The Canadian Federal Constitutional Framework and the Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol
(2005) 5 Revue juridique polynésienne 125-146
22 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2006 Last revised: 5 May 2017
Date Written: 2005
The Kyoto Protocol raises constitutional issues for the Canadian federation. Because Canada was a British dominion when it was created in 1867, foreign affairs was not a head of competence. With independence, Ottawa has exercised the authority over the negotiation, conclusion and ratification of treaties. However, the dualistic approach to treaties applies, which entails a transformation that follow federalist lines. This situation is problematic with the Kyoto Protocol because environmental questions, like greenhouse gas emissions, are of shared jurisdiction. If one or more provinces refuse to participate in the implementation of Kyoto, Canada as a whole will be in violation of its international obligations. This cannot be.
Keywords: Kyoto Protocol, Environmental Law, Constitutional Law, Canadian Law
JEL Classification: K19, K32, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation