Division of Powers

In Canada, the constitution grants certain areas of the responsibility to the federal government and other responsibilities to the provincial governments. Immigration, for example, is a federal responsibility; so a province has no power to make immigration law or to enforce immigration law. Health care is a provincial responsibility. The federal government has to resort to an indirect technique to create uniform national health care law. They offer grants to provincial governments in return for them enacting laws the feds want. They cannot enact health care laws themselves. My reading of the US constitution is that it is similar, however, with a greater proportion of rights retained by the individual states than in Canada. However, the US supreme court seems to ignore the constitution, for example on 2012-06-25 when it allowed Arizona to write and enforce its own immigration laws, laws that would be constitutionally questionable even if the federal government enacted them. To their credit the Supreme Court did knock down some provisions where Arizona tread on federal responsibilities.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)