Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Dan Ristic, Liz McMillan

News Feed Item

Harper Government Advances Senate Reform

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 02/01/13 -- The Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Democratic Reform, and the Honourable Claude Carignan, Senator and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, today announced the launch of a reference on Senate reform to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Government looks forward to receiving the Supreme Court's opinion on what is required to reform the Senate and what is required to abolish the Senate.

"Our Government believes that the Senate must change in order to reach its full potential as a democratic institution serving Canadians," said Minister Uppal. "The Harper Government received a strong mandate to pursue Senate reform and today we are taking action to further our goal of a more democratic, effective and representative Senate."

This is the first time in a generation that the Supreme Court will consider the constitutional amending process for reform to the Senate. The questions referred seek legal certainty on the constitutional amending procedure for:


--  Term limits for senators; 
--  Democratic selection of senate nominees; 
--  Net worth and property qualifications for senators; and 
--  Abolition of the Senate. 

"The Senate plays an important role in our parliamentary system as senators make and review laws that directly affect Canadians," added Senator Carignan. "Canadians deserve a more democratic Senate and the Supreme Court reference will help to advance progress towards that goal."

Should a favourable opinion be received from the Supreme Court, the Government intends to continue to pursue the passage of the Senate Reform Act. The Act would continue through the normal parliamentary process from its current status at second reading in the House of Commons.

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

This news release is available at www.democraticreform.gc.ca

Follow the Minister on Twitter: @MinTimUppal

Related Documents:


--  Backgrounder - Senate Reform Act 
--  Fact sheet - Constitutional Reference 
--  Order in Council 

BACKGROUNDER

SENATE REFORM ACT

The 2011 Speech from the Throne reaffirmed the Government's commitment to Senate reform. Accordingly, the Government introduced the Senate Reform Act in the House of Commons on June 21st, 2011. The Act proposes two reforms; a voluntary framework for provinces to use as a basis for legislation to consult voters on Senate nominees and a limit on the tenure of senators.

Part One: Senate Nominee Selection

Proposed Voluntary Framework

Part one of the Senate Reform Act proposes a framework for democratic consultation with voters on the selection of Senate nominees from the provinces. Senators are currently summoned by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister, pursuant to section 24 of the Constitution Act, 1867: "The Governor General shall from Time to Time, in the Queen's Name, by Instrument of the Great Seal of Canada, summon Qualified Persons to the Senate."

The Act would not change how senators are appointed. Rather, it proposes a method to give voters a say on who should be selected to hold a position in the Senate. The Act would not require provinces and territories to implement consultation processes. The Act includes a voluntary schedule, based on Alberta's Senatorial Selection Act, which would set out a basis for provinces to enact democratic processes. Alberta has held several Senate nominee consultations since its legislation was enacted in 1987. Senator Stan Waters was the first Senator appointed following a Senate nominee selection process and current Senators Bert Brown, Betty Unger and Doug Black were all appointed following this process.

The Act requires the Prime Minister to consider the names from a list of elected Senate nominees when recommending Senate appointments. Appointments to the Senate would continue to be made by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister, pursuant to section 24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

Part Two: Senate Term Limits

Part two of the Senate Reform Act proposes a nine-year, non-renewable term for senators.

Senators were originally appointed to the Senate "for Life", but that was changed unilaterally by Parliament in 1965 through an amendment to section 29 of the Constitution Act, 1867 (via the Constitution Act, 1965). The amendment created limits on senators' terms by stipulating mandatory retirement at the age of 75 years.

Under section 44 of the Constitution Act, 1982, Parliament alone may make laws amending the Constitution of Canada in relation to the executive government of Canada, or the Senate and the House of Commons.

In accordance with section 44, the Senate Reform Act provides that a person who is appointed to the Senate after the coming into force of the legislation shall serve for one term of nine years. Persons summoned to the Senate after October 14, 2008 would also serve one nine-year term commencing upon the coming into force of the Act. The Act would not affect the terms of senators appointed prior to October 14, 2008.

Terms for senators would continue to be subject to the existing section 29A of the Constitution Act, 1867, which stipulates mandatory retirement at the age of 75 years for all senators, regardless of when they are appointed (i.e., before or after the coming into force of the Act).

The Senate Reform Act also provides that, should a Senator's nine-year term be interrupted prior to the completion of the term, that Senator may be summoned again, but only for the remaining portion of the nine-year term. The nine-year term would not be renewable.

FACT SHEET

REFERENCE TO THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA ON SENATE REFORM

WHAT IS A REFERENCE TO THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA?


--  Under section 53 of the Supreme Court Act, the Governor in Council may
    refer to the Supreme Court, for its opinion, important questions of law
    or fact concerning the interpretation of the Constitution and the
    constitutionality or interpretation of any federal or provincial
    legislation. 

--  The Court will then provide an opportunity for interested parties to
    make written and oral arguments. After considering the questions and the
    arguments of interested parties, the Court will render an opinion and,
    to the extent possible, will provide an answer to the questions posed by
    the Governor in Council. 

WHAT ARE THE REFERENCE QUESTIONS?


--  The Governor in Council has referred the following questions to the
    Supreme Court of Canada: 

Senate Term Limits


1.  In relation to each of the following proposed limits to the tenure of
    Senators, is it within the legislative authority of the Parliament of
    Canada, acting pursuant to section 44 of the Constitution Act, 1982, to
    make amendments to section 29 of the Constitution Act, 1867 providing
    for 

a.  a fixed term of nine years for Senators, as set out in clause 5 of Bill
    C-7, the Senate Reform Act; 

b.  a fixed term of ten years or more for Senators; 

c.  a fixed term of eight years or less for Senators; 

d.  a fixed term of the life of two or three Parliaments for Senators; 

e.  a renewable term for Senators, as set out in clause 2 of Bill S-4,
    Constitution Act, 2006 (Senate tenure); 

f.  limits to the terms for Senators appointed after October 14, 2008 as set
    out in subclause 4(1) of Bill C-7, the Senate Reform Act; and 

g.  retrospective limits to the terms for Senators appointed before October
    14, 2008? 

Senate Appointment Consultations: National Process


2.  Is it within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada,
    acting pursuant to section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867, or section
    44 of the Constitution Act, 1982, to enact legislation that provides a
    means of consulting the population of each province and territory as to
    its preferences for potential nominees for appointment to the Senate
    pursuant to a national process as was set out in Bill C-20, the Senate
    Appointment Consultations Act? 

Senate Appointment Consultations: Provincial Processes


3.  Is it within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada,
    acting pursuant to section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867, or section
    44 of the Constitution Act, 1982, to establish a framework setting out a
    basis for provincial and territorial legislatures to enact legislation
    to consult their population as to their preferences for potential
    nominees for appointment to the Senate as set out in the schedule to
    Bill C-7, the Senate Reform Act? 

Property Qualifications


4.  Is it within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada
    acting pursuant to section 44 of the Constitution Act, 1982 to repeal
    subsections 23(3) and (4) of the Constitution Act, 1867 regarding
    property qualifications for Senators? 

Senate Abolition


5.  Can an amendment to the Constitution of Canada to abolish the Senate be
    accomplished by the general amending procedure set out in section 38 of
    the Constitution Act, 1982, by one of the following methods: 

a.  by inserting a separate provision stating that the Senate is to be
    abolished as of a certain date, as an amendment to the Constitution Act,
    1867 or as a separate provision that is outside of the Constitution
    Acts, 1867 to 1982 but that is still part of the Constitution of Canada;

b.  by amending or repealing some or all of the references to the Senate in
    the Constitution of Canada; or 

c.  by abolishing the powers of the Senate and eliminating the
    representation of provinces pursuant to paragraphs 42(1)(b) and (c) of
    the Constitution Act, 1982? 

6.  If the general amending procedure in section 38 of the Constitution Act,
    1982 is not sufficient to abolish the Senate, does the unanimous consent
    provision set out in section 41 of the Constitution Act, 1982 apply? 

WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA PURSUING A REFERENCE TO THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA?


--  Canadians gave the Harper Government a strong mandate to reform the
    Senate. 

--  The Senate plays an important role in Canada's parliamentary system as
    senators make and review laws that directly affect Canadian taxpayers.  

--  The Government believes that the Senate, in its current state, must
    change in order to reach its full potential as a democratic institution
    serving Canadians.  

--  The aim in seeking a reference to the Supreme Court is to accelerate the
    pace of Senate reform and to lay the foundation for further reform to
    the Senate. 

WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT INCLUDING QUESTIONS IN THE REFERENCE THAT GO BEYOND THE PROVISIONS OF THE SENATE REFORM ACT?


--  The questions reflect the Government's position that meaningful change
    to the Senate can be achieved within Parliament's authority. 

--  The additional questions will elicit the opinion of the Court on the
    appropriate amending procedures for a broader set of issues that have
    been prevalent in discussions on Senate reform over the past several
    years, and could pave the way for further reform. 

HOW LONG IS THE REFERENCE EXPECTED TO TAKE?


--  The Supreme Court of Canada will determine the schedule for the conduct
    of the reference. That said, there could be an opinion of the Supreme
    Court within 10 to 24 months of filing the notice of reference. This
    estimate is based on past references before the Court. 

The Order in Council is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/OIC_2013_70.pdf

Contacts:
Kate Davis
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Democratic Reform)
613-943-1835

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SafeLogic has been named “Bag Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SafeLogic provides security products for applications in mobile and server/appliance environments. SafeLogic’s flagship product CryptoComply is a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic engine designed to secure data on servers, workstations, appliances, mobile devices, and in the Cloud.
BroadSoft on Tuesday announced that it is a recipient of the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Market Leadership Award in the Hosted/Cloud Internet Protocol (IP) Telephony market for Latin America. According to Frost & Sullivan market research, the Latin America (LATAM) hosted/cloud Internet Protocol (IP) telephony market, including integrated unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) applications, is currently experiencing a rapid growth trajectory and is expected to exhibit a tenfold rise in annual revenues in the 2013-2020 period. With more than 600 cloud deployments internationally, BroadSoft w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StorPool Storage will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. StorPool is distributed storage software that allows service providers, enterprises and other cloud builders to run data storage on standard x86 servers, instead of using expensive and inefficient storage arrays (SAN).
The best mobile applications are augmented by dedicated servers, the Internet and Cloud services. Mobile developers should focus on one thing: writing the next socially disruptive viral app. Thanks to the cloud, they can focus on the overall solution, not the underlying plumbing. From iOS to Android and Windows, developers can leverage cloud services to create a common cross-platform backend to persist user settings, app data, broadcast notifications, run jobs, etc. This session provides a high level technical overview of many cloud services available to mobile app developers, includi...
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things compatible devices.
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabilities include HD voice, video, multimedia messaging, mobility, conferencing, Web collaboration, deskt...
VoxImplant has announced full WebRTC support in the newest versions of its Android SDK and iOS SDK. The updated SDKs, which enable audio and video calls on mobile devices, are now compatible with the WebRTC standard to allow any mobile app to communicate with WebRTC-enabled browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and, when available, Microsoft Spartan. The WebRTC-updated SDKs represent VoxImplant's continued leadership in simplifying the development of real-time communications (RTC) services for app developers. VoxImplant (built by Zingaya, the real-time communication servi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Site24x7, the cloud infrastructure monitoring service, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Site24x7 is a cloud infrastructure monitoring service that helps monitor the uptime and performance of websites, online applications, servers, mobile websites and custom APIs. The monitoring is done from 50+ locations across the world and from various wireless carriers, thus providing a global perspective of the end-user experience. Site24x7 supports monitoring H...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Intelligent Systems Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1994, Intelligent Systems Services Inc. is located near Washington, DC, with representatives and partners nationwide. ISS’s well-established track record is based on the continuous pursuit of excellence in designing, implementing and supporting nationwide clients’ mission-critical systems. ISS has completed many successful projects in Healthcare, Commercial, Manufacturing, ...
Sonus Networks introduced the Sonus WebRTC Services Solution, a virtualized Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) offer, purpose-built for the Cloud. The WebRTC Services Solution provides signaling from WebRTC-to-WebRTC applications and interworking from WebRTC-to-Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), delivering advanced real-time communications capabilities on mobile applications and on websites, which are accessible via a browser.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tufin, the market-leading provider of Security Policy Orchestration Solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As the market leader of Security Policy Orchestration, Tufin automates and accelerates network configuration changes while maintaining security and compliance. Tufin's award-winning Orchestration Suite™ gives IT organizations the power and agility to enforce security policy across complex, multi-vendor enterprise networks. With more than 1...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudian, Inc., is a Foster City, California - based software company specializing in cloud storage software. The main product is Cloudian, an Amazon S3-compliant cloud object storage platform, the bedrock of cloud computing systems, that enables cloud service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable cloud storage solu...
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
So I guess we’ve officially entered a new era of lean and mean. I say this with the announcement of Ubuntu Snappy Core, “designed for lightweight cloud container hosts running Docker and for smart devices,” according to Canonical. “Snappy Ubuntu Core is the smallest Ubuntu available, designed for security and efficiency in devices or on the cloud.” This first version of Snappy Ubuntu Core features secure app containment and Docker 1.6 (1.5 in main release), is available on public clouds, and for ARM and x86 devices on several IoT boards. It’s a Trend! This announcement comes just as...
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.