A suspended senator, Patrick Brazeau, and a retired senator, Mac Harb, face charges. The government’s proposed a spate of reforms to Canadian elections. Neither story was entirely unexpected. The clock was ticking on Brazeau and Harb, who both faced prolonged RCMP investigations of their expense claims. Each was charged with fraud and breach of trust. The electoral reform bill, delayed for months, finally found its way into the House of Commons today.
Brazeau is a suspended independent senator who used to be Conservative, and Harb is a retired independent senator who used to be Liberal. How the government can face scrutiny over today’s charges is a tough sell, but the opposition will give its finest effort. Don’t be surprised if the NDP renews calls for abolition of the upper chamber, and the Liberals renew calls for a non-partisan upper chamber. Never be surprised when the government defers to ongoing Supreme Court deliberations on the future of the Senate.
The NDP’s only comment so far on the electoral reform bill is to caution that he “would have to see exactly what the wording is” of the legislation. The opposition didn’t shy away from criticizing the government’s lack of consultation on the bill, and that may be their line of attack.
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014