After all, I like Alberta’s sovereignty in Prime Minister Daniel Smith’s Uniform Canada Act.
Is this bill necessary to give Alberta the power to fight back against Ottawa’s discrimination against us? Not strictly. We already had many constitutional and administrative capabilities that we weren’t using to fight back against Ottawa’s anti-Alberta, anti-energy policy.
Still, it would be fun to fight Feds Smith style.
Will Smith’s bill, introduced Tuesday, revolutionize the way Ottawa treats all states, especially ours? Ottawa still controls most of the domestic funds and appoints all judges to hear constitutional cases.
In most cases, I think Alberta will lose in most court challenges.
Still, the Sovereignty Act can give enough headaches and heartburn to current and future federal governments, forcing them to think about state powers before acting, so that over time the new federal and State balance evolves.
And after decades of being thrown from great heights, it would be satisfying to give federal politicians and bureaucrats the occasional sock of chop.
As Smith himself said in a press conference after introducing the act, symbolically Bill 1, “There can be no relationship change without push, and this is push.”
Sovereignty law places the onus on Alberta to prove that federal legislation is constitutional before agreeing to legislation that Alberta considers to be detrimental to its interests or to violate its jurisdiction. I impose on Ottawa.
Now it’s the other way around. If a state disagrees with federal law, it’s up to the state to fight it in court.
Gunter: Prime Minister Daniel Smith would be wise to back off from anti-vaccine rights advocacy
Gunter: Smith speaks good politics, and has the potential for good policy
Gunter: Kenny’s toughness revealed in behind-the-scenes talks with Trudeau liberals
Ottawa appoints all federal judges to hear constitutional cases countywide, so it is still unlikely Alberta will win many cases, whether the provincial government objects or Ottawa does. But perhaps this “reverse liability” will become a sore neck for the federal government, and the federal government will start drafting laws with more respect for the states.
Also, sovereignty law probably isn’t strictly necessary. As I wrote above, it really puts in writing (and commits to use) the legal and administrative powers states already have to resist federal overreach. only.
But even just putting it all in one place shows how high this is a priority for the Smith administration, taking Alberta’s rights seriously within a united Canada.
Politically, it was also smart to tone down the rhetoric Smith used during the UCP leadership race (such as her utterly unrealistic promise to defy state-chosen federal laws). As introduced, the bill is supported by many Albertans, regardless of political affiliation.
The bill’s biggest problem is how to give the Cabinet unilateral authority to change state laws by decree.
why? When would they need such power? Could Ottawa need command power so quickly because there was no time to call Congress into emergency session?
When asked about the statute’s powers, Smith and Justice Minister Tyler Shandro both said they hoped never to have to use such powers.
So why give them to yourself in the first place?
They also said that the Cabinet will exercise its powers of decree only after a resolution authorizing it has been deliberated and passed by parliament.
But if the MLA is already in session, why not have the law changed rather than give Smith and his Cabinet such extraordinary powers?
If the government amends the Sovereignty Act to remove the powers of dictatorships… er, statutes, then I want a bill a lot more.
Gunter: Alberta’s act of sovereignty is satisfying, but it’s an excessive show of power over Ottawa
Source link Gunter: Alberta’s act of sovereignty is satisfying, but it’s an excessive show of power over Ottawa