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SCC Decision: December 11, 2008

Confédération des syndicats nationaux v. Canada (Attorney General), 2008 SCC 68
Click here to link to the full judgment.
(Constitutional law / Division of powers)
In 1996, the federal government restructured Canada's unemployment insurance system.  Under this new system, the government introduced five types of employment benefits, and set premiums at a level that would cover benefit expenditures and allow a surplus to accumulate to ensure long-term stability.  In 2001 and 2005, the government amended the Employment Insurance Act to allow premium levels to be set by the Governor General in Council (i.e. the federal cabinet), rather than Parliament.  CSN applied for a declaration that the premium-setting mechanisms, the accumulation of surpluses and the allocation of those surpluses was unconstitutional.  The Court rejected the argument that the allocation of surpluses was unconstitutional, but accepted that delegating premium-setting to cabinet was unconstitutional and granted a declaration of unconstitutionality.  The declaration was suspended for 12 months.
Majority/dissent: 7/0

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