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Cutting legal corners to fit your ideology isn’t correct – Federal Court Judge on CWB

Well now, this is a ruling that should have some Conservative government officials fuming that they can’t always do as they please, even with a majority government:

A federal court judge has ruled that Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz’s tabling of a bill to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board without holding a plebiscite among affected farmers was illegal. In a ruling issued Wednesday, Justice Douglas Campbell agreed with the wheat board, which had argued that Ritz breached the Canadian Wheat Board Act by pushing ahead with the legislation without consulting with the board’s directors or holding a vote among producers.

The kicker quote from the Judge? This:

“This fact requires that, in proposing that a fundamental change be made to the [Wheat Board’s] structure, the Minister must act democratically. This is what [the amended Act] says. Not adhering to these values is not only disrespectful, it is contrary to law,” the judge said in his ruling. Parliament’s intention, he added, “is not to alter this structure without consultation and consent.” Judge Campbell added that the government’s actions were an affront to the rule of law, which was a fundamental constitutional imperative.

and this:

“Had a meaningful consultative process been engaged to find a solution which meets the concerns of the majority, the present legal action might not have been necessary. […] The (Harper) government must be held accountable for its disregard for the rule of law.”

Of course, this government will appeal this – as is their right, and they still may get this overturned on appeal. What is more outrageous though is Agriculture Minister Ritz’s declaration that they’re going to basically press ahead and ignore this ruling before that, and try passing their new law anyhow. I’d be careful if I were the Conservatives and Minister Ritz; you might be able to ignore the rest of Parliament, but ignoring the courts when they issue rulings “inconvenient” to you is a bit more dangerous.


13 comments to Cutting legal corners to fit your ideology isn’t correct – Federal Court Judge on CWB

  • G.J.W.

    Don’t be too damned sure, there will be any more elections.

    Read: Harper is a Reformer and a Neo-Nazi. He founded the Northern Foundation Party. They said, the skinheads assisted Harper to organize his, more than shady party. This was in 1989. The Nazi’s set a man on fire. Germany said, 10 people were recently murdered by the Nazi’s. Europe said, Nazi’s are on the rise

    Harper gave a speech on, Global Governance for Canada. Harper said, Global Governance, has been worked on since 1945. Harper’s idol also wanted Global Governance…Only he called it, The Thousand year Reich.

    Harper had a, many times convicted American felon working for him. Felon Carson and his ex prostitute girlfriend were guests in Harper’s home. During the Federal campaign, robocalls were made to Canadian people, their voting locations were changed. Those criminal call, came out of North Dakota. Hmmmm.

    Ex BC Premier Gordon Campbell, has the dirtiest, most corrupt, and foul political record in Canadian history. That’s who Harper sent to England as High Commissioner.

    We were warned, what would happen to Canada if Harper got a majority. Our worst nightmares, are coming true. Expect nothing more than, pure unadulterated crap from Harper.

  • Tomm


    I quoted Andrew Coyne. I didn’t know he was on Sun News? When?

  • Stan

    It will be overturned.

  • Tomm

    Andrew Coyne thinks the judge misinterpreted the Law. Apparently the clause he used is from the section of the Law that enables new grains to be added to the Board’s authority. It wasn’t for the dissolution of their single desk.

    I would rather be ruled by our Parliament than our activist judges. The CWB is salting the earth behind their retreat. It is really sad that the opposition is goading them on.

  • marie

    That darn charter thing is to protect everyone, including you rat. Not entirely sure why one would ever want to protect the rat.

    Who do you think you are, a lawyer? I don’t think so because even a first year university student would know the law more than you RAT!!!

    Heck likely a 6 year old would comprehend that law if it were read to them.

    Only a dumb Government MP would be so dense in penning those insane useless remarks RAT

    I think I will take the library’s word over yours bully.

    • KC

      Oh wow… If you’re going to make fun of someone for being ignorant of the law you should at least make sure you know what you’re talking about first. “That darn charter thing”, as you so eloquently put it, has absolutely zero to do with the Wheat Board or this decision.

      Someone who read the decision

  • the rat

    That’s OK, the Conservatives are fast learners. From here on in every government bill will have a similar rider restricting future governments from amending those laws without consultation and a plebiscite among some randomly defined stakeholder group. First up will be the firearms legislation and the crime bill. Now that we know that all you have to do to stifle future parliaments is insert a poison pill into a bill, the Liberals and NDP being fierce advocates of this, we’re on it!

    • Jon Pertwee

      Seriously Rat? You’re now speaking like you are a government or political party? Im not sure that a government can create any rider that prevents a future government from creating legislation to undo the actions of a past government.

      Ever heard of an amendment? Are you suggesting that that is not possible? Or that the past be allowed to govern the future? Are you some sort of time lord Rat?

      • the rat

        Umm, huh? You have read the CWB decision right? Where a federal judge says a Liberal bill from 1998 can restrict a Conservative government in 2012 from enacting legislation to change the 1998 bill? If the goose can do so can the gander.

        • I have seen it pointed out that all the Cons needed to do was, first, pass an amendment to the Act cutting out the relevant requirements (but not, at that time, abolishing the wheat board). Then after the law saying you can’t kill the wheat board without democratic consultation didn’t exist any more, they would have been able to legally kill the wheat board without democratic consultation.
          But since they instead left the law requiring democratic consultation on the books, they were required to obey it because, duh, it’s a law.
          Similarly, if Stephen Harper wants to pass a parliamentary motion saying Stephen Harper is allowed to cut Charlie Angus’ throat with a knife it still won’t be legal for Harper to murder Charlie Angus–unless he first passes a law removing murder from the Criminal Code. So yes, in that sense prior legislation does bind current legislators; nothing can stop them from changing it, but if they don’t do so it remains the law.

          I don’t know if they didn’t bother to do it that way because they’re stupid or too impatient or really want to go for a precedent that Conservative governments are above the law. But no, so sorry, being the government does not make the law stop being the law even if you pass legislation that violates the law and you *could* have gotten rid of the law so it wouldn’t be in your way. If you didn’t, you didn’t.

          • the rat

            I would think they did it simply because such a “law” is null and an appeal will show that. Past governments cannot make future governments jump through legislative hoops in order to amend legislation, it is parliament’s absolute right to amend legislation. If not why bother with elections? If your interpretation is correct then the way is open for mischievous governments to legislate all kinds of little land mines for future governments.

            ps. If parliament wrote a bill saying Harper could cut Angus’ throat, and included an exception to the law regarding murder, it would be legal with no need to repeal that section of the criminal code. (except for that darn Charter thingy 🙂

    • Stan

      Yup, gun laws would be a good first choice, no changes to a gun law without letting the gun owners have a vote.

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