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Supreme Court says non to Nadon; federal government 'genuinely surprised'

OTTAWA - Stephen Harper has come almost full circle. The Conservative prime minister who came to office in 2006 cautioning against the power of the courts suffered a political body blow Friday from the highest court in the land — a Supreme Court stacked with Harper appointees. By rejecting Justice Marc Nadon, Harper's sixth and most recent pick for the nine-member bench, the remaining Supremes laid down constitutional markers that could proscribe the government's future plans for Senate reform, electoral changes and the appointment of judges.

Five important takeaways from Supreme Court's decision on Nadon appointment

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada issued a landmark ruling on Friday in rejecting the appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to the high court. Here are five key points to consider: 1. It was the second Supreme Court rebuke for the Harper government this week. On Thursday, the court ruled that a government attempt to take away early parole rights from some prison inmates was unconstitutional. The justices appear to be sending the message that even a majority government can't have everything its own way.

Alberta's top court rules laws don't have to be written in English and French

EDMONTON - Gilles Caron plans to take a decade-long fight to the country's highest court to get an English-only traffic ticket written in French. The Alberta Court of Appeal sided with the provincial government Friday, ruling that its laws do not need to be printed and published in both English and French. Caron, a 54-year old trucker, said he was disappointed but not entirely surprised. "This is an English-only province with the attitude to back up their law," he told a press conference.

Teacher contract ruling will cause chaos, province tells appeal court

VANCOUVER - The British Columbia government is painting a dire picture of what would happen if a court ruling that reversed decade-old changes to teachers' collective agreement is allowed to stand, warning of massive disruptions as school districts reorganize classes and scramble to find millions of dollars.

Supreme Court 'Survivor': top judges to hear arguments on eligibility of Nadon

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada is set to begin grappling with an extraordinary first in its 139-year history: adjudicating the rules for the appointment of one of its own. The sitting justices hear arguments Wednesday morning concerning the eligibility of Justice Marc Nadon, the latest appointment by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the top court. It marks the next messy step in a rare judicial appointment gone awry — a mess the Conservative government clearly foresaw last summer but went ahead with anyway.

Supreme Court denies Coopers & Lybrand leave to appeal in Castor bankruptcy

MONTREAL - The Supreme Court of Canada says it won't hear an appeal from Coopers Lawyers involved in the case issued a statement Thursday night saying the ruling "extinguishes any hope" that the auditing firm can evade liability for its actions and "the resultant harm suffered by third parties who relied on its opinions when deciding to invest in or lend money to Castor." Although the audited financial statements of Castor for the year ended 1990 reported assets of more than $1.8 billion, Castor declared bankruptcy in early 1992.

Alberta says tiffs over securities regulator could lead to more fractured system

OTTAWA - Bickering over a national securities regulator could lead to even greater dysfunction — the very problem Ottawa is aiming to resolve — if the two opposing camps don't find common ground, Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner says. Currently, only Ontario and British Columbia have agreed to set up a co-operative approach as a first step toward establishing a national securities regulator, although some of the smaller provinces are believed to be ready to join.

Top court hears final government plea to allow easy path to Senate reform

OTTAWA - Don't make it impossible to change Canada's scandal-plagued Senate. That was the underlying message to Supreme Court justices Thursday as they wrapped up a historic hearing that will decide how — or if — the much-maligned upper house can be reformed or abolished. In the final word at the three-day hearing, the federal government urged the justices to accept its argument that modest reforms — to allow for non-binding elections and term limits for senators — can be implemented easily by Ottawa alone, without any input from the provinces.

Justices skeptical as top court hears arguments on Senate reform, abolition

OTTAWA - Federal and provincial governments drew sharp battle lines Tuesday as Canada's top court began hearing arguments in a historic case that will determine how — or even if — the scandal-plagued Senate can be reformed or abolished. In the opening day of a three-day hearing, Supreme Court justices appeared to be skeptical of the federal government's contention that it can unilaterally reform the Senate without input from the provinces.

Harper's sixth Supreme Court nomination leads to rare legal mess at top bench

OTTAWA - Last April 22, Justice Morris Fish announced he was resigning from the Supreme Court of Canada at the end of the spring session. More than six months later, his eight colleagues on the country's highest court convene this Tuesday to hear an important constitutional reference on one of the Conservative government's legacy policies: Senate reform. Fish's vacated Quebec seat on the bench will sit empty. The repercussions of that vacancy are profound.
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