Putnam and Cramer v. Attorney General of Alberta et al., (1981) 37 N.R. 1 (SCC)

JudgeLaskin, C.J.C., Martland, Ritchie, Dickson, Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Chouinard and Lamer, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateMay 28, 1981
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1981), 37 N.R. 1 (SCC);[1981] 6 WWR 217;123 DLR (3d) 257;28 AR 387;37 NR 1;1981 CanLII 206 (SCC);[1981] 2 SCR 267;62 CCC (2d) 51

Putnam v. Alta. (A.G.) (1981), 37 N.R. 1 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

Putnam and Cramer v. Attorney General of Alberta et al.

Indexed As: Putnam and Cramer v. Attorney General of Alberta et al.

Supreme Court of Canada

Laskin, C.J.C., Martland, Ritchie, Dickson, Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Chouinard and Lamer, JJ.

May 28, 1981.

Summary:

This case arose out of a complaint and an inquiry into the conduct of two R.C.M.P. officers under s. 33 of the Alberta Police Act. On appeal the police officers objected to the jurisdiction of the Law Enforcement Appeal Board on the ground that s. 33 of the Police Act was ultra vires the Province of Alberta. The police officers applied to the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench for a writ of prohibition.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench granted the police officers a writ of prohibition to stop the appeal. The Alberta Attorney General appealed to the Alberta Court of Appeal.

The Alberta Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and held that it was ultra vires the province to investigate and discipline members of the R.C.M.P. because the federal government had legislated in the area and the federal legislation was paramount. The judgment of the Alberta Court of Appeal is reported at 22 A.R. 510. The Attorney General of Alberta appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal.

Dickson, J., dissenting, in the Supreme Court of Canada, would have allowed the appeal on the ground that the province has the constitutional authority to discipline, in a limited manner, all police officers engaged in administering justice within the province (see paragraph 61).

Constitutional Law - Topic 7402

Provincial jurisdiction and enumeration in s. 92 of the British North America Act - Administration of justice, s. 92(14) - Extent of subject matter - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the Alberta Police Act could not validly authorize the investigation and discipline of members of the R.C.M.P. who acted under a contract (between the Government of Canada and the City of Wetaskiwin, Alberta) to provide municipal policing services (see paragraphs 1 to 14).

Constitutional Law - Topic 7411

Provincial jurisdiction - Administration of justice - The police power - Dickson, J., in the Supreme Court of Canada referred to the police or law enforcement powers of a province (see paragraphs 40 to 43).

Cases Noticed:

Attorney General of Quebec and Keable v. Attorney General of Canada, [1979] 1 S.C.R. 218; 24 N.R. 1, folld. [para. 6], refd to. [para. 39].

Di Iorio v. Warden of the Common Jail of the City of Montreal, [1978] 1 S.C.R. 152; 8 N.R. 361, refd to. [para. 15].

Hauser v. The Queen, [1979] 1 S.C.R. 984, 26 N.R. 541; 16 A.R. 91, refd to. [para. 15].

R. and Archer v. White, [1956] S.C.R. 154, refd to. [para. 17].

Adoption Act, Reference re, [1938] S.C.R. 398, refd to. [para. 40].

Prohibitory Liquor Laws, In re (1898), 24 S.C.R. 170, refd to. [para. 40].

Construction Montcalm Inc. v. Minimum Wage Commission, [1979] 1 S.C.R. 754, 25 N.R. 1, refd to. [paras. 78 and 83].

Cardinal v. Attorney General of Alberta, [1974] S.C.R. 695, refd to. [para. 79].

Commission du Salaire Minimum v. Bell Telephone Co., [1966] S.C.R. 767, refd to. [para. 80].

Smith v. The Queen, [1960] S.C.R. 776, refd to. [para. 82].

O'Grady v. Sparling, [1960] S.C.R. 804, refd to. [para. 83].

R. v. Aziz (1981), 35 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 92].

Statutes Noticed:

Police Act, S.A. 1973, c. 44, sect. 2 [para. 32], sect. 33 [para. 8].

British North America Act 1867, sect. 91(27), sect. 92(14).

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. R-9, sect. 21 [para. 36].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Law Reform Commission of Canada, The Police [para. 18].

Kelley, Policing in Canada (1976), pages 6 to 9 [para. 45].

House of Commons Debates, April 10, 1922, p. 831 [para. 55].

Horral, Pictorial History of the R.C.M.P., page 185 [para. 56].

Counsel:

R.W. Paisley, Q.C., and William Henkel, Q.C., for the appellants;

D.W. Mundell, Q.C., for the intervenant Attorney General of Ontario;

Henri Brun, for the intervenant Attorney General of Quebec;

Martin E. Herschorn and Kenneth W. Fiske, for the intervenant Attorney General of Nova Scotia;

H. Hazen Strange, Q.C., for the intervenant Attorney General of New Brunswick;

Louis F. Lindholm and P. Pearlman, for the intervenant Attorney General of British Columbia;

N.D. Shende and R.S. Perozzo, for the intervenant Attorney General of Manitoba;

George Taylor, Q.C., for the intervenant Attorney General of Saskatchewan;

M.G. Stevens Guille, for the respondents;

D.H. Christie, Q.C., and S.R. Fainstein, for the Attorney General of Canada.

This appeal was heard by LASKIN, C.J.C., MARTLAND, RITCHIE, DICKSON, BEETZ, ESTEY, McINTYRE, CHOUINARD and LAMER, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada at Ottawa, Ontario on December 10 and 11, 1980.

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered on May 28, 1981 and the following opinions were filed:

LASKIN, C.J.C. - see paragraphs 1 to 14;

DICKSON, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 15 to 98.

MARTLAND, RITCHIE, BEETZ, ESTEY, McINTYRE, CHOUINARD and LAMER, JJ., concurred with LASKIN, C.J.C.

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28 practice notes
  • Canadian Western Bank et al. v. Alberta, (2007) 409 A.R. 207 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 31 Mayo 2007
    ...General) v. Canada (Attorney General), [1979] 1 S.C.R. 218; 24 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 62]. Alberta (Attorney General) v. Putnam, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 267; 37 N.R. 1; 28 A.R. 387, refd to. [para. Multiple Access Ltd. v. McCutcheon et al., [1982] 2 S.C.R. 161; 44 N.R. 181, refd to. [para. 71]. Ba......
  • Canadian Western Bank et al. v. Alberta, (2007) 362 N.R. 111 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 31 Mayo 2007
    ...General) v. Canada (Attorney General), [1979] 1 S.C.R. 218; 24 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 62]. Alberta (Attorney General) v. Putnam, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 267; 37 N.R. 1; 28 A.R. 387, refd to. [para. Multiple Access Ltd. v. McCutcheon et al., [1982] 2 S.C.R. 161; 44 N.R. 181, refd to. [para. 71]. Ba......
  • Sources of Criminal Procedure
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Criminal Procedure. Fourth Edition
    • 23 Junio 2020
    ...Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or, more commonly, as the Charter . 4 See, for example, Alberta (Attorney General) v Putnam , [1981] 2 SCR 267. Sources of Criminal Procedure 9 to section 91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867 , which assigns authority over “the Procedure in Criminal M......
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Criminal Procedure. Fourth Edition
    • 23 Junio 2020
    ...406 DLR (4th) 368, 344 CCC (3d) 420 ........................................................561 Alberta (Attorney General) v Putnam, [1981] 2 SCR 267, 62 CCC (2d) 51, [1981] SCJ No 85 .................................................................. 8 Alder v Alberta (Attorney General) (19......
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19 cases
  • Canadian Western Bank et al. v. Alberta, (2007) 409 A.R. 207 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 31 Mayo 2007
    ...General) v. Canada (Attorney General), [1979] 1 S.C.R. 218; 24 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 62]. Alberta (Attorney General) v. Putnam, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 267; 37 N.R. 1; 28 A.R. 387, refd to. [para. Multiple Access Ltd. v. McCutcheon et al., [1982] 2 S.C.R. 161; 44 N.R. 181, refd to. [para. 71]. Ba......
  • Canadian Western Bank et al. v. Alberta, (2007) 362 N.R. 111 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 31 Mayo 2007
    ...General) v. Canada (Attorney General), [1979] 1 S.C.R. 218; 24 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 62]. Alberta (Attorney General) v. Putnam, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 267; 37 N.R. 1; 28 A.R. 387, refd to. [para. Multiple Access Ltd. v. McCutcheon et al., [1982] 2 S.C.R. 161; 44 N.R. 181, refd to. [para. 71]. Ba......
  • Gendis Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., (2006) 205 Man.R.(2d) 164 (CA)
    • Canada
    • Manitoba Court of Appeal (Manitoba)
    • 6 Junio 2006
    ...R. v. Stephens (J.G.) (1995), 86 O.A.C. 155; 102 C.C.C.(3d) 416 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 52]. Alberta (Attorney General) v. Putnam, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 267; 37 N.R. 1; 28 A.R. 387, refd to. [para. Finlay v. Canada, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 607; 71 N.R. 338, refd to. [para. 54]. Friends of the Island Inc.......
  • Rundel v. Braidwood, 2009 BCCA 604
    • Canada
    • British Columbia Court of Appeal (British Columbia)
    • 4 Diciembre 2009
    ...(Attorney General), [1979] 1 S.C.R. 218; 24 N.R. 1; 90 D.L.R.(3d) 161, refd to. [para. 45]. Alberta (Attorney General) v. Putnam, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 267; 37 N.R. 1; 28 A.R. 387; 123 D.L.R.(3d) 257, dist. [para. 45]. Di Iorio and Fontaine v. Warden of the Common Jail of Montreal (City), [1978] ......
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17 books & journal articles
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Constitutional Law. Fifth Edition Conclusion
    • 3 Agosto 2017
    ...Alberta (Attorney General) v. Putnam, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 267, 123 D.L.R. (3d) 257, [1981] S.C.J. No. 85 .................................................... 373 617 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 618 Alberta Government Telephones v. Canada (Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission), [1989] 2 S.C.R......
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Criminal Law. Eighth edition
    • 1 Septiembre 2022
    ...Adgey v R (1973), [1975] 2 SCR 426, 13 CCC (2d) 177, 23 CRNS 298 ..............540 AG (Alberta) v Putnam, [1981] 2 SCR 267, 123 DLR (3d) 257 ............................ 30 Anderton v Ryan, [1985] AC 560, [1985] 2 All ER 355, [1985] 2 WLR 968 (HL) .................................................
  • The Criminal Law and the Constitution
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Criminal Law. Eighth edition
    • 1 Septiembre 2022
    ...be punished by up to two years less a day imprisonment and $5,000 in ines. 35 Summary conviction ofences must 28 AG (Alberta) v Putnam , [1981] 2 SCR 267; Scowby v Glendinning , [1986] 2 SCR 226. 29 Code , above note 1, ss 25, 129, 270, 495, and 503. Peace oicers are deined in s 2. 30 Ibid ......
  • Sources of Criminal Procedure
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Criminal Procedure. Fourth Edition
    • 23 Junio 2020
    ...Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or, more commonly, as the Charter . 4 See, for example, Alberta (Attorney General) v Putnam , [1981] 2 SCR 267. Sources of Criminal Procedure 9 to section 91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867 , which assigns authority over “the Procedure in Criminal M......
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