A Factual Examination Of The Constitutional Problem
“It is therefore easy to see why Canada is not a confederation………….”Dr. Maurice Ollivier, K.C., Joint Law Clerk, House of Commons, before the Special Committee on the British North America Act, 1935
“I have always contended, for reasons too long to enumerate here, that it [Canada] has not become either a confederation or a federal union.”Dr. Ollivier, in a personal letter to Mr. Kuhl, May 30th, 1936
There is probably no political issue in Canada on which there is more lack of information and more misinformation than on the constitutional question. The stalemate and the impasse which the governing authorities in Canada have reached on this question seem to indicate that there is and has been something very fundamentally awry in Canada’s constitutional history.
For almost half a century this controversy has been raging without a satisfactory solution having been arrived at. Many Canadians, myself included, have had enough of this bickering between politicians and are determined to do something to bring this internecine strife to an end.
The purpose of this booklet is to indicate in some measure what I as a member of the House of Commons and as a private citizen have attempted to do to bring order out of the constitutional chaos in which Canada finds herself. Democracy is successful only in proportion to the knowledge which people have with respect to their rights and privileges. It is my hope that the information contained in this brochure will assist Canadians to that end.
Immediately following the recent Quebec election, I sent to Mr. Rene Levesque a personal letter in which I indicated my conception of the constitutional rights which the provinces of Canada enjoy at the moment. At the conclusion of this booklet will he found a reproduction of this letter. Included with this letter was the additional material found in this booklet. A copy of my letter to Mr. Levesque,along with copies of the additional material, was subsequently mailed to each of the premiers of the provinces of Canada.
I desire to express my gratitude to Mr. R. Rogers Smith, who as my private tutor for almost the entire fourteen years during which I served as a member of the house of Commons, brought to my attention facts from the statutes at large, from the Archives and from original historical sources, the material upon which this brochure is based.
Walter F. Kuhl