Sept. 25, 2012 - (LegislativePower in Canada)
Legislative Power in Canada
- Bills must be approved in all three branches before they become law.
Parliamentary Supremacy/Rule of Law
- Dicey’s “Supremacy of Parliament.”
- No political legal power was above Parliament.
- Dicey was a firm believer that the freedom is dependent on the sovereignty of
o This includes the impartiality of supremacy of the Common Law.
Some limitations in Canada
- Federalism divides political and sovereign powers.
- Judicial review to decide on questions.
- Post-Charter, Dicey’s model is turned on its head.
o Feared courts would question bills that were passed.
- Canada has a bi-cameral legislature.
- Both houses are supposedly equal.
o Bills can be introduced in both Houses.
- Senators are summoned by the Governor General on the advice of the prime
- The Senate has 105 appointed members:
o 24 from Quebec.
o 24 from Ontario.
o 24 for Maritimes (except Newfoundland and Labrador).
o 24 for Western provinces
o 6 for Newfoundland and Labrador
o 3 for each territory.
- Created to “counterbalance” representation-by-population.
- Strong, stable, national, majority Conservative government has attempted to pass
some reforms to the Senate.
o Provinces would elect senators.
o Term limits?
Section 44 of the Constitution Act (1982) allows Parliament to
- Must be done every ten (10) years.
- Parliament is realigned every 10 years.
- The House of Commons elected every five years.
o Composition is expected to change.
o No province can have less seats the number of Senate seats.
Democratic Representation Act, 2010
- Changes formula as to how seats were readjusted.
- In 1985, new seat redistribution formula was created.
o It was meant to curb the growth in seats.
House of Commons/Legislative Pr