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Supreme Court reference on Senate reform

Supreme Court reference on Senate reform

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Published by 247politics
Released on April 25, 2014
Released on April 25, 2014

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Published by: 247politics on Apr 25, 2014
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05/15/2014

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SUPREME COURT OF CANADA C
ITATION
:
 Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32
D
ATE
:
 20140425
D
OCKET
:
 35203
IN THE MATTER OF a Reference by the Governor in Council concerning reform of the Senate, as set out in Order in Council P.C. 2013-70, dated February 1, 2013 C
ORAM
:
 McLachlin C.J. and LeBel, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell, Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Wagner JJ.
EASONS FOR
J
UDGMENT
:
(paras. 1 to 112) The Court
N
OTE
:
 This document is subject to editorial revision before its reproduction in final form in the
Canada Supreme Court Reports
.
 
 
REFERENCE RE SENATE REFORM
 
IN THE MATTER OF a Reference by the Governor in Council concerning reform of the Senate, as set out in Order in Council P.C. 2013-70, dated February 1, 2013 Indexed as: Reference re Senate Reform 2014 SCC 32
File No.: 35203. 2013: November 12, 13, 14; 2014: April 25. Present: McLachlin C.J. and LeBel, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell, Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Wagner JJ.
REFERENCE BY GOVERNOR IN COUNCIL
 
Constitutional law
 — 
 Canadian institutions
 — 
 Senate
 — 
 Constitutional amendment
 — 
 Whether Parliament can unilaterally set fixed terms for Senators
 — 
 Whether Parliament can unilaterally implement framework for consultative elections  for appointments to Senate
 — 
 Whether Parliament can unilaterally repeal ss. 23(3) and 23(4) of Constitution Act, 1867 requiring that Senators must own land worth $4,000 in province for which they are appointed and have net worth of at least $4,000
 — 
 Whether constitutional amendment abolishing Senate may be accomplished by
 
 
 general amending procedure or whether unanimous consent procedure applies
 — 
 Constitution Act, 1982, ss. 38(1)(2), 41(e), 42(1)(b)(c), 43, 44.
Pursuant to s. 53 of the
Supreme Court Act 
, the Governor in Council referred the following questions to this Court:
1.
In relation to each of the following proposed limits to the tenure of Senators, is it within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada, acting pursuant to section 44 of the
Constitution Act,
 
1982
, to make amendments to section 29 of the
Constitution Act, 1867 
 providing for (
a
) a fixed term of nine years for Senators, as set out in clause 5 of Bill C-7, the
Senate Reform Act 
; (
b
) a fixed term of ten years or more for Senators; (
c
) a fixed term of eight years or less for Senators; (
) a fixed term of the life of two or three Parliaments for Senators; (
e
) a renewable term for Senators, as set out in clause 2 of Bill S-4,
Constitution Act, 2006 (Senate tenure)
; (
 f 
) limits to the terms for Senators appointed after October 14, 2008 as set out in subclause 4(1) of Bill C-7, the
Senate Reform Act 
; and (
 g 
) retrospective limits to the terms for Senators appointed before October 14, 2008?
2.
 Is it within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada, acting  pursuant to section 91 of the
Constitution Act, 1867 
, or section 44 of the
Constitution Act, 1982
, to enact legislation that provides a means of consulting the population of each province and territory as to its  preferences for potential nominees for appointment to the Senate pursuant to a national process as was set out in Bill C-20, the
Senate Appointment Consultations Act 
?
3.
 Is it within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada, acting  pursuant to section 91 of the
Constitution Act, 1867 
, or section 44 of the
Constitution Act, 1982
, to establish a framework setting out a basis for  provincial and territorial legislatures to enact legislation to consult their

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