Harper tables Senate Reform Act - Macleans.ca

Harper tables Senate Reform Act

Bill introduces nine-year term limits, voluntary elections

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The Conservative government has introduced its Senate reform legislation in the House of Commons, calling for nine-year term limits and detailing an optional election framework for the provinces. Under the Senate Reform Act, Senators appointed before 2008 will not be subject to the nine-year term limit. Instead, they will be able to remain in their seats until they turn 75. The bill includes a “voluntary framework,” where provinces can choose to elect senators when a vacancy is available. Prime Minister Stephen Harper reportedly wants to avoid a constitutional debate with the introduction of this legislation. Due to grumblings from the appointees in the red chamber, Harper compromised on his original proposal of an eight-year term limit, opting instead nine years.

The Globe and Mail

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