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Legislation

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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In Speech from the Throne, a nod to Western alienation, promise to enshrine Indigenous rights

News|By Beatrice Paez
'The government has heard Canadians’ concerns that the world is increasingly uncertain, and that the economy is changing,' the Throne Speech read. 'And in this context, regional needs and differences really matter.'

Throne Speech steeped in British parliamentary tradition dating back to at least the 16th century

Feature|By Aidan Chamandy
Queen Elizabeth, on her first royal visit to Canada in 1957, delivered John Diefenbaker's first Throne Speech. In 1977, she delivered Pierre Trudeau's Throne Speech as well in Canada.

Liberals’ Anthony Rota elected Speaker of the House

MPs used a ranked-ballot voting system to elect the new House Speaker.

‘Thou shalt be there,’ government whip tells MPs as high-stakes minority Parliament kicks off Thursday

News|By Palak Mangat
In a minority Parliament, co-operation between parties is now an 'imperative, as opposed to something that we would try to do,' says Chief Government Whip Mark Holland.

‘A servant of the House’: MPs to elect Commons Speaker in early-morning ceremony

News|By Beatrice Paez
Incumbent House Speaker Geoff Regan says he expects MPs will be largely influenced by their peers' assessments of the candidates in casting their ballots for the new Speaker.

Political ties, not diplomatic bona fides needed for next Canadian envoy in D.C., says former ambassador

News|By Neil Moss
‘From a U.S. perspective, the relationship between the ambassador and the prime minister has to be extremely close,’ says Michael Kergin.

‘Let’s get on with the contest now’: chorus of prominent Conservatives calling for Scheer’s ouster continues to grow

News|By Mike Lapointe
But a Conservative source is decrying public criticism of Andrew Scheer's leadership, saying it will only create the kind of schisms that will set the party back and that former leader Stephen Harper worked to avoid.

Parliament security labour standoff nearing end of the road

Long-awaited collective agreements are finally being settled with the unions representing Parliament’s security officers, just in time for a new round of talks.

French envoy defends Macron’s NATO comments as ‘brave’

French ambassador Kareen Rispal says the 29-member alliance is in the midst of a political crisis and her president was recognizing that fact.
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