Dalhousie Law Journal


Canada, Constitution Act, section 36, spending, public services, federal, provincial, jurisdiction


This paper explores the history of constitutional negotiations that have led to the entrenchment of section 36 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The author argues that the intention of the federal proponents of this section was to entrench the federal spending power. The author further demonstrates that section 36 entails not just constitutional recognition of the spending power, but also a constitutional commitment or obligation for the exercise of that power to provide "essential public services of a reasonable quality to all Canadians" s. 36 (1)(c).