Québec Court of Appeal on Senate Reform

On the day that the Supreme Court begins to hear argument in the federal government’s reference concerning reform of the Senate (In the Matter of a Reference by the Governor in Council concerning reform of the Senate, as set out in Order P.C. 2013-70, dated February 1, 2013), it is appropriate, perhaps, to point out that the judgment by Québec’s Court of Appeal in a reference begun by the provincial government is in fact available in English.

Projet de loi fédéral relatif au sénat (Re) 2013 QCCA 1807 was summarized by SOQUIJ for Slaw last Sunday, and, as are all SOQUIJ summaries, was in French. I have recently learned, however, that the Québec Court of Appeal released an official English version of the judgment as well, the best source for which is CanLII. This came as something of a surprise, because it is quite rare for Québec judgments to be translated into English. (When Ted Tjaden analyzed the situation a couple of years ago on Slaw, he found a mere 395 Québec judgments available in English via SOQUIJ, the official source, a paltry 167 of them from the Court of Appeal.) Rarer still are those with “official translations,” that is, those versions in English sanctioned by the court and, thus, of validity equal to the French version. The reference re Senate reform is one such rara avis.

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