The federal government is urging the Supreme Court of Canada to study its Senate reform proposals as quickly as possible in the wake of controversies over senators’ expenses, their residency situations, and the arrest of Conservative Patrick Brazeau on assault and sexual assault charges. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is also being placed under the spotlight, as the Prime Minister hand-picked Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau. Mike Duffy is under scrutiny following a report that his office tried to get PEI Health Minister Doug Currie to expedite his request for a provincial health card.
Approximately two weeks ago, the Supreme Court of Canada was asked its opinion on the constitutionality of the proposed changes to the Senate, such as term limits and elections. Prime Minister Stephen Harper also questioned how to abolish the Senate altogether.
Abolishing the senate will be harder than abolitionists would like, but it is not impossible. It is unlikely that the SCC will answer the question by saying unilateral abolishing is fine. However, the court may suggest that the support of seven provinces accounting for more than 50 per cent of Canada’s total population would be sufficient.
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