Canada tables legislation to support more independent and non-partisan Senate

From: Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Today, Senator Marc Gold introduced legislation to amend the Parliament of Canada Act and enshrine into law a number of changes that have already been made in the Senate.

Bill S-2 would extend eligibility for annual allowances to senators occupying leadership positions in parties or groups beyond only the Government and Opposition; ensure all recognized parties and parliamentary groups are consulted on important appointments, such as to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians; and, amend the Emergencies Act to ensure each group is represented on parliamentary committees formed under the Act.

This follows the creation of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments in 2016, which provides the Prime Minister with non-binding, merit-based recommendations for Senate appointments that reflect Canada’s diversity and make a significant contribution to the work of Parliament.

Quotes

“This bill is an important next step in the Government’s commitment to support a Senate that is more independent and non-partisan. Changes to legislation such as the Parliament of Canada Act are needed so we can ensure the current reality in the Senate is reflected in the law, and that we continue to serve Canadians in the most effective and meaningful way possible.”

– The Honourable Mark Holland, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Quick facts

  • The 105-seat Senate of Canada is made up of individuals with a diverse set of backgrounds, accomplishments, and experiences.

  • Since the establishment of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, 60 senators have been appointed to the Senate.

  • The bill introduced today is the same bill that passed in the Senate during the previous parliamentary session but died on the Order Paper upon dissolution.

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