Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Laws




Professor Andrew Botterell


The Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHRA) is a piece of federal legislation that was passed in 2004. The province of Quebec issued a reference question regarding the constitutionality of the federal legislation and in 2010 the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its opinion. The result was a success for the provinces because the Supreme Court’s verdict severely limited the scope of the federal legislation. In addition to clarifying the limits of the federal government’s criminal law power, the saga of the AHRA also helps illustrate the integral role the concept of co-operative federalism plays in modern Canadian inter-governmental relations. The nature and extent of the role played by co-operative federalism will be determined through an examination of 1) the history of co-operative federalism in Canada; 2) a discussion concerning co-operative federalism as a concept; 3) an examination of competitive federalism, the central opposing theory to co-operative federalism; 4) the development and implementation of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act; 5) the events that occurred prior to, during, and after the Supreme Court ruling in 2010, and critical commentary on that decision; and 6) the potential implications that the Supreme Court opinion may have on future federalism disputes in Canada.