Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Charlotte Spencer-Smith, James Carlini, Yung Chou, 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
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...