Liberals have no excuse for rejecting MP Rankin’s motion to study Notwithstanding Clause

Liberals have no excuse for rejecting MP Rankin’s motion to study Notwithstanding Clause

Today during Question Period, Member of Parliament for Victoria Murray Rankin asked the Liberals why they would not study the ramifications of the routine and reckless use of the Notwithstanding Clause.

“Why won’t the Liberals even allow a study of the Notwithstanding Clause so we can better protect the Charter rights of Canadians?” asked MP Rankin of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Yesterday, the Liberal members of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights defeated MP Rankin’s motion requesting that the committee undertake a study into the routine use of the Notwithstanding Clause. While moving his motion, Rankin explained that he wanted the committee to invite constitutional experts and attorneys general to participate in a true dialogue about the nature of this clause under the Constitution – and how Canadians should agree to deploy it in the future.

“It appears that some political leaders in our country may believe that the Notwithstanding Clause can be used in a repeated and routine way, rather than a tool of last resort, to be reserved for very serious public policy matters. I believe the founders of the Charter intended it to be used sparingly,” explained Rankin to the committee.

All Liberal committee members opposed the study and the motion was defeated 5-4.

“I’m very disappointed that the Liberals did not support this study. This is a nonpartisan issue that deserved the attention of the Justice Committee. Canadians deserve to know their Charter rights are protected,” said Rankin.

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For more information, please contact
Krystal Thomson: 250-415-2097 or murray.rankin.c1@parl.gc.ca