Academic journal article McGill Law Journal

Traffic Problems at the Intersection of Parliamentary Procedure and Constitutional Law

Academic journal article McGill Law Journal

Traffic Problems at the Intersection of Parliamentary Procedure and Constitutional Law

Article excerpt

This article addresses the potential for conflict between courts and parliamentary bodies (including legislatures) in making determinations as to the validity of legislation on the basis of parliamentary procedure. The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Re Eurig Estate serves as the catalyst for the discussion. It invalidated regulations requiting the payment of probate fees in the courts of Ontario on the basis of constitutional provisions governing the enactment of financial legislation. The article examines how Eurig and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association v. Ontario (A.G.) impinge on the traditional mutual deference that judicial and parliamentary bodies accord each other, particularly in terms of the procedures for enacting financial legislation. The article evaluates how the courts have considered these matters, both before and after Eurig, as well as how procedures for financial legislation have been considered in parliamentary bodies in the form of Speaker's rulings in the House of Commons and the Senate. The procedures relating to the delegation of taxation powers, and what constitutes a tax requiting the observance of these procedures by parliamentary and judicial authorities, are also reviewed. In concluding, the authors call for adherence to traditional notions of procedural autonomy within the separate spheres of activity of the judiciary and Parliament.

Cet article etudie les conflits potentiels entre les tribunaux et les agences parlementaires (y compris les corps legislatifs) en ce qui concerne la determination de la validite de la legislation en fonction de la procedure parlementaire. La discussion s'impose surtout depuis la decision de la Cour supreme du Canada dans l'arret Re Succession Eurig, ou a des reglements exigeant le paiement de frais pour l'obtention de lettres d'homologation devant les tribunaux ontariens ont ete invalides suite a l'interpretation de regles constitutionnelles sur l'adoption de lois en matiere de creation de taxes. Cet article etudie l'impact de la decision et la decision uletrieure de la Cour dans l'affaire Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association c. Ontario (P.G.) sur la deference que s'accordaient mutuellement le pouvoir judiciaire et le Parlement, notamment au niveau des procedures pour adopter des lois en matiere de finances. L'article examine l'approche des tribunaux par rapport a cette question, avant et apres Eurig, ainsi que la facon dont les procedures d'adoption de lois en matiere de creation de taxes ont ete abordees par les agences parlementaires sous la forme de decisions de la presidence a la Chambre des communes et au Senat. Les auteurs abordent egalement la question des procedures lites a la delegation des pouvoirs de taxation et des types de taxes qui exigent le respect de ces procedures par les autorites parlementaires et judiciaires. En concluant, les auteurs font appel au respect des notions traditionnelles d'antonomie procedurale dans les secteurs d'activite des pouvoirs judiciaire et legislatif.

Introduction

I.  Parliament and the Courts

II.  Procedures for Financial Legislation

III. Judicial Consideration of Procedures for Financial Legislation
     A. Concept of a Tax
     B. Delegation of Taxation Powers
     C. The Wake of Eurig

IV. Parliamentary Consideration of Procedures for Financial Legislation
    A. Concept of a Tax
    B. Delegation of Taxation Powers
    C. A Cautionary Tale: Bill S-13 (Tobacco Industry Responsibility
       Act)

Conclusion

Introduction

In Re Eurig Estate (1) the Supreme Court of Canada invalidated regulations requiring the payment of probate fees in the courts of Ontario. The decision has generated a flurry of commentary and discussion in the context of estate planning. (2) Many have also recognized the potential impact of the decision on the operation of a wide range of other revenue-generating provisions in delegated legislation. …

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