Canadian Studies lecture to examine the proroguing of Parliament

Hosted by the Canadian Studies Program and student club in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, the Canada Like You’ve Never Heard it Before Lecture Series explores everything from economics and indigenous issues to Canadian government and poetry.

The next instalment of the series will be delivered by Patrick Monahan (left), York vice-president academic & provost. The lecture will take place in 001 Vanier College tomorrow evening from 6 to 7pm.

A member of Osgoode Hall Law School’s faculty since 1982, Monahan served as dean of Osgoode Hall Law School from 2003 to 2009 and became vice-president academic & provost of York University on July 1, 2009. He is the immediate past chair of the Board of Governors of the Law Commission of Ontario, which is housed at Osgoode, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Power Authority.

One of Canada’s foremost constitutional law experts, Monahan was senior policy adviser to the attorney general and premier of Ontario respectively between 1986 and 1990, playing a key role in the negotiation of the 1987 Meech Lake Accord. Monahan has acted as adviser to the federal government as well as a number of provincial governments respecting economic, constitutional and international trade matters. He was the director of the York University Centre for Public Law & Public Policy for most of the 1990s through to 2002. He is the author of several books, including Constitutional Law, 3rd edition (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2006) and Liability of the Crown, 3rd edition (with Peter Hogg) (Toronto: Carswell, 2000). He is the recipient of the 2008 David W. Mundell Medal for Legal Writing awarded by the attorney general of Ontario.

In his lecture on Tuesday evening, Monahan will consider how over the last few years there has been renewed interest in the constitutional role of the governor general. This interest has been sparked largely by the two requests by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to prorogue the Canadian Parliament in 2008 and 2009.

Monahan will discuss whether former Governor General Michaëlle Jean’s acceptance of Harper’s requests to prorogue Parliament were consistent with established constitutional principles. He will also consider whether there should be additional or new legal restrictions imposed on the ability of the prime minister to request or obtain a prorogation of Parliament in the future.

The Canada Like You’ve Never Heard it Before Lecture Series series showcases the breadth and depth of Canadian scholarship and research at York, The series was organized by Jon Sufrin, coordinator of the Canadian Studies Program. Over the course of 2010-2011, many senior faculty and two Canada Research Chairs have delivered presentations and engaged with students and members of the York community on key issues of the Canadian experience.

Sponsors of the series include: the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies; Stong College; Vanier College; Winters College; New College; Calumet College; Founders College; Students for Canadian Studies; and the Canadian Studies Program.

For upcoming lectures and speaker bios, visit the Canada Like You’ve Never Heard it Before Lecture Series website.