Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments

January 29, 2016 18:15 ET

Consultations Launched to Seek Nominations for Senate Positions Representing Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 29, 2016) - The Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments (Advisory Board) is pleased to announce the launch of consultations with Canadian organizations to identify exceptional individuals who could fill current vacancies in Senate positions for Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

The Advisory Board will engage in consultations with a wide range of organizations in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec to ensure that candidates with a variety of backgrounds, skills, knowledge and experience have the opportunity to be nominated for vacant positions.

In this round of consultations, nominations for Senate candidates will be accepted until 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 15, 2016. The nomination process is two-fold. An organization must complete and submit a form nominating a potential candidate. The individual being nominated must complete and submit an application form with the required supporting documentation requested in that form. Application forms from individuals without a corresponding nomination from an organization will not be considered, but individuals will have an opportunity to apply once the permanent phase of the new Senate appointments process is launched later this spring.

The Advisory Board was created as part of a new and non-partisan process to provide the Prime Minister with non-binding recommendations on Senate appointments. It was established on January 19, 2016 and consists of three permanent federal members, including the Advisory Board's Chair, and two members chosen from each province or territory for which a vacancy is to be filled.

Quick Facts:

• The nomination and application forms and related instructions can be found on the Advisory Board's website.

• For Phase 1, the Advisory Board will engage in consultations with non-profit organizations, associations and institutions, groups such as gender-based, Indigenous peoples, linguistic, minority and ethnic communities, community service organizations, chambers of commerce, as well as professional, business, arts, environmental, labour, faith and sports organizations, and educational institutions such as universities and colleges.

• Members of the Advisory Board currently include federal members Huguette Labelle (Chair), Indira Samarasekera, Daniel Jutras, and provincial members Murray Segal and Dawn Lavell Harvard representing Ontario, Sylvie Bernier and Yves Lamontagne representing Quebec and, Susan Lewis and Heather Bishop representing Manitoba.

Backgrounder: Senate Appointment Process

Under the Constitution, the Governor General appoints individuals to the Senate. By convention, Senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments is an independent and non-partisan body whose mandate is to provide non-binding merit-based recommendations to the Prime Minister on Senate nominations.

As previously announced by the Minister of Democratic Institutions, the new Senate appointments process will be implemented in two phases.

In the transitional phase (Phase 1), five appointments will be made early in 2016 to improve the representation of the provinces with the most vacancies (i.e., Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec). These appointments will be based on the nominations submitted further to the Advisory Board's consultations with a broad range of Canadian organizations. During Phase 1, individuals must be nominated by an organization in order to be eligible to apply.

A permanent process (Phase 2) will then be implemented to fill the remaining vacancies, and will include an application process open to all Canadians.

There are currently 22 vacancies in the Senate. Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have the largest number of vacancies.

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