POLITICS

Kevin O'Leary Suggests Selling Senate Seats

01/15/2017 01:18 EST | Updated 01/16/2017 09:16 EST

Kevin O’Leary has a novel idea to balance Canada’s budget — selling seats in the Senate.

The potential Conservative leadership contender told CTV’s Question Period that Canada’s upper house of Parliament should be a “profit centre,” not a cost centre.

kevin oleary

Canadian businessman Kevin O'Leary speaks during the Conservative party convention in Vancouver on May 27, 2016.

“I don’t know why we can’t have a hundred thousand or a couple of hundred thousand committed each year per senator,” the reality TV host said.

O’Leary hasn’t formally announced a bid to replace Stephen Harper yet, but has suggested he may do so as early as this week.

Canada’s Senate examines and passes laws that have made it through the House of Commons, the chamber of elected MPs. Last year, Senators changed two of the Trudeau government’s signature pieces of legislation — the middle-class tax break and assisted-dying bill.

Senators are appointed by the Prime Minister and make a base annual salary of $145,400. Those with additional responsibilities, like the Speaker, get extra pay and allowances for a car and home.

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