Dalhousie Law Journal


Thomas A. Levy


Provincial international status, Canadian Federalism, International Law


The question as to whether the Canadian provinces possess international status caused much ink to flow in Canadian legal discourse from 1965 to 19681. Although the practical problems incident to an alleged provincial international personality remain with us in the mid 1970's, the lawyers have maintained a low profile from 1968 to 1971. In 1971 Anne-Marie Jacomy-Millette's doctoral dissertation was published as L'introduction et l'application des trait~s internationaux au Canada.2 In 1973 Ivan Bernier's magisterial doctoral thesis was published under the title International Legal Aspects of Federalism.3 Although no new ground was broken, Professor Bernier stated the existing comparative and international law on federalism and international relations clearly and thoroughly. In 1974 the publication of Canadian Perspectives on International, Law and Organization4 kept the Canadian controversy going in that two articles dealt explicitly with the issue of provincial international status, while a number of other studies mentioned the problem in passing. In that Gerald L. Morris' "Canadian Federalism and International Law" and Andr6 Dufour's "F6d6ralisme canadien et droit intemationale''5 presented respectively the federal and the Quebec viewpoints, it is perhaps time that the question of provincial international personality be reviewed from a reasonably objective standpoint.