Constitutional Amendment in Canada

Constitutional Amendment in Canada

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Edited by Emmett Macfarlane
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2016
World Rights
352 Pages
ISBN 9781442628731
Published Jul 2016
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ISBN 9781442640498
Published Jul 2016
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In Canada, the 1982 Constitution Act contains the amending formula, which outlines a set of procedures required to make changes to the constitution. Recent debates over Senate reform, the status of the Supreme Court of Canada, and the rules governing royal succession have highlighted how important the amending formula is in maintaining the vitality and relevance of the governing system.

Constitutional Amendment in Canada is the first volume to focus solely on the implications of the amending formula in Canada. Emmett Macfarlane has brought together a group of expert authors to address such topics as the difficulties of constitutional reform, the intersection of various levels of government and the judiciary, and the ability of the public to veto proposed changes. Filling a serious gap in the literature, Constitutional Amendment in Canada is an authoritative study of the historical and contemporary implications of the amending formula.

Emmett Macfarlane is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Waterloo. He is a regular contributor to Maclean's, the Globe and Mail, and the Institute for Research on Public Policy's Policy Options.


Introduction ‒ Striking a Balance: The Players and Procedures of Canada’s Constitutional Amending Formula
Emmett Macfarlane

Part One: The Players

1 Searching for an Amending Formula: The 115-year Journey
Nadia Verrelli

2 Uncovering the Wall Surrounding the Castle of the Constitution: Judicial Interpretation of Part V of the Constitution Act, 1982
Adam Dodek

3 The Federal Principle: Constitutional Amendment and Intergovernmental Relations
Carissima Mathen

4 Part II and Part V: Aboriginal Peoples and Constitutional Amendment
Christa Scholtz

Part Two: The Procedures

5 Constitutional Amendment by Legislation
Warren J. Newman

6 U2: Unanimity vs. Unilateralism in Canada’s Politics of Constitutional Amendment
Rainer Knopff

7 Understanding the Section 43 Bilateral Amending Formula
Dwight Newman

8 The Possibilities and Limits of Provincial Constitution-Making Power: The Case of Quebec
Emmanuelle Richez

9 The End of Informal Constitutional Change in Canada?
Dennis Baker and Mark D. Jarvis

Part Three: The Issues

10 DIY 101: The Constitutional Entrenchment of the Supreme Court of Canada
Erin Crandall

11 The Uncertain Future of Senate Reform
Emmett Macfarlane

12 The Crown and Constitutional Amendment after the Senate and Supreme Court References
Philippe Lagassé and Patrick Baud

13 “The Most Radical Amendment of All”: The Power to Secede and the Secession Reference
Kate Puddister

Conclusion: The Future of Canadian Constitutional Amendment
Emmett Macfarlane

Appendix: Text of Part V of the Constitution Act, 1982

Selected Bibliography



"The contributions to this volume are exemplary and bring a multitude of perspectives to Canada’s plural formula for constitutional amendment."

David E. Smith, Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University