Canada - Bill C-69
The recent Supreme Court ruling on Bill C-69, now known as the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), highlights a concerning governmental stance. Despite the court finding large parts of the legislation unconstitutional, the government's desire to adjust and continue it showcases a disconnect between judicial directives and logic.
This federal law was initially aimed at evaluating the environmental and social repercussions of various resource and infrastructure projects before they could proceed. However, it has been heavily criticized, especially in the oil and gas sector, as many see it as a significant obstacle to infrastructure development.
The court's ruling found most of the IAA unconstitutional. Five of the seven judges concurred that the language used in the legislation could overreach into provincial jurisdiction, infringing on the division of powers between federal and provincial governments.
This opens up a debate regarding the role of courts and the legislative process. Courts interpret laws and deliver final judgments based on the Charter and legal precedents, not to provide guidance on policy matters — that's the realm of policymakers, legal advisors and lawyers. Regarding Bill C-69, the government's inclination to adjust and persist with it, despite the court's judgment, can seem illogical.