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    Cameron – Territories and Senate Reform

    Our Yukon correspondent, Kirk Cameron, on Senate reform and why the territories and Aboriginal peoples deserve a seat at the constitutional table.

    Before the Supreme Court of Canada is the question of whither the Senate… The federal government has asked that Court to bring some clarity to a number of critical questions that could very well result in fundamental altering of our national institutional framework: can Parliament set rules for election of Senators; can Parliament unilaterally set term limits for Senators; can Parliament unilaterally remove the archaic requirement that Senators own $4,000 in property in the Province (territory) for which they have been appointed; and, not to be forgotten, can the Senate be abolished using the Constitution’s 7/50 amendment rule?

    All questions (perhaps with the exception of the $4,000 non-issue) are most interesting on their face, but there are a couple of other intriguing questions that have been put before the Court through interventions by two territories (the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Nunavut) and one member of the Upper House, Senator Serge Joyal (Quebec).
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    Senator Patterson is not impressed

    Yesterday in Ottawa, Senator Dennis Patterson again raised the spectre of foreign-funded charitable organizations intervening in Northern affairs. This was a follow-up to his March 29 Senate statement on the involvement…