OIL AND GAS UNDER THE NEW CONSTITUTION
AbstractThe Constitution Act 1982 confirms and enlarges provincial jurisdiction over oil and gas in several important ways. The provinces now have the undisputed right to legislate with respect to the economic development of a resource, the "exclusive" power to control production up to the refining or manufacturing stage, an unlimited taxing power, and the express power to legislate in relation to the export of oil and gas from the province to the rest of Canada. Although provincial legislative jurisdiction over oil and gas has been materially increased, the power to exercise that jurisdiction in the event of a conflict with federal legislation does not appear to have been significantly affected - the existing federal heads of jurisdiction remain in place and can still override conflicting provincial enactments. The amending formula contains a veto power which will enable a province to protect itself against future erosions of its legislative jurisdiction and proprietary rights over its non-renewable resources.
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