Saskatchewan premier says Senate abolition can't happen now
Brad Wall wanted to scrap the Senate, but says Supreme Court decision scuttled that
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is expressing his disappointment with today's Supreme Court decision on Senate reform.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had asked the high court to rule on whether the federal government, acting alone, could change the rules on the senate or abolish it altogether.
On Friday, in a unanimous decision, the court declared that reforming the Senate would require the consent of the provinces.
For months, Wall has been an outspoken advocate for abolition of the Senate, saying it would be simpler than reforming it.
In a news release, Wall said it appears neither option is in the cards now.
"The Supreme Court of Canada decision makes it very clear that Canadians are stuck indefinitely with an unelected, unaccountable, upper house, a principle feature of which is a representational bias against western Canada," he said in a news release.
Wall ruled out a national referendum as a potential solution, saying the court's pronouncement means every province would have a de facto veto even if the public votes to scrap it.
"This is obviously very disappointing to the province of Saskatchewan and so many Canadians who find it unacceptable and even embarrassing that in 2014 Canada is the only western bicameral democracy that has an unelected and unaccountable institution with real power over its citizens," Wall said.
If successive Prime Ministers refused to appoint senators, eventually, the red chamber would be empty, he noted.
Failing that, it would appear Canada is stuck with the red chamber, he said.