Feds ask top court for legal opinion on Senate reforms

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 June 3, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Jessica Murphy, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:55 PM ET

OTTAWA -- The Conservative government will look to Canada's top legal minds for advice on how to reform the Red Chamber - including what it takes to scrap it completely.

Democratic Reform Minister Tim Uppal announced Friday the feds will ask for the Supreme Court's legal opinion on its plans to tinker with the Senate.

"We feel this is the best way to move Senate reform forward," he said.

The topics to be weighed by the top court include setting term limits for Senators, the election by provinces of Senate nominees, and Senate abolition.

The government wants the court to pay special attention to the constitutionality of Bill C-7, the Senate Reform Act, tabled in June 2011.

The Tories are in favour of Red Chamber reform, but Uppal noted a number of provinces have raised the possibility of getting rid of the Senate completely. The NDP supports abolition of the Senate.


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