It would seem our federal government has not learned anything from history.  One merely has to look at how Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said the federal government should license the news media.  This is not the first time, in Canadian history, that this type of action has been presented.

Alberta Social Credit Party government

“The Issue continued under the tenure of Lieutenant Governor John C. Bowen, who took office in March 1937. That spring, the Aberhart government introduced three bills to further its economic plans: the Credit of Alberta Regulation Act, the Bank Employees Civil Rights Act and the Judicature Act Amendment Act. The bills were eventually disallowed at the federal level by the Governor General-in-Council as they interfered with federal jurisdiction. The government re-introduced the bills in the fall 1937 session of the Legislative Assembly. Although the bills had been modified, they included new unconstitutional provisions. The new bills in question were the Bank Taxation Act, an Act to Amend the Credit of Alberta Regulation Act and the Act to Ensure the Publication of Accurate News and information.

The first two acts included provisions that interfered with federal jurisdiction over banks. The Accurate News Act included unconstitutional elements, such as a requirement for Alberta newspapers to publish “correction or amplification” of any story as requested by the Chair of the Alberta Social Credit Party. Newspapers would also be required to identify authors or sources within 24 hours as requested by the government. If a newspaper refused to comply, the offending writer or newspaper could be suspended from publication and fined up to $1000 per day. The proposed bill drew widespread negative public and media response. Coverage by the Edmonton Journal was particularly strong and eventually earned the newspaper a special Pulitzer Prize “for its editorial leadership in defense of the freedom of the press.”

And now we know why we actually need the L.G.’s and the G.G. but only if they are going to uphold the protection of Canadians and the Constitutional rights of Canadians…

The L.G.s and the G.G. are also considered “constitutional fire extinguishers” and may, in an emergency, strike down legislation, prorogue governments, remove Ministers, etc.

This seems to be an emergency and it is hoped that the Governor General will

“… uphold the law or protect the people; and he must consent to all acts of government except in extreme cases….” A Manual of Government in Canada; or, the Principles and Institutions of our Federal and Provincial Constitutions, D. A. O’Sullivan, Esq., M.A., of Osgoode Hall, Barrister-at-law, 1887, p. 38.


Elizabeth F. Marshall,
Non-Partisan Advocate
Director of Research Ontario Landowners Association
Author – “Property Rights 101: An Introduction”
Board Member/Secretary – Canadian Justice Review Board
Legal Research – Green and Associates Law Offices, etc.,
Legislative Researcher – MPs, MPPs, Municipal Councilors,
President All Rights Research Ltd.,
I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice. Any information relayed is for informational purposes only. Please contact a lawyer.