QP Live: Senate expenses and electoral reform - Macleans.ca

QP Live: Senate expenses and electoral reform

Join us for your daily dose of political theatre. Tweet about the madness at #QP.

House of Commons

House of Commons

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.

Maclean’s is your home for the daily political theatre that is Question Period, when MPs trade barbs and take names for 45 minutes every day. If you’ve never watched, check out our primer, which we produced with J-Source. Today, QP runs from 2:15 p.m. until just past 3. We tell you who to watch, we stream it live, and we liveblog all the action. The whole thing only matters if you participate. Chime in on Twitter with #QP.


When the opposition asks about the Senate expense scandal, the PM should rise to respond. If he doesn’t, or if he’s absent, he’ll send up a designated replacement. Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre will field questions related to the government’s planned electoral reform legislation.




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