Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Con Crime Bill = Constitutional Crisis?

But, then: “It is clear that this bill does not offer the financial support necessary to support the changes. Quebec refuses to absorb the costs,” Mr. Fournier said. “We won’t pay, we won’t pay these additional costs.”
And just like that, the minister had veered off Common Sense Road and headed straight for Crisistown. The game is simple: Ottawa is about to implement a plan that will cost the provinces and territories billions of dollars. Quebec isn’t interested in paying. There’s a decent chance other provinces will feel likewise. In fact, a few hours later came this from Dalton McGuinty, in an interview with the Ottawa’s Citizen’s Chris Cobb: “It’s easy for the federal government to pass new laws dealing with crime, but if there are news costs associated with those laws that have to be borne by the taxpayers of Ontario, I expect the feds will pick up that tab.’’ The Ontario Premier went on: “What is the expectation on the part of Ontario taxpayers? That expectation is this: I say to the feds – I demand of the feds – if, for example, you want us to build new prisons in Ontario and staff those prisons with highly trained personnel that’s an additional cost to us and it is incumbent upon you, as the creator of those costs, to come up with the money.” Stephen Harper, never one to be called a staunch federalist, could suddenly find himself trying to force the provinces to follow Ottawa’s lead — and on an area of provincial responsibility. This could get awkward.
I've wondered in the past whether we'd see resistance from the provinces to the lunatics in Ottawa. We've got prisons and crime bills, and we've got some discussion of provinces developing their own gun registries after the Cons lose the federal one.

What happens if the provinces simply refuse to enforce or participate in federal legislation?

Via James C Morton


karen said...

Oh dear. I know what this means. This means privatized, for profit prisons.

Edstock said...

Maybe, Karen, but it's more likely that the provincial premiers could tie Stevie's Prison Parade into knots, by refusal and, even more important, engaging the Cons in endless quibbling.

Think of it as an oblique method of maintaining democracy.

Steve said...

Quebec saving Canada, now thats ironic