From the Inkless mailbox, without which today would be quiet indeed:
Federal Government Welcomes Saskatchewan Move to Consult Voters on Senate Nominees
May 20, 2008
OTTAWA — Statement by Hon. Peter Van Loan, P.C., M.P.:
“The federal government is encouraged by the decision of the Saskatchewan government to move forward with their own provincial Senate consultations process. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has already appointed one Senator (Bert Brown) recommended through a provincial selection process in Alberta.
“While the federal government is working to achieve a national Senate consultations process, the proposal by Saskatchewan to consult voters on appointments to the Senate is a reflection of the same objective. It demonstrates a growing desire among Canadians to modernize and democratize the Senate.
“Two bills have been introduced in the House of Commons to achieve a Senate that is consistent with democratic values, principles, and traditions. The first, Bill C-19, limits the terms of Senators to 8 years from a current maximum of 45. The second, Bill C-20, gives Canadians a direct say in who represents them in the Senate through national Senate consultations. These two bills represent real change in an institution that desperately needs it and the federal government is committed to enacting them into law.
“The Senate consultations Bill, Bill C-20, is currently being studied by a special legislative committee. It has been at the committee for over three months. Hopefully, the initiative of the Saskatchewan government will encourage the committee to quickly finish their study and report the Bill back to the House of Commons.