Tuesday, May 16, 2017


8:00 – 9:00 Registration


9:00 – 9:45 Opening speech :  The Honourable Marie Deschamps, Judge, Supreme Court of Canada


1. Antecedents and beginings

10:00 – 11:00 Session 1 : Origins

-Canada’s Legal-Constitutional Continuity, 1791-1867, James W.J. Bowden, Université d’Ottawa

-Towards an Historical Understanding of the Preamble to the Constitution Act (1867), Ryan Alford, Lakehead University


11:00 – 11:15


Health Break


11:15 – 12:15 



Session 2 : From BNA to Constitution

-Decolonising the Canadian Constitution, Bruce Ryder, Osgoode Hall Law School

The Transformation of the BNA into Canada’s “Constitution”, Peter Price, Cambridge University


12:15 – 13:30




13:30 – 14:15 Session 3 : Dissenting Voices

-Empire of Poverty: Nova Scotia’s Anti-Unionists as Critics of Liberal Political Economy, E.A. Heaman, McGill University

-Martin Wilkins and the Case Against Confederation, Ian A. McIsaac, Independent Scholar

-Newfoundland Charts a Different Course, Donal Coffey, Max Planck Institute


2. Structure

14:15 – 15:30 Session 4 : A Snapshot of Federalism

-1867-1949: The JCPC Sets the Stage, Jonathan Shanks, Department of Justice, Canada

-1950-1982: Good-bye to Watertight Compartments, Peter Oliver, Ottawa University

-1983-2006: Federal Powers on the Rise, Luanne A Walton, Department of Justice, Canada

-2007-Present Cooperative Federalism Era, Pierre Foucher, Ottawa University


15:30 – 15:45   Health Break


15:45 – 17:00  Concurrent Panels on Federalism

Session 5a : Federalism in Action: Commerce

Everything I Needed to Know about Federalism, I Learned from Insurance Law, Barbara Billingsley

-Financial Markets and Federalism, Stéphane Rousseau, University of Montreal

-Pan-Canadian Securities Legislation, Noura Karazivan, University of Montreal

-Federalism and the Labour Market , Finn Makela, Sherbrooke University


Session 5b : Federalism in Action: Bankruptcy in the Canadian Confederation

A Disguised Bankruptcy Law: The Code of Civil Procedure of Lower Canada, Judicial Abandonment of Property, and Private Law in the Context of Federal Silence, Daniel Simeone, McGill University

The New Bankruptcy “Detective Agency”? The Origins of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy in Great Depression Canada, Thomas G.W. Telfer, University of Western Ontario

-Should Paramountcy Protect Secured Creditor Rights? Saskatchewan v Lemare Lake Logging in Historical Context, Virginie Torrie, University of Manitoba


17:00 – 18:00  Reception



Wednesday, May 17, 2017


The Canadian Parliament and the Westminster System


 9:00 – 10:30 Session 6: History and Development

-How We Got Here, Steven Chaplin, Principal Parliamentary Counsel (Legal), House of Commons, David Smith, University of Regina

A New-Old Approach to the Study of Canada’s Parliament, David Smith, University of Regina


10:45 – 12:00 Session 7: The Way Forward

-Looking at privilege reform for 21st century : Non-Party Legislatures and Westminster government, Tim Mercer, Clerk – Northwest Territories Legislature

-Title TBA, Charles Robert, Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments


12:00 – 13:00




13:00 – 14:00



Session 8 : Senate Reform

-The Senate Makeover: Redefining the Legislative Process without Structural Change, Dara Lithwick & Élise Hurtubise-Lorange, Parliament of Canada

Reforming the Upper House, Matthew P Harrington, University of Montréal


14:00 – 15:00


Session 9 : Monarch and Democracy

-The Crown, Parliament and the Courts Post-1982 – A Constitutional Revolution?, Ann Chaplin, Department of Justice, Canada

The Crown and Canadian Independence: From Vanguard to Vestige, Philippe Legassé, Carlton University


15:15 – 15:00 Health Break


15:30 – 17:00  Session 10: The Charter in the Next Century

Greening the Charter: Constitutionalising a Right to a Healthy Environment, Jason MacLean. Lakehead University

The Charter and the Future of Citizenship. Mariette Brennan & Miriam Cohen, Lakehead University

Back to the future: Indigenous Rights and Section 25, Konstantia Koutouki, University of Montreal



Thursday, May 18, 2017


9:00 – 10:30 Session 11 : The Court and the Constitution

The Supreme Court’s Changing Conceptions of Itself Since Confederation, Adam Dodek, University of Ottawa

150 Years of Constitutional Interpretation, Benjamin Oliphant, Gall Legge Grant Munroe, LLP



 10:30 – 10:45  Health Break


10:45 – 12:00 Session 12 : Constitutional Amendment in Canada: History, Law Politics, and Theory

The Most Powerful Court in the World? Constitutional Amendment after the Senate Reform and Supreme Court Act References, Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

The Legacy of Patriation and the Accords, Jamie Cameron, Osgoode Hall Law School

Constitutional Values and the Case for Court Reform, Kate Glover, University of Western Ontario

The true character of the constitutional modification procedure, Catherine Mathieu, Woods LLP


12:00 – 13:00 Lunch


13:00 – 14:00


Session 13: Amendment, Conventions, and Constitutional Architecture

Immuring Dicey’s Ghost: Constitutional Conventions and Architecture, Leonid Sirota, Aukland University of Technology

Amendment, Altering Conventions? , Emmett MacFarlane, University of Waterloo

The Right to Independent Election Administration, Michael Pal, University of Ottawa



14:00 – 15:00



Session 14: Québec and the Constitution

Quebec and the theory of the federative pact, Sébastien Grammond, University of Ottawa

The Allegory of a Supreme Court Accomplice of Trudeauism: Re-examination of Ford, Frédéric Bérard, University of Montréal


15:00 – 15:30


Closing remarks: The Honourable Jean-Marc Fournier, Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie


Updated 14 April 2017 at 9 h 28 min.