|Style of cause||Ratio|
Reference re Validity of Section 5 (a) Dairy Industry Act ("Margarine Reference"),  SCR 1
Three part test to determine the validity of a criminal law provision:
RJR-MacDonald Inc v Canada (Attorney General),  3 SCR 199
1. Regulating public health is a valid criminal law purpose
2. Federal legislation banning tobacco advertising and requiring health labels infringes on the freedom of expression -- s.2(b) of the Charter -- and cannot be saved by s.1 of the Charter.
R v Hydro-Québec,  3 SCR 213
Protection of the environment from harm is recognized as a valid criminal law purpose
Reference re Firearms Act,  1 S.C.R. 783
The finding of a valid crim purpose does not end the inquiry – to be classified as valid crim law, the purpose must be connected to the prohibition backed by a penalty
Nova Scotia Board of Censors v McNeil,  2 SCR 662
Provinces have broad powers to enact penal laws as long as they are primarily regulatory and preventative.
Westendorp v The Queen,  1 SCR 43
Street prostitution is a federal criminal law matter.
This decision tree outlines a Canadian constitutional law "criminal law power" analysis. The legal test turns on whether the impugned legislation has a typical criminal purpose (and therefore within federal jurisdiction) or is safely anchored in s.92 of the Constitution Act 1987 (and therefore within provincial jurisdiction).
The cases referred to include: RJR Macdonald; R v Hydro-Québec; Reference re Firearms Act; Margarine Refererence; Re Nova Scotia Board of Censors v McNeil; Westendorp v The Queen; Rio Hotels
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