PROC Sentences the Retroactive Prorogation Rationale to a Quiet Bureaucratic Death


Sometimes I forgot to follow up on these developments right away, and the obscura and minutia on which I normally focus here on Parliamentum usually goes unreported in the press, too. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) has taken steps to bury the Trudeau government’s Retroactive Prorogation Rationale, tabled and referred to PROC under the new Standing Order 32(7), and delay any study on it at all until at least January 2021 – and probably never. The whole idea of forcing the government to table a rationale for the previous prorogation retroactively in the next session never lent itself to anything productive or substantive, but I would have been curious to see what, if anything, PROC did in response.

On 5 November, the Chair, after being pressed by Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski (of early ’90s homevideo infamy), indicated the PROC would not even consider conducting a study of or responding to the Retroactive Prorogation Rationale until 2021. Liberal MP Ryan Turnbull pointed out later in the exchange that the Standing Order merely deems to have referred the document to PROC but does not obligate PROC to study it. The Liberals and the New Democrat on PROC would most likely pursue that option when they vote on whether to study the report in a few weeks. And so ends the anti-climactic saga.

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

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