Quebec Satisfied by SC’s Rejection of Harper Senate Reforms

Both ministers in the new Liberal government of Quebec and the members of the former Parti Québécois government have expressed utter satisfaction on Friday with a unanimous 8-0 Supre Court ruling that rejected the Harper government’s plan to reform or abolish the Canadian Senate.

Former PQ intergovernmental affairs minister, Alexandre Cloutier, stated that “once again, the Supreme Court has put the Harper government in its place.” Whereas, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Jean-Marc Fournier, alleged that even though the Couillard government’s priority is not to secure the jobs of Quebec’s 24 senators but to create 250,000 new jobs in the province, it still stresses on the importance of the decision. Back in 2011 when Fournier was Quebec’s justice minister, he initiated the province’s court challenge to the Harper government’s Bill C-7 that called for elected senators and term limits, alleging that Quebec and the other provinces also have a say in changing the Senate.

In his remarks on Friday, Fournier recalled that other recent Supreme Court rulings have also favored Quebec as he referred to the high court’s rejection of the Harper government’s nomination of Marc Nadon. An Ontario resident with less than 20 years practice of law in Quebec, Nadon was appointed to a court seat reserved for Quebec judges and lawyers. Additionally, Fournier also referred to a ruling against Ottawa’s plan for a single financial regulator. Fournier stated that the Supreme Court recognizes Quebec’s specificity and that the federal government and the provinces are equal in their own domains, saying this is “the essence of Canadian federalism.”

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