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Modernizing the Senate: the benefit of partisanship taking a back seat

By ISG Senator Mary Jane McCallum      

I feel it is important to unequivocally assert that my independence has no limitations. I have not been told, instructed, or directed on how to vote on any issue before the Senate or committee and enjoy the freedom and independence as a non-partisan Senator to approach each topic before the Senate with an open mind.

Former Supreme Court of Canada judge, Ian Binnie, pictured on May 22 before the Senate Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament on the Hill. The Hill Times photograph by Andew Meade

PARLIAMENT HILL—The move towards modernizing the Senate is an ongoing endeavour that will not happen overnight. While this process will come with its share of growing pains, I truly believe that the end product will be in the best interest of Canadians. As part of this shift towards modernization, it is my belief that the Senate would be best served by operating as an independently-minded body rather than a de facto second House where members are expected to toe their respective party line.

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