The Role Of Prorogation In Canada

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Prorogation is much like a complex acronym to Canadians. We understand that it conveys meaning in some way, yet the majority of us are not familiar with the term. Developed during the Tudor period, prorogation is a healthy alternative to dissolution; however, today prorogation is a process that once approved by the Governor General, the acting Prime Minister may cease the current parliamentary session, effectively clearing the parliamentary agenda and ending proceedings for a set period of time. In recent years there has been a growing controversy in relation to prorogation in Canada. This is largely due to the 2008-2009 parliamentary disputes between the Conservative minority government and the opposition governments; however, that is addressed …show more content…

On October 15, 2012 the Ontario Legislature implemented prorogation at the request of the minority government’s Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty. Liberal House Leader John Milloy claimed McGuinty requested prorogation due to labour leaders reaching an impasse with the opposition government over plans to freeze public sector wages. On the contrary, the opposition claimed that the prorogation was intended to draw attention away from the investigation into the Ornge Air affair, as well as growing controversy regarding the decision to halt construction of 2 gas-fired power plants. In addition to these allegations the opposition also threatened to hold Cabinet ministers in contempt of Parliament for withholding information from legislature regarding the projects. [ ][ …show more content…

Our current laws are not strict enough on our government if loopholes such as this exist. We elect our government to rule, regulate and act in the interest of Canadians, yet Harper was able to disregard the interest of Canadians and prorogue parliament for his government’s own partisan reasons. Six years later, nothing is done to ensure prorogation is not again used in such a partisan way. In analysis we also run into the issue that the Governor General plays an integral part in the prorogation process. The ability to end a parliamentary session is too much power for an individual that Canadians cannot keep responsible. That being said, we need a regulation that withholds the GG from making prorogation decisions, or something has to be implemented to considerably lessen their power. As stated prior, I believe reforming the law surrounding prorogation is the answer to this problem. A system in which we require two-thirds of the HOC to agree the prorogation is necessary will not only ensure it is not used for partisan reasons, but also lessen the power that the Prime Minister and the Governor General hold in the prorogation process. While this new rule may not have prevented the 2008-2009 prorogation, due to the opposition not garnering two thirds of the seats in the HOC (163-143 ) it is certainly a step in the right direction to limiting the power of the PM and the

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