Senate “advisory board” will still give secret advice
January 18, 2016
Today, Conservative democratic institutions critic Scott Reid (Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston) made the following comments in responding to the Liberal government’s establishment of the “Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments”: “Only the Liberal Party has the audacity to call an appointed body choosing Senators a ‘democratic reform’. There’s no reform here. An unelected, unaccountable board will be making recommendations for an unelected Senate. To top that off, their proposals won’t even be made public.” “The panel is a complete sham. Their list remains secret and their recommendations are non-binding. The Prime Minister, at the end of the day, can appoint whoever he wants, whether they are on the list or not. The board’s decisions have no bearing on the selection of Senators. This secret council has no powers, nor any oversight. How can this be considered a reform, let alone a democratic reform? This does absolutely nothing to make the process more transparent and our institutions more democratic.” “In addition, the appointment process is not only insulting to Albertans, but a step backwards for Canadian democracy. Albertans have been electing Senators for 30 years. They have been loud and clear as to whom they want representing them. In addition, other provinces have expressed a desire to be consulted more formally. Clearly, the Liberals only believe in consultations when it suits their interests.” “The Liberal Government continues to stick to their centralized, top-down reform, taking the decision-making process out of the hands of the Canadian people, whether it is on electoral reform by rejecting a referendum, or by appointing this so-called ‘independent advisory board’.