The McGuinty Government Repeals a Law While Parliament Is Prorogued

In one of its last acts as a Ministry, the McGuinty Government has promulgated section 20 of the Putting Students First Act and thus secured its repeal — all while the provincial parliament is prorogued and in an intersession.

I still maintain that the Putting Students First Act is unconstitutional, both in principle, and in terms of the poor legislative drafting of sections 20 and 22 which caused the Government to exceed the authority that the Act had delegated to it. The Act may even be unconstitutional for a third reason because it derogates from collective agreements in particular and collective bargaining in general. The Government’s own press releases suggest that certain collective agreements flowed from the Act; if so, logically, the repeal of the Act would also affect, or perhaps nullify, any such collective agreements. I don’t possess any expertise in labour law, so I shall leave this argument to those who know more on the subject.

You can read my full argument in my earlier post, hyperlinked below, on how the Cabinet can now repeal a law while Parliament is prorogued.

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About J.W.J. Bowden

My area of academic expertise lies in Canadian political institutions, especially the Crown, political executive, and conventions of Responsible Government; since 2011, I have made a valuable contribution to the scholarship by having been published and cited extensively. I’m also a contributing editor to the Dorchester Review and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law.
This entry was posted in Cabinet's Powers, Crown (Powers and Office), Prorogation, Separation of Powers. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The McGuinty Government Repeals a Law While Parliament Is Prorogued

  1. Cal Rogers says:

    The repeal was of course just optics. I have not followed this too closely but my first thought was if they repealed the bill are all the provisions against strikes etc still in force? Must be else they wouldn’t have repealed in the first place. A shame the gov’t isn’t addressing the real problems with education such as the idea that everyone passes, no accountability etc.


I invite reasonable questions and comments; all others will be prorogued or dissolved.

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