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Opinion

Mike Duffy appeal is a chance to reform the unelected Senate 

By Daniel Tsai      

The Senate has shown it will not voluntarily respect the Charter of Rights and the rule of law.  However, the Supreme Court of Canada can do what the Senate refuses to do. It can use the Duffy case to define and limit both the scope and abuse of parliamentary privilege.

Senator Mike Duffy, 74, pictured in 2014 at his trial in Ottawa, will be retiring from the Senate in May when he turns 75. Sen. Duffy was charged in 2014 by the RCMP with 31 offences over allegedly improperly claiming primary residence outside of Ottawa for living expenses, but he was acquitted of all charges in 2016. He filed a civil lawsuit against the Senate and the RCMP in 2017, which the Ontario Superior Court dismissed in 2018. He filed an unsuccessful appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2019 and in October 2020, he filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Hill Times file photograph by Jake Wright

TORONTO—Canada’s Supreme Court only accepts a fraction of the thousands of applications it’s asked to consider every year. To be heard, the case must be novel and of overriding public interest.

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Rollout of infrastructure money ‘lagging indicator’ of effort to spur economic activity, says deputy minister

News|By Palak Mangat
A ‘real impetus’ in earmarking funds for infrastructure projects is getting it approved, says one bureaucrat, but one MP adds there may still be gaps in how Ottawa allocates such dollars.

Senate, House report at least 30 COVID-19 cases in Parliamentary Precinct since pandemic’s early days

On April 29, PSPC launched a rapid testing program after a 10-case outbreak among Centre Block construction workers, the most reported cases among workers on the Hill, according to new data.

‘You are walking on eggshells’: infectious disease docs say ‘trust in vaccines is fragile,’ NACI guidance unhelpful

News|By Mike Lapointe
The federal government has been urging Canadians to get the first vaccine available.

Bill C-10: how closing the YouTube ‘loophole’ created a political firestorm

The partisan finger-pointing that has defined the debate around Bill C-10 over the past two weeks is rooted in an attempt by the government, and a few MPs, to make sure that influential streaming companies that rely on uploaded content, such as YouTube, are bound by rules designed to promote Canadian cultural content, and protect Canadian broadcasters. 

Bill to entrench new Senate leaders for good has arrived

Bill S-4 would give better pay and official status to the leaders of the new groups in the Senate.

Setup of tribunal for privacy complaints could delay levying of fines, says watchdog

News|By Palak Mangat
The establishment of an administrative tribunal could ‘encourage’ companies to pursue that as an avenue of redress, instead of first trying to comply with the privacy commissioner’s findings, the watchdog says.

Thousands of expiring Conservative Party memberships this month throwing a wrench in nominations, say Conservatives

News|By Abbas Rana
The Conservatives have nominated candidates in about 200 of the 338 ridings across the country, according to party spokesman Cory Hann.

Large-scale projects under Canada Infrastructure Bank’s umbrella, ‘take time,’ says CEO, following PBO report outlining ongoing delays in projects

News|By Mike Lapointe
Public-private partnerships require significant design and engineering work, community engagement, environmental assessment and planning, as well as contracting with the person who’s going to build it during the actual construction period and ramp up into operation, says CIB CEO Ehren Cory.

Top PMO aide got assurances ‘no one’s safety was at risk’ as probe into Vance allegation hit impasse

News|By Beatrice Paez
Katie Telford repeatedly deflected questions around whether she ‘deliberately withheld’ information from the prime minister.
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