Reference Re Senate Reform, (2014) 457 N.R. 206 (SCC)

JudgeMcLachlin, C.J.C., LeBel, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell, Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Wagner, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateApril 25, 2014
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(2014), 457 N.R. 206 (SCC);2014 SCC 32;[2014] 1 SCR 704

Ref. Re Senate Reform (2014), 457 N.R. 206 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

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Temp. Cite: [2014] N.R. TBEd. AP.015

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

(35203; 2014 SCC 32; 2014 CSC 32)

Indexed As: Reference Re Senate Reform

Supreme Court of Canada

McLachlin, C.J.C., LeBel, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell, Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Wagner, JJ.

April 25, 2014.

Summary:

The Government of Canada asked the court, under s. 53 of the Supreme Court Act, to answer essentially four questions: (1) Could Parliament unilaterally implement a framework for consultative elections for appointments to the Senate? (2) Could Parliament unilaterally set fixed terms for Senators? (3) Could Parliament unilaterally remove from the Constitution Act, 1867 the requirement that Senators must own land worth $4,000 in the province for which they are appointed and have a net worth of at least $4,000? and (4) What degree of provincial consent was required to abolish the Senate?

The Supreme Court of Canada concluded that Parliament could not unilaterally achieve most of the proposed changes to the Senate, which required the consent of at least seven provinces representing, in the aggregate, at least half of the population of all the provinces. The court further concluded that abolition of the Senate required the consent of all of the provinces. Abolition of the Senate would fundamentally change Canada's constitutional structure, including its procedures for amending the Constitution, and could only be done with unanimous federal-provincial consensus. The specific Reference questions and the court's answers are set out in the final paragraph of the judgment (para. 112).

Constitutional Law - Topic 323

Federal government - Senate - Abolition of - The Government of Canada asked the court to answer a question regarding amendment of the Constitution of Canada to abolish the Senate - The Reference asked which of two possible procedures applied to abolition of the Senate: the general amending procedure or the unanimous consent procedure - The Attorney General of Canada argued that the general amending procedure applied because abolition of the Senate fell under matters which Part V expressly said attracted that procedure: amendments in relation to "the powers of the Senate" and "the number of members by which a province is entitled to be represented in the Senate" (ss. 42(1)(b) and (c)) - Abolition, it was argued, was simply a matter of "powers" and "members": it literally took away all of the Senate's powers and all of its members - Alternatively, the Attorney General of Canada argued that since abolition of the Senate was not expressly mentioned anywhere in Part V, it fell residually under the general amending procedure - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "We cannot accept the Attorney General's arguments. Abolition of the Senate is not merely a matter of 'powers' or 'members' under s. 42(1)(b) and (c) of the Constitution Act, 1982. Rather, abolition of the Senate would fundamentally alter our constitutional architecture - by removing the bicameral form of government that gives shape to the Constitution Act, 1867 - and would amend Part V, which requires the unanimous consent of Parliament and the provinces (s. 41(e), Constitution Act, 1982)" - See paragraphs 95 to 97.

Constitutional Law - Topic 323

Federal government - Senate - Abolition of - The Government of Canada asked the court to answer a question regarding amendment of the Constitution of Canada to abolish the Senate - The Reference asked which of two possible procedures applied to abolition of the Senate: the general amending procedure or the unanimous consent procedure - The Attorney General of Canada argued that the general amending procedure applied because abolition of the Senate fell under matters which Part V expressly said attracted that procedure: amendments in relation to "the powers of the Senate" and "the number of members by which a province is entitled to be represented in the Senate" (ss. 42(1)(b) and (c)) - Abolition, it was argued, was simply a matter of "powers" and "members": it literally took away all of the Senate's powers and all of its members - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "To interpret s. 42 as embracing Senate abolition would depart from the ordinary meaning of its language and is not supported by the historical record. The mention of amendments in relation to the powers of the Senate and the number of Senators for each province presupposes the continuing existence of a Senate and makes no room for an indirect abolition of the Senate. Within the scope of s. 42, it is possible to make significant changes to the powers of the Senate and the number of Senators. But it is outside the scope of s. 42 to altogether strip the Senate of its powers and reduce the number of Senators to zero" - See paragraphs 98 to 102.

Constitutional Law - Topic 323

Federal government - Senate - Abolition of - The Government of Canada asked the court to answer a question regarding amendment of the Constitution of Canada to abolish the Senate - The Reference asked which of two possible procedures applied to abolition of the Senate: the general amending procedure or the unanimous consent procedure - The Attorney General of Canada argued that Senate abolition could be accomplished without amending Part V and it therefore did not fall within the scope of s. 41(e), which required unanimous federal-provincial consent - He argued that the Senate could be abolished without textually modifying the provisions of Part V - The references to the Senate in Part V would simply be viewed as "spent" and as devoid of legal effect - The Attorney General further submitted that the Part V amending procedures would remain functional despite the presence of these "spent" provisions, since the Senate's failure to adopt a resolution authorizing a constitutional amendment could be overridden after the expiration of a 180-day period (s. 47(1)) - Moreover, he submitted that the Senate's role in the unilateral federal amending procedure (s. 44) could be eliminated under the general amending procedure, by changing the definition of Parliament in s. 17 of the Constitution Act, 1867 so as to remove the upper house - The Supreme Court of Canada disagreed with these submissions - The court stated that "Part V was drafted on the assumption that the federal Parliament would remain bicameral in nature, i.e. that there would continue to be both a lower legislative chamber and a complementary upper chamber. Removal of the upper chamber from our Constitution would alter the structure and functioning of Part V. Consequently, it requires the unanimous consent of Parliament and of all the provinces (s. 41(e)). ... the notion of an amendment to the Constitution of Canada is not limited to textual modifications - it also embraces significant structural modifications of the Constitution. The abolition of the upper chamber would entail a significant structural modification of Part V. Amendments to the Constitution of Canada are subject to review by the Senate. ... The elimination of bicameralism would render this mechanism of review inoperative and effectively change the dynamics of the constitutional amendment process. The constitutional structure of Part V as a whole would be fundamentally altered" - See paragraphs 103 to 109.

Constitutional Law - Topic 323

Federal government - Senate - Abolition of - The Government of Canada asked the court to answer a question regarding amendment of the Constitution of Canada to abolish the Senate - The Reference asked which of two possible procedures applied to abolition of the Senate: the general amending procedure or the unanimous consent procedure - The Supreme Court of Canada concluded that "The review of constitutional amendments by an upper house is an essential component of the Part V amending procedures. The Senate has a role to play in all of the Part V amending procedures, except for the unilateral provincial procedure. The process of constitutional amendment in a unicameral system would be qualitatively different from the current process. There would be one less player in the process, one less mechanism of review. It would be necessary to decide whether the amending procedure can function as currently drafted in a unicameral system, or whether it should be modified to provide for a new mechanism of review that occupies the role formerly played by the upper chamber. These issues relate to the functioning of the constitutional amendment formula and, as such, unanimous consent of Parliament and of all the provinces is required under s. 41(e) of the Constitution Act, 1982" - See paragraph 110.

Constitutional Law - Topic 327

Federal government - Senate - Appointment - General - The Attorney General of Canada submitted that implementing consultative elections for appointment to the Senate would not constitute an amendment to the Constitution of Canada - He argued that this reform would not change the text of the Constitution Act, 1867, nor the means of selecting Senators - He pointed out that the formal mechanism for appointing Senators (summons by the Governor General acting on the advice of the Prime Minister) would remain untouched - Alternatively, he submitted that if introducing consultative elections constituted an amendment to the Constitution, then it could be achieved unilaterally by Parliament under s. 44 of the Constitution Act, 1982 - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "the argument that introducing consultative elections does not constitute an amendment to the Constitution privileges form over substance. It reduces the notion of constitutional amendment to a matter of whether or not the letter of the constitutional text is modified. This narrow approach is inconsistent with the broad and purposive manner in which the Constitution is understood and interpreted ... While the provisions regarding the appointment of Senators would remain textually untouched, the Senate's fundamental nature and role as a complementary legislative body of sober second thought would be significantly altered. We conclude that each of the proposed consultative elections would constitute an amendment to the Constitution of Canada and require substantial provincial consent under the general amending procedure, without the provincial right to 'opt out' of the amendment (s. 42). We reach this conclusion for three reasons: (1) the proposed consultative elections would fundamentally alter the architecture of the Constitution; (2) the text of Part V expressly makes the general amending procedure applicable to a change of this nature; and (3) the proposed change is beyond the scope of the unilateral federal amending procedure (s. 44)" - See paragraphs 51 to 53.

Constitutional Law - Topic 327

Federal government - Senate - Appointment - General - The Supreme Court of Canada concluded that "introducing a process of consultative elections for the nomination of Senators would change our Constitution's architecture, by endowing Senators with a popular mandate which is inconsistent with the Senate's role as a complementary legislative chamber of sober second thought. This would constitute an amendment to the Constitution of Canada in relation to the method of selecting Senators. It thus attracts the general amending procedure, without the provincial right to 'opt out': s. 42(1)(b), Constitution Act, 1982" - See paragraphs 54 to 70.

Constitutional Law - Topic 327

Federal government - Senate - Appointment - General - At issue was whether Parliament could unilaterally implement a framework for consultative elections for appointments to the Senate - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "Our view that the consultative election proposals would amend the Constitution of Canada is supported by the language of Part V. ... Section 42(1)(b) of the Constitution Act, 1982 provides that the general amending procedure (s. 38(1)) applies to constitutional amendments in relation to 'the method of selecting Senators' ('le mode de sélection des sénateurs'). This broad wording covers the implementation of consultative elections, indicating that a constitutional amendment is required and making that amendment subject to the general procedure: ... The words 'the method of selecting Senators' include more than the formal appointment of Senators by the Governor General. '[S]ection 42(b) refers to the method of selecting persons for appointment, not the means of appointment': ... By employing this language, the framers of the Constitution Act, 1982 extended the constitutional protection provided by the general amending procedure to the entire process by which Senators are 'selected'. The proposed consultative elections would produce lists of candidates, from which prime ministers would be expected to choose when making appointments to the Senate. The compilation of these lists through national or provincial and territorial elections and the Prime Minister's consideration of them prior to making recommendations to the Governor General would form part of the 'method of selecting Senators'. Consequently, the implementation of consultative elections falls within the scope of s. 42(1)(b) and is subject to the general amending procedure, without the provincial right to 'opt out'" - See paragraphs 64 to 65.

Constitutional Law - Topic 327

Federal government - Senate - Appointment - General - The Attorney General of Canada argued that, if the implementation of consultative elections for appointment to the Senate required a constitutional amendment, then it could be achieved under the unilateral federal amending procedure (s. 44 of the Constitution Act, 1982) - He argued that the creation of consultative elections would be an amendment 'in relation to ... the Senate', within the meaning of s. 44 - The Supreme Court of Canada rejected the argument - The court stated that "s. 42(1)(b) makes the general amending procedure applicable to changes to 'the method of selecting Senators'. Section 44 is expressly made '[s]ubject to' s. 42 - the categories of amendment captured by s. 42 are removed from the scope of s. 44. It follows that the 7/50 procedure, as opposed to the unilateral federal procedure, applies to the introduction of consultative elections. Moreover, the scope of s. 44 is limited - it does not encompass consultative elections, which would change the Senate's fundamental nature and role by endowing it with a popular mandate" - See paragraphs 68 to 69.

Constitutional Law - Topic 329

Federal government - Senate - Senators - Qualifications - The Constitution Act, 1867, established a real property qualification requiring Senators to own land worth at least $4,000 in the province for which they were appointed (s. 23(3)), and a requirement that Senators have a personal net worth of at least $4,000 (s. 23(4)) - The Attorney General of Canada argued that Parliament could repeal the provisions setting out these requirements through the unilateral federal amendment procedure - The Attorney General of Quebec contended that the repeal of the real property qualification in s. 23(3) would affect the operation of s. 23(6), which allowed Quebec Senators to either reside in the electoral division for which they were appointed or to fulfill their real property qualification in that division - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "We conclude that the net worth requirement (s. 23(4)) can be repealed by Parliament under the unilateral federal amending procedure. However, a full repeal of the real property requirement (s. 23(3)) requires the consent of Quebec's legislative assembly, under the special arrangements procedure. Indeed, a full repeal of that provision would also constitute an amendment in relation to s. 23(6), which contains a special arrangement applicable only to the province of Quebec" - See paragraphs 84 to 94.

Constitutional Law - Topic 1012

Interpretation of Constitution Act - Liberal interpretation - [See first Constitutional Law - Topic 327 ].

Constitutional Law - Topic 1014

Interpretation of Constitution Act - General principles - History - [See second Constitutional Law - Topic 323 ].

Constitutional Law - Topic 2101

Amendments - Constitution Act and Constitutional documents - General - The Supreme Court of Canada examined the nature and content of the Constitution of Canada, the concept of constitutional amendment, and the Constitution's procedures for amendment - See paragraphs 23 to 48.

Constitutional Law - Topic 2106

Amendments - Constitution Act and constitutional documents - By unilateral federal action - [See first and fourth Constitutional Law - Topic 327 and Constitutional Law - Topic 329 ].

Constitutional Law - Topic 2106

Amendments - Constitution Act and constitutional documents - By unilateral federal action - A change in the duration of senatorial terms would amend the Constitution of Canada by requiring a modification to the text of s. 29 of the Constitution Act, 1867 - The Attorney General of Canada argued that changes to senatorial tenure fell residually within the unilateral federal power of amendment in s. 44, since they were not expressly captured by the language of s. 42 - The Supreme Court of Canada did not agree with the Attorney General's interpretation of the scope of s. 44 - The unilateral federal amendment procedure was limited - It was not a broad procedure that encompassed all constitutional changes to the Senate which were not expressly included within another procedure in Part V - Section 38, rather than s. 44, was the general procedure for constitutional amendment - Changes that engaged the interests of the provinces in the Senate as an institution forming an integral part of the federal system could only be achieved under the general amending procedure - Section 44, as an exception to the general procedure, encompassed measures that maintained or changed the Senate without altering its fundamental nature and role - The imposition of fixed terms for senators, even lengthy ones, constituted a change that engaged the interests of the provinces as stakeholders in Canada's constitutional design and fell within the rule of general application for constitutional change (the 7/50 procedure in s. 38) - See paragraphs 71 to 83.

Constitutional Law - Topic 2107

Amendments - Constitution Act and constitutional documents - When unanimity required - [See first, third and fourth Constitutional Law - Topic 323 ].

Constitutional Law - Topic 2108

Amendment - Constitution Act and constitutional documents - When amendment required - [See first and second Constitutional Law - Topic 327 ].

Cases Noticed:

Projet de loi fédéral relatif au Sénat, Re, 2013 QCCA 1807, refd to. [para. 11].

Figueroa v. Canada (Attorney General), [2003] 1 S.C.R. 912; 306 N.R. 70; 176 O.A.C. 89; 2003 SCC 37, refd to. [para. 15].

Reference Re The British North America Act and the Federal Senate, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 54; 30 N.R. 271, refd to. [para. 19].

Reference Re Authority of Parliament in Relation to the Upper House - see Reference Re The British North America Act and the Federal Senate.

Reference Re Secession of Quebec, [1998] 2 S.C.R. 217; 228 N.R. 203, refd to. [para. 23].

Reference Re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court (P.E.I.), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3; 217 N.R. 1; 206 A.R. 1; 156 W.A.C. 1; 121 Man.R.(2d) 1; 158 W.A.C. 1; 156 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 1; 483 A.P.R. 1, refd to. [para. 23].

Reference Re Supreme Court Act (2014), 455 N.R. 202; 2014 SCC 21, refd to. [para. 23].

Southam Inc. v. Hunter, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 145; 55 N.R. 241; 55 A.R. 291, refd to. [para. 25].

Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General), [1930] A.C. 124 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 25].

R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295; 58 N.R. 81; 60 A.R. 161, refd to. [para. 25].

New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. Speaker of the House of Assembly (N.S.) et al., [1993] 1 S.C.R. 319; 146 N.R. 161; 118 N.S.R.(2d) 181; 327 A.P.R. 181, refd to. [para. 25].

Manitoba Language Rights Reference, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 721; 59 N.R. 321; 35 Man. R.(2d) 83, refd to. [para. 25].

Ontario Public Service Employees Union et al. v. Ontario (Attorney General) et al., [1987] 2 S.C.R. 2; 77 N.R. 321; 23 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 26].

Constitutional Amendment References 1981 (Man., Nfld., Que.), [1981] 1 S.C.R. 753; 39 N.R. 1; 11 Man.R.(2d) 1; 34 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. l; 95 A.P.R. 1, refd to. [para. 29].

Quebec Constitutional Amendment Reference (No. 2), [1982] 2 S.C.R. 793; 45 N.R. 317, refd to. [para. 29].

Reference Re Securities Act, [2011] 3 S.C.R. 837; 424 N.R. 1; 519 A.R. 63; 539 W.A.C. 63; 2011 SCC 66, refd to. [para. 66].

Statutes Noticed:

Constitution Act, 1982, sect. 38 [para. 33]; sect. 41 [para. 40]; sect. 42 [para. 37]; sect. 43 [para. 42]; sect. 44, sect. 45 [para. 45]; sect. 47(1) [para. 104]; sect. 52(2) [para. 24].

Constitution Act, 1867, sect. 17 [para. 55]; sect. 23(3), sect. 23(4), sect. 23(5), sect. 23(6) [para. 84]; sect. 24 [para. 50]; sect. 29(2) [para. 71]; sect. 32 [para. 50]; sect. 37 [para. 55]; sect. 91(1), sect. 92(1) [para. 46].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Beaudoin, Gérald A., Federalism for the Future: Essential Reforms (1998), p. 324 [para. 35].

Brun, Henri, Tremblay, Guy, and Brouillet, Eugéne, Droit constitutionel (5th Ed. 2008), p. 343 [para. 64].

Cameron, Jamie, To Amend the Process of Amendment, in Beaudoin, Gérald A. et al., Federalism for the Future: Essential Reforms (1998), p. 324 [para. 35].

Canada, Canadian Constitution 1980: Proposed Resolution respecting the Constitution of Canada (1980), generally [para. 30].

Canada, Constitutional Accord: Canadian Patriation Plan (1981), generally [para. 30]; Explanatory Notes 7, 8 [para. 46]; Part A, p. 1 [para. 31].

Canada, Constitutional Conference: Proceedings (1971), Appendix B [para. 30].

Canada, Department of Justice, The Amendment of the Constitution of Canada (1965), pp. 15, 16 [para. 29]; 110 to 115 [para. 30].

Canada, Minister of State for Federal-Provincial Relations, Constitutional Reform: House of the Federation (1978), pp. 7 et seq. [para. 18, footnote 3].

Canada, Parliamentary Debates on the Subject of the Confederation of the British North American Provinces, 3rd Sess., 8th Provincial Parliament (February 6, 1865), pp. 35 [para. 15]; 36, 37 [para. 58]; 76 [para. 79].

Canada, Parliamentary Debates on the Subject of the Confederation of the British North American Provinces, 3rd Sess., 8th Provincial Parliament (February 8, 1865), p. 88 [para. 15].

Canada, Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada, Final Report (Molgat-MacGuigan Report) (1972), p. 35 [para. 18, footnote 1].

Canada, Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence, No. 53, 1st Sess., 32nd Parliament (February 4, 1981), pp. 50, 67, 68 [para. 76].

Canada, Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Report on Certain Aspects of the Canadian Constitution (Lamontagne Report) (1980), pp. 35, 36 [para. 18, footnote 1].

Canada, Task Force on Canadian Unity, A Future Together: Observations and Recommendations (Pepin-Robarts Report) (1979), pp. 98, 128, 129 [para. 18, footnote 2].

Cheffins, Ronald I., The Constitution Act, 1982 and the Amending Formula: Political and Legal Implications (1982), 5 S.C.L.R. 43, pp. 52, 53 [para. 46].

Cིཾté, Charles-Emmanuel, L'inconstitutionnalité du projet d'élections fédérales sénatoriales (2010), 3 R.Q.D.C. 81, p. 83 [para. 64].

Cyr, Hugo, L'absurdité du critère scriptural pour qualifier la constitution (2012), 6 J.P.P.L. 293, generally [para. 25].

Desserud, Don, Whither 91.1? The Constitutionality of Bill C-19: An Act to Limit Senate Tenure, in Smith, Jennifer, The Democratic Dilemma: Reforming the Canadian Senate (2009), p. 78 [para. 81].

Heard, Andrew, Constitutional Doubts about Bill C-20 and Senatorial Elections, in Smith, Jennifer, The Democratic Dilemma: Reforming the Canadian Senate (2009), p. 95 [para. 59].

Hogg, Peter W., Constitutional Law of Canada (5th Ed.) (2007 Looseleaf Supp.) (2013 Update, Release 1), pp. 4-31 to 4-34 [para. 46]; 15-7 to 15-10 [para. 66].

Huscroft, Grant, Expounding the Constitution: Essays in Constitutional Theory (2008), pp. 264, 265 [para. 26].

Lamontagne Report - see Canada, Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Report on Certain Aspects of the Canadian Constitution.

Luther, Jེཾrg, Passaglia, Paolo, and Tarchi, Rolando, A World of Second Chambers: Handbook for Constitutional Studies on Bicameralism (2006), p. 462 [para. 15].

McCormick, Peter, Manning, Ernest C., and Gibson, Gordon, Regional Representation: The Canadian Partnership (1981), pp. 109, 110 [para. 18, footnote 1].

Molgat-MacGuigan Report - see Canada, Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada, Final Report.

Monahan, Patrick J., and Shaw, Byron, Constitutional Law (4th Ed. 2013), pp. 192 [para. 35]; 204 [para. 31]; 210 [para. 44].

Newman, Warren J., Defining the "Constitution of Canada" Since 1982: The Scope of the Legislative Powers of Constitutional Amendment under Sections 44 and 45 of the Constitution Act, 1982 (2003), 22 S.C.L.R.(2d) 423, p. 494 [para. 46].

Newman, Warren J., Living with the Amending Procedures: Prospects for Future Constitutional Reform in Canada (2007), 37 S.C.L.R.(2d) 383, p. 388 [para. 41].

Pelletier, Benoཾt, La modification constitutionnelle au Canada (1996), pp. 117, 181 [para. 46]; 208 [para. 41]; 220 to 221 [para. 106]; 221 to 224 [para. 99].

Pelletier, Benoཾt, Réponses suggérées aux questions soulevées par le renvoi ུ la Cour suprཻme du Canada concernant la réforme du Sénat (2013), 43 R.G.D. 445, pp. 462, 463 [para. 46]; 470, 471 [para. 61]; 485, 486 [para. 16].

Pepin-Robarts Report - see Canada, Task Force on Canadian Unity, A Future Together: Observations and Recommendations.

Pinard, Danielle, The Canadian Senate: An Upper House Criticized Yet Condemned to Survive Unchanged?, in Luther, Jེཾrg, Passaglia, Paolo, and Tarchi, Rolando, A World of Second Chambers: Handbook for Constitutional Studies on Bicameralism (2006), p. 462 [para. 15].

Scott, Stephen A., Pussycat, Pussycat or Patriation and the New Constitutional Amendment Processes (1982), 20 U.W.O. L. Rev. 247, pp. 292 to 298 [para. 43].

Smith, David E., The Canadian Senate in Bicameral Perspective (2003), pp. 152 [para. 108]; 169 [para. 59].

Smith, Jennifer, The Democratic Dilemma: Reforming the Canadian Senate (2009), pp. 78 [para. 81]; 95 [para. 59]; 102 [para. 38].

Thibault, Pierre, Pelletier, Benoît, and Perret, Louis, Essays in Honour of Gérald A. Beaudoin: The Challenges of Constitutionalism (2002), p. 489, 490 [para. 92].

Tremblay, Guy, La portée élargie de la procédure bilatérale de modification de la Constitution du Canada (2001), 41 R.G.D. 417, p. 428 [para. 46].

Walters, Mark D., The Constitutional Form and Reform of the Senate: Thoughts on the Constitutionality of Bill C-7 (2013), 7 J.P.P.L. 37, pp. 47, 48 [para. 62]; 52 [para. 64].

Walters, Mark D., Written Constitutions and Unwritten Constitutionalism, in Huscroft, Grant, Expounding the Constitution: Essays in Constitutional Theory (2008), pp. 264, 265 [para. 26].

Whyte, John D., Senate Reform: What Does the Constitution Say?, in Smith, Jennifer, The Democratic Dilemma: Reforming the Canadian Senate (2009), pp. 102 [paras. 38, 74]; 103 [para. 74]; 106 [paras. 64, 65].

Woehrling, José, Le recours ུ la procédure de modification de l'article 43 de la Loi constitutionnelle de 1982 pour satisfaire certaines revendications constitutionnelles du Québec, in Thibault, Pierre, Pelletier, Benoཾt, and Perret, Louis, Essays in Honour of Gérald A. Beaudoin: The Challenges of Constitutionalism (2002), pp. 489, 490 [para. 92].

Counsel:

Robert J. Frater, Christopher M. Rupar and Warren J. Newman, for the Attorney General of Canada;

Michel Y. Hélie and Josh Hunter, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Ontario;

Jean-Yves Bernard and Jean-François Beaupré, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Quebec;

Edward A. Gores, Q.C., for the intervener, The Attorney General of Nova Scotia;

Denis Thériault and David D. Eidt, for the intervener, The Attorney General of New Brunswick;

Heather S. Leonoff, Q.C., and Charles Murray, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Manitoba;

Nancy E. Brown, for the intervener, The Attorney General of British Columbia;

D. Spencer Campbell, Q.C., Rosemary S. Scott, Q.C., and Jonathan M. Coady, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Prince Edward Island;

Graeme G. Mitchell, Q.C., and J. Thomson Irvine, for the intervener, The Attorney General for Saskatchewan;

Margaret Unsworth, Q.C., Randy Steele and Donald Padget, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Alberta;

Philip Osborne and Barbara G. Barrowman, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador;

Bradley E. Patzer and Anne F. Walker, for the intervener, The Attorney General of the Northwest Territories;

Norman M. Tarnow and Adrienne E. Silk, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Nunavut;

The Honourable Serge Joyal, P.C., on his own behalf;

Nicholas Peter McHaffie and Paul Beaudry, for the intervener, The Honourable Anne C. Cools;

Sébastien Grammond, Mark C. Power, Jennifer Klinck and Perri Ravon, for the intervener, Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada;

Serge Rousselle, for the intervener, Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc.;

Daniel Jutras, John J.L. Hunter, Q.C., Brent B. Olthuis, Claire E. Hunter and Kate Glover, for the amicus curiae.

Solicitors of Record:

Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the Attorney General of Canada;

Attorney General of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Ontario;

Bernard, Roy & Associés, Montreal, Quebec, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Quebec;

Attorney General of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Nova Scotia;

Attorney General of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, for the intervener, The Attorney General of New Brunswick;

Attorney General of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Manitoba;

Attorney General of British Columbia, Victoria, British Columbia, for the intervener, The Attorney General of British Columbia;

Stewart McKelvey, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Prince Edward Island;

Attorney General for Saskatchewan, Regina, Saskatchewan, for the intervener, The Attorney General for Saskatchewan;

Attorney General of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Alberta;

Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador;

Attorney General of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for the intervener, The Attorney General of the Northwest Territories;

Attorney General of Nunavut, Iqaluit, Nunavut, for the intervener, The Attorney General of Nunavut;

The Honourable Serge Joyal, P.C., on his own behalf;

Stikeman Elliott, Ottawa, Ontario, for the intervener, The Honourable Anne C. Cools;

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario; Heenan Blaikie, Ottawa, Ontario, for the intervener, Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada;

Université de Moncton, Moncton, New Brunswick, for the intervener, Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc.;

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec; Hunter Litigation Chambers, Vancouver, British Columbia, appointed by the Court as amicus curiae.

This Reference was heard on November 12 to 14, 2013, before McLachlin, C.J.C., LeBel, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell, Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Wagner, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court delivered the following judgment in both official languages on April 25, 2014.

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    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 5, 2018
    ...of the House of Assembly), [1993] 1 S.C.R. 319; OPSEU v. Ontario (Attorney General), [1987] 2 S.C.R. 2; Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 704; Canada (House of Commons) v. Vaid, 2005 SCC 30, [2005] 1 S.C.R. 667; Bradlaugh v. Gossett (1884), 12 Q.B.D. 271; Duke of Newc......
  • Reference re Code of Civil Procedure (Que.), art. 35,
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • June 30, 2021
    ...Magistrat de Québec, [1965] S.C.R. 772 ; Crevier v. Attorney General of Quebec, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 220 ; Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 704 ; Reference re Supreme Court Act , ss. 5 and 6, 2014 SCC 21 , [2014] 1 S.C.R. 433 ; R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., ......
  • Colombie-Britannique (Procureur général) c. Alberta (Procureur général),
    • Canada
    • Federal Court (Canada)
    • September 24, 2019
    ...SCC 13, [2002] 1 S.C.R. 405; RWDSU v. Dolphin Delivery Ltd., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 573, (1986), 33 D.L.R. (4th) 174; Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 704. Finances); Rice c. Nouveau-Brunswick, 2002 CSC 13, [2002] 1 R.C.S. 405; SDGMR c. Dolphin Delivery Ltd., [1986] 2 R.C.S......
  • Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [2014] 3 SCR 31
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 2, 2014
    ...(1998), 186 N.S.R. (2d) 1; British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2005 SCC 49, [2005] 2 S.C.R. 473; Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 704; Reference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island, [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3; B.C.G.E.U. v. ......
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20 cases
  • Chagnon v. Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec, 2018 SCC 39
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 5, 2018
    ...of the House of Assembly), [1993] 1 S.C.R. 319; OPSEU v. Ontario (Attorney General), [1987] 2 S.C.R. 2; Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 704; Canada (House of Commons) v. Vaid, 2005 SCC 30, [2005] 1 S.C.R. 667; Bradlaugh v. Gossett (1884), 12 Q.B.D. 271; Duke of Newc......
  • Reference re Code of Civil Procedure (Que.), art. 35,
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • June 30, 2021
    ...Magistrat de Québec, [1965] S.C.R. 772 ; Crevier v. Attorney General of Quebec, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 220 ; Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 704 ; Reference re Supreme Court Act , ss. 5 and 6, 2014 SCC 21 , [2014] 1 S.C.R. 433 ; R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., ......
  • Colombie-Britannique (Procureur général) c. Alberta (Procureur général),
    • Canada
    • Federal Court (Canada)
    • September 24, 2019
    ...SCC 13, [2002] 1 S.C.R. 405; RWDSU v. Dolphin Delivery Ltd., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 573, (1986), 33 D.L.R. (4th) 174; Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 704. Finances); Rice c. Nouveau-Brunswick, 2002 CSC 13, [2002] 1 R.C.S. 405; SDGMR c. Dolphin Delivery Ltd., [1986] 2 R.C.S......
  • Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [2014] 3 SCR 31
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 2, 2014
    ...(1998), 186 N.S.R. (2d) 1; British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2005 SCC 49, [2005] 2 S.C.R. 473; Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 704; Reference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island, [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3; B.C.G.E.U. v. ......
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3 firm's commentaries
  • Chipping Away At The A2J Crisis: The SCC’s Decision In Trial Lawyers
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • October 28, 2014
    ...25. [11] Para 26, citing British Columbia v Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd, 2005 SCC 49, [2005] 2 SCR 473 and Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, [2014] 1 SCR [12] Para 29. [13] Para 30. [14] Hryniak v Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7, [2014] 1 SCR 87. [15] See paras 32-37. [16] Para 33, citing inter ......
  • 2014: The SCC Year In Review
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • December 30, 2014
    ...Pursuant to s. 43 of the Constitution Act, 1982, an amendment to s. 23(3) requires a resolution of the legislative assembly of Québec. 2014 SCC 32 Bhasin v. Hrynew: The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously recognized for the first time a "general organizing principle" of good faith in contra......
  • This Week At The SCC (25/04/2014)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • April 29, 2014
    ...legislation and confidentiality restrictions in other statutory regimes. The third decision of interest is Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, in which the Court considered a series of reference questions regarding the scope of Parliament's unilateral power to effect changes to the Can......
51 books & journal articles
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2017
    • June 24, 2021
    ...639, 662 Reference re: Provincial Electoral Boundaries (SK), [1991] 2 SCR 158 ..................20 Reference re: Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32 ...............................................................20 Reference re: Upper Churchill Water Rights Reversion Act (NL), [1984] 1 SCR 297 ...........
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Sixth Edition
    • June 22, 2017
    ...[1998] 2 SCR 217, 161 DLR (4th) 385, 55 CRR (2d) 1 .............................................21–24, 26, 123 Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, 2014 SCC 32 ..................................... 24 Reference Re ss 193 and 195.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code (Canada), [1990] 1 SCR 1123, ......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Constitutional Law. Fifth Edition Conclusion
    • August 3, 2017
    ... 2011 SCC 66 ......................................................................... 122, 262, 305, 326 Reference re Senate Reform, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 704, 2014 SCC 32 .................................................77, 78, 90, 173, 176, 180, 214, 526 Reference Re ss. 193 and 195.1(1)(c)......
  • Notes
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Supreme Court on Trial Beyond Judicial Activism
    • June 23, 2016
    ...McClelland and Stewart, 2015) at 385. 178 Reference re Supreme Court Act ss. 5 and 6 , 2014 SCC 21. 179 Reference re Senate Reform , 2014 SCC 32. 180 Reference re Securities Act , 2011 SCC 66. The Harper government did not lose all its federalism cases. In Quebec (Attorney General) v. Canad......
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