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Photograph of members of the Ottawa Blind Association, 1917, under a banner reading Sight thru Work
Photograph of reports delivered to the Privy Council from various institutes for the blind in 1888
In this section:
The distribution of legislative powers under the British North America Act (Constitution Act, 1867) grants exclusive authority over education to the provincial legislatures. This authority is subject to provisions allowing the federal Cabinet to address education laws under special circumstances. In 1888, for example, the Cabinet communicated with the provincial lieutenant-governors to solicit information on "the education of the Blind, and the Deaf and Dumb, in order that the Commission may be in full knowledge of the practice prevailing abroad in respect of the classes referred to, before they proceed to frame their recommendations to Parliament." Consequently, the Privy Council received detailed reports from each of the provinces and the Northwest Territories, including several printed annual reports from well-established institutions such as the Halifax School for the Blind and the Ontario Institution for the Blind. The hand-written report from the province of Quebec was over two dozen pages long -- by far the longest submission.