Harper says Senate issue clearly now in the hands of the provinces
Prime Minister Stephen Harper listens to explications from Dr. Nahum Sonenberg on neurodevelopmental research Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Montreal. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, May 1, 2014 1:55PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 1, 2014 1:59PM EDT
MONTREAL - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is reiterating his view that the Supreme Court ruling on Senate reform means the issue is clearly now in the hands of the provinces.
Harper says Ottawa can no longer initiate any constitutional amendment related to Senate reform because of the high court's decision.
He told a news conference in Montreal today that if the provinces are serious about such reform, then so is he.
The Supreme Court ruled last Friday that Ottawa needs the approval of at least seven provinces containing 50 per cent of Canada's population in order to impose term limits on senators or create a consultative election process to choose senators.
It also said the consent of all the provinces and the Senate is required to abolish the upper chamber.
Harper was in Montreal to make an announcement aimed at fighting autism and Alzheimer's disease.