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The Constitutionality of Prorogation

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Introduction: At 10:20 a.m. on 4 December 2008 - some forty minutes after Prime Minister Stephen Harper entered Rideau Hall to request that the Governor General, Michaelle Jean, prorogue Canada's fortieth Parliament - the media reported an exciting development: the front doors opened. Reporters began to speculate that the meeting had been decisive, and an anxious nation awaited the Prime Minister's appearance to announce the Governor General's decision. But then, other than the descent of a few errant snowflakes, nothing happened. "It's been 6 minutes since you reported the front door opened - what's going on over there?" a desperate commentator pleaded on the National Post's live blog.2 For over thirty minutes the doors remained curiously ajar, and then - at 11:01 a.m. - they closed. When the Prime Minister finally did emerge nearly an hour after that, having spent a total of two and a half hours inside Rideau Hall, he informed Canadians that the Governor General had agreed to follow his advice and prorogue (or suspend) Parliament until 26 January 2009.

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    Article (Published)
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  • License
    © 2009 E. Adams. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Adams, E. M. (2009). The Constitutionality of Prorogation. Constitutional Forum, 18(1), 17-20. Retrieved from