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Why does the arrangement of the layers matter when it comes down to what objects can be FRONT or BACK. It makes no sense that an object from a shared layer will always be in FRONT of all object on a different layer. I think it would make much more sense if FRONT and BACK of the objects were determined on a per object basis and NOT have any relation to the layer.
Layers have a front-to-back order among themselves, too. (Click the disclosure triangle next to the canvas name to see the layer order.) Since you can control which layer is in front of another, it wouldn't make sense to control object order independent of that. In fact, if object order didn't respect layer order, then the concept of layers wouldn't work. You can reorder the layers in a canvas, including shared layers, by dragging them.

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