Supreme Court Senate Ruling a Further Rebuke of Stephen Harper

OTTAWA – Today’s Supreme Court ruling confirms what the Liberal Party of Canada has long advocated:  the federal government cannot unilaterally change the nature of the Senate without consulting the provinces.

“The Supreme Court has clearly stated that the Harper Conservatives cannot achieve their Senate reform proposals without opening up the Constitution,” said Liberal Intergovernmental Affairs Critic, Stéphane Dion. “Liberals have already shown that Senate reform can occur without re-opening the Constitution, and we challenge the Prime Minster to match our action in making Senators independent of political parties and end partisanship in the Senate.”

The Conservatives have been deliberately misleading in suggesting that they can accomplish their version of Senate reform without opening the Constitution. Meanwhile, the NDP has championed its aim to re-open the Constitution – something Canadians do not want – to abolish the Senate entirely.

“Justin Trudeau has done more for Senate reform in one day than the Conservatives have in over eight years. He is committed to an open, transparent, and public process for appointing and confirming independent Senators,” said Liberal Democratic Reform Critic, Scott Simms. “The Conservatives and NDP continue to prove that they are completely out of touch; the last thing Canadians want is a divisive debate that opens up the Constitution.”