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141. Improving the Method of Selecting Senators

WHEREAS Canadians are rightly concerned by the recent misconduct of a number of Senators, and the confidence of Canadians in the method of selecting Senators has been undermined as a result;

WHEREAS drastic changes to the method of selecting Senators, even though such changes may be desirable, would likely necessitate protracted federal-provincial negotiations, and a constitutionally and legally sanctioned agreement in order to amend the Constitution of Canada,

WHEREAS previous attempts to amend the Constitution of Canada have been acrimonious and divisive and have often distracted federal and provincial governments from addressing the social and economic challenges facing Canadians;

WHEREAS Senators regularly make valuable contributions to Canadian public policy while respecting significant limitations on the Senate’s broad constitutional powers; and

WHEREAS the current method of selecting appointees to the Senate can be improved by Parliament acting alone;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Liberal Party of Canada asks a future Liberal government to:

  • implement procedural changes according to the current method of selecting Senators
  • establish a non-partisan Senate appointments advisory panel to conduct thorough consultations within the relevant province, specifically the members of provincial legislative assemblies and civil society organizations and advise Cabinet on prospective appointees;
  • establish a non-partisan committee to conduct a public hearing in order to engage a Senator-designate in discussion on his/her competencies in various public policy issues.

Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec)