What would John A. do?

Rob Silver has some questions about Maxime Bernier’s preferred reference point.

Of course you can’t pick and choose from the sacred Constitution Act, 1867 so I’m sure Bernier will have no problem with the Governor-General once again using his powers of disallowance and reservation. I mean, Sir John A. Macdonald routinely struck down provincial legislation he disagreed with, it was part of the pact that was struck back in 1867 so surely once we start “respecting the constitution,” future PM’s can pass judgment on any provincial bill he or she chooses per Bernier.

Disallowance was last used in 1943, but the power has never explicitly been revoked. As for John A., his views on federalism were complicated.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.