Mr. Speaker, the Federal Court has ruled that the federal government's actions and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 's conduct on Bill C-18, the Canadian Wheat Board Act were an affront to the rule of law.
The court accepted arguments from the applicants that the rule of law embodied the principle that law was supreme over officials of the government as well as over private individuals. It is worth recording some of the reasoning behind this ruling.
Under the rule of law, citizens have the right to come to the courts to enforce the law against the executive branch. And the courts have the right to review actions by the executive branch to determine whether they are in compliance with the law and, where warranted, to declare a government action unlawful. This right in the hands of the people is not a threat to democratic governance but its very assertion. Accordingly, the executive branch of government is not its own exclusive arbiter on whether it or its delegate is acting within the limits of the law. The detrimental consequences of the executive branch of government defining for itself...the scope of its lawful power have been revealed, often bloodily, in the tumult of history.