Senators

GEOFF ROBINS via Getty Images

5 Issues The Liberals Must Address With The Return Of Parliament

After 83 days in power for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the House of Commons has resumed sitting. Ottawa will be back in full swing with hundreds of new staffers settling into their new roles. As ministers return to the question period briefed up, staffed up and, ideally, rested up from the holiday, we will see a more comfortable team working to deliver on the government priorities set out in their platform and Speech from the Throne: growing the economy for the middle class, providing Canadians with open and transparent government and fighting climate change.
David Cooper via Getty Images

"His Worship Rob Ford": Is It Time to Ditch Honorifics?

Currently in Canada, Senators, Supreme or Federal Court judges, and privy councillors are allowed to use the honorific of "Honourable." The trio of senators who have been suspended without pay -- Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau -- all retain their honorific titles of "The Honourable Senator" while under suspension. Stripped of their salaries, offices and budgets, it seems oddly Canadian to allow them to retain these clearly meaningless titles. So should we in Canada also move to do away with honorific titles completely? Should there be no more "Honourables" or "Worships" at all?
CP

Don't Abolish Senators, Choose Better Ones

What is happening in both the House of Commons and the Senate at the moment represents a serious enough threat to our democracy that we require remedial efforts in real time, far in advance of whatever constitutional refinements to these institutions that might lie in the future. Our focus should be upon the selection process for Senators, at least in the interim.
CP

Harper Is Punishing the Wrong Senators

It may not constitute criminal behaviour to apply for bogus housing allowances. But three people crossed over a moral line that a hundred other senators didn't. Doesn't that call for censure on the part of the institution that they hoodwinked? You can't just sweep things like this under the rug and pretend its business as usual. Wrong is wrong, and without formal censure, the Senate becomes part of the wrong. In dealing with this situation, the government has turned the concept of punishment upside down. No punishment for the housing allowance transgressors. But sweeping new rules to stymie senators involved in legitimate Senate business.
CP

Harper Stands Up For Embattled Senators

OTTAWA - Stephen Harper categorically asserts that all senators meet the constitutional requirement that they must reside in the provinces or territories they were appointed to represent.The prime min...

Canada's Biggest Problem Could Be "Extractive Elites"

Debates about debt are noisy and nasty and extend across the developed world. Squeaky wheels get the oil, or escape cuts to their spending, but the solution is unaddressed and improperly framed. The issue is about "extractive elites" -- who they are and what to do about them.
CP

It's Been A Bad Year For The Senate

OTTAWA - It's been a rough year for Canada's upper house.Thursday's ouster of Sen. Patrick Brazeau from the Conservative caucus after reports of a domestic disturbance at his home is just the latest i...
CP

Want Info On The Senate? Good Luck

OTTAWA - When Moncton's Pascal Raiche-Nogue wanted to know how often senators from New Brunswick showed up for work, he found it near impossible to pull back the curtain on their attendance.The report...
CP

The Senate Vote on C-10 was a Crime

Much like I can veto my best friend from buying a skirt I know she'll never wear, the Senate can veto parliamentary legislation as it sees fit. In fact, in the past, this veto power has been used pretty haphazardly, so why didn't the Senate veto Bill C-10? Perhaps it is because there is no pressure from Conservative ministers to kill the bill.
CP

The Senate's Magnificent Seven?

OTTAWA - Ottawa's chief of police, a former Conservative MP and the first woman electee to the upper chamber are among seven new Conservative Senate appointees.Vern White, who has led the Ottawa polic...
Flickr: scazon

What I Learned From My Sister

My wife comments that I am one of nature's pessimists. I don't deny that people will sometimes act kindly. I just don't expect it. Linda is very different. She sees the best in people, makes the widest allowance for human failings, and is always ready to believe in the possibility of change and improvement.