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Monday, December 12, 2011

The CWB and the Rule of Law

Kady O'Malley laughs off the notion that the Governor-General will have any reason to consider Bob Rae's request that Bill C-18 should be put in a drawer until such time as a court rules the bill consistent with the rule of law.

O'Malley suggests there's no precedent for this, and she may be right. But there are two fair questions that follow:

- Is there any precedent for a government legislating in the face of a court ruling telling the government to stop, pending appeal?

- If Parliament is in violation of the rule of law, who else but the Governor-General or HRH is in a position to defend the rule of law?

Now, the government could have the CWB hold a plebiscite, as the court insists is required to end the monopsony. The government could appeal the ruling, which it is doing. But for the government to ignore a court ruling and legislate anyway is the thin end of a very dangerous wedge. This government spent so many years under the restraints of minority rule, it seems that now that they've won a majority they think anything goes. I don't know if anyone in this government understands that there are still limits to Parliament's authority.

I hope the Governor-General, unlike Kady O'Malley, takes Bob Rae's request very seriously.