Committee and Commission Reports
Copyright 1994-2019 William F. Maton
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The following are some Committee and Commission reports studying various proposals or
amendments to the Constitution. Please keep in mind that these
reports may have a political bias and that it is important to
keep their content in context of their historical settings.
There are also some Commission Reports here that are of relevance to the Proposals section of this site.
- Special Committee on British North America Act, 17th Parliament, 6th Session, 1935. House of Commons Committee Orders of Reference, Report on the British North America Act. Also Vol 1, Second Report June 19, 1935.
- Had little to no support outside the federal government to participate
- Would eventually lead to the creation of the Royal Commission on
Dominion-Provincial Relations, established in 1937.
- Spawned several sub-committees, one of which looked at the constitution and an amending formula.
- Report of the Sub-Committee of the Committee Convened for January 28, 1936,
Pursuant to a Resolution Approved by the Dominion-Provincial Conference, 1935,
to Consider a Method of Procedure to Amend the Caadian Constitution.
- Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations, established in 1937 (Rowell-Sirois). (Order-in-Council PC 1937-1908, PC 1937-2880, PC 1938-2946)
- Rowell-Sirois Commission Report, 1940.
- A detailed study of federal-provincial relations around the era of the
later part of the Great Depression. It contains what is probably the only
highly researched examination of the financial relationship between the
provinces and the central government.
- Did not directly address the issues around the constitution, but settled on opining
the federal and provincial governments should resolve this amongst themselves.
- Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, 1963-1970 (Order-in-Council PC 1963-1106)
- Also known and the "Bi & Bi" Commission.
- Special Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada (Molgat-MacGuigan), 1970. 28th Parliament, 2nd Session: Order of Reference of the Senate Feb. 17, 1970, Issue 1 pp. 1:3-4; Orders of Reference of the House of Commons, Jan. 27, 1970, Feb. 26, 1970, Mar. 9, 1970, Issue 1 pp. 1:5-6; 28th Parliament, 3rd Session: Order of Reference of the Senate, Oct. 8, 1970, Order of Reference of the House of Commons, Oct. 15, 1970, Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4, Vol 5, Vol 6, Vol 7, Vol 8, House of Commons First Report Mar. 5, 1970 p. 1:10, Second Report May 20, 1970 p. 1:10; 28th Parliament, 4th Session: Orders [sic] of Reference of the Senate, Mar. 1, 1972, Order of Reference of the House of Commons, Feb. 29, 1972. Vol 1, Report in English and in French.
- Did its work between February 1970 and June 1972 across 2 parliamentary sessions.
- Wide scope, which included sessions in 47 cities and towns.
- Sought to turn the failure of the Victoria Charter as an opportunity.
- No further activity on the constitution until prime minister Trudeau initiated
discussions again with a letter to the provincial premiers on April 19, 1975.
- Special Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada, 1978, 30th Parliament, 3rd Session: Minutes and Proceedings and Evidence Orders of Reference of the Senate, Jun. 27, 28, 29, 1978 pp. 1:3-4, Orders of Reference of the House of Commons; Senate First Report, Jun. 30, 1978, p. 1:6; House of Commons First Report, Jun. 30, 1978 p. 1:7; Vol 1, Report Issue 20, Oct. 10, 1978; Second Report tabled in Senate (from Debates), Second Report presented Oct 10, 1978 in the House of Commons Journals.
- Special Committee of the Senate on the Constitution, 1978, 30th Parliament, 3rd Session; Minutes and Proceedings and Evidence Order of Reference of the Senate, June 28, 1978 p 1:3; Interim Report, Oct. 10, 1978, Issue 93, p. 613, Journals Vol. 123; 30th Parliament, 4th Session; Minutes and Proceedings and Evidence Order of Reference of the Senate Oct. 10, 1978. Vol 1; First Report Oct. 18, 1978, p. 1:5.
- The Task Force on Canadian Unity (Pepin-Robarts Commission), 1978. Also. (PC 1977-1910, PC 1977-2361, PC 1977-2362, PC 1978-573)
- Created in the wake of the election of the Parti Québécois in the 1976 election in Quebec.
- Conclusion of the commission was to restructure federalism to promote both dualism and regionalism they believed present in Canada at the time.
- Would change the name of the Senate to the "Council of the Federation" filled with provincial delegations.
- Would use proportional representation of some kind in elections
- Include a charter of rights
- Seemed to promote decentralism which the Trudeau government was against.
- Special Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada, (Hays-Joyal) 1980-81. Orders of Reference of the Senate, Nov. 3, 1980, Nov. 5, 1980, Nov. 13, 1980, Dec. 2, 1980, Feb. 5, 1981, pp. 57:40-42; Orders of Reference of the House of Commons, Oct. 23, 1980, Oct. 28, 1980, Nov. 13, 1980, Dec. 2, 1980, Feb 4, 1981, pp. 57:42-43; Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4, Vol 5. Report to Parliament, Issue 57, pp. 2-37, Feb 13, 1981.
- Can trace the development of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which had evolved considerably to include more rights than previous proposals.
- Heard from over nine hundred individuals and organizations.
- Some submissions.
- Senate, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Their Report on Certain Aspects of the Canadian Constitution, for the Senate of Canada, 1980. Also Order of Reference of the Senate, Jun. 25, 1980; Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Report.
- A comprehensive review of the issues regarding the Constitution of Canada
including an explanation of the different federal powers at issue.
- Report is divided into 2 parts: Creating a new Federal-Provincial Council; and a renewed Senate.
- Conducted in parallel to the work of the Special Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada, (Hays-Joyal) 1980.
- Special Joint Committee on Senate Reform (Molgat-MacLaren/Cosgrove), 32nd Parliament, 1st and 2nd Sessions, 1983-84. Also 32nd Parliament, 1st Session, Orders of Reference of the Senate, Dec. 20, 1982, April 21, 1983, pp 1:3-4; Orders of Reference of the House of Commons, Dec. 22, 1982, April 21, 1983, pp 1:5-6; Vol 1, Vol 2; 32nd Parliament, 2nd Session, Report.
- Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, (Constitution Amendment Proclamation, 1983) 1983. 32nd Parliament, 1st and 2nd Sessions, Order of Reference, Senate Journals, p. 3109; Minutes of the Proceedings of the Senate: Order of Reference; Report attached as Appendix A, Senate Debates. p 6055; Tabled Oct. 13, 1983, Senate Debates, p 6046. Result: Motion to adopt passed Nov. 2, 1983, Senate Debates, p 6138; Order of Reference from Senate p 69:3, Minutes and Proceedings Issue No. 69. Result: Motion to adopt passed.
- A very short report is to be found in the debates listed, so no separately published report exists.
- House of Commons Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development, (Constitution Amendment Proclamation, 1983) 1983. 32nd Parliament, 1st Session: Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence: Order of Reference, p 69:3, Issue 69, June 27, 1983; Issue 70, June 28, 1983.
- Special Joint Committee on The 1987 Constitutional Accord (Meech Lake) (Tremblay-Speyer) Committee Report, 33rd Parliament, 2nd Session, 1987. Also Order of Reference of the Senate Jun. 17, 1987, p 1:3-4, Orders of Reference of the House of Commons, Jun. 16, 1987, Jun 26, 1987, p. 1:5-6; Vol 1, Vol 2, Report.
- Special Committee to study the Proposed Companion Resolution to the Meech Lake Accord (Charest), 1991. Report. Also Order of Reference of the House of Commons, Mar. 27, 1990, p 1:3, Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Report.
- Report on Citizens' Forum on Canada's Future (The Spicer Commission) 1991. (Order-in-Council PC 1990-2347)
- The Special Joint Committee on Process for amending the Constitution of Canada (Beaudoin-Edwards), 1991. Report. Also, 34th Parliament, 2nd Session, Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 4, Vol 4; and, 34th Parliament, 3rd session: Vol 1, Report.
- Proposed re-adopting the Victoria Charter's amending procedure, giving Ontario and Quebec vetoes. Rejected by 3 provinces.
- Proposed that a consultative referendum be held for any future constitutional proposals.
- The Special Joint Committee on the Government of Canada's Proposals for a Renewed Canada (Charlottetown Accord) (Castonguay/Beaudoin-Dobbie Report). Orders [sic] of Reference of the Senate, Jun. 21, 1991, pp 1:3-4; Order of Reference of the House of Commons, Jun. 19, 1991, Sep. 25, 1991, pp 1:5-6; Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4, Vol 5, Report.
- Ontario Select Committee on Ontario in Confederation (Silipo), minutes (1991).
- Legislative Committee on Bill C-81, an Act to provide for referendums on the Constitution of Canada (Thacker), 1992. Order of Reference of House of Commons, May 21, 1992, p 1:3. Vol 1. Result: Referendum Act.
- Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (Carstairs-Doody), 1996. Report on Newfoundland Term 17.
- The Special Joint Committee to amend Section 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867, concerning the Quebec School System (Pépin-Paradis), 1997. Minutes of Meetings, Report. Result: Constitution Amendment, 1997, (Quebec).
- Special Joint Committee on the Amendment to Term 17 of the Terms of Union of Newfoundland (Fairbairn-Byrne), 1997. Minutes of Meetings, Report. Result: Constitution Act, 1998 (Newfoundland Act).
Last HTML revision: 11 July, 2019.
William F. Maton