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Thursday July 2 2015
4:07 AM EDT
2014-04-27 at NOON

'Not surprised'

File - MP John Rafferty (Thunder Bay-Rainy River) says he was not surprised by the Supreme Court
File - MP John Rafferty (Thunder Bay-Rainy River) says he was not surprised by the Supreme Court's rejection of the Harper government's plans to reform the Senate.
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Count one local MP as somebody who was not the slightest bit shocked by the Supreme Court’s ruling on Senate reform.

MP John Rafferty (NDP, Thunder Bay-Rainy River) says Prime Minister Stephen Harper knew full well the Supreme Court of Canada would rule the federal government needed support of the provinces to reform the 147-year-old Senate.

“I’m not surprised it sided with the provinces, after all that is the rule,” Rafferty told CKPR Radio.

“Mr. Harper simply used the Supreme Court as a stalling tactic. He knew what the answer would be. He just doesn’t really want to deal with the Senate.”

In their ruling, which came down on Friday, the Supreme Court rejected the Harper government’s proposals, stating substantial provincial support was needed to add elections or term limits while unanimous provincial support would be required for a complete abolition.

After the decision was announced, Harper said he was taking Senate reform off the table.

Rafferty attributes the government closing the door on the long-promised reform to Harper’s “disdain” for the provinces.

Rafferty also stated his preference was for an abolition of the Senate.

He said it has become a partisan, archaic body that interferes with the democratic process.

“It’s a place that has clearly been shown with the latest scandals you can’t put party people, bag men and failed candidates and expect the Senate to deal with issues and legislation,” Rafferty said of the Senate.

“We live in the 21st century and it doesn’t make sense to have unelected and unaccountable people making decisions about legislation.”

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loring says:
harper dosnt care its loaded with cons anyway
just another smoke and mirror show
4/28/2014 12:30:06 PM
pc says:
If Mr. Harper doesn't care why is it he is the first Prime Minister to consider getting rid of it or changing it?
4/28/2014 5:18:43 PM
unknowncronik says:
"I’m not surprised it sided with the provinces, after all that is the rule"

-->if "that's is the rule", then why even waste all this time & effort on it when the outcome was already known?
4/28/2014 11:37:11 AM
lori says:
It seems folks are starting to get what this guy and this party are all about. Federally where they have been able to bring NOTHING to our region or provincially where John's protege who is running for MPP is following the same path in the provincial side nothing until after everyone else has taken a position.

John: The surpreme court has stated that the Senate cannot be abolished without the provinces. Knowing that you still publicly say you want to abolish the senate. Please tell us HOW. Will the NDP open up the constitution, what gives to the provinces will the NDP provide to make up for the loss in representation in the Senate, what powers will they will get, what risk to the country there will be if you open up the constitution again, especially in your party dominated by Quebec MP's and what do you hope to achieve besides saving some cash.

Ahh John it must be so easy to say the other guy is always wrong. You do it so well, while achieving nothing.
4/27/2014 9:36:50 PM
yqtyqt says:
Lori, I don't disagree with the constitutional arguments from Johns wish list. He will probably never get what he or his party wants in terms of senate reform. Although I agree that the senate needs to be reformed, if not abolished.

I do disagree with how you blend in the NDP provincial counterpart. I don't understand how this is part of the argument. The issues and the solutions to what is wrong in Queens Park are quite different from those in Ottawa. Fiscal substance and responsibility are two worlds apart in these two government centers.

One center is working towards solving what is wrong and preserving the future while the other (Toronto) is more concerned about self preservation and winning the next election at the cost of the future.
4/28/2014 11:58:05 AM
Ed itw says:
May he could also join the Green Party.
4/27/2014 9:05:12 PM
jonthunder says:
Once again, Rafferty offers no proactive views and only speaks after the fact. What does he do for a living?
4/27/2014 4:59:58 PM
fastball says:
Senate reform's not a matter of merely striking down a jay-walking law - the Senate is enshrined in the Canadian Constitution. You'd have to open up the Constitution and draft an amendment to it. And if you open up the Constitution - it's ALL open for debate.
And NO government - Cons, Libs, NDP, majority, minority or coalition - wants to open up that can of worms right now.
The Supreme Court told Harper this - not just because they're a bunch of unelected bureaucrats trying to be jerks - but because it's kinda like....the law.
Harper KNEW this - the man's not stupid. He just wanted to be able to shrug his shoulders and say "oh well, I tried". The Senate will continue to serve as a soft, welcoming, well-paid landing pad for government flunkies, hacks and the party faithful.
4/27/2014 4:30:19 PM
arjay says:
i totally agree with Mr. Rafferty. the millions wasted on this Pork Barrel scheme could be better used for the real people with real problems!!
ABOLISH the senate
4/27/2014 3:07:39 PM
pc says:
the Senate cannot be abolished without the support of the provinces.
that is why the Conservatives tried to change some of the most contentious issues.
The supreme court has now said that even to change things it will take the support of the provinces.
So do not be blaming the Conservatives or Harper himself.
Get your own province to agree with abolishing it and maybe it will be.
Mr. Rafferty actually is on the same page as the conservatives for a change.
4/28/2014 10:51:46 AM
S Duncan says:
Rafferty says..

"He said it has become a partisan, archaic body that interferes with the democratic process."

He should also say the same thing about the Supreme Court of Canada.

Here we have a democratically elected majority government trying everything they can to abolish the senate as promised to the voters of this country, but every time they can, unelected bureaucrats stomp their feet and cry when the elected government tries to do what Canadians clearly want.

Activist judges on the SCof Canada and also in the USA are the most harmful people when it comes to democracy. They have taken to interpreting the law instead of just going by what the law says. Not good for anybody but themselves.

Just curious though, Rafferty wants to be rid of the senate and he claims he knows the what's what, but what does he suggest?

or is he just Monday morning q backing this?
4/27/2014 2:17:47 PM
dillon says:
Can you explain how this is an example of a judge not doing what the law says? Can you provide other examples? Are you an expert on Canadian law? Or the States? Examples of activism, please.
It's quite obvious that Harper made a promise he knew full well he couldn't keep, and this was to make it look like he tried. He doesnt' want to deal with the provinces. Also, he talks about how the Senate shouldn't have unelected people in it (which is true), but instead of appointing competent senators to make it the best it can be under the circumstances, he appoints cronies. Other governments have done so as well, but none in recent memory have also done so while running on how terrible it is in the first place. For the record, I think it should be abolished or drastically changed as well.

Oh, and to imply Canadians clearly want something because this conservative government has a majority is pretty disingenuous, since 60% of us voted for parties on the other end of the political spectrum.
4/28/2014 12:59:22 PM
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