Book Discussion with Associate Professor Malcolm Lavoie – Trade and Commerce: Canada’s Economic Constitution

Alternate Text or Title of article
12:00 – 1:45 p.m. MDT

In recent decades, the economic framework of Canada’s Constitution has been a subject largely neglected by judges, scholars, and commentators. Trade and Commerce fills this gap by bringing to light a lost understanding of how the Constitution structures economic relations.

As Malcolm Lavoie reveals, the Constitution includes foundational commitments to property rights, local government autonomy, and the principle of subsidiarity. At the same time, it creates a platform for integrated national markets with secure channels for interprovincial trade. This economic vision remains a vital part of Canada’s constitutional order and is relevant to a purposive interpretation of the Constitution. But contemporary legal discourse has begun to lose touch with this vision, with regrettable consequences in a number of different policy areas.

Exploring the implications of the economic Constitution in the context of contemporary issues – including disputes over interprovincial trade and jurisdictional tensions between federal, provincial, and Indigenous governments with respect to the environment and the economy – Trade and Commerce restores economic ideas to the forefront of constitutional thinking in Canada.

Join us at The School of Public Policy for a discussion with the author, Malcolm Lavoie, followed by a commentary and discussion with Gerald Chipeur and Ian Brodie.


  • Malcolm Lavoie, Associate Professor, University of Alberta Faculty of Law
  • Ian Brodie, Undergraduate Program Director and Professor, Department of Political Science & Fellow, Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies


  • Gerald Chipeur, KC, Partner with Miller Thomson LLP, Instructor with the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary


12:00-12:30pm: Registration and light networking lunch

12:30-12:35pm: Land Acknowledgement and Welcome from SPP – Jackie Sieppert

12:35-1:00pm: Book Overview and Insights from the Author: “Trade and Commerce: Canada’s Economic Constitution” – Malcolm Lavoie

1:00-1:45pm: Commentary and Panel Discussion – Malcolm Lavoie, Ian Brodie, Gerald Chipeur


University of Calgary, Downtown Campus
The School of Public Policy
CNOOC North America Technology & Conference Centre – Floor 5
906 8th Ave SW

There is no fee to attend, but registration is required.

Contact us at with questions.