‘The de-patriation of the Canadian constitution’

The House passes a problematic bill


Philippe Lagasse wrote about the problems with the Harper government’s royal succession bill for this website over the weekend. Now, Anne Twomey adds her concerns.

It is likely that the Canadian Government took the gamble of this approach in order to avoid the hassle of obtaining the agreement of the Provinces while banking upon the likelihood that no one would have the standing or motive to challenge it. Moreover, if the Duchess of Cambridge has a first-born son, it will avoid the problem of having a female monarch of the United Kingdom and a younger brother who becomes the monarch of Canada. Hence, the chances of getting by with such a constitutionally shoddy arrangement are reasonable.

Nonetheless, it shows a disappointing lack of understanding of the Crown and its divisible nature and a willingness on the part of Canadian politicians to sacrifice Canadian independence to avoid having to engage with the Provinces.

Update 12:42pm. And to all these concerns about the nature of our country, the House just shrugged and agreed to pass the bill unanimously at all stages.


‘The de-patriation of the Canadian constitution’

  1. ‘it will avoid the problem of having a female monarch of the United
    Kingdom and a younger brother who becomes the monarch of Canada.’

    Say whut??

    • He means if Canada didn’t implement the succession changes, then Canada and UK would have different succession laws (Canada keeping male-preference cognatic primogeniture, with UK moving to absolute cognatic primogeniture).

      But it’s not clear that it could happen, since the UK can only change its succession laws if they have agreement from the Dominions. So if Canada doesn’t pass a law making the changes, then neither can the UK (unless they repeal aspects of the Statue of Westminster, 1931).

      • And if the UK did away with the monarchy….we’d have a what….a ghost monarchy? Or would we take in Chuck and the family as refugees?

        It’s the UK’s monarchy. Our only contribution here is to agree. We can’t disagree. Some former colony telling the English monarch what to do? LOL

        Gawd, and I thought the Japanese were antiquated given their quaint reaction to a possible Empress!

        PS: We are no longer a ‘Dominion’. Haven’t been for years.

        • We can disagree. If we want to. It’s actually the British who can’t change their law without our permission.

          As Lagasse points out, the Crown and the Queen as the “corporation sole” are fundamentally Constitutional – and is separate in law from what the British do. If they abolished their monarchy and became a republic, it would have no legal affect on the Queen’s status as the Queen of Canada.

          His complaint is that, technically, because the Queen is now so fundamentally Constitutional (something not true in the 1936 Abdication Crisis), the federal government can’t implement changes to succession the way it is going about it. Although, this is disputable, since it hasn’t ever been done before and so there is no precedent. His argument is persuasive, but not definitive.

          • I’m sorry, we either have a monarchy or we don’t….. but we don’t get to tell the Queen what to do.

            Her authority comes from England, not us.

          • I don’t understand what you mean. The constitutionality of the Queen of Canada is well established.

          • Only under your ‘legal fiction’ dept….where the Queen flys to Canada and halfway across the Atlantic there is a loud ZOT and a puff of smoke and she stops being the Queen of England and becomes solely the Queen of Canada.

          • Well Republicans are gaining in the UK….in spite of all the treacle of the 60th and Kate’s baby…..so maybe you’d better ready your back room to take in the titleless Canadian crown when they flee.

            Ask ‘Prince Phillip’….he’s been through it before.

  2. Wait, I thought that republicanism was supposed to be a threat to our traditions and values. I’m confused.

    • No doubt….you’re confusing a political party in the US with a system of govt in many countries….one that Rome had, at least for awhile

      • What on earth are you talking about? Are you seriously trying to give me a civics lesson? Rome? Sheesh.

        • LOL on this site, you can never tell if people need an explanation or not.

  3. Just shrugged and passed it eh?


    Moving on…….

  4. Guess this is what comes of having a PM who doesn’t understand [or can’t be bothered with] constitutional law, But just what is the excuse of the other parties? The word “constitution” has made almost all our federal leaders gun shy.

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