Saskatchewan Party holds referendum, backs premier's call to abolish Senate

REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has the backing of his party in his call to abolish the Senate.

The Saskatchewan Party held a referendum and says 86 per cent of just over 3,700 party members who took part in the mail-in vote supported abolishing the Senate.

The referendum was called after a resolution on getting rid of the upper house was defeated in a split decision at the party’s convention last November.

Wall said in May that only about 250 people voted at the convention and that the recent Senate expense scandal prompted some to ask that the issue be revisited.

Wall says he believes the party vote reflects the overall view of Saskatchewan people.

The premier has said abolition would be difficult, but he’s come to believe that reforming the Senate is impossible.

“For a long time, many Saskatchewan people, myself included, wanted to see meaningful reform to create Senate that is elected, effective and equal,” Wall said Monday.

“It is now painfully clear that’s never going to happen, and we continue to have a Senate that is unelected, unaccountable and unnecessary, and that costs Canadian taxpayers nearly a hundred million dollars a year.”