Confinements, déplacements et urgence nationale
le partage des compétences en temps de crise sanitaire
Keywords:Federalism, Pandemic, Quarantine, Borders, Federal jurisdiction, Provincial jurisdiction, Health, Cooperative federalism
The Canadian Constitution is based on the principle of federalism and its underlying principles of coordinated interpretation, balance between the powers of Parliament and the provinces, and reconciliation of diversity and unity. These principles continue to apply in times of health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis has raised new questions about which level, or both, can legislate and regulate issues such as quarantine and interprovincial borders. This article explores the arguments that could be made in support of federal and provincial jurisdictions, and discusses the federal emergency power that could temporarily override this division of powers. Our analysis is essentially prospective as there is no Supreme Court of Canada decision on these specific heads of jurisdictional power.