I would agree with your assertion, JonB2004
I think that the Provinces of Canada
have come into too much power, through convention and disuse of the prerogatives of the Government of Canada
; many of our Governments have given concessions upon concessions to the Provinces, and I think that in order to keep the union united and strong, we need to ensure that the Government of Canada speaks for the people of Canada, and that the Provinces exercise only those powers delegated to them — Canada was founded with the notion that the Government of Canada should have supremacy, in relation to its counterparts in right of the Provinces.
I think that a big part of this has been the deprecation of the authority of the Government of Canada to invoke a "veto", of sorts, on legislation from the Provinces which could be seen as damaging, or contrary to the interests of the union. A recent example of this situation could be the more recent promotion of the contentious "Third Way" suggestions by the Honourable Ralph Klein
, the Member for Calgary—Elbow
and the Premier of Alberta
. In my opinion, our Government (and its counterparts in the House of Commons
) acted as though there were nothing that could be done, other than to hope that the Government of Alberta had a change of heart (which, thank God, has happened). However, the Government of Canada should have had no reservations, in my opinion, in terms of threatening to invoke a veto through the House of Commons
to prevent the enactment of such legislation that would be seen as contrary to the interests of the citizens of Canada. They have the right, as per the Constitution Act, 1867
to do so, and they shouldn't shy away from their authority when the situation would deem doing so to be appropriate.
Another change (however ineffective this change may have been in practice) which I think has given the Provinces too much power, has been the change of the offices of the Lieutenant Governors of the Provinces
. At Confederation, these persons were representatives of the Government of Canada — however, through changes to convention, these persons have become representatives of Her Majesty the Queen of Canada
themselves. This change — despite the change being of no effect to the day-to-day lives of citizens — has given the Provinces a courage to legislate contrary to the interests of Canada, moreso than they had ever had before. I think that the Lieutenant Governors should be just that — the lieutenants
to the Governor General in each Province, ensuring that the interests of Canada are protected within the enactments of the Governments of the Provinces.
There's my opinion on the matter.