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NEWS: Judge to consider suspending C-18 implementation, Jan. 17-18

The Calgary Herald reports today, “A request by former wheat board directors for an interim injunction to keep the bill (C-18, the legislation to end the CWB monopoly) from being implemented was rejected (by Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench), although the judge will hear further arguments in mid-January.”

Reuters adds, “In his ruling on (December 16), the judge (Shane Perlmutter) decided against granting an immediate suspension of implementation of the law until hearings January 17-18. At those hearings, he will again consider whether to suspend the law until he decides the broader question of whether the new law should be struck down.”

The Council of Canadians, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Food Secure Canada, and the ETC Group were represented by lawyer Steven Shrybman in a Federal Court challenge that found that the Harper government had violated the Canadian Wheat Board Act by not seeking a plebiscite with farmers before introducing C-18. On December 7, the Harper government indicated it would appeal the Federal Court ruling.

Last week, University of Toronto Professor Peter H. Russell referenced this Federal Court judgement in his Globe and Mail op-ed ‘Does it matter if our laws are passed illegally?’, which can be read at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/does-it-matter-if-our-laws-are-passed-illegally/article2286544/. Russell writes, “The government has defended its action constitutionally under the banner of parliamentary sovereignty. But against this position is the view that Parliament can bind itself as to the “manner and form” of future legislation, a view supported by many constitutional scholars in Canada and other Westminster parliamentary democracies. Taking this view does not mean that Parliament can never change its mind and rescind legislation passed by previous Parliaments. But if it is going to depart from a process of law-making that an earlier Parliament committed to, it must do so explicitly and repeal the legislation.”

For Council of Canadians blogs relating to the Canadian Wheat Board, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22wheat+board%22.