Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 07, 2007 16:40 ET

Joint Statement - S-4 (Senate Term Limits): Minister Lebreton and Minister Van Loan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 7, 2007) - Yesterday, the Liberal dominated Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee amended the Senate term limits Bill (S-4). Liberal Senators changed the length of the term to 15 years (from 8) and made the term non-renewable. Remarkably, the committee also recommended that the Senate not consider the Bill at third reading until the government refers it to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Let us be very clear: these obstruction tactics and dangerous grasps for power by the Liberal dominated Senate simply offer more proof that Stephane Dion is powerless in his own party and that the Senate must change.

Beyond the fact the Senate of Canada has no constitutional authority to refer a Government Bill to the Supreme Court of Canada, it has an obligation to Canadians to do its job and consider government business.

The irresponsible actions of unelected, unaccountable Liberal Senators must stop.

Our Government's Bill to limit the terms of Senators (S-4) has already been deemed constitutional by the top constitutional experts in the country, as well by a Special Senate Committee on Senate Reform in October 2006, chaired by Liberal Senator Dan Hays.

Moreover, Stephane Dion is clearly on the record as supporting term limits for Senators. In his writings he called for six year terms and, in February, said the Liberals would back term limits for Senators. With his Liberal Senators openly defying him once again, Stephane Dion is either incapable of leadership or unwilling to even try.

Regardless, Canadians clearly want democratic reform. They understand that the Senate must change.

And Canada's New Government is leading that change by ending the practice of 45 year terms for unelected, unaccountable politicians.

IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.

Contact Information

  • Michael White
    Communications Assistant
    Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
    and Minister for Democratic Reform
    613-995-7226
    or
    James Maunder
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Leader of the Government in the Senate
    and Secretary of State (Seniors)
    613-943-0756