The Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act

On December 15, 2022, the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act received Royal Assent and came into force. The Act was proposed by UCP leader, Danielle Smith, and the Alberta government notes that this legislation aims to, “defend Alberta’s interests by giving the province a legal framework to push back on federal laws or policies that negatively impact the province.”[1]

The Act is intended to address federal legislation and policies that violate Albertans’ Charter rights, are unconstitutional, or effect or interfere with Alberta’s provincial constitutional rights. While the Act proposes several amendments to Alberta’s law and policy, it will not allow Alberta to defy Canada’s Constitution or to separate from Canada. It also will not allow cabinet to issue unconstitutional orders-in councils that are outside of provincial jurisdiction to provincial entities, or to give instructions to private individual corporations that aren’t provincial entities to violate federal law. [2]

In response to the ascension of this Act, Treaty 6 First Nation has filed a statement of claim against the Government of Alberta on the grounds that it is a violation of their treaty rights and is contrary to Canada’s constitution. It also provides that Alberta violated their duty to consult in passing the Act without consultation from their first nation. The Alberta government has maintained that the Act does not interfere with or undermine Indigenous and treaty rights.[3]

Developments on this legislation will be followed and updated on the LESA blog here.

[1] “Alberta Sovereignty with a United Canada Act,” online: Government of Alberta [].

[2] ibid.

[3] Meaghan Archer, “Treaty 6 Nation sues Alberta government over sovereignty act,” online: Global News, 19 December 2022, [].

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