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HISTORY OF CANADA.   327

Dominion ministry), and hold their seats for life. (3) The House of Commons, which now (under the census of 1891) consists of 213 members, elected on the principle—as between the provinces—of representation by population, as follows : Quebec, 65—a fixed number ; Ontario, 92 ; Nova Scotia, 20 ; New Brunswick, 14 ; Manitoba, 7 ; British Columbia, 6 ; Prince Edward Island, 5 ; North-West Territories, 4. These numbers bear to the population of the respective provinces the same proportion as sixty-five (Quebec's fixed number) bears to the population of Quebec under the census of 1891. After each decennial census, the representation as between provinces must be readjusted (if necessary) on this basis. The House of Commons is elected for a period of five years (subject to being sooner dissolved).

Provincial Parliaments. — The provincial legislatures of Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and British Columbia consist of (1) the Queen, represented by the lieutenant-governor of the province, who is appointed by the Dominion ministry ; and (2) a single " legislative assembly " chosen by popular election. In each of the other two provinces (Quebec and Nova Scotia) there is a second chamber or legislative council, the members of which are appointed by the lieutenant-governor in council ; that is, by the provincial ministry. Seats in these legislative councils are held for life.

Safeguards.—Any Act, Dominion or Provincial, which over-steps the bounds prescribed by the B. N. A. Act will be held void by the courts as being ultra sires, that is, " beyond the powers " of the legislature which assumes to pass it. Any Act of the Dominion parliament may be disallowed by the British ministry within two years after its receipt by the colonial secretary. This power of disallowance is only exercised where a Dominion Act conflicts with an Imperial Act in force in the Dominion, a contingency of very rare occurrence. In like manner any provincial Act may be disallowed by the Dominion ministry within one year after its receipt by the secretary of state at Ottawa. This power is now very rarely exercised.


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