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How much is that Senate in the window?

The NDP say nine new Senators will cost more than $3 million a year


 

Jim Flaherty, November 27We cannot ask Canadians to tighten their belts during tougher times without looking in the mirror. Canadians have a right to look to government as an example. We have a responsibility to show restraint and respect for their money. Canadians’ tax dollars are precious. They must not be spent frivolously or without regard to where they came from.

Each new senator is apparently bound to an eight-year term limit. At $132,300 per year, not including mandated annual wage increases, that’s just over a million each. In a release today, the NDP claims the cost of salary, staffing and other expenses for nine more senators will be more than $3-million per year. And surely the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is already doing the calculations on what sort of pension each is likely to walk with.

So who will be the first senator to step forward, renounce his or her pension and volunteer to take a pay cut?


 
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How much is that Senate in the window?

  1. Answer: the people from the party whose first candidates ran on the promise to opt out of the 'gold-plated parliamentary pensions.' But only the non-hippocrites among them.

  2. That is one expensive bunch of poodles.However the Canadian Public seems fine with it -as MR Harper has had no end to the numberof lapdogs he has at his whim.Do what he does not what he says seems Mr Harper's way- which means of course a future of more young Conservatives learning the worst from the best.They say it ain't no beach party being a leader-but I imagine the pool is warm for this lot.Former Premier MacDonald is inthe running- add his penisions and the new salaries and expense accounts and Im certain that one person alone could cover any downfalls in Nova Scotia's budget shortfalls-braught him by his own lack of ability in getting the rightful money owed from the Feds on Oil revenues.
    Fuddle duddle?No- fiddle faddle

  3. YES Lower the Senate salaries. Who needs that much money at 60?

  4. For some reason, I'm not sure if we can count on the Canadian Taxpayer Federation to say much about the cost to taxpayers of Harper's latest broken promise:

    "John Williamson, the former director of the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation and one of the people who drafted Stephen Harper to politics in 2002, is set to become the new director of communications for the Prime Minister, PMO spokesman Dimitri Soudas says."

  5. In a release today, the NDP claims the cost of salary, staffing and other expenses for nine more senators will be more than $3-million per year.

    Three million dollars! My goodness – that's almost as much money as the federal government spends on paper clips every year! We can't afford it!

    • You're right. Senators are cheap.

      Instead of extending EI benefits, perhaps we should just appoint all unemployed Canadians to the Senate.

  6. But not what they spend on partisan 10percenters. C'mon CONs, you can defend better than that. Do you know how many isotopes that could have bought?

    • Do you know how many isotopes that could have bought?

      We could have bought 6.0221415 × 10^26 isotopes with that kind of dough. If we pay cash, they'll throw in an extra isotope or two.

      • A whole kilomole? Wow!

  7. Am I missing something? I figured they were just filling space left by departing senators. Why are we ADDING 9 new ones then? I figure Harper is afraid of an election this fall so he is going to bankrupt the government for the Libs.

  8. If the NDP is really so concerned with the costs, perhaps they can pledge to work together with PM Harper to reform the Senate.

    • Because it's the NDP who would like to abolish the Senate, saving umpteen millions of dollars by not paying any salaries at all.

      • Exactly – it makes perfect sense for the NDP to pick up on how just nine people will cost $3 million.

  9. Right.. so when is PM Harper announcing that he's re-opening the Constitution to reform the Senate and opening talks with the provinces so they give him the necessary constitutional authority to do so?

    The argument he needs to stack the Senate so he can reform it is a sham argument.

    • No, see, he needs to stack the Senate so that the Liberals won't be able to stack the Senate later. Or something.

  10. Harper's Conservatives have never attempted to explain how their "Senate reform" would:

    — shift the chamber from regional representation to provincial representation
    — affect the supremacy of the House as the only branch of gov't with an elected mandate
    — impact the role of the PM as head of gov't (and of MPs as ministers), given that Senators would also have a mandate
    — address the prospect of having two different parties in control of the elected houses of Parliament at the same time
    — not simply produce two chambers fixated on short-term electoral gain
    — involve the Provinces and Territories in the reform process as per the Constitution
    — prevent an elected Senate from 'blocking" gov't bills

    They've also never demonstrated how the Senate has "blocked" the current gov't's reform bills as it was the PM's prorogations and election calls that killed their Senate bills … not a "Liberal-dominated undemocratic chamber". Then there's that whole "undemocratic" component — as if only elected MPs (or Senators) are part of a democracy.

    Basically, they've never once been serious about it.
    They're shameless in their hackery and deserve to be pelted with water balloons and pies.

  11. What's that old saying – how can they ask the people to tighten their belts when they've left them in their underwear.

    Hmmmm….I wonder, if we had an elected senate and the majority voted in were Liberals would Harper want to have appointed senators?

  12. I may be being too much of an alarmist here, but the idea of a Harper-controlled Senate scares me.

    What would happen if the Liberals won an election (hey, it could happen) and controlled the House while the Tories controlled the upper chamber? Would the Conservative Senators block, stall and otherwise delay legislation for purely partisan reasons? Would anything get done at all?

    • Would the Conservative Senators block, stall and otherwise delay legislation for purely partisan reasons? Would anything get done at all?

      Yeah, that's terrifying. And I can't even imagine any other Senate-dominating party would ever do such a thing.

    • We are some time from that… quite a few of the PC and several of the CPC appointments are solid individuals. Once Harper is done as PM he will be done as leader of the CPC.

  13. I suppose you could argue that Harper has SAVED Canada millions and millions of dollars for lo these many years that all these vacancies piled up. But that wouldn't have fit the narrative that was out there at the time: evil ideological Harper is starving the Senate out of some stubborn pique, etc., etc. Now that he is no longer starving the Senate of a population, let's see how we can whine about it now… Oh! Oh! I know! These buggers we have been clamoring for will expect paycheques, and staff, and offices…

    • Great point, except for the fact that those who complained he was starving the Senate out of pique are not the same people as are complaining about the paycheques, staff and pensions. The thing of it is, Canada is not a two-party system. But if you treat the opposition like its a coalition. . .

  14. Each new senator is apparently bound to an eight-year term limit.

    Aaron, this is just crap… why would you report this in the absence of any evidence?

    • No, I believe there's been some misunderstanding here. These senators — like the last batch — have promised to support the prime minister's efforts to apply term limits to the Senate. I checked with PMO last night, and there was no explicit commitment made to resign after eight years should those limits not go through.

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