Academic journal article Canadian Parliamentary Review

The Senate

Academic journal article Canadian Parliamentary Review

The Senate

Article excerpt

On April 12, 2016, the Senate welcomed the seven new senators selected by the Prime Minister. They are: V. Peter Harder, Raymonde Gagne, Frances Lankin, Ratna Omidvar, Chantal Petitclerc, Andre Pratte and Murray Sinclair. Senator Harder was appointed Leader of the Government in the Senate, to be styled as Government Representative.

Senator Harder indicated that he supports the continuation of the recent Senate practice of inviting one minister per week to participate in Senate Question Period to answer questions relating to his or her ministerial responsibility. To date, four ministers have appeared.

The Senate's political landscape continues to evolve. Since our last update there have been two retirements (Senators Irving Gerstein and Celine Hervieux-Payette), one resignation (Senator Maria Chaput) and several changes in affiliation to independent. Also, a working group of independents has formed and its members have named a facilitator.

On February 24, 2016, the Speaker of the Senate ruled on a question of privileged raised by Senator John Wallace regarding the Selection Committee and its treatment of independent senators. Speaker George Furey determined that there had been no prima facie breach of privilege and that there were other means by which to resolve the situation. The leaders of the Opposition and of the Senate Liberals later proposed to change the membership of committees to allow for more participation by independent senators. …

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