Despite being elected on a promise to reform the Senate, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has failed to make any changes to the Senate during his seven years in office. He has broken his promise never to appoint unelected Senators – in fact Mr. Harper has now appointed 58 Senators, even more than Brian Mulroney.
An unelected, unaccountable Senate doesn’t serve the best interests of Canadians. That is why New Democrats tabled a motion in the House of Commons calling on the government, in consultation with the provinces and territories, to take steps toward the abolition of the Senate. Unfortunately, the Conservative government has once again opted for the status quo and voted against our motion.
By refusing to act, the Prime Minister is an accomplice to the Senate’s misuse and waste of public funds. Like Canadians, New Democrats know that this institution is archaic and undemocratic. By abolishing it, we could save Canadians $92 million a year and put that money into public services instead of into the Conservatives’ and Liberals’ partisan interests.
The Senate has become an institution housing defeated candidates, fundraisers and Conservative and Liberal party operatives.
While the Conservatives continue to defend their Senate, New Democrats will continue to defend Canadian taxpayers and fight to abolish the Senate.