Senator Ringuette proposes transforming the Senate

Today, Senator Pierrette Ringuette gave notice on a motion to start the process of transforming the Senate of Canada.

The motion will create and authorize a senate committee to study and recommend changes to the Senate to;

  • help reduce partisanship and increase the role of regional representation by realigning the Senate along regional rather than partisan caucuses,
  • allow the senators greater participation in Senate’s agenda, including nominating speakers and establishing the process for dealing with government legislation,
  • increase the accountability of Senators to citizens in their region.

In addition, Senator Ringuette tabled a more detailed proposal of changes to Senate rules for the committee to study.

These are the most comprehensive changes to the process and culture of the Senate that can be made without changing the Constitution or any legislation.

The Senate was created with specific purposes in mind, it was to be a chamber of sober second thought, a chamber that eschewed partisan politics and protect the minority voice, and balance the needs and representation of the regions against the popularly elected House of Commons.

The Senate has moved away from its founding principles; the grip of party leaders and partisanship on the Senate has grown year after year. It is time for the Senate to take responsibility and act to transform the Senate accordingly.

The Senator will speak in support of her motion Thursday, March 27th.

Please find attached the text of the motion and the detailed proposal.

For more information:
Tim Rosenburgh
Office of Senator Pierrette Ringuette
rosent@sen.parl.gc.ca
(613) 943-2248