British Columbia (Attorney General) v Canada (Minister of Justice)

British Columbia (Attorney General) v Canada (Minister of Justice)

Re the Japanese Treaty Act, [1921] 56 DLR 69
This case involved an attempt by the British Columbia government to ban anyone of Chinese or Japanese descent from entering into contracts, leases, or concessions with the government, i.e., making it illegal to employ people of Japanese or Chinese descent on Crown land and whether or not that was ultra vires in relation to a treaty between England and Japan (applying to Canada through its connection to the United Kingdom). Ultimately, the BCAC found that the legislation involved was ultra vires, but on the basis of separation of powers rather than the existence of a treaty.



British Columbia (Attorney General) v Canada (Minister of Justice)


Researcher: Monique F. Ulysses
Researcher: Lauren Chalaturnyk
Metadata author: Connell Parish
Metadata author: Gordon Lyall
Publication Information: See Terms of Use for publication and licensing information.
Source: British Columbia Court of Appeal. Dominion Law Reports. 1920.


Readers of these historical materials will encounter derogatory references to Japanese Canadians and euphemisms used to obscure the intent and impacts of the internment and dispossession. While these are important realities of the history, the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective urges users to carefully consider their own terminological choices in writing and speaking about this topic today as we confront past injustice. See our statement on terminology, and related sources here.