Liberals Ask Governor General to Withhold Royal Assent from Illegal Conservative Wheat Board Bill
OTTAWA– In a letter delivered today to Rideau Hall, Liberal Leader Bob Rae asked the Governor General to consider withholding royal assent from Bill C-18, in light of last week’s Federal Court decision that found the government to be in breach of the law.
“This Conservative government is using their majority to force through their legislation to kill the Canadian Wheat Board, despite the Federal Court’s ruling that the Agriculture Minister's conduct is an affront to the rule of law,” said Mr. Rae. “Given this condemnation of the government’s attempt to unilaterally dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board, and given their decision to appeal, it would be inappropriate to proceed with the legislation until these matters have been exhausted before the courts.”
On December 7, 2011, the Federal Court issued a ruling finding the Government of Canada’s refusal to respect the statutory mandate to convene a plebiscite for farmers prior to dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board contravened s. 47.1 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act. Judge Campbell characterized “the most important effect” of granting the Breach Declaration as holding the responsible Minister “accountable for is disregard of the rule of law”.
“As the intent of Bill C-18 is inextricably linked to the question of whether the Government fulfilled its obligations to consult with affected farmers, it would be entirely within the Governor General’s prerogative to withhold royal assent until the outstanding questions of law and any on-going court processes were sorted,” said Mr. Rae. “As Canadians clearly cannot count on this Conservative government to do the fair and lawful thing and not proceed with this legislation, we hope that the Governor General will use his discretion and prevent this illegal bill from becoming law.”
Monday, December 12, 2011
Posted by Brent Fullard at 9:33 AM