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Canada's provinces increase their challenges to Ottawa

Tuesday, January 3, 2023


Tensions between Ottawa and some provincial governments have been mounting in recent months. Alberta’s Sovereignty Act and Quebec’s ending of a parliamentary oath of allegiance to the British monarch have taken the headlines but more serious conflicts over healthcare costs may lie ahead.


  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will come under increasing pressure to compromise with provinces on funding health expenditure.
  • The Supreme Court will rule on the Alberta Sovereignty Act before the end of 2024, and almost certainly deem it unconstitutional.
  • If the NDP wins Alberta’s May elections it will revoke the Alberta Sovereignty Act, easing tensions with Ottawa.
  • Premiers Doug Ford and Francois Legault, both recently re-elected, may well outlast Trudeau in office.
  • Trudeau appears reluctant to challenge provincial legislation which would effectively change the Constitution.

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