Can the crown veto constitutional Amendments in Canada?

3

I know that this would be practically be suicide for the Crown's power to do so, but hypothetically, could they?

Spencer

Posted 2018-03-22T13:23:58.947

Reputation: 31

Closely related: https://politics.stackexchange.com/questions/174/why-dont-british-kings-and-queens-veto-laws

– Steve Melnikoff – 2018-03-23T09:57:14.830

Let's not conflate the Monarch and the Crown. It would, I think, "be practically suicide for the [Monarch's] power" if she were to personally veto any bill on her own initiative. But the Crown could be the government vetoing a bill (or rather, the Monarch vetoing it on the advice of her Ministers). And while that might be political suicide for them, it wouldn't be a constitutional crisis in the way you implied. – owjburnham – 2018-03-23T13:22:33.893

Answers

2

No, the Crown cannot veto the Canadian constitution. From parliamentum:

The Constitution Act, 1867 […] expressly confers upon the Queen or the Governor General the power to withhold the royal assent from a bill that has been enacted by the two Houses of Parliament (s. 55), but a convention stipulates that the royal assent shall never be withheld.

user7809

Posted 2018-03-22T13:23:58.947

Reputation:

4Perhaps I don't understand (likely), but doesn't your quote say the exact opposite of No? I do understand that there is a convention that the Crown shall never, but... doesn't "expressly confers upon..the power to withhold..." mean that the Crown can? – CGCampbell – 2018-03-22T16:39:15.427

Convention is binding. The Crown cannot, by binding convention, exercise some of the reserve powers afforded it in the constitution. In the same way that a Judge must follow precedent when considering a judgement. – James K – 2018-03-22T17:26:08.033

@JamesK a judge can rule against precedent, and his ruling will be treated as correct until the next judge higher corrects it. With a crown vs parliament problem there is no higher power. Would it be a constitutional crisis, would the convention be taken as the solution, or would parliament accept the setback then write something so it could never happen again? And more importantly says who? – None – 2018-03-22T20:47:05.080

1In the constitution as it stands the crown cannot veto a bill. Of course the constitution (as opposed to The Constitution) is an evolving concept. It is conceivable that circumstances could arise in which the Crown uses such reserve powers, but in that case the constitution has changed (even if the The Constitution has stayed the same) – James K – 2018-03-22T21:01:49.723

1@JamesK In that case, I would think "a convention" needs to be shown. I guess what I mean is I think of a convention simply as a long-standing gentleman's agreement sort of thing. It seems that you are indicating that in this case the "convention" is a legally binding thing. Perhaps it would help my misunderstanding to show the convention that says the Crown can't veto. – CGCampbell – 2018-03-23T13:34:21.010

You're actually quoting Peter W. Hogg, The Constitutional Law, 2011 Student Edition in your answer.

Gough Whitlam probably thought he had convention on his side in 1975 as well... – miken32 – 2018-06-12T00:28:05.347