The Scope of Federal Power and the Determination of What Matters Fall Under “Navigation and Shipping”


The Constitution Act, 1867 sets out the division of legislative powers between the Federal Parliament and the provincial legislatures. Under section 91(10), the Parliament of Canada has exclusive legislative authority within a variety of classes of subjects including, “navigation and shipping”. Conversely, the legislature in each province pursuant to section 92(10) may exclusively make laws in relation to matters coming within a variety of classes of subject including, local works and undertakings as well as property and civil rights.