OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 06/01/12 -- The Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), and the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and regional minister for New Brunswick, today applauded the introduction of An Act Respecting the Selection of Senator Nominees into the legislature of New Brunswick.
"The Harper Government applauds New Brunswick's initiative towards a more effective and democratic Canadian Senate," said Minister Uppal. "Senators introduce, review, and pass laws that affect Canadians everyday, so it is only right that Canadians have a say in who represents them in the Senate."
The Harper Government has introduced the Senate Reform Act. The Act encourages provinces to hold democratic processes so that Canadians will have greater say in who represents them in the Senate. The bill also limits terms of office to nine years, from a maximum possible forty-five years, so that the Senate is frequently refreshed with new ideas and perspectives and Canadians can be consulted on their Senate representatives at regular intervals.
"The legislation introduced today means that New Brunswickers will have real input into choosing the people who represent our province in the Senate," said Minister Ashfield. "This is good news for democracy and good news for our province."
Alberta has held Senate nominee selection processes since 1989, resulting in three Senate appointments including sitting senators Bert Brown and Betty Unger - the first female senator appointed following a democratic process.
Office of the Minister of State (Democratic Reform)