Bulletin n. 2/2016
December 2016
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Karen Busby
    Providing Essential Services of Reasonable Quality to All Canadians: Understanding Section 36(1)(c) of the Constitution Act, 1982
    in Review of Constitutional Studies/Revue d'études constitutionelles , volume 20, issue 2 ,  2016 ,  191-212
    Section 36(1)(c) has attracted little judicial or academic attention. I examine the text, context, historic circumstances, judicial determinations, and assertions by Canada in international fora respecting this constitutional provision in order to shed light on whether it contains a substantive right or simply expresses an aspiration. I further discuss the concept of "constitutional privity" to clarify whether or not it precludes anyone other than the federal or provincial governments from asserting an alleged breach in litigation. I also address the question of sources for determining the acceptable standards for "essential public services. "Underpinning this examination is the question of whether people living on a First Nation reserve that does not have access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation could make a claim against the federal government for failing to uphold the 36(1)(c) commitment "to provid[e] essential public services of reasonable quality to all Canadians."I conclude that each of the issues I address supports a 36(1)(c) claim.
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