Privy Council Office

Privy Council Office

October 01, 2011 17:00 ET

Harper Government Welcomes New Brunswick's Commitment to Senate Nominee Consultations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 1, 2011) - Today, New Brunswick Premier David Alward committed to introducing legislation establishing a provincial Senate nominee consultation process.

"Our Government believes that Canadians deserve more democratic, effective and accountable institutions, so we applaud this commitment by the New Brunswick government," said Tim Uppal, Canada's Minister of State for Democratic Reform. "We look forward to working with the province as it moves forward on strengthening the voice of New Brunswickers in the Senate."

On June 21st, 2011 the Government of Canada introduced the Senate Reform Act. The Act encourages provinces to implement democratic processes to consult their citizens on Senate nominees. The Act also limits senators' terms from a maximum of forty-five years to one nine-year non-renewable term.

"We welcome the Government of New Brunswick's support for Senate reform," added Minister Uppal.. "The Senate's effectiveness and legitimacy suffers because senators have no democratic mandate from Canadians."

New Brunswick's commitment is a reflection of a strong desire among Canadians for Senate modernization and democratization. Alberta has held Senate nominee selection processes since 1989, and British Columbia and Saskatchewan have made positive steps toward similar consultation processes.

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