This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
A report issued by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute has titled The Supreme Court of Canada as the “policy-maker of the year,” highlighting its increasing number of decisions against the Conservative government during the whole year.
The conservative think tank stated that the government had just one clear win out of total 10 big cases, i.e. aboriginal land rights, whereas as much as seven cases were clearly lost. The report pointed out that the losses include the government’s attempt to create an elected Senate, to keep thousands of convicted criminals in jail for longer terms, and even to appoint a judge of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s choosing to the Supreme Court. It said that out of the total seven clear losses, the court was unanimous five times. The report’s author, Benjamin Perrin, mentioned during an interview that only three judges dissented in the seven cases combined, so quite visibly “the federal government lost, and lost big.” A law professor at the University of British Columbia, Mr. Perrin, served as a legal affairs adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office two years ago.
According to the institution, the title was awarded because the top court “changed Canadian public policy in wide-reaching and long-lasting ways” in the past year. Mr. Perrin mentioned in his remarks that if the government’s agenda “continues to be unravelled by the courts, it’s actually not governing the way that it wants to. It’s also politically quite embarrassing, and if people begin to think that the government is not understanding what the law is, and it’s not able to govern effectively, that becomes a very serious concern.”