AuthorGregory Tardi
In , a number of disparate British colonies in North America,
that had not wanted to form part of the United States, joined into
a single country. ey were distant from each other and each had a
society and polity distinct from the others; the only way these col-
onies could unite was thus to federate. is history requires interro-
gation. What does the concept of “federalism” mean and how does a
federation dier from a unitary state? e foundational explanation
of these questions was penned by the Oxford academic Kenneth C
Wheare, now studied by generations of university students. e
present study by Professors Brock and Hale focuses specif‌ically on
Canada as an example of a federal state and explains both the char-
acteristics of Canadian federalism and the evolution of the practice
of federalism in the decades since “Confederation.
For the practical citizen, federalism can appear to mean dupli-
cation: besides the federal Parliament, each province and territory
has its own legislature. Similarly, it can entail a bewildering division
in public services: employment insurance and old age pensions are
delivered by federal departments, while education and health care
are provided at the provincial level, entailing local dierences and
distinctions. e distinctions can be even more confusing when one
realizes that substantive criminal law is within federal jurisdiction,

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