Mcdonald's Provincial Power

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Shift of The Power in Canada Sir John Macdonald’s original vision in 1867 was a highly-centralized Canada where the federal government would have control over most economic, social matters and provincial governments would play a secondary role. He believed that Ottawa should take full control over trade and commerce, defence, banking and other concepts that were necessary to keep the peace and order in Canada. Canada’s first Prime Minister clearly insisted to create a Canada shaped by centralization, meaning that the centre of its focus, which the power and authority is given to is the central government. But far from Macdonald’s vision of a centralized federal nation, over the years, Canada has evolved into one of the most decentralized countries in the world. After Confederation, a debate began to rage over about the amount of power which will be given to the federal government and provincial governments. The demand for provincial powers mostly came from the French Canadians and they insisted on having control over their social organizations and education. When the demand of French Canadians was heard, other provinces including Ontario joined the push for decentralizing.The Maritimes received additional power to prevent them…show more content…
Alan Cairns, a political scientist, states that Canada’s evolution into a more decentralized federal state has been inevitable. He says “ The existence of Quebec alone has been sufficient to prevent Canada from following the centralist route.” Another factor has been the tendency for many politicians, such as Sir Wilfrid Laurier, to be less interested in Macdonald’s vision of a firmly centralized system and more interested in a federal-provincial relations. By the time the Great Depression hit, most provinces had a high degree of independence, relying on the federal government for only 13% of their

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