The health crisis shows us that federalism respectful of the provincial powers may be effective in times of crisis. The recent statements by Justin Trudeau, however, seem to us to indicate that this collaboration will not last long.
Canadian federalism has always appeared as a madhouse, where the interests of some were often inconsistent with the interests of others.
The economy of Quebec, for example, share that too rarely have the same strategic interests as the Western provinces, mainly in the energy sector.
We have the hydro, they have the oil. This divides the way we organize our societies.
But, let’s say this today : canadian federalism worked fairly well since the beginning of the crisis.
The federal complémentait the provinces through economic measures, colossal, the provinces kept themselves and worked together to establish the best sanitary practices possible.
The good side of federalism
Even if the federal government had played quite well its role of economic lever and co-ordination between provinces.
Without the federal State, most of Quebec – as more Albertans, Ontarians, and so on – would be in a position of financial insecurity.
These two key measures – the Provision of canadian emergency (PCU) and the programme wage subsidy of 75% for SMES – demonstrate its ability to expend unpublished, to assist the Canadians.
Of an ocean to another and from one social class to another, few of them are forgotten by the federal government and it is to the credit of the government of Trudeau.
The respect of provincial jurisdictions
Up to now, the federal government has left crisis a real freedom of action to the provinces.
Depending on their situation of their own, each province was able to make the decisions that their coming back home.
But now the government of Justin Trudeau did not rule out this Friday as residences for the elderly are now governed by the canadian health system.
We arracherait so the power to the provinces to administer the homes for elders.
It is incomprehensible on the part of the Trudeau government which completely contradicts his collaborative approach from the beginning of the crisis.
Add to this the federal aid of $ 9 billion to students risk of harm – if not cancel – the efforts of the government Legault to encourage young people to work in agricultural enterprises.
Coordination should be established between the two governments, and it is the responsibility of the federal government to ensure it. They have not done so.
Lesson for the future
It is a lesson for those who hope for the good functioning of federalism in the long term : federalism works well when the federal government establishes a relationship of equals with the ten provinces.
It is sustainable only when it respects these two pillars : the autonomy of the provinces in these fields of expertise and the non-subordination of government orders.
What the federal governments have not used since the beginning of canadian Confederation 1867.
And that, alas, is watching the Trudeau government in the coming weeks.
Trying to snatch powers to the provinces, the Trudeau government shop now a clash of constitutional.
This is not what we need when the lives of millions of Canadians is at stake.