By the powers vested in him

Stephen Harper announces that farmers who protested the Canadian Wheat Board will be pardoned.

“Their acts were purely symbolic of course,” Harper told a gathered crowd. Sometimes “just a few loads of grain were driven across the border. Sometimes, just a token shaft of wheat in the back of a pick-up truck.”

Harper said he was granting the pardon under a rarely invoked power. “To the authority of the Crown falls an ancient power; the Royal Prerogative of Mercy,” Harper said. “It is a rare and significant thing for this power to be exercised. But ladies and gentlemen, today I am pleased to announce it will be exercised. The group of farmers convicted under the old unjust legislation of the Wheat Board monopoly will be pardoned by the government.”

Update 5:34pm. Here is a rough guide to the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. The Harper government changed what was known as the “pardon” system into a “record suspension” system with its omnibus crime bill. The CBC explained the difference between a “pardon” and a pardon in this backgrounder. According to the CBC, four requests for the Royal Prerogative of Mercy were granted in 2008-2009.

Update 5:54pm. Bob Rae is unimpressed.

Harper doesn’t personally grant pardons. Nor is the decision about a pardon supposed to be partisan. They’re corrupting the process




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By the powers vested in him

  1. I’m sure the GG will back him on this, because the PM has no such royal power.

    • And GG is in his back pocket. Worst we ever had. I’ll never forget the phony “mission accomplished” military photo op on Parliament Hill after Libya with nobody around except the equally compliant Ottawa media and the GG making it look like a real event.
      You knew he’d do anything asked after that, and he’s never let them down down yet.

      • Oh I have no hope whatever of the GG growing a pair…..but when the PM starts claiming ‘royal powers’, and pardoning people at random for political ends…..somebody, somewhere ought to hear alarm bells going off and move to act.

  2. Still no actual vote on whether to eliminate the board, as the government promised, however….

  3. “Rarely invoked power”? Surely it’s the same power he’s used countless times to pardon the long list of ministers who’ve committed flagrant transgressions while in office: Oda, McKay, Poilievre, Clement, et. al.

  4. Well good – I look forward to our Conservative government displaying this tolerance for other purely symbolic acts of civil disobedience. I mean, they would never limit this to political allies whose actions were politically useful, would they?

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