TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND THE CONSTITUTION: RE-SETTING THE BOUNDS OF FEDERAL AUTHORITY
AbstractRecent decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada have some potentially important implications for the federal-provincial division of powers over telecommunications. Consolidated Fastfrate Inc v Western Canada Council of Teamsters, which established that freightforwarders are not s 92(10)(a) undertakings, raises a new question about which level of government has constitutional authority over nonfacilities- based telecommunications service providers. At the same time, the line of cases beginning with Canadian Western Bank v Alberta, which restricted the scope of the doctrine of interjurisdictional immunity, means that telecommunications service providers subject to federal jurisdiction are potentially subject to provincial laws in a broader range of circumstances. This article explores how recent case law is redefining the scope of federal authority over telecommunications.
Keywords:Constitution, telecommunications, division of powers, interjurisdictional immunity
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