Crack that whip – why Real Change is just more of the same for the Liberal caucus

The Liberal Party of Canada’s 2015 election platform, Real Change – A New Plan for a Strong Middle Class, is an extensive document. In one particular section, Giving Canadians a Voice in Ottawa (pages 29-31), the Liberal Party of Canada makes 10 commitments to strengthening the voice of Canadians in our political institutions. These recommendation… Read More Crack that whip – why Real Change is just more of the same for the Liberal caucus

Brother, can you spare 6-months? Is this what Charter ‘dialogue theory’ has become?

  Now that the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has ruled on the request by the Trudeau government to seek a 6-month extension to comply with Carter v. Canada (Carter II), and the Trudeau government has accepted the court order without reservation, what does the ruling say about the SCC and the Trudeau government, as… Read More Brother, can you spare 6-months? Is this what Charter ‘dialogue theory’ has become?

Carter v. Canada and why the Constitution – and Parliament – would benefit from the occasional use of section 33, the Charter’s override provision

In Carter v. Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) declared the provisions of the Criminal Code that restricted physician-assisted suicide unconstitutional as a violation of life, liberty and security of the person protected under section 7 of the Charter of Rights. As a remedy for this unconstitutional violation, the SCC suspended the force of… Read More Carter v. Canada and why the Constitution – and Parliament – would benefit from the occasional use of section 33, the Charter’s override provision

The Parliament of Canada and the Charter of Rights: The Need to Establish a Joint Scrutiny Committee on Human Rights

The mandate letter issued to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons by Prime Minister Trudeau calls for ‘Strengthened Parliamentary committees so that they can better scrutinize legislation.’ The mandate letter elaborates on this, and calls for parliamentary committees to be properly staffed to allow for ‘non-partisan research’ as well as ‘strengthening… Read More The Parliament of Canada and the Charter of Rights: The Need to Establish a Joint Scrutiny Committee on Human Rights

The Charter of Rights and the Minister of Justice: Why Section 4.1.1 of the Department of Justice Act needs to be rethought and reformed

The Trudeau government has gone to great lengths to ensure greater transparency in the operation of the Canadian government. It has released all mandate letters sent to members of Cabinet, which has allowed Canadians to clearly understand the government’s policy objectives and the ethical standards demanded by the Prime Minister. This is a good start… Read More The Charter of Rights and the Minister of Justice: Why Section 4.1.1 of the Department of Justice Act needs to be rethought and reformed

The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Parliamentary Reform: Prime Minister’s Questions and Backbench Independence

The mandate letter issued by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau  to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Dominic LeBlanc, contains several modest – but realizable reforms – that would immediately improve the character of Parliament. The intention to establish ‘Prime Minister’s Questions’ modelled after the United Kingdom, whereby one day a week… Read More The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Parliamentary Reform: Prime Minister’s Questions and Backbench Independence

The Senate after the Election: How will the NDP and the Liberals react?

Although the Senate is a much-maligned institution, it plays a vital role in our bicameral parliament. The current debate on the Senate, and the stated positions of the opposition parties that seek to form government after October, downplay its centrality to the functioning of any government. I am not referring to the embarrassment that Senators… Read More The Senate after the Election: How will the NDP and the Liberals react?