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§ 198. “Formed.”

In the expression “trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth,” the words “formed within,” &c., apparently include corporations formed under the authority of State laws, whether before or after the establishment of the Commonwealth. “Formed” is certainly capable of meaning “formed under State laws.” It would have been unnecessary to declare that the Parliament should have power to make laws controlling corporations “formed” by its own authority. There is no express power vested in the Parliament to incorporate trading or financial companies (sec. 51—xiii.). Whether such companies could be created under the trade and commerce section is not clear. It would therefore seem that this provision refers to companies created under State laws. Such bodies, once launched, will come within the control of Federal legislation. Under this power it would probably be competent for Parliament to convert a corporation created by State authority into a Federal corporation; to enlarge the scope of its operations and business; to confer on a local corporation certain powers which would be beyond the jurisdiction of the States Governments to grant. (Todd's Parl. Gov. in Col., 2nd ed. 437.)

“In June, 1881, the Quebec Court of Queen's Bench, on an appeal from the decision of an inferior court, declared that the Dominion Parliament had exceeded its powers in the incorporation, by Act 43 Vic. c. 67, of the Bell Telephone Company. This company had been authorized to establish telephone lines in any part of Canada, to cross rivers, boundary lines, &c. But the company, in commencing a local business in Quebec, did so for purely local traffic, having no pretension to service of a dominion character. Their undertaking did not involve the connection of service with two or more Provinces, or the need even to cross navigable rivers; neither had Parliament declared the company to be ‘for the general advantage of Canada, or of two or more Provinces.’ In fact, the powers claimed to have been conferred were beyond the jurisdiction of the Dominion Parliament to grant, and should have been obtained in the particular instance from the Quebec legislature. The company were therefore adjudged to have been guilty of a nuisance, in erecting their poles in the city of Quebec without lawful authority. But in the same month (June, 1881), upon application to the Quebec legislature, then in session, an Act was passed ‘to confer certain powers on the Bell Telephone Company of Canada,’ which recognized this company, and gave it the necessary corporate powers for provincial work, saving only actions pending in the courts. Similar Acts were passed by the New Brunswick, the Nova Scotia, and the Ontario legislatures, in 1882. And in the same year, the Dominion Parliament amended their Act of incorporation, and furthermore declared the works in question to be ‘for the general advantage of Canada.”’ (Todd's Parl. Gov. in Col. 2nd ed. p. 534.)

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