Senate Reform: Tories Ask Supreme Court To Speed Up Review

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CANADA SENATE
The House of Senate in Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ont., sits empty on April 29, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg | CP

OTTAWA - The federal government is asking the Supreme Court to study its Senate-reform proposals as quickly as it can.

Two weeks ago, the top court was asked to provide its opinion on the constitutionality of a number of changes to the Senate, including term limits and elections.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government also asked for an opinion on how to abolish the Senate outright.

Court records now show it wants the Supreme Court to make the reference a priority.

And the government wants a similar reference at the Quebec Court of Appeal put on hold pending the Supreme Court's ruling.

The question of how to make the Senate more functional has become a major debate in recent weeks, with controversies over senators' expenses, their residency situations, and the arrest of Conservative Patrick Brazeau on assault and sexual assault charges.

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