POLITICS

A selection of key milestones in the ongoing evolution of Canada's Senate

01/29/2014 03:50 EST | Updated 03/31/2014 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has kicked Liberal senators out of the party caucus, describing the move as a significant step forward in the evolution of the Senate. Here's a list of some others:

1867 — The British North American Act, which creates Canada, provides for an upper house of members, appointed for life. The Senate first sits on Nov. 16.

1870-1905 — As new provinces join the country, the Senate expands to 87 members.

1915 — A constitutional reorganization expands the Senate to 96 members.

1930 — Following the "Persons Case" finding that women are eligible to sit in the Senate, Cairine MacKay Wilson of Ontario becomes the first woman senator

1949 — Newfoundland joins Confederation, Senate expands to 102 members.

1965 — Life tenure is abolished; senators serve to age 75.

1972 — Muriel McQueen Ferguson becomes the first woman to serve as Speaker.

1974 — Yukon and Northwest Territories each get a Senate seat, bringing total to 104.

1979 — Nunavut gets a seat, bringing total to 105.

1989 — Alberta elects Stan Waters as its senator-in-waiting. He is named to the Senate the next year by then-prime minister Brain Mulroney.

1990 — Mulroney invokes an obscure section of the Constitution to appoint eight new senators. This gives him the narrow edge he needs to get the GST legislation passed.

1991 — A Conservative government abortion bill dies in the Senate after a tie vote.

2013-14 — The Senate is racked by a series of expense scandals which lead to the suspension of three senators and prompt an investigation by the auditor general.

2014 — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau ousts senators from his caucus, saying they will have to sit as independents.

Quote: "It is not by any manner of means a trifling thing to say when I say that the value of a Senate is not only in what the Senate does, but in what the Senate prevents other people from doing." — Sir Richard Cartwright, speaking in the Senate, May 1906.