Canadian Federalism: A Reflection

AuthorKathy L. Brock/Geoffrey Hale
 
Canadian Federalism: A Reflection
When debating the terms of what became Canada’s  Consti-
tution, the thirty-three founders opted to blend federalism with
parliamentary government based primarily on pragmatic consider-
ations. is hybrid governing system ultimately a recognition of
divided sovereignty under the formal unity of the Crown was
necessary to secure the consent of the British colonies but also was
viewed as a means of ensuring that the new country, Canada, could
not be riven by the kinds of conf‌licts that had almost destroyed
the American federation. e analysis of the roots of the Canadian
system of government often stops there, particularly in the current
atmosphere of disparaging historical paradigms and constructs as
inconsistent with contemporary realities. As a result, the core ideas
that have animated Canadian history, and underpinned its suc-
cesses as a c ountry embracing diverse cultures, nations, and peoples,
languish often forgotten, or even worse, derided as outmoded or
irrelevant. ese postures undervalue the importance of the f‌irst
principles and the ingenuity involved in creating this truly innov-
ative mix of institutions that has preserved Canada in its diversity
and enabled it to meet signif‌icant challenges throughout its history,
if often after considerable trial and error. e chapters in this book
have captured many of those controversies. Now these concluding

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