Anti-Inflation Act Reference
The Anti-Inflation Act was a temporary and extraordinary measure instituted by the government of Pierre Trudeau in an attempt to control high unemployment and inflation. In 1976 the federal government referred, for the opinion of the Supreme Court, two questions regarding the Act, the principal one of which was whether the Act was ultra vires the jurisdiction of the government of Canada in whole or in part. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the validity of the Act, and therefore of certain peacetime emergency powers designed to control profits, prices, dividends and salaries and to combat inflation, on the basis of the implicit emergency power (defined by Mr Justice Beetz as a concurrent and paramount power over matters normally under provincial jurisdiction) possessed by the federal government. The court held by a majority that Parliament need not make a ritual statement that a state of emergency exists as it was clear from the statute that it contemplated a serious national condition and that there was a rational basis for the legislation.