Robert Baldwin was a Canadian lawyer and politician who, with his political partner Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, led the first responsible ministry in Canada. "Responsible Government" marked the country's democratic independence, without a revolution, although not without violence. This achievement included the introduction of municipal government, the introduction of a modern legal system and the Canadian Jury system, the abolishing of imprisonment for debt. Baldwin is noted for resisting a decades-long tradition of Orange Order terrorism of political reform in the colony, that went so far as to burn the Parliament buildings in Montreal in 1849. Robert Baldwin's grandfather Robert Baldwin moved to Upper Canada from Ireland in 1799, his father was William Warren Baldwin. The Baldwin family was a prominent one. Robert Baldwin counted among his cousins such influential Upper Canadians as the Anglican bishop Maurice Scollard Baldwin, Toronto mayor Robert Baldwin Sullivan and the Irish-Catholic leader Connell James Baldwin.
The Russell-Willcocks-Baldwin family formed an elite "compact" much like the infamous "Family Compact" led by John Beverley Robinson against whom they fought. Robert Baldwin, Barrister, of York married his cousin Augusta Elizabeth Sullivan, daughter of Daniel Sullivan, on May 3, 1827; the couple had two sons and two daughters. Augusta Elizabeth died January 11, 1836. Robert Baldwin died December 9, 1858. Robert Baldwin is the grandfather of Frederick Walker Baldwin, a Canadian aviation pioneer and partner of the famous inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Robert Baldwin is the grandfather of Robert Baldwin Ross, a French born journalist and art critic and literary executor of Oscar Wilde. Baldwin’s political principles must be viewed in the context of the eighteenth century British “Country Party,” a loose coalition of Parliamentarians whose influence was felt in the American Revolution and subsequent Jacksonian politics; the Country party embodied a civic humanism that drew on ancient Greek and Roman conceptions of citizenship, the value of selfless political participation for the public good.
The civic humanism of the Country party rejected the commercial ideology of the royal "Court” party. The Country party had a republican emphasis that sought to preserve the power of a democratic parliament from the encroachments of the crown during the vast expansion of state administration, public credit, the financial and commercial revolutions in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth centuries, it was similar to American conceptions of “civic republicanism” as they developed after the revolution among Jacksonian Democrats, as well as in the Chartist movement in Britain in the late 1830s. The concept of "responsible government" has been attributed to Dr William W. Baldwin and his son, Robert. Although the idea of colonial ministerial responsibility to a colonial parliament had been touted since the late 18th century, the Baldwins were the first to implement the principle; the meaning of the phrase evolved over time. In an 1828 Upper Canadian petition to the British Parliament on colonial ills, it was an assertion that the Constitutional Act was a treaty between the British Parliament and the colonial peoples, could not be arbitrarily altered by one or the other party.
In 1836, when Baldwin convinced the members of the Executive Council to resign over Lt. Governor Bond-Head's refusal to consult them on administrative appointments, it did not mean ministerial accountability to the elected Assembly but the Crown's obligation to consult that Council; the slipperiness of the phrase points to its real goal,'sovereignty by stealth,' without rebellion. It was not until after the Rebellions of 1837, the implementation of Lord Durham's Report, that the Executive Council became a cabinet of ministers that were heads of departments, the phrase "responsible government" came to mean their responsibility to the elected Assembly, not the appointed Governor. Municipal government in Upper Canada was under the control of appointed magistrates who sat in Courts of Quarter Sessions to administer the law within a District. A few cities, such as Toronto, were incorporated by special acts of the legislature. After the Union of the Canadas, the new governor, Charles Poulett Thomson, 1st Baron Sydenham, spearheaded the passage of the District Councils Act which transferred municipal government to District Councils.
His bill allowed for two elected councilors from each township, but the warden and treasurer were to be appointed by the government. This thus allowed for strong administrative control and continued government patronage appointments. Sydenham’s bill reflected his larger concerns to limit popular participation under the tutelage of a strong executive. Baldwin was one of the few Reformers; the Baldwin Act made municipal government democratic rather than an extension of central control of the Crown. It delegated authority to the municipal governments so they could enact by-laws, it established a hierarchy of types of municipal governments, starting at the top with cities and continued down past towns and townships. This system was to prevail for the next 150 years. Robert Baldwin was not a natural politician, he was described as melancholy, awkward in public. He gave speeches in a whispering. Although elec
Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role and structure of different entities within a state, the executive, the parliament or legislature, the judiciary. Not all nation states have codified constitutions, though all such states have a jus commune, or law of the land, that may consist of a variety of imperative and consensual rules; these may include customary law, statutory law, judge-made law, or international rules and norms. Constitutional law deals with the fundamental principles by which the government exercises its authority. In some instances, these principles grant specific powers to the government, such as the power to tax and spend for the welfare of the population. Other times, constitutional principles act to place limits on what the government can do, such as prohibiting the arrest of an individual without sufficient cause. In most nations, such as the United States and Singapore, constitutional law is based on the text of a document ratified at the time the nation came into being.
Other constitutions, notably that of the United Kingdom, rely on unwritten rules known as constitutional conventions. Constitutional laws may be considered second order rule making or rules about making rules to exercise power, it governs the relationships between the judiciary, the legislature and the executive with the bodies under its authority. One of the key tasks of constitutions within this context is to indicate hierarchies and relationships of power. For example, in a unitary state, the constitution will vest ultimate authority in one central administration and legislature, judiciary, though there is a delegation of power or authority to local or municipal authorities; when a constitution establishes a federal state, it will identify the several levels of government coexisting with exclusive or shared areas of jurisdiction over lawmaking and enforcement. Some federal states, most notably the United States, have separate and parallel federal and state judiciaries, with each having its own hierarchy of courts with a supreme court for each state.
India, on the other hand, has one judiciary divided into district courts, high courts, the Supreme Court of India. Human rights or civil liberties form a crucial part of a country's constitution and uphold the rights of the individual against the state. Most jurisdictions, like the United States and France, have a codified constitution, with a bill of rights. A recent example is the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, intended to be included in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, that failed to be ratified; the most important example is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights under the UN Charter. These are intended to ensure basic political and economic standards that a nation state, or intergovernmental body is obliged to provide to its citizens but many do include its governments; some countries like the United Kingdom have no entrenched document setting out fundamental rights. A case named Carrington is a constitutional principle deriving from the common law.
John Entick's house was ransacked by Sherriff Carrington. Carrington argued that a warrant from a Government minister, the Earl of Halifax was valid authority though there was no statutory provision or court order for it; the court, led by Lord Camden stated that, "The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property. That right is preserved sacred and incommunicable in all instances, where it has not been taken away or abridged by some public law for the good of the whole. By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it so minute, is a trespass... If no excuse can be found or produced, the silence of the books is an authority against the defendant, the plaintiff must have judgment." The common law and the civil law jurisdictions do not share the same constitutional law underpinnings. Common law nations, such as those in the Commonwealth as well as the United States, derive their legal systems from that of the United Kingdom, as such place emphasis on judicial precedent, whereby consequential court rulings are a source of law.
Civil law jurisdictions, on the other hand, place less emphasis on judicial review and only the parliament or legislature has the power to effect law. As a result, the structure of the judiciary differs between the two, with common law judiciaries being adversarial and civil law judiciaries being inquisitorial. Common law judicatures separate the judiciary from the prosecution, thereby establishing the courts as independent from both the legislature and law enforcement. Human rights law in these countries is as a result built on legal precedent in the courts' interpretation of constitutional law, whereas that of civil law countries is exclusively composed of codified law, constitutional or otherwise. Another main function of constitutions may be to describe the procedure by which parliaments may legislate. For instance, special majorities may be required to alter the constitution. In bicameral legislatures, there may be a process laid out for second or third readings of bills before a new law can enter into force.
Alternatively, there may further be requirements for maximum terms that a government can keep power before holding an election
Sir John Robinson, 1st Baronet, of Toronto
Sir John Beverley Robinson, 1st Baronet, was a lawyer and political figure in Upper Canada. He was considered the leader of the Family Compact, a group of families which controlled the early government of Upper Canada. Robinson was born in 1791 at Berthier, Lower Canada, the son of Christopher Robinson, a United Empire Loyalist of one of the First Families of Virginia, whose grandfather named Christopher Robinson, came there about 1666 as secretary to Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia. In 1792, the family moved to Kingston in Upper Canada and York. After his father's death in 1798, he was sent to study in Kingston. In 1803, he moved to Cornwall, where he lived and was educated at the school of the Reverend John Strachan. Afterwards he articled in law with D’Arcy Boulton and John Macdonell. During the War of 1812, he fought at the Battle of Queenston Heights. On the death of John Macdonell, he became acting attorney general for the province at the age of 21, he prosecuted the case of 18 settlers from Norfolk County who had committed treason by taking up arms against their neighbours on behalf of the Americans in a series of trials referred to as the "Bloody Assize".
When D’Arcy Boulton returned to Canada in 1814, Robinson was given the post of attorney general. Robinson acquired property on the north-east corner of John and Richmond streets in Toronto and built the prominent Beverley House. Built as a small cottage around the time of the War of 1812, he added numerous wings to the property until the alterations filled the square. Robinson lived in Beverley House until his death. In 1817, Robinson was retained by the North West Company in their civil case against Lord Selkirk; when the company decided to press for criminal charges of theft and assault against Selkirk, Robinson prosecuted the case. Although he returned the company's retainer, there were allegations of conflict of interest. Robinson represented the Crown in the case against Robert Fleming Gourlay, a reformer critical of government policies. Gourlay was banished from the province. In 1820, Robinson was elected to the 8th Parliament of Upper Canada representing the town of York. Robinson played an important role in the expulsion of Barnabas Bidwell, a former member of the United States Congress, elected in a by-election in Lennox & Addington, from the Legislative Assembly.
Robinson sailed to England in 1822. This culminated in the Canada Trade Act of August 1822 which established import duties on goods transported between the United States and Upper Canada, Upper Canada's share of duties collected. During his time in England, he was called to the bar after completing studies at Lincoln's Inn. Robinson was the most important member of the Family Compact, an unofficial clique of Upper Canada's elite, who held the true power in the province. One of the more contentious issues dealt with in the 9th Parliament was the naturalization process for persons who had remained in the United States after 1783 and came to Canada. Robinson supported a policy dictated by the British Colonial Office which required these people to renounce their American citizenship, he was embarrassed when a new colonial secretary reversed this decision under pressure from those who held opposing views. In 1827 Robinson had a disagreement with a puisne judge. Willis took an unusual course of stating in court that Robinson had neglected his duty and that he would feel it necessary "to make a representation on the subject to his majesty's government".
Willis took a strong stand on the question of the legality of the court as constituted, this led in June 1828 to Willis being removed from his position by the lieutenant-governor, Sir Peregrine Maitland. In 1829, Robinson held this post for 34 years. In 1830, he was appointed to the Legislative Council for the province. In the aftermath of Upper Canada Rebellion, he pressed for executions of the rebel leaders, including Peter Matthews and Samuel Lount. Although he opposed the uniting of Upper and Lower Canada, several of his recommendations found their way into the Union Act of 1840. In 1850, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath and created a baronet in 1854. Robinson married Emma Walker on June 1817 while in England, they had three daughters. Three sons became lawyers, his youngest son attained the rank of major-general in the British Army. His second son, John Beverley Robinson, entered politics, serving as Mayor of Toronto, as a member of cabinet in the federal government and was appointed lieutenant governor of Ontario in the 1880s.
He was a first cousin of Sir Frederick Philipse Robinson. His brother William Benjamin Robinson married Elizabeth Ann, daughter of William Jarvis, his elder sister Mary married Major Stephen Heward of the Grenadier Guards and Auditor-General of Upper Canada, his younger sister Esther married D'Arcy Boulton, the son of G. D'Arcy Boulton, who built The Grange and served as Auditor-General of Upper Canada, he was the stepson of one of the important founders of Newmarket, Ontario. In the spring of 1861, Robinson suffered a severe attack of gout and curtailed his work on the bench, he resigned from the Queen’s Bench on March 15, 1862, was appointed presiding judge of the Court of Error and Appeal. In 1862, he had another attack o
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. Upon confederation, the old province of Canada was divided into Quebec. Over the years since Confederation, Canada has seen numerous territorial changes and expansions, resulting in the current union of ten provinces and three territories. Canada is a federation and not a confederate association of sovereign states, which "confederation" means in contemporary political theory, it is often considered to be among the world's more decentralized federations. The use of the term Confederation arose in the Province of Canada to refer to proposals beginning in the 1850s to federate all of the British North American colonies, as opposed to only Canada West and Canada East. To contemporaries of Confederation the con- prefix indicated a strengthening of the centrist principle compared to the American federation. In this Canadian context, confederation here describes the political process that united the colonies in the 1860s, related events and the subsequent incorporation of other colonies and territories.
The term is now used to describe Canada in an abstract way, such as in "the Fathers of Confederation". Provinces and territories that became part of Canada after 1867 are said to have joined, or entered into, confederation; the term is used to divide Canadian history into pre-Confederation and post-Confederation periods. All the former colonies and territories that became involved in the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, were part of New France, were once ruled by France. Nova Scotia was granted in 1621 to Sir William Alexander under charter by James VI; this claim overlapped the French claims to Acadia, although the Scottish colony of Nova Scotia was short-lived, for political reasons, the conflicting imperial interests of France and the 18th century Great Britain led to a long and bitter struggle for control. The British acquired present-day mainland Nova Scotia by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 and the Acadian population was expelled by the British in 1755, they called Acadia Nova Scotia.
The rest of New France was acquired by the British by the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years' War. From 1763 to 1791, most of New France became the Province of Quebec. However, in 1769 the present-day Prince Edward Island, part of Acadia, was renamed "St John's Island" and organized as a separate colony, it was renamed "Prince Edward Island" in 1798 in honour of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. The first English attempt at settlement had been in Newfoundland, which would not join Confederation until 1949; the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol began to settle Newfoundland and Labrador at Cuper's Cove as far back as 1610, Newfoundland had been the subject of a French colonial enterprise. In the wake of the American Revolution, an estimated 50,000 United Empire Loyalists fled to British North America; the British created the separate colony of New Brunswick in 1784 for the Loyalists who settled in the western part of Nova Scotia. While Nova Scotia received more than half of this influx, many Loyalists settled in the Province of Quebec, which by the Constitutional Act of 1791 was separated into a predominantly English Upper Canada and a predominantly French Lower Canada.
The War of 1812 and Treaty of 1818 established the 49th parallel as the border with the United States from the Great Lakes to the Rocky Mountains in Western Canada. Following the Rebellions of 1837, Lord Durham in his Durham Report, recommended Upper and Lower Canada be joined as the Province of Canada and the new province should have a responsible government; as a result of Durham's report, the British Parliament passed the Act of Union 1840, the Province of Canada was formed in 1841. The new province was divided into two parts: Canada East. Governor General Lord Elgin granted ministerial responsibility in 1848, first to Nova Scotia and to Canada. In the following years, the British would extend responsible government to Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland; the area which constitutes modern-day British Columbia is the remnants of the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia District and New Caledonia District following the Oregon Treaty. Before joining Canada in 1871, British Columbia consisted of the separate Colony of British Columbia, the Colony of Vancouver Island constituting a separate crown colony until it was united with the colony of British Columbia in 1866.
The remainder of modern-day Canada was made up of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory and the Arctic Islands, which were under direct British control and became a part of Canada in 1880. The idea of unification was presented in 1839 by Lord Durham in his Report on the Affairs of British North America, which resulted in the Union of Upper and Lower Canada. Beginning in 1857, Joseph-Charles Taché proposed a federation in a series of 33 articles published in the Courrier du Canada. In 1859, Alexander Tilloch Galt, George-Étienne Cartier and John Ross travelled to Great Britain to present the British Parliament with a project for confederation of the British colonies; the proposal was received by the Lond
Special Investigations Unit
The Special Investigations Unit is the civilian oversight agency responsible for investigating circumstances involving police that have resulted in a death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault of a civilian in Ontario, Canada. The SIU's goal is to ensure that criminal law is applied appropriately to police conduct, as determined through independent investigations, increasing public confidence in the police services. Complaints involving police conduct that do not result in a serious injury or death must be referred to the appropriate police service or to another oversight agency, such as the Ontario Civilian Police Commission or the Office of the Independent Police Review Director; as a civilian law enforcement agency, the SIU has the power and authority to investigate and charge police officers with criminal offences. The SIU is a unique investigative provincial body, overseeing 23,000 police officers from municipal and provincial services. However, the SIU does not have the authority to investigate First Nations constables, or Federal police officers such as Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers or Canadian Forces Military Police officers.
Ontario is the first province to have such a civilian oversight agency in place, one of the few jurisdictions worldwide with an independent civilian agency. As a result, the SIU has become a model of civilian oversight for other jurisdictions in the light of the international movement towards greater civilian accountability of the police. Civilian oversight of police services has become an important accountability mechanism to police powers; the role of the SIU is not to lay charges against police officers but to investigate and to assure the community that the conduct of the police is subject to independent scrutiny. The SIU strives to maintain community confidence in Ontario’s police services by assuring the public that the actions of the police are subject to independent investigations, they are independent of the police and have an arms-length relationship with the government. This means that although the SIU Director reports to the Attorney General, the decision-making on cases and their day-to-day activities are independent of the government.
Before the SIU, police services investigated themselves or in some instances, another police service was assigned to conduct the investigation. In 1988, the Ontario government established the Task Force on Race Relations and Policing as a result of a fatal shooting by police of two Black men. During the hearings conducted by the Task Force, there was public concern, spearheaded by the Black Action Defence Committee, about the integrity of the process in which police officers investigated other police officers of police shootings where a member of the public had been wounded or killed. There was a lack of public confidence in a system; the Task Force’s report recommended changes in the law on the use of force by the police. As a result, the SIU was formed in 1990 under a new Ontario Police Services Act; the SIU was headquartered in Toronto, but in 2000 it moved to the current location at 5090 Commerce Boulevard, Ontario, L4W 5M4. There are two ways that the SIU becomes notified: by public request.
The police are obliged to notify the SIU to report any incidents that may fall within the SIU’s jurisdiction, set out in section 113 of the Police Services Act. The SIU receives and acts on many requests from members of the media, coroners, medical professionals, people who feel the police have injured them. Once the SIU is notified, an Investigative Supervisor gathers information to determine whether the complaint/incident falls within their mandate. If so, they will begin investigating; the objective of every SIU investigation is to determine whether there is evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the police. Although the circumstances of every case are unique, the approach to most investigations is the same; the investigative process begins by assigning a lead investigator and as many investigators, forensic identification technicians, resources as necessary. Investigations involve: Examining the scene and securing all physical evidence. Once all of the facts are gathered, the Director makes a decision whether there are reasonable grounds to lay a criminal charge against a police officer.
SIU investigators come from both civilian and police backgrounds. In the 2006-07 fiscal year, the majority of the full-time investigators came from civilian backgrounds. All of the Unit’s investigators have extensive experience investigating serious incidents, such as deaths, sexual assault allegations, serious assaults and motor vehicle incidents; the average investigative experience among over 40 investigators and forensic identification technicians is 29 years. SIU investigators now have state-of-the-art audio video rooms, secure evidence and file storage facilities and project rooms. In the beginning, due to a shortage of resources, the SIU relied on the OPP for forensic investigation assist
Monarchy in Ontario
By the arrangements of the Canadian federation, Canada's monarchy operates in Ontario as the core of the province's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. As such, the Crown within Ontario's jurisdiction may be referred to as the Crown in Right of Ontario, Her Majesty in Right of Ontario, the Queen in Right of Ontario, or Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario; the Constitution Act, 1867, leaves many functions in Ontario assigned to the sovereign's viceroy, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, whose direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy. The role of the Crown is both practical, it is thus the foundation of the executive and judicial branches of the province's government. The Canadian monarch—since 6 February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II—is represented and has her duties carried out by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, whose direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy, with most related powers entrusted for exercise by the elected parliamentarians, the ministers of the Crown drawn from amongst them, the judges and justices of the peace.
The Crown today functions as a guarantor of continuous and stable governance and a nonpartisan safeguard against the abuse of power. This arrangement began with the 1867 British North America Act, continued an unbroken line of monarchical government extending back to the early 17th century. However, though Ontario has its own government, of which the Lieutenant Governor, as the Queen's representative, Ontario is not itself a kingdom. A viceregal suite in the Ontario Legislative Building in Toronto is used both as an office and official event location by the lieutenant governor, the sovereign, other members of the Canadian Royal Family; the Lieutenant Governor resides in his or her own private residence, though may be provided accommodations by the provincial government if her or she is not from Toronto. The Queen and her relations reside at a hotel when in Ontario; those in the Royal Family perform ceremonial duties when on a tour of the province. Monuments around Ontario mark some of those visits, while others honour a royal event.
Further, Ontario's monarchical status is illustrated by royal names applied regions, communities and buildings, many of which may have a specific history with a member or members of the Royal Family. Associations exist between the Crown and many private organizations within the province. Examples include the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, under the patronage of Charles, Prince of Wales, received its royal designation from Queen Victoria in 1891, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, though founded in 1886, was constituted through royal charter by King George VI in 1947; the main symbol of the monarchy is the sovereign herself, her image thus being used to signify government authority. A royal cypher or crown may illustrate the monarchy as the locus of authority, without referring to any specific monarch. Further, though the monarch does not form a part of the constitutions of Ontario's honours, they do stem from the Crown as the fount of honour, so bear on the insignia symbols of the sovereign.
List of royal visits to Ontario Symbols of Ontario Monarchy Archives of Ontario. "A Celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II". Queen's Printer for Ontario. Archived from the original on 2009-10-16