Your typical quick-to-judge government critic ought to be skeptical of any urge to call any bad thing a government does unprecedented. Unprecedented is a powerful word. Unprecedented means never before. Often, the thing, whatever it is, has happened before. Nevertheless, as the Tory government ages, the pile of apparently unprecedented things grows ever larger.
Here’s a new thing for the pile, at the risk of misfiring: Has a government ever before tabled so many bills in a single parliamentary season rejected by courts, political opposition and/or learned experts as unconstitutional? The list now includes C-13, the cyberbullying bill that changes surveillance rules; S-4, the privacy bill that amends disclosure rules surrounding personal information; C-24, which overhauls citizenship rules; C-36, the government’s attempt to rewrite sex-work laws; C-23, the Fair Elections Act, briefly, before the Tories amended the bill; and the government’s failed appointment of Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court and Robert Mainville to Quebec’s Court of Appeal.
Phew. Getting away from Ottawa for the summer at least stops the Tories from tabling new bills. They’ll have to spend the summer spinning the Constitution.
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