Friday, July 29, 2016

Canadian Senate, Senators, and Other Related Stuff!?

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Judge Exonerates Mike Duffy, "Indicts" Stephen Harper And Senate  
Published on Apr 25, 2016
Author and journalist Rick Salutin tells The Real News that Duffy, "a phony, populist man of the people," has served a historical purpose of bringing down Harper.
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Trudeau’s first senate appointees are exactly the sort of people you’d expect Liberals to appoint
Kelly McParland
March 22, 2016
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance before the speech from the throne in the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill.
Surprisingly little attention has been paid to the first crew of senators named by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trudeau appointed seven new senators last week, to a general lack of excitement. Ottawa’s pundits, perhaps still worn out by the thrill of the prime minister’s visit to Washington, and busy speculating on the contents of Tuesday’s budget, have been almost universally silent.
In a way, it’s not a surprise. It’s been a long time since the Senate offered anything but bad news. People are sick of hearing about Mike Duffy and the dubious means senators employed to nickel and dime the taxpayer, which was raked over once again yesterday in a report by former Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie. They’re ready for the Senate to return to the boring, overpriced, near-irrelevant slumber chamber it’s been for most of its existence.
Still, you’d think there would be at least a smidgen of curiosity about the latest appointees. They’re the first by the new prime minister, the first in three years (since former prime minister Harper gave up in disgust and quit appointing anyone at all), the first under the Liberals’ heralded new arm’s-length advisory council, the first to be appointed entirely as independents, and the opening wave in the Liberals’ proclaimed plan to de-partisan the benighted second chamber.
Surveying the names on the Liberal list of appointees, two thoughts spring to mind. 1. The Liberals appear to have concluded that the best way to escape the sort of Senate controversy that engulfed the Tories is to make the process as boring as humanly possible. 2. Having achieved that, they’ve used public ennui to appoint exactly the sort of people you’d expect Liberals to appoint.
To get the apathy ball rolling, Trudeau’s government announced in January it had appointed a three-member committee to advise it on potential appointees. It had three permanent members: a federal bureaucrat and two academics, plus “ad hoc” members from provinces with vacancies. The first ad hoc advisers included another bureaucrat, the head of a native women’s group, the head of a Quebec doctor’s organization, an athlete, a singer and the head of a charity.
It duly sent some names to Ottawa, from which Trudeau picked his chosen seven: the head of his transition team, a former Ontario NDP cabinet minister, an academic, an “expert on migration and diversity”, a Paralympic athlete, a federalist journalist from Quebec and the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into residential schools.

Since the Liberals claim all new senators have to be non-partisan, we’ll have to assume all these people assured the prime minister of their independence, though, looking at the list, it’s not hard to guess they skew pretty much to the left. Not a lot of closet Tories in that group. As my colleague John Robson put it, the list is so predictable of a Liberal government it might have been selected by an affirmative action random-elite-candidate-generator.
And what else would you expect? Examine the membership of the advisory committee and you notice it’s heavy with people paid from the public purse, or dependent on government for grace and favour. Who else would they put forward but Canadians who reflect their own background: public servants, academics, friendly faces, administrators, reliable interest groups and members of other Liberal-friendly operations. They don’t reflect Canada so much as they reflect the Liberals’ view of Canada: people like them; people you see in the salons of Ottawa, people who will be sympathetic to Liberal aspirations and the Liberal way of doing things. Even if, under Trudeau’s directive, they have to promise not to call themselves Liberals.
James Cowan, the leader of Senate Liberals, understands the dynamics at work. Senate Liberals used to be Liberal senators, until Trudeau decreed that there are no more Liberal senators, and thus they must identify themselves as Senate Liberals. In much the same manner, Cowan says, there’s nothing to stop him wooing the new “Independent” senators into working with his Liberal members. “I will certainly be inviting them to come and have a look at the way we do business and see if it appeals to them,” he told the Globe and Mail.
To be fair to the Liberals, it would be difficult for any government to find 105 Canadians who have the experience, expertise and understanding of Ottawa’s ways demanded for Senate membership, yet have developed no views on how the country should be run, or which side of the political divide attracts their sympathy. But no other prime minister before Trudeau claimed the ability to do it. His “independents” may not hold a party membership, but that’s not the only measure of independence. Would it have been too much to include just one new senator who doesn’t see government as the answer to every problem? An entrepreneur? Someone who’s been required to meet a payroll or risked their own money on an idea?
Evidently so.
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Keeping Up with the Upper Chamber  
Uploaded on Jul 13, 2016
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Trudeau Senate appointees include aboriginal judge, Paralympian, ex-NDPer, journalist
Trudeau appoints 7 Senators to form a more 'independent, non-partisan' upper chamber
CBC News 
Posted: Mar 18, 2016
Four women were among the seven people appointed to the Senate to sit as independents by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (S. Kilpatrick, M. Cassese, R. Walker and A. Wyld for Canadian Press, Reuters and Ryerson University)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today the appointment of seven new senators who will sit as independents to represent the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
The appointments are the first in three years and the result of a new selection process established by Trudeau's Liberals in a bid to transform the scandal-plagued Senate into a more "independent, non-partisan" institution.
The announcement comes in anticipation of new government legislation that will require the Senate's approval after the Trudeau government tables its first federal budget on March 22.
* Chantal Petitclerc, Murray Sinclair among 7 new Trudeau-appointed senators
* Justice Murray Sinclair accepts 'sacred' appointment to Senate
​​* Ratna Omidvar, Toronto expert on diversity, to sit as independent senator
* Chantal Petitclerc, André Pratte among those named to the Senate

Trudeau's pick of four women and three men includes Manitoba's first aboriginal judge, a Paralympic gold medallist, a former provincial NDP cabinet minister, and a journalist.
The new senators were picked from a pool of candidates on the recommendation of an "independent" advisory board selected three months ago by the Trudeau government to advise the prime minister in a concerted effort to make the upper chamber less partisan.
Trudeau made an unprecedented decision in 2014 when he expelled every Liberal senator from his party's caucus, leaving them to sit as independents.
The 105-seat Senate includes 42 Conservative senators, 26 ex-Liberals, and 20 independents which include today's appointments.
The seven appointments brings the total number of vacancies down to 17.
Meet your new 7 senators:
1. Peter Harder (Ont.)
Peter Harder representing the government in the Senate
Trudeau appointed Peter Harder as the government's representative in the Senate to work with Liberal House Leader Dominic Leblanc to ensure legislation gets tabled through the Senate.
Harder, who managed the Liberal transition to government, will be sworn in as a privy councillor allowing him to sit in on cabinet meetings when necessary.
He spent 29 years in the federal public service, including 16 years as a deputy minister and four years as the personal representative of the prime minister to three G8 Summits.
Peter Harder on representing the government in the Senate8:01
2. Justice Murray Sinclair (Man.)
Justice Murray Sinclair speaks during the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report in Ottawa, Canada, December 15, 2015. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)
He was the first aboriginal judge appointed in Manitoba and only the second in Canada. He was the chief commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated the legacy of the residential school system and delivered a landmark report in 2015.
Justice Murray Sinclair senate
Justice Murray Sinclair speaks during the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report in Ottawa, Canada, December 15, 2015. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)
3. Chantal Peticlerc (Que.)
Chantal Petitclerc tweeted that she was 'feeling humbled' on Friday. (Fred Chartrand/CP)
She has won over 20 medals for Canada in the sport of wheelchair racing, beginning at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona. She is chef de mission for Canada's team at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Chantal Petitclerc senate
Chantal Petitclerc tweeted that she was 'feeling humbled' on Friday. (Fred Chartrand/CP)
4. Raymonde Gagné (MB)
Gov. Gen. David Johnston presents the Order of Canada to Raymonde Gagné during an investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa in 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)
She has worked in education for over 35 years. She served as president of Université de Saint-Boniface from 2003 to 2014. She was responsible for the college obtaining full university status and has been honoured for increasing the range of educational opportunities available in French in Manitoba.
Raymonde Gagné senate
Gov. Gen. David Johnston presents the Order of Canada to Raymonde Gagné during an investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa in 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)
5. Frances Lankin (Ont.)
Frances Lankin, seen at Rideau Hall in 2013, served as CEO of United Way Toronto for years. (Adrian Wyld/CP)
Most recently, Lankin spent 10 years running the United Way in Toronto, taking that job after years as an NDP cabinet minister and MPP in Ontario. From 2009 to 2016, she was a member of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the oversight body for the country's security agencies.
Frances Lankin senate
Frances Lankin, seen at Rideau Hall in 2013, served as CEO of United Way Toronto for years. (Adrian Wyld/CP)
6. Ratna Omidvar (Ont.)
Lifeline Syria's Chair Ratna Omidvar, centre left, is seen working with colleagues at the organization's offices in Toronto in 2015. (Chris Young/CP)
Recognized globally for her contributions to increasing the inclusion of immigrants, she is currently the founding executive director of a think tank at Ryerson University's school of management that focuses on diversity, migration and inclusion. She is the chair of Lifeline Syria, which seeks to bring 1,000 privately sponsored Syrian refugees to Toronto. She also serves on the boards of the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, The Environics Institute, and Samara.
Ratna Omidvar senate
Lifeline Syria's Chair Ratna Omidvar, centre left, is seen working with colleagues at the organization's offices in Toronto in 2015. (Chris Young/CP)
7. André Pratte (Que.)
Journalist and author André Pratte autographs copies of the book 'Reconquérir Le Canada' (Reconquering Canada), a new pro-federalist collection of essays, at the launch in Montreal in 2007. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)
Author and journalist, he spent 14 years as editor-in-chief of the Quebec daily paper La Presse. He is one of the founders of a Quebec think tank on federalism.
Andre Pratte senate
Journalist and author André Pratte autographs copies of the book 'Reconquérir Le Canada' (Reconquering Canada), a new pro-federalist collection of essays, at the launch in Montreal in 2007. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)
Bios compiled by The Canadian Press.
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After appointing 56 senators, Stephen Harper is done
The Prime Minister declares a moratorium on Senate appointments and the countdown to a constitutional crisis is on
Aaron Wherry
July 24, 2015
After nine years, 59 appointments to the upper chamber, one ruling of the Supreme Court, one cheque for $90,000 and 31 charges against Mike Duffy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has now vowed to fold his arms, hold his breath and wait until the premiers are ready and able to present him with an agreement to reform or abolish the Senate.
So either the premiers—taken somehow by a desire to commit energy to addressing the form and function of the federal legislature—will band together to solve this conundrum and relieve this Prime Minister and all future prime ministers of ever having to nominate another unelected appointee, or we will, eventually, have ourselves a constitutional crisis.
Or perhaps, before then, we will have a different prime minister.
The Senate is not merely a quirk of our history or a blight upon our democracy. It is the law. Its existence is part of the constitutional basis for this country’s existence.
As drafted, the foundational text was the British North America Act, “an Act for the Union of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and the Government thereof; and for Purposes connected therewith,” dated March 29, 1867. It is now known as the Constitution Act, 1867.
At section 17 it is written that, “There shall be One Parliament for Canada, consisting of the Queen, an Upper House styled the Senate, and the House of Commons.”
At section 22 it is decreed that, “The Senate shall, subject to the Provisions of this Act, consist of One Hundred and five Members, who shall be styled Senators.”
Section 23 allots these 105 senators to the provinces: 24 each for Ontario and Quebec, 10 each for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, six each for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland, four for Prince Edward Island, one each for the Northwest and Yukon territories.
Section 32 sets out that, “When a Vacancy happens in the Senate by Resignation, Death, or otherwise, the Governor General shall by Summons to a fit and qualified Person fill the Vacancy.”
And section 35 dictates quorum: “Until the Parliament of Canada otherwise provides, the Presence of at least Fifteen Senators, including the Speaker, shall be necessary to constitute a Meeting of the Senate for the Exercise of its Powers.”
To change or ignore constitutional provisions should be considered no small thing.
At present, the Senate is 22 senators short of its constitutional allotment. And already it could be argued that the Constitution is being betrayed—that provinces are being deprived their rightful representation and that Parliament is not in its proper form. In fact, Harper’s reluctance to nominate anyone for the Senate is already being challenged at the Federal Court.
Even if that particular challenge fails, it will still not be possible to merely ignore the Senate away. Without at least 15 senators, the Senate would be unable to function. And unless passed by the Senate, legislation cannot be made law. Thus, as currently set out, there is no functioning Parliament without a functioning Senate.
As the Supreme Court ruled that any “fundamental” change to the form or mandate of the Senate would require provincial consent, it’s possible that a refusal to appoint senators would be ruled unconstitutional long before the Senate’s population fell below 15. What then? Would Harper ignore a court ruling? Shall we start speculating now about when a governor general would be compelled to intervene? Would it be too early to start manufacturing constitutional-crisis tchotchkes to sell to the tourists?
That the provinces have a role here is indisputable, but to suggest that they would sort it out themselves seems at least to absolve the federal government of its responsibility to join (convene, even) those discussions and to ignore the fact that the Senate is a federal institution.
Though his declaration today was more unequivocal, that the Prime Minister isn’t willing to fill those vacancies is not a new development; it has been more than two years since he recommended anyone to the Governor General. As rival partisans quickly pointed out, going back 11 years, this is not even the first time Harper has vowed not to make Senate appointments.
But then, on the very day he became Prime Minister, Harper decided he wanted Michael Fortier in his cabinet. And then, a few years after, there arrived Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau. And, later, Don Meredith. Not to mention defeated Conservative candidates, the Conservative party’s top fundraiser, the Conservative party’s campaign manager, and the Prime Minister’s former press secretary. And then the Prime Minister’s chief of staff cut a cheque for Sen. Duffy. And the Prime Minister’s Office was apparently found to have managed the rewriting of a Senate committee’s report on Sen. Duffy. And then charges started getting laid. And then the auditor general was called in.
And so Harper wants nothing to do with the Senate now. Which is, given all of the above, perfectly understandable.
It’s just that this “moratorium” comes rather late. It was seven years before Harper referred the matter of Senate reform to the Supreme Court; even after gaining a majority in the House, the Conservatives sat on their own reform legislation. And now, nine-and-a-half years and 58 more senators after he recommended his first nominee, the Prime Minister has declared a moratorium. (In fairness, three of those nominees had gone through elections in Alberta.)
In addition to speculating about where things go from here, we might wonder how differently history would have unfolded if this moratorium and that reference had been initiated in February 2006.
(Earlier in the day, it had been speculated that the Prime Minister was about to announce his support for abolition, a position that could have at least been presented as his plan all along—the culmination of a decade-long play, brilliant in hindsight, to destroy the upper chamber.)
More currently, we might ask about the precise utility of the 83 senators that remain.
It was the Prime Minister’s estimation today that the 22 senators we don’t have are not missed. “There are 22 vacancies now,” he said. “How many people are noticing?” For that matter, he celebrated the budgetary savings that resulted from not having those senators. Later, he dismissed the notion that provinces gain meaningful representation from their current senators. “The number of senators you have today, in the current institution, gives no real weight in Parliament,” he said. “Decisions are made, for all practical purposes, in the House of Commons.”
It was previously the Prime Minister’s suggestion, mind you, that the Senate was fulfilling its functions, as long as the Senate was passing the government’s legislation.
All things considered, then, the Prime Minister should be looking to save more money. At present, and even if every independent senator votes against the government, the Conservatives have a majority of 11. Even allowing for the Conservatives to maintain a healthy majority still leaves a surplus of senators, and so, surely, at least five or six Conservatives should quit. And perhaps the rest can agree to a sizable pay cut. In the meantime, Harper’s senators might explain what it is they do that we should consider to be of any value.
(Harper’s principle of “How many people are noticing?” might next be applied to reducing his ministry by a third and seeing if the public complains.)
There is at least here some kind of discussion about the upper chamber’s precise utility.
“Honourable senators, I believe in Senate reform, because I believe in the ideas behind an upper house,” Harper said nine years ago during an appearance before a Senate committee. “Canada needs an upper house that provides sober and effective second thought. Canada needs an upper house that gives voice to our diverse regions. Canada needs an upper house with democratic legitimacy, and I hope that we can work together to move toward that enhanced democratic legitimacy.”
Is democratic legitimacy required to provide sobriety and voice? If so, how would an elected Senate interact with the House of Commons? How more likely would it be that we’d have the sort of gridlock that has paralyzed the U.S. Congress? And why wouldn’t an elected Senate merely behave as unsoberly as our elected House?
As lucrative as it might be to convert the Senate into lofts, would it be all the more dangerous, given the House’s drunken weakness, to abolish the Senate, as the New Democrats propose, and remove one more check on power, even if that check seems more theoretical than real at present?
Or is it possible that the Fathers of Confederation were onto something when they established an appointed chamber of second thought, even if we’ve maybe never had a Senate that lived up to its notional ideal? Could a new appointment process and a break from caucus allegiance, as the Liberals propose, achieve that utility? Or is that even merely just the most practical solution?
(If Trudeau hadn’t proposed it already, would that have been an option for the Prime Minister now? Or would he rather not have dealt with senators who couldn’t be counted on to advance his government’s agenda relatively unimpeded?)
Those questions would form the basis of a decent debate about the Senate. And maybe that debate will be had now—or be had more loudly and decisively than it was already being had.
For the moment, we have a Prime Minister asking the provinces to sort things out amongst themselves while he uses an ultimately unconstitutional moratorium to hide from an upper chamber already stacked with appointees of questionable utility. It is probably enough of a position to get him through the election—or, at least, it is surely a better option than appointing 22 senators this summer. But, nine years after he mused to senators about the “rite of passage for aspiring leaders and prime ministers to promise Senate reform on their way to the top,” only for their governments to lose interest and for the “status quo” to prevail, the Prime Minister is left with something worse than the status quo, as he attempts to redirect responsibility.
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Justin Trudeau removes senators from Liberal caucus
Liberal leader's move described as a 'smokescreen' by Conservatives
By James Cudmore, CBC News 
Posted: Jan 29, 2014

Justin Trudeau on Senate reform
Published on Jan 29, 2014
Justin Trudeau has expelled from his caucus every single Liberal member of the upper house and has declared there is no longer any such thing as a Liberal senator.
The Liberal leader said the former members of the Liberal Senate caucus will sit as Independents, and they will have no formal ties to the Liberal parliamentary.
"The only way to be a part of the Liberal caucus is to be put there by the people of Canada," Trudeau said.
  • Chat: Join Kady O'Malley at noon ET to discuss Trudeau's move
  • Senate expenses: What you need to know

  • The move stunned both Liberal senators and senior Liberal Senate staffers, who had not been formally advised of the decision. It also blindsided veteran insiders and political observers who had no inkling about the change.
    Trudeau's surprise move came as all parties held their caucus meetings in Ottawa.
    Those meetings typically include both MPs and senators.
    But sources told CBC News that Liberal MPs and senators were separated and sent to meet in different rooms.
    Trudeau advised senators of his decision just after 9 a.m.
    Sources said the senators listened and did not ask many questions.
    "The Senate is broken and needs to be fixed," Trudeau told them.
    At a news conference just a few minutes later, Trudeau explained why he had made the decision.
    "The Senate was once referred to as a place of sober, second thought. A place that allows for reflective deliberation on legislation, in-depth studies into issues of import to the country, and, to a certain extent, provide a check and balance on the politically driven House of Commons.
    "It has become obvious that the party structure within the Senate interferes with these responsibilities."
    Trudeau proposed the Senate should be made non-partisan, to better serve Canadians. He suggested an "open, transparent, non-partisan process" that would see all senators named to the Red Chamber sit as Independents.
    "Instead of being separate from political, or electoral concerns, senators now must consider not just what’s best for their country, or their regions, but what’s best for their party," Trudeau said.
    "At best, this renders the Senate redundant. At worst — and under Mr. Harper, we have seen it at its worst — it amplifies the prime minister’s power."
    Conservatives call it a 'smokescreen'
    As Trudeau gave his address, some Conservative MPs and senators observed from a balcony overlooking the Commons foyer.
    The government dispatched its lead on democratic reform, Minister of State Pierre Poilievre, to respond.
    "Today, Mr. Trudeau announced a smokescreen to distance himself from the auditor general's report," Poilievre told reporters.
    "In reality, not only would his senators continue to be unelected and unaccountable, the only change is that they wouldn't attend one caucus meeting per week."
    Poilievre said Trudeau's proposal for a non-partisan, independent Senate would make the institution worse.
    "We are the one party that supports a democratically elected Senate that is accountable to Canadians," he said. "Not only has the prime minister named to the upper chamber four citizens who were previously elected by citizens in the province of Alberta, the prime minister has also asked the Supreme Court for a legal instruction manual on how we can make all Canadian senators elected. That has to be our goal."
    Depth of change questioned
    Liberal Senate Leader James Cowan admitted Trudeau's decision was a surprise for senators, who he said were not consulted in advance.
    Cowan said senators were becoming increasingly comfortable with the decision, the longer they had to think about it.
    "What Mr. Trudeau has courageously done today is to set us free and allow us to do the job we're here to do – without any interference or direction from colleagues in other place," Cowan said.
    But Cowan then went on to cast doubt on the depth of change suggested by his leader. There will still be a Liberal Senate caucus, he said, and it will be populated by the same group of Liberal senators, who will each remain a member of the Liberal Party of Canada, though, they may call themselves something different.
    Harper jumps in
    In question period, Prime Minister Stephen Harper mocked Trudeau's Senate announcement.
    "I gather the change announced by the leader today is that unelected Liberal senators will become unelected senators who happen to be Liberal," Harper said, to cheers from Conservative backbenchers.
    "What the Liberal Party doesn't seem to understand is that Canadians are not looking for a better unelected Senate. Canadians believe, for the Senate to be meaningful in the 21st century, it must be elected."
    New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair also raised an eyebrow in response to Trudeau's surprise announcement.
    "It's quite interesting to see today that Justin Trudeau sees the merits of something we put on the table on Oct. 23," Mulcair said.
    Last fall, the New Democrats had put forth a motion to end partisan activities in the Senate, including participation in caucus meetings. Trudeau voted against it.
    Ultimately, Mulcair returned to the party's long-held position that the Upper Chamber should be abolished.
    "The way to deal with the Senate is to eliminate it," he said.
    Long-running scandal
    There are currently 32 Liberal senators who sit in the upper house as official members of the Liberal Party and represent the party's positions and political interests.
    Trudeau said his decision Wednesday will effectively remove his party formally from all of the Senate's institutions — including its committees.
    "These proposals, while bold and concrete, are not the final word. They represent our judgment of how far we can go without guidance from the Supreme Court," Trudeau said.
    "If the Supreme Court says more can be done, we are open to doing more."
    Audits and investigations
    The Senate scandal that has dominated political news in Ottawa for more than a year has had political implications for both the Liberal and Conservative parties.
    Although most of those senators under investigation are former Conservatives, the Liberals have not escaped being tarred by the scandal's politically sticky brush.
    Former Liberal senator Mac Harb has been accused by the RCMP of committing fraud by filing inappropriate expense claims, according to documents filed in Ottawa court.
    A Senate committee investigating senators' expenses ordered Harb to repay more than $230,000.
    He retired in August after paying the money back.
    Canada's auditor general has been called to audit the Senate's spending — including the expenses of all senators.
    That review is currently taking place.
    Trudeau's move could serve to isolate the party from criticism if any of its — now former — senators are found to have had spending trouble.
    Trudeau told reporters he has not been made aware of any early results of the auditor general's investigations.
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    Salaries of Canadian Senators 2015-16
    Basic Salary and Extra Compensation for Members of the Canadian Senate
    By Susan Munroe
    Updated June 03, 2015
    There are normally 105 senators in the Senate of Canada, the upper house of the Parliament of Canada. Canadian senators are not elected. They are appointed by the Governor General of Canada on the advice of the Prime Minister of Canada.
    Salaries of Canadian Senators 2015-16
    Like MPs' salaries, the salaries and allowances of Canadian senators are adjusted on April 1 each year.
    For the 2015-16 fiscal year, Canadian senators received an increase of 2.7 percent. The increase is still based on an index of wage increases from major settlements of private-sector bargaining units which is maintained by the Labour Program in the federal Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), however there is a legal requirement that Senators be paid exactly $25,000 less than MPs, so the percentage increase works out a bit higher.
    When you look at Senators' salaries, don't forget that while Senators do have a lot of traveling, their working hours aren't as strenuous as those of MPs.
    They don't have to campaign to get re-elected, and the Senate's schedule is lighter than in the House of Commons. For example, in 2014, the Senate sat on just 83 days.
    Base Salary of Canadian Senators
    For the fiscal year 2015-16, all Canadian Senators make a basic salary of $142,400, up from $138,700.
    Extra Compensation for Additional Responsibilities
    Senators who have extra responsibilities, such as the Speaker of the Senate, the Leader of the Government and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, government and opposition whips, and chairs of Senate committees, receive additional compensation. (See below.)
    Title Additional Salary Total Salary
    Senator   $142,400
    Speaker of the Senate* $58,500 $200,900
    Leader of the Government in the Senate* $80,100 $222,500
    Leader of the Opposition in the Senate $38,100 $180,500
    Government Whip $11,600 $154,000
    Opposition Whip $6,800 $149,200
    Government Caucus Chair $6,800 $149,200
    Opposition Caucus Chair $5,800 $148,200
    Senate Committee Chair $11,600 $154,000
    Senate Committee vice-Chair $5,800 $148,200
    *The Speaker of the Senate and the Leader of the Government in the Senate also get a car allowance. In addition, the Speaker of the Senate receives a residence allowance.
    Canadian Senate Administration
    The Canadian Senate remains in the throes of re-organization as it attempts to cope with the ongoing problems arising from initial expenses scandal that centered on Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, and Mac Harb, who are on trial or facing trial shortly, and Pamela Wallin, who is still under RCMP investtigation. Added to that is the impending release of a comprehensive two-year audit by the office of Michael Ferguson, the Auditor General of Canada. That audit covered the expenses of 117 current and former Senators, and will recommend that about 10 cases will be referred to the RCMP for criminal investigation. Another 30 or so cases of "problematic spending" were discovered, primarily having to do with travel or residency expenses. The Senators involved will either be required to repay the money or will be able to take advantage of a new arbitration system arranged by the Senate. Former Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie has been named as an independent arbitrator to settle disputes the affected Senators may have.
    One thing that has become clear from ongoing Mike Duffy trial is that Senate procedures have been lax and confusing in the past, and will need a lot of effort for the Senate to handle the public outrage and to get things on an even keel. The Senate is continuing to work on improving its processes.
    The Senate does publish quarterly expenditure reports for Senators.
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    Also See:
    Abolish the Senate! We Don't Need It!
    30 May 2013
    and
    Canada, It's Time to Abolish the Senate!
    18 March 2013
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