Quebec vs. Ottawa

The Quebec provincial government has filed today a reference motion with the Quebec Court of Appeal regarding the legality of Bill C-7 (see article here).

Bill C-7, or in its full title, an Act respecting the selection of senators and amending the Constitution Act, 1867 in respect of senate term limits, seeks, as it name suggests, to modify the way the country selects senators and how long they can sit for. The federal government would select its senators from a list of nominees proposed by the provinces, following an election in each of those provinces. Senators named after October 14, 2008 could only sit for one term of nine years.

The Quebec government does not believe that the federal government can unilaterally change the Constitution without consultation with each of the provinces. Moreover, it is clear that there are concerns, and not just in Quebec, about the way the dynamics of our government system will change. Is an elected Senate the way forward?

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