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Citizen Insurance Company v Parsons (1881), 7 AC 96 (PC)


ON legislation about fire insurance policies. C didn’t want to pay because they say P didn’t disclose conditions he was suppose to, P says conditions were void bc they did not comply with the ON legislation.


Is the Legislation enacted by ON valid legislation? Was it within their scope to enact it?


The authority of the dominion to legislate for the regulation of trade and commerce does not comprehend the power of the province to regulate by legislation the contracts of a particular business or trade.

Interpretive Framework from Parsons
**“…it is the duty of the Courts…to ascertain in what degree, and to what extent, authority to deal with matters falling within these classes of subjects exists in each legislature, and to define in the particular case before them the limits of their respective powers.”
**Does the statute fall to a provincial head of power?
***If so, could it also fall to a federal head of power?
***If so, and provincial and federal exercises of power conflict, the federal Act would be dominant or “paramount”


s.91 and s.92 must be read together.

If the Act does not fall within any of the classes of subject enumerated in s.92, then it is not valid.
*If it does fall within one of the classes in s.92, then the question becomes whether the subject of the Act falls w/in one of the enumerated classes in s.91, and if so is then overborne.

When there is overlap, the courts have to find what the limits are between the sovereignties – mutual modification (read 2 sections and carve out a more specific powers to ensure provinces retains rights).

“Property and Civil Rights” = jurisdiction over all non-criminal matters (major result)


Province had the power to enact this Act


1st question to be determined:
*Does the Act in question fall w/in any of classes of subject enumerated in s.92
If yes, 2nd question:
*Does the subject of the Act also fall w/in one of the enumerated subjects in s.91, thus belonging to the dominion

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