Suspension Proposal Sparks Debate

OTTAWA - A Conservative proposal to suspend three senators without pay and benefits is sparking a passionate debate inside the upper chamber over the powers and independence of Parliament and just how...

Tories Turning Against Senate?

OTTAWA - While the NDP bangs the drum for Senate abolition in the Commons, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is likely to hear the same beat coming from inside his own Conservative caucus.Government MPs g...

A Candid Letter to Steve Harper

Dear Steve: Ordinarily, I'm not in the habit of writing to sitting prime ministers. But even I have to pause and wonder what the heck is going on with your gang up there in Ottawa these days. Have you all been starting cocktail hour at lunchtime or smoking all that excess B.C. bud confiscated by the RCMP?

Look Who's Calling the Kettle Black

I recently read that the Premier of Saskatchewan, Mr. Brad Wall, is supporting the call for the abolishment of the Senate in light of the expense scandals. He says that the Senate "hasn't the credibility that it should have." I have to admit that I find these statements quite ironic coming from Premier Wall.

The Senate: Where Transparency Goes to Be Mocked

Canadians are waiting while Deloitte wraps up its investigation of Senator Wallin's claims. And then, we are led to understand that the Board of Internal Economy will develop its own report. With a breathtaking tone-deafness that makes a mockery of the principle of transparency.

Easy Senate Fixes

The time for delusions of grandeur is over. If the Senate wants to survive, it must join all other modern democratic institutions and commit right away to transparent, accountable, and open administration of its internal affairs. Stop balking and dismantle the Board of Internal Economy.
CP Files

Sask. Party Votes to Abolish Senate

The Saskatchewan Party is now in favour of abolishing the Senate. This morning the Saskatchewan Party announced the results of the party referendum on the Senate, 86% of the governing party's members having voted to change the party's position on the Senate from reform to abolition.

The Real Senate Scandal Is the System

For all its excellent policy work (I can say that now, having finally read quite a lot of it!), the Senate, I am sorry to tell you, is a medieval nightmare when it comes to its internal administration. This is not because of any evil intent or incompetence. It is because the Senate is a political institution born in a different age.

Change It Or Abolish It, Canadians Say

The majority of Canadians want the Senate changed or abolished, according to an exclusive Nanos Research poll for CBC News Network's Power & Politics. The survey was conducted amidst a controvers...

Senate Cancels Motivational Speakers

OTTAWA - Two speakers hired by the Senate to help motivate senators and staff in the midst of a raging scandal over the abuse of taxpayers' money have had their event cancelled pending further discuss...

Media Bites:Our Politicians Pocket More Than Obama's Chief of Staff

Being chief of staff to the president of the United States seems like a tough job. But while the gig may drip with stature and power, one thing it's decidedly not is high-paying. At least by Canadian standards. This is basically the story at every level of the Canadian government; we're paying more cash to more people to do almost certainly less work than their closest American equivalent.

Senator Owes $231,000?!

Senator Mac Harb owes about $230,000 in expenses claimed improperly, the outgoing chair of the Senate's internal economy committee says. Conservative Senator David Tkachuk told the CBC's Laurie Graham...

Cordially Invited

OTTAWA - Conservative and Liberal senators have agreed to invite the auditor general to scrutinize the way they spend taxpayers' money.But Liberals want to go even further — getting auditor general Mi...

Our Fathers' Good Names

Last month, when I told my father I had been drafted to join the Senate's Ethics Committee, he nodded his approval. Soon I would watch in horror and helplessness as an aggressive cancer took him away from his family. Now, I return back to work, to an institution that is also under siege. But this time, we are not helpless. Honourable senators, the future of this chamber is in our hands.

Will a Retired Supreme Court Justice Do?

On May 31 Canadian Labour Congress president Ken Georgetti issued a press release suggesting supporters of union financial disclosure legislation currently before the Senate "cannot find a single constitutional expert who will agree that Bill C-377 is constitutional." We've received a legal opinion that says otherwise.

Stephen Harper's Small Thinking Doesn't Engage Canadians

Stephen Harper's problem is that he thinks too small. No short-term partisan advantage is too minute for him to pursue and no long-term challenge facing the country is too large for him to ignore. By contrast, we need national leaders who will think forward and think big; who will govern intelligently and respectfully; who will call for a new federalism for the 21st century.

Don't Let a Few Bad Apples Spoil the Senate

Surely Canadians can spot the difference between a Mike Duffy and a Romeo Dallaire, or between a Pamela Wallin and Muriel Ferguson! The quality of character and intelligence in Senator Hugh Segal simply dwarfs the rather sad record of Patrick Brazeau. The average citizen can sense the distinction a kilometre away. We often forget just how many great Senators have kept rampant politics at bay through reasoned and compelling arguments that often put the present House of Commons to shame. Let's leave the Duffys et al to their fate and consider the others who did our government proud.

The Real Senate Reform That Will Never Be

Canadians caught a glimpse of what "could be" in the 1992 Charlottetown Accord; the closest we have come to real Senate reform since Confederation.The prime minister who wrought this was Brian Mulroney. But even he was surprised. I know, because I was the one who informed him an elected Senate might just happen.

Politics Is Killing the Senate

Canada's Senate has had a grounded history and its occasional failures were never enough to deflect its effectiveness in the long haul. The great tragedy of recent years is that people have been appointed to undertake the dirty work of parties when it would have been better to keep such shenanigans in the House where partisanship has a role. Politics is killing the Senate; professionalism, cooperation and merit can save it, and our reasoned legislative system in the process.

Harper Grilled Over Senate Scandal

OTTAWA — The House of Commons took on the aura of an inquisition Tuesday as Stephen Harper was grilled for the first time in Parliament about the role his office played in the Senate spending scandal....