In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews203 Welsh Carlyle," the night of her death, a Mrs. Warren is a key figure (196-197), but in this edition, there is no mention of the fact that she is the Carlyles' housekeeper. Nonetheless, despite such minor omissions as the nature of Mrs. Warren's profession, Fielding and Campbell have finally given us a complete and reasonably edited text of a fascinating work that might now receive the kind of attention and criticism that has largely avoided it in its all too notorious past ANNESKABARNICKI Royal Military College of Canada Garth Stevenson, Ex Uno Plures. Federal-Provincial Relations in Canada 1867-1896. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's UP, 1993. xi + 401. This book is a comprehensive and critical analysis of federal provincial relations in Canada in the formative period 1867-96. The Latin text in the title, Ex Uno Plures (from one, many) is significant because it was a revealing observation made by George Etienne Cartier, one of the prominent Fathers of Confederation and it clearly serves to distinguish Canadian federalism from the American variant E Pluribus Unum (from many, one). In focusing on the period 1867-97, Stevenson is exploring a crucial period in Canadian federalism that has been ignored by others and one that has been characterized by enduring myths. Tradition, for example, would have us believe that the true federal state emerged only after the death of John A. Macdonald and that the strong central government he so desired followed him to the grave. To provide an accurate assessment of political and constitutional developments in the Macdonald era Stevenson has analysed political practices and political disputes. In his introductory chapter the author rejects the theory that Confederation was die product of economic determinism or a conscious design. The author argues that Confederation embodied the perceived needs of the British North American colonists at a critical juncture in their history. Economics and the social environment fashioned the relationships between the federal and provincial governments. Each provinces had its own interests to promote and this, along with partisan politics, determined its agenda with Ottawa. While Confederation altered existing relationships between Canada East and Canada West as they became Quebec and 204Victorian Review Ontario, it created a new world for the Maritimes in which they found themselves to be isolated, remote and lacking influence. Confederation disrupted and re-oriented traditional economic and political relationships in the Maritimes and this caused additional discontent and dissatisfaction. The entry of Manitoba and British Columbia created other problems that challenged the bonds of Confederation and gave rise to the phenomenon of western alienation. These two western provinces generated a disproportionate number of the issues that exacerbated dominion-provincial relationships and this widened the rift between east and west. The western provinces felt that their legitimate grievances were being ignored by a distant and uncaring central administration. For its part, the federal government tended to regard the western provinces as too demanding, requiring undue attention and resources and ultimately ungrateful. Stevenson concludes that this was the price Canada paid to create a transcontinental nation. As could be expected in the circumstances, intergovernmental relations were complex and controversial. There were disputes over finances, land, railways, schools and religion. These issues not only strained relationships between Ottawa and the provinces but also links between the federal and provincial wings of political parties. The Macdonald government created the Department of the Secretary of State to facilitate relations between the federal government and the provinces but it never became a central agency to promote that objective. According to the author, that pivotal role was assumed by the Department of Justice, a portfolio held by Macdonald as Prime Minister. By dispensing judicial patronage and providing legal advice to the government the Department of Justice provided Macdonald with a powerful instrument with which to protect and enhance the authority of the central government. The Department of Finance was the other ministry that played and influential role in federal-provincial relations because many of the issues that emerged were related to money matters. Despite the political and constitutional resources of the Dominion Stevenson contends that it is false to conclude that the provinces were reduced to subordination during Macdonald's...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 203-206
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.