Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Elizabeth White, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Xenia von Wedel, David Williamson, Dan Blacharski

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
“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.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

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...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
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...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...