the right of Canada to reserve any lands or public property required for fortifications or for the defence of the country.
The right of the provinces to the above land includes the right to the banks and beds of rivers and streams in each province, and therefore it has been held that the Dominion
1 B. N. A. Act, s. 109.
2 Ib. s. 117.
3 Regina v. Robertson, 6 Can. S. C. R. 52; 2 Cart. 65.