Section 30 – Application to the territories and territorial authorities

Provision

30. A reference in this Charter to a Province or to the legislative assembly or legislature of a province shall be deemed to include a reference to the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories, or to the appropriate legislative authority thereof, as the case may be.

Similar provisions

Other interpretive provisions of the Charter are found at sections 25-29 and 31. See also section 32 of the Charter defining its scope of application to include matters relating to the territories. See section 35 of the Interpretation Act defining a reference to a province to include a territory.

Purpose

Section 30 of the Charter, together with section 32, makes it plain that Charter rights apply in respect of matters within the authority of the legislative assembly of a territory (Friends of Democracy v. Northwest Territories (Attorney General), [1999] N.W.T.J. No. 28).

Section 30 does not specifically mention Nunavut. However, an interpretation implicitly extending the effect of section 30 to Nunavut presumably must apply, whether by virtue of section 32 or other means. Jurisprudence has applied the Charter to matters within the competence of the Nunavut legislative assembly (see, e.g., E. (P.) v. Nunavut (Director of Child & Family Services) 2010 NUCJ 24; S. (J.) v. Nunavut (Minister of Health & Social Services) 2006 NUCJ 20).

Analysis

Analogous what is provided by section 35 of the Interpretation Act in respect of federal statute, section 30 of the Charter defines references to a province in the Charter to include a territory. Section 30 must be read, however, together with section 31 of the Charter, which provides that the Charter does not extend legislative powers; as such, section 30 of the Charter does not extend the legislative powers of territories. Nevertheless, the effect of section 30 of the Charter is not diluted by section 32 which defines the scope of application of the Charter: the Charter applies to all areas of government jurisdiction including those delegated to the territories by Parliament (Fédération Franco-Ténoise v. Canada, 2001 FCA 220).

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