The Senate stays as it is for now.


willqccan
Free Thinker
#1
Stephen Harper says Senate reform is off the table - Politics - CBC News

Significant reform of the Senate as well as the question of whether the upper chamber can be abolished are "off the table," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, speaking in Kitchener-Waterloo Friday.
"The Supreme Court has said these are only decisions the provinces can make," Harper said, referring to the top court's advisory opinion that Senate changes cannot be accomplished without the consent of some or all of the provinces along with the federal government.

"So essentially this is a decision for the status quo, a status quo that is supported by virtually no Canadian," Harper continued. "We are virtually stuck in the status quo for the time being."
Saying he was disappointed by the Supreme Court's conclusions, as he thought "the vast majority" of Canadians would be, Harper added he would respect the court's decision.
Harper also said while there could be no consensus among the provinces on abolition, there was also no desire to reopen the Constitution for a "bunch of constitutional negotiations," signalling he is unlikely to pursue the notion of a nation-wide referendum on abolishing the Senate.
Constitution would have to be re-opened

Even if an abolition referendum garnered approval in all 10 provinces, the Constitution would still have to be re-opened for an amendment. The provinces would likely start demanding other amendments, a process that has proved, in the past, to be divisive and prone to failure.
During a news conference on Parliament Hill Friday, Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre confirmed the government has no plans to hold a referendum on Senate reform or abolition.
But some Conservative MPs disagree. Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai tweeted Friday he supports fellow MP Maxime Bernier's call for a referendum on Senate abolition.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, speaking from Kingston, said Harper has always known a constitutional amendment is necessary for any of the major changes to the Senate suggested by the government, but did nothing about it for 10 years.
Asked whether he could personally convince the provinces to agree on changes to the Senate, Mulcair replied, "Contrary to Mr. Harper, I've never stopped trying," explaining he's been continually talking to provincial premiers.
He also mentioned his Roll Up the Red Carpet tour over the summer in which he collected thousands of signatures from people who want to see an end to the Senate.
He said he will not stop his crusade to see the Senate abolished.
"We're not going to raise the white flag on this one," he said.
Mulcair added Harper is "exactly like Brian Mulroney before him, exactly like Jean Chrétien. These are all people who realize that the Senate's a great place to name your bagmen, your henchmen, your political cronies."
Provinces react

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall used the same word Harper employed: "stuck".
In a statement, Wall said, "Canadians are stuck indefinitely with an unelected, unaccountable, upper house, a principle feature of which is a representational bias against Western Canada."
Wall called the Senate anachronistic and embarrassing. He went on to say because the court decided an abolition referendum would need every province's consent, the exercise would be "a probable waste of time and taxpayers' money."
His statement suggests a possible solution: "Successive prime ministers [could] refuse to appoint senators until the chamber is empty."
The Prime Minister's Office, answering a question from CBC News, said in a BBM message, "The PM [prime minister] has no intention to appoint new Senators at this point"
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynn issued a statement Friday saying she was "pleased the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled the federal government must work with the provinces," adding she thinks the Senate plays a valuable role as a chamber of sober second thought.
The attorney general and minister of justice for British Columbia said in a statement they were pleased "British Columbians should have a say in any decision to reform the Senate." However, they noted that in their recommendations to the court, they did not feel unanimity was necessary to abolish the Senate. They also did not offer any endorsement of the Senate's value.
The top court said senators cannot be chosen by means of elections, but made no comment about the legitimacy of several Alberta senators who won elections in their province before taking seats in the upper chamber.
Senator Doug Black, who placed first in an Alberta Senate nominee election in 2012, and was appointed to the Senate in 2013, said in a phone interview, "I would think the province of Alberta is well within its constitutional legal rights to do what they have been doing."
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
+1
#2
So open the constitution. It has to happen sooner or later if not on this issue then another.
 
BornRuff
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by WLDBView Post

So open the constitution. It has to happen sooner or later if not on this issue then another.

The funny part is that any changes to the constitution have to be approved by the senate.

Or as the senators so eloquently put it:

Dave Chappelle - Gotcha bitch Original Scene - YouTube

 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+1
#4
Zero chance of getting the senate to vote for abolishing its self as long as there is a liberal senator awake, sober and attending.
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Zero chance of getting the senate to vote for abolishing its self as long as there is a liberal senator awake, sober and attending.


Rules can be changed, in the meantime it's important for ALL the provinces to take a stand on this. I can't see why this should take any longer than a week. Every Canadian should be making a concerted effort to get those rotten bastards out of there. It's absolutely criminal paying $millions a year to support these creatures. As young George Bush said, "if you are not against them you are with them"
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Rules can be changed, in the meantime it's important for ALL the provinces to take a stand on this. I can't see why this should take any longer than a week. Every Canadian should be making a concerted effort to get those rotten bastards out of there. It's absolutely criminal paying $millions a year to support these creatures. As young George Bush said, "if you are not against them you are with them"

Change now takes seven provinces with 50% of the population. Elimination takes all the provinces, house of commons and senate. You really think all of them could even agree on the time of day?
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Change now takes seven provinces with 50% of the population. Elimination takes all the provinces, house of commons and senate. You really think all of them could even agree on the time of day?


No but they might all agree there are better channels for their taxes to go down! -
 
Nuggler
+2
#8
Did anyone really believe Helmet was going to do it. ? **** off eh.
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Zero chance of getting the senate to vote for abolishing its self as long as there is a liberal senator awake, sober and attending.

I doubt the Conservatives would go for it either. Not most of them anyway.

Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

Did anyone really believe Helmet was going to do it. ? **** off eh.

Would have been nice if he had really tried. Its one of the few issues I agree with him on. I don't think his plan went far enough but it was better than nothing.

Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Rules can be changed, in the meantime it's important for ALL the provinces to take a stand on this. I can't see why this should take any longer than a week. Every Canadian should be making a concerted effort to get those rotten bastards out of there. It's absolutely criminal paying $millions a year to support these creatures. As young George Bush said, "if you are not against them you are with them"

The people you can probably get onside its the governments that will be the problem. The Ontario government thinks the senate is fine as is and has been opposed to all changes for some time. If Hudak were in I doubt he would be much different. Quebec will of course be a problem too. The amending formula is damn near impossible to meet. They probably did that on purpose.
 
BornRuff
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Rules can be changed, in the meantime it's important for ALL the provinces to take a stand on this. I can't see why this should take any longer than a week. Every Canadian should be making a concerted effort to get those rotten bastards out of there. It's absolutely criminal paying $millions a year to support these creatures. As young George Bush said, "if you are not against them you are with them"

Changes to the process for changing the constitution take unanimous consent from every province and every member of the house and the senate, so good luck with that.

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Zero chance of getting the senate to vote for abolishing its self as long as there is a liberal senator awake, sober and attending.

Lol, seriously? What political stripe were the three senators who recently fought tooth and nail to keep their job despite gross misconduct?
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#11
Yes, our honourable senators would be asked to approve the abolition of the Senate. However, pursuant to section 47 of the Constitution Act, 1982, if the Senate does not pass a resolution within 180 days to adopt a constitutional amendment that (a) has already been adopted by the House of Commons, and (b) requires provincial consent, then the constitutional amendment can be proclaimed once the House of Commons re-adopts the resolution a second time after that 180-day period.

So, if the House of Commons and the legislatures of each province were all in unanimous agreement that the Senate should be abolished, then the Senate could only object for 180 days before the Governor General could issue the proclamation amending the Constitution Acts, 1867-1982, and abolishing the Upper House.
 
Dixie Cup
Libertarian
#12
Would a country-wide referendum help with this? If there was a solid majority that would, agree to abolish or amend the senate, does anyone think the Feds and Provincial Governments will then address this issue by re-opening the Constitution? Would this referendum be binding or could it be binding?


Just wondering....
 
BornRuff
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Dixie CupView Post

Would a country-wide referendum help with this? If there was a solid majority that would, agree to abolish or amend the senate, does anyone think the Feds and Provincial Governments will then address this issue by re-opening the Constitution? Would this referendum be binding or could it be binding?


Just wondering....

My understanding is that making something like that binding would constitute a change to how the constitution is amended, and would therefore require unanimous consent of all provinces, house, and senate.

I do not think you would get unanimous support for anything that is simply based on a majority vote of the population of Canada. That pretty much puts all the power in the hands of Ontario and Quebec, who hold over 60% of the population.
 
Walter
#14
BR is talking out of his a$$ again.

Part V (sections 38 to 49) of the Constitution Act, 1982 sets out how the Constitution of Canada can be amended.
  • Through the general amending procedure, generally referred to as the 7/50 formula (section 38.(1)). Some amendments require resolutions of the Senate, the House of Commons, and the legislative assemblies of at least two thirds of the provinces (7) that have at least 50% of the population of Canada as a whole. These include amendments in relation to the powers of the Senate and the method of selecting Senators, and the extension of existing provinces into the territories (section 42).
 
BornRuff
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

BR is talking out of his a$$ again.

Part V (sections 38 to 49) of the Constitution Act, 1982 sets out how the Constitution of Canada can be amended.

  • Through the general amending procedure, generally referred to as the 7/50 formula (section 38.(1)). Some amendments require resolutions of the Senate, the House of Commons, and the legislative assemblies of at least two thirds of the provinces (7) that have at least 50% of the population of Canada as a whole. These include amendments in relation to the powers of the Senate and the method of selecting Senators, and the extension of existing provinces into the territories (section 42).

Exactly what part of what I said do you think is wrong?

Where does the constitution spell out a way to change the constitution by way of binding referendum? If you wanted to change the rules on how the amend the constitution, what would that require?
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#16
The whole god damn system is bogus. In a place like Canada when 90% of the people have something imposed on them that they don't want, something is radically wrong. Why are we accepting this crap that we can't get rid of the Senate? Those bastards have been corrupt for years. I don't know if he's still there but they had one old boy who attended about 10% of the meetings because he was busy tear as$ing around Mexico. The likes of Wallin and Duffy are nothing but third rate criminals and should be in jail. I say "where there's a will there's a way" and we should find it pronto. If this happened in any other country there would be mass as sas sinations!
 
Walter
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

Exactly what part of what I said do you think is wrong?

"Changes to the process for changing the constitution take unanimous consent from every province and every member of the house and the senate, so good luck with that." BR
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
+3
#18  Top Rated Post
BornRuff is quite correct.

The Supreme Court's rationale for requiring the unanimous consent amending formula for abolishing the Senate is the fact that the Senate has a role to play in constitutional amendments. Therefore, abolishing the Senate would change the constitutional amending formula. Section 41(e) of the Constitution Act, 1982, requires that any amendment to the amending formula requires a resolution of the House of Commons, the Senate, and all ten provincial legislatures.
 
BornRuff
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

"Changes to the process for changing the constitution take unanimous consent from every province and every member of the house and the senate, so good luck with that." BR

As five explained below, that is exactly what is required to change the process for changing the constitution.

Do you get the difference? Most of the constitution can be changed with the 50 + 7 formula, but certain things, such as changing the formula itself, require unanimous support.


Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadoxView Post

BornRuff is quite correct.

The Supreme Court's rationale for requiring the unanimous consent amending formula for abolishing the Senate is the fact that the Senate has a role to play in constitutional amendments. Therefore, abolishing the Senate would change the constitutional amending formula. Section 41(e) of the Constitution Act, 1982, requires that any amendment to the amending formula requires a resolution of the House of Commons, the Senate, and all ten provincial legislatures.

Thanks
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#20
Some Senate reforms could still be pursued: Senator Segal

In a shocking turn of events today, I agree with a Conservative senator! The Honourable Senator Hugh Segal C.M. (Kingston-Frontenac-Leeds, Ontario) has said that there are still reforms to the Senate that Parliament could pursue without necessarily seeking the consent of the provinces. He advises that we need only look to the House of Lords — the Upper House of the United Kingdom Parliament — to find ways to improve the operations of the Senate.

Some ideas that could be pursued include (a) establishing a commission to nominate candidates to be recommended for appointment to the Senate, to ensure that areas of expertise such as law, science, business, and others, are properly represented by experts in the Upper House; and (b) not allowing any single political party to have an overall majority of seats in the Senate. These are reforms that could be pursued easily.

I hope the Government looks for constructive and reasonable reforms, now that the Supreme Court of Canada has pretty clearly told the Prime Minister that he cannot move ahead with the radical reforms he's proposed without genuinely engaging with the provinces.

Source: Global News
 
pgs
Free Thinker
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadoxView Post

Some Senate reforms could still be pursued: Senator Segal
In a shocking turn of events today, I agree with a Conservative senator! The Honourable Senator Hugh Segal C.M. (Kingston-Frontenac-Leeds, Ontario) has said that there are still reforms to the Senate that Parliament could pursue without necessarily seeking the consent of the provinces. He advises that we need only look to the House of Lords — the Upper House of the United Kingdom Parliament — to find ways to improve the operations of the Senate.
Some ideas that could be pursued include (a) establishing a commission to nominate candidates to be recommended for appointment to the Senate, to ensure that areas of expertise such as law, science, business, and others, are properly represented by experts in the Upper House; and (b) not allowing any single political party to have an overall majority of seats in the Senate. These are reforms that could be pursued easily.
I hope the Government looks for constructive and reasonable reforms, now that the Supreme Court of Canada has pretty clearly told the Prime Minister that he cannot move ahead with the radical reforms he's proposed without genuinely engaging with the provinces.
Source:

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
Of course there are . Starve the beast .
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by pgsView Post

Of course there are . Starve the beast .

Doubtful.

The Senate has the authority to defeat budget bills; a bill to starve the Upper House of funding would likely never pass and, even if it did, I can smell the constitutional challenge from here (i.e., Parliament attempting abolition-by-bankruptcy instead of going through the unanimous-consent amending formula).

It is also doubtful that the Prime Minister could simply stop recommending names to the Governor General for appointment to the Senate, as a workaround solution. This would place the Governor General in the untenable position of acting without ministerial advice to meet the role's obligations under the Constitution Act, 1867 (where the word “shall” is used to describe the Governor General's duty to appoint senators).
 

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