To achieve a more democratic treaty-making process, the Canadian government introduced in 2008 a policy whereby treaties are tabled before Parliament for at least 21 sitting days before ratification. The decision came many years after other democracies had already adopted mechanisms to address the democratic deficit at the legislative level. It was also preceded by domestic demands for an end to the executive dominance over treaty-making. This article explores the implementation of the policy from 2008 to 2013 to assess its relevance to the democratization of the process. The findings suggest that, even though the process became more predictable and transparent, the policy neither promoted the debate of treaties nor altered the executive pre-eminence. Moreover, treaties not requiring implementing legislation were either not debated during the 21-day period or ratified despite the will of the House. The minority status of the government until the 2011 elections may explain the influence of opposition MPs over the passage of some bills implementing treaties.

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Keywords Democratic deficit, Treaty-making process, Treaty-tabling policy
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Journal Canadian Foreign Policy Journal
Danesi, S.L. (Silvina Lilian). (2014). Tabling and waiting: A preliminary assessment of Canada’s treaty-tabling policy. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 20(2), 189–208. doi:10.1080/11926422.2014.934854