Feds to learn Friday how much it can reform the Senate

Canada's Governor General David Johnston delivers the Speech from the Throne in the Senate chamber...

Canada's Governor General David Johnston delivers the Speech from the Throne in the Senate chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa October 16, 2013. (REUTERS/Fred Chartrand/Pool)

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:38 PM ET

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will find out Friday how far his government can go in reforming the scandal-plagued Senate.

The Supreme Court will decide Friday whether or not electing senators and limiting Senate terms can be done with a resolution from Parliament or if the constitution needs to be amended.

A constitutional amendment requires either the agreement of seven provinces and the House of Commons, or unanimous consent from all 10 provincial legislatures as well as the House.

The Supreme Court will also decide whether Parliament can remove an arcane requirement from 1867 that all senators own at least $4,000 worth of land in the province they represent, as well as be worth at least $4,000. Finally, the court will decide what kind of constitutional amendment is required to abolish the Senate entirely.


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