Anti-Inflation Act, Re, (1976) 9 N.R. 541 (SCC)

JudgeBeetz and de Grandpré, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateMay 31, 1976
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1976), 9 N.R. 541 (SCC);[1976] SCJ No 12 (QL);[1976] 2 SCR 373;9 NR 541;1976 CanLII 16 (SCC);68 DLR (3d) 452

Anti-Inflation Act, Re (1976), 9 N.R. 541 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

Re Anti-Inflation Act

Indexed As: Anti-Inflation Act, Re

Supreme Court of Canada

Laskin, C.J.C., Martland, Judson,

Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon, Dickson,

Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.

July 12, 1976.

Summary:

This case arose out of a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Supreme Court Act. The reference was made by the Governor General in Council which posed two questions: the first, concerned the validity of the Federal Anti-Inflation Act; and second, stated that if the Anti-Inflation Act was valid, whether an agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Province of Ontario made the Anti-Inflation Act applicable to public employees in Ontario.

The Supreme Court of Canada declared the Anti-Inflation Act valid. The Anti-Inflation Act as enacted by the federal government regulated wages and prices in sectors constitutionally reserved to the federal government and, in addition, the Anti-Inflation Act regulated wages and prices in sectors constitutionally reserved to provincial governments. The Supreme Court of Canada interpreted the peace, order and good government clause in the opening words in s. 91 of the British North America Act, 1867. The Supreme Court of Canada considered whether an emergency or national emergency existed which would justify an invasion by the federal government of fields constitutional reserved to the provincial governments. The Supreme Court of Canada considered extrinsic materials, such as, economic statistics and a federal government white paper in order to determine whether the then existing social and economic circumstances constituted a national emergency. The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the legislation and the extrinsic materials tended to show that the Parliament of Canada in enacting the Anti-Inflation Act had a rational basis for considering that a national economic crisis existed.

Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ., dissenting, in the Supreme Court of Canada, would have declared the Anti-Inflation Act invalid as being beyond the legislative competence of the federal government. Beetz, J., reviewed the authorities respecting the national concern or national dimension doctrine and stated that the doctrine did not authorize the federal government to legislate respecting wages and prices at a local or provincial level - see paragraphs 113 to 152. Beetz, J., also reviewed that the authorities respecting the national emergency doctrine and stated that the Parliament of Canada in enacting the Anti-Inflation Act did not invoke or rely upon its extraordinary powers to legislate with respect to national emergency - see paragraphs 153 to 197.

With respect to the national concern or national dimension doctrine Martland, Ritchie and Pigeon, JJ., stated, that the Parliament of Canada cannot under the peace, order and good government clause enact "national concern" legislation which invades provincial powers unless the "national concern" constitutes a national emergency - see paragraph 98.

With respect to the second question concerning the effect of an agreement between the federal government and the Government of Ontario the Supreme Court of Canada declared that the agreement did not make the Anti-Inflation Act applicable to public employees in Ontario. The executive council of the Province of Ontario, without statutory authority, authorized a minister to sign the agreement with the federal government. The agreement purported to apply the Anti-Inflation Act to employees of the Province of Ontario. The Supreme Court of Canada stated that there is no principle that the Crown may legislate by order in council to bind citizens where the Crown acts without the support of a statute of the legislature - see paragraphs 78 to 94.

Constitutional Law - Topic 4807

Peace, order and good government clause - Emergency legislation respecting economic conditions - Validity of the Federal Anti-Inflation Act - The Supreme Court of Canada considered extrinsic materials, such as, economic statistics and a federal government white paper to determine whether the then existing social and economic circumstances constituted a national emergency - The Supreme Court of Canada declared the Anti-Inflation Act valid - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the legislation and the extrinsic materials tended to show that the Parliament of Canada in enacting the Anti-Inflation Act had a rational basis for considering that a national economic crisis existed.

Constitutional Law - Topic 4663

Peace, order and good government clause - The national concern or national dimension power - Scope of the power - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that parliament cannot under the peace, order and good government clause enact "national concern" legislation which invades provincial powers unless the "national concern" constitutes a national emergency - See paragraphs 96 to 199.

Constitutional Law - Topic 4604

Peace, order and good government clause - Scope of the federal power - General principles - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that it could not and should not attempt to define the situations or eventualities which would qualify the federal government to enact legislation under the peace, order and good government power - See paragraph 49.

Constitutional Law - Topic 2586

Determination of the validity of statutes - Aids in determining the legislative subject matter of a statute - Extrinsic materials - The Supreme Court of Canada considered extrinsic material, including economic statistics and a federal government white paper, to determine whether the then existing social and economic conditions constituted a national emergency which would support the enactment of the Anti-Inflation Act by the federal government under the peace, order and good government power - See paragraphs 11 to 18 and 100 and 193.

Constitutional Law - Topic 2581

Determination of the validity of statutes - Extrinsic aids in determining legislative subject matter - General principles - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the kinds of extrinsic materials which may be considered depends upon the nature of the constitutional issue under consideration - See paragraph 13.

Constitutional Law - Topic 2586

Determination of the validity of statutes - Extrinsic aids in determining legislative subject matter - Extrinsic materials - Use of extrinsic materials - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that extrinsic materials should not be considered in terms of truth but should be considered in terms of whether there existed a rational basis for the exercise of the legislative power invoked in support of the impugned statute - See paragraph 67.

Constitutional Law - Topic 2504

Determination of the validity of statutes - General principles - Consideration of likely success of goal or object of a statute - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the wisdom or expediency or likely success of a particular policy expressed in legislation is not a proper subject for judicial review - See paragraph 71.

Crown - Topic 550

Orders in council - Authority of a provincial executive council to adopt a federal statute - The executive council of the Province of Ontario, without statutory authority, authorized a minister to sign an agreement with the federal government which purported to apply the Federal Anti-Inflation Act to employees of the Province of Ontario - The Supreme Court of Canada declared that the agreement did not make the Anti-Inflation Act applicable to public employees in Ontario - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that there is no principle that the Crown may legislate by order in council to bind citizens where the Crown acts without the support of a statute of the legislature - See paragraphs 78 to 94.

Words and Phrases

Emergency - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the meaning of the word "emergency" in constitutional law - See paragraph 97.

Words and Phrases

National emergency - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the meaning of the words "national emergency" in constitutional law - See paragraph 97.

Cases Noticed:

Reference re Alberta Legislation, [1938] S.C.R. 100, folld. [para. 12].

Attorney General of Alberta v. Attorney General of Canada, [1939] A.C. 117, folld. [para. 12].

Lower Mainland Dairy Products Board v. Turner's Dairy Ltd., [1941] S.C.R. 573, folld. [para. 13].

Attorney General of Saskatchewan v. Attorney General of Canada, [1949] A.C. 110, folld. [para. 14].

Russell v. The Queen (1882), 7 App. Cas. 829, folld. [para. 14]; refd to. [paras. 22, 137].

Texada Mines Ltd. v. Attorney General of British Columbia, [1960] S.C.R. 713, folld. [para. 15].

Cairns Construction Ltd. v. Government of Saskatchewan (1958), 16 D.L.R.(2d) 465, folld. [para. 15].

Attorney General of Canada v. Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd., [1961] S.C.R. 775, folld. [para. 16].

Reference re Employment and Social Insurance Act, [1936] S.C.R. 427, affd. [1937] A.C. 355, folld. [para. 17].

Attorney General of Ontario v. Canada Temperance Federation, [1946] A.C. 193, refd to. [para. 22]; dist. [para. 114].

In re Board of Commerce Act, [1922] 1 A.C. 191, refd to. [para. 22].

Fort Frances Pulp & Power Co. Ltd. v. Manitoba Free Press Co. Ltd., [1923] A.C. 695, refd to. [para. 22]; folld. [para. 153].

Toronto Electric Commissioners v. Snider, [1925] A.C. 396, refd to. [para. 22]; folld. [para. 110].

Co-Operative Committee on Japanese Canadians v. Attorney General of Canada, [1947] A.C. 87, refd to. [paras. 22, 144]; folld. [paras. 96, 153].

Reference re Wartime Leasehold Regulations, [1950] S.C.R. 124, refd to. [paras. 23, 146]; folld. [paras. 96, 153, 167].

Labour Conventions Case, [1937] A.C. 326, refd to. [paras. 24, 49]; folld. [para. 164].

Reference re Natural Products Marketing Act, [1936] S.C.R. 398, refd to. [paras. 24, 50]; dist. [para. 126].

Attorney General of Ontario v. Attorney General of Canada, [1896] A.C. 348, refd to. [para. 25].

Bank of Toronto v. Lambe (1887), 12 App. Cas. 575, refd to. [para. 27].

Fredericton v. The Queen (1880), 3 S.C.R. 505, refd to. [para. 28].

In re Companies (1913), 48 S.C.R. 331, refd to. [para. 31].

Manitoba Licence Holders' Case, [1902] A.C. 73, refd to. [para. 31].

Attorney General of Canada v. Attorney General of Alberta, [1916] 1 A.C. 588, refd to. [para. 37].

Murphy v. C.P.R. and Attorney General of Canada, [1958] S.C.R. 626, refd to. [para. 43].

R. v. Eastern Terminal Elevator Co., [1925] S.C.R. 434, refd to. [para. 47].

Canadian Federation of Agriculture v. Attorney General of Quebec, [1951] A.C. 179, refd to. [para. 55]; folld. [paras. 110, 165].

In re Regulation and Control of Radio Communication in Canada, [1932] A.C. 304, refd to. [para. 58]; dist. [para. 114].

In re Regulation and Control of Aeronautics in Canada, [1932] A.C. 54, refd to. [para. 58]; dist. [para. 114].

Munro v. National Capital Commission, [1966] S.C.R. 663, refd to. [para. 58]; dist. [para. 114].

Pronto Uranium Mines Ltd. v. Ontario Labour Relations Board, [1956] O.R. 862, refd to. [para. 58].

Johannesson v. West St. Paul, [1952] 1 S.C.R. 292, refd to. [para. 58]; dist. [para. 114].

Citizens Insurance Co. v. Parsons (1881), 7 App. Cas. 96, refd to. [paras. 75, 140].

Margarine Case, [1949] S.C.R. 1, refd to. [para. 77].

Ex parte Kleinys (1965), 49 D.L.R.(2d) 225, refd to. [para. 84].

Smith v. Attorney General of Canada, [1924] S.C.R. 331, dist. [para. 85].

Reference re Troops in Cape Breton, [1930] S.C.R. 554, dist. [para. 90].

Attorney General of Canada v. Higbie, [1945] S.C.R. 385, dist. [para. 91].

New South Wales v. Bardolph (1934), 52 C.L.R. 455, dist. [para. 92].

Attorney General of British Columbia v. Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway Co., [1950] A.C. 87, refd to. [para. 93].

Combines and Fair Prices Act, 1919, [1922] A.C. 191, folld. [para. 110].

Shannon v. Lower Mainland Dairy Products Board, [1938] A.C. 708, folld. [para. 110].

Home Oil Distributors Ltd. v. Attorney General of British Columbia, [1940] S.C.R. 444, folld. [para. 110].

Canadian Federation of Agriculture v. Attorney General of Quebec, [1951] A.C. 179, folld. [paras. 110, 165].

Carnation Company Limited and the Quebec Agricultural Marketing Board, [1968] S.C.R. 238, folld. [para. 110].

Vapor Canada Ltd. v. Macdonald & Macdonald (1976), 7 N.R. 477, folld. [para. 110].

Unemployment Insurance Reference, [1937] A.C. 555, folld. [para. 110].

Labour Conventions Reference, [1936] S.C.R. 461; [1937] A.C. 326, folld. [paras. 110, 164].

Canadian Pacific Railway v. Attorney General for British Columbia - the Empress Hotel case, [1950] A.C. 122, folld. [para. 110].

Insurance Reference Case (1913), 48 S.C.R. 260, dist. [para. 122].

Unemployment Insurance Reference, [1936] S.C.R. 427, dist. [para. 128].

Local Prohibition Case (1896), A.C. 348, refd to. [para. 137].

John Deere Plow Company v. Wharton, [1915] A.C. 330, refd to. [para. 140].

Statutes Noticed:

Anti-Inflation Act, Statutes of Canada (passed on December 15, 1975).

British North America Act 1867, sect. 91.

Authors and Works Noticed:

LeDain, Gerald; Sir Lyman Duff and the Constitution (1974), 12 Osgoode Hall Law Journal, page 261 [para. 134].

Lederman, W.R.; Unity and Diversity in Canadian Federalism (1975), 53 Canadian Bar Review, page 596 [para. 134].

Dicey, Law of the Constitution (10th edition, 1959), pp. 50-54 [para. 89].

Counsel:

J.J. Robinette, Q.C. and T.B. Smith, Q.C., for the Attorney General of Canada;

Roy McMurtry, Q.C., D.W. Mundell, Q.C. and John Cavarzan, for the Attorney General of Ontario;

Roger Thibaudeau, Q.C. and Gerald Beaudoin, Q.C., for the Attorney General of Quebec;

D.H. Vickers, H. Smith and R. Edwards, for the Attorney General of British Columbia;

K. Lysyk, Q.C. and D.G. Bogdasavich, for the Attorney General of Saskatchewan;

Ross Paisley, Q.C. and W. Henkel, Q.C., for the Attorney General of Alberta;

Maurice W. Wright, Q.C., P.W. Hogg and L. Soloway, for the Canadian Labour Congress;

J.W. Garrow and R. Gilchrist, for the Ontario Teacher's Federation;

A.E. Golden, W.R. Lederman, Q.C. and Paul J. Cavaluzzo, for Renfrew County Division, District 25, Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation and Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation;

Ian Scott, Q.C., S.T. Goudge and C.G. Paliare, for the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union and the Canadian Union of Public Employees and Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1230;

Lorne Ingle, for the United Steel Workers of America.

This reference was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada on May 31, 1976 and June 1, 2, 3 and 4, 1976. Judgment was delivered by the Supreme Court of Canada on July 12, 1976 and the following opinions were filed:

LASKIN, C.J.C. - see paragraphs 1 to 95.

RITCHIE, J. - see paragraphs 96 to 105.

BEETZ, J. - dissenting in part, see paragraphs 106 to 199.

JUDSON, SPENCE and DICKSON, JJ., concurred with LASKIN, C.J.C.

MARTLAND and PIGEON, JJ., concurred with RITCHIE, J.

de GRANDPRE, J., concurred with BEETZ, J.

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