Inside Politics

Speaker dismisses NDP claim on duty to Charter-proof laws

A few weeks back, New Democrat MP Pat Martin to lure House Speaker Andrew Scheer into the ongoing dispute over whether the Canadian government -- both the current iteration and its Liberal predecessors -- has been blithely ignoring its statutory duty to review all proposed legislation for potential Charter conflict, and report back any potential "inconsistencies" to the House. 

In his argument, Martin pointed out that, if that was the case, not only would the law of the land have been breached, but so, too, have the privileges of countless parliamentarians, who, he contended, would have been deprived of critical information that could have otherwise informed them in past consideration of bills, regulations and other proposals. 

This afternoon, Scheer rejected his complaint. 

In his ruling, the speaker noted that not only is the matter currently before the courts, courtesy of Justice lawyer Ed Scmidt's lawsuit against his employer, but concluded that, as far as he is concerned, that is where it should stay, as it goes to the legal responsibilities of the minister, and not his obligation to the House. 

Read his full ruling here: 


Tags: blackberry jungle, charter of rights, pat martin, privilege watch

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