Liberals announce advisory board to appoint new senators

No constitutional amendments will be necessary, says minister

(Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

(Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

OTTAWA – The Trudeau government is setting up a five-member advisory board to fill the empty seats in the Senate with independent senators.

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef says the five board members — three from the federal level and two ad-hoc members from the provinces — will pick candidates based on public criteria.

She says no constitutional amendments will be necessary.

The candidates will need to have a record of achievement and public service, show integrity, be non-partisan and understand the role of the Senate.

Monsef says a transition advisory board will move to pick five senators right away: two from Ontario, two from Manitoba and one from Quebec, in order to restore a better regional balance in the standings.

House Leader Dominic LeBlanc says one of the new independent senators will be named the government representative in the Senate.

And he says Sen. George Furey will be the new speaker, replacing Conservative Leo Housakos.

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Liberals announce advisory board to appoint new senators

  1. The problem of course, is that this “advisory Board” will themselves be a bunch of hand-picked Partisan hacks who will only select other partisan hacks of the same background. Just one way to show change, without actually making it.

    Better idea……each province gets TWO senators – elected by the people of that province. Won’t happen of course, but you can wish.

    • I really don’t see why Ontario would or should agree to have as much representation as PEI. It’s absurd. More people live within a 5 minute drive of my house than in that entire province.

      • We already have an absurd Senate:

        Population of BC: 4,683,100
        Population of NB: 753,900
        # BC Senators: 6
        # NB Senators: 10

        BC has about 6 times the population of New Brunswick, yet has 6 Senators to NB’s 10.

  2. Excellent news. The inclusion of two ad-hoc members from the provinces is a step in the right direction as is the invitation to all citizens to apply for senate seats. I have read a number of times that more people decline a seat than accept the nomination, so with citizens invited to apply the board will be looking at some – if not only – persons who are interested in the job.

    I would be very curious to know what the government defines as the role of the Senate/Senators.

    I also want to congratulate Jacques Demers for his announcing that he will now be sitting as an independent. Rona Ambrose should consider excluding Senators from her political caucus before it becomes too apparent that no even Senators want to be associated to her party and MPs.

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