Jared Wesley, Director, Federal/Provincial Relations Government of Alberta
Peter Carver, Professor, Constitutional Law Faculty of Law, University of Alberta
In Bill C-7 the Government of Canada is preparing to create a form of elect Senate. The Government of Quebec has objected to the proposal and to what it views as an improper attempt by the federal government to reform the Senate unilaterally. Both governments have initiated references to their respective courts, asking several questions related to the constitutionality of proposed reforms.
The speakers at the Senate Event addressed the significance of the Government of Canada's proposed Senate reforms in Bill C-7. They also reviewed the reference questions posed to the courts by Quebec and the Government of Canada. They noted that the Government of Canada has asked that its reference questions be expedited by the Supreme Court of Canada, presumably in an attempt to have a decision from that Court issued prior to a decision from the Quebec Court of Appeal. This was an informative session on the contents of the Government of Canada's Bill C-7 and what is at stake for Canadians and their Constitution with the two references and their possible outcomes.