DIVISION OF POWERS - Provincial jurisdiction - Determination of jurisdiction

Law360 Canada (April 14, 2023, 1:35 PM EDT) -- Appeal by Murray-Hall from a judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal that set aside Superior Court judgment and declared ss. 5 and 10 of the Cannabis Regulation Act constitutionally valid and operative. The federal Parliament passed legislation relating to cannabis. Following this, provinces and territories passed their own legislation. Murray-Hall challenged the constitutional validity of ss. 5 and 10 of the Cannabis Regulation Act (Act) enacted by Quebec which completely prohibited any possession of cannabis plants and the cultivation of cannabis for personal purposes in a dwelling-house. Murray-Hall argued these provisions fell outside the power assigned to provinces. He asked the court to declare ss. 5 and 10 of the Act ultra vires provincial jurisdiction or, in the alternative, that the provisions be declared of no force or effect under the doctrine of federal paramountcy. The Superior Court stated that more strictly restricting, rather than prohibiting, the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis plants would have achieved the purpose of protecting the health and security of the public without unlawfully impinging on the federal power. It declared the provisions constitutionally invalid. The Attorney General of Quebec appealed and argued the trial judge had mistaken by concluding the provisions were solely of federal jurisdiction. The Court of Appeal unanimously allowed the appeal and affirmed the constitutional validity of ss. 5 and 10 of the Act stating they were within the powers conferred on the provinces by s. 92(13) and (16) of the Constitution Act....
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