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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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Military response to sexual misconduct ‘uncoordinated and ineffectual,’ say experts 

Former military ombudsman Gary Walbourne has agreed to a summons from the House Defence Committee to appear next week to address a 2018 complaint his office received.

Top Conservatives Byrne, Patterson, Dodds, Gerstein, Lecce, Mulroney lose delegate election races for party policy convention

News|By Abbas Rana
Campaign Life Coalition claims that its endorsed candidates’ performance played a key role in the defeat of the four prominent Conservatives in the delegate elections.

Long-term fixes for safe drinking water in some First Nations could be out of reach for ‘several years,’ says AG

News|By Beatrice Paez
A small proportion (15 per cent) of the 100 advisories lifted since the Trudeau Liberals took office ended as result of 'interim measures,' according to the report.

Ottawa making ‘good progress’ modernizing procurement, but auditor finds more training needed

Canada’s Auditor General Karen Hogan looked into how departments are better planning procurements for complex IT solutions, including lessons learned from the problem-plagued Phoenix payroll system.

Liberal delay in moving on Bill C-19 ‘puzzling’ given election posturing, says NDP’s Blaikie

After being ‘in a hurry’ to table the bill in December amid strong public polling, Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu says she thinks the delay now is a reflection of a dip in Liberal fortunes.

New committee a forum to look deeper into ever-important Canada-U.S. economic relationship, but will partisan squabbles dominate?

News|By Neil Moss
The special committee was created through a Conservative motion that was backed by the Liberals, Bloc, and NDP. Nearly half of the members of the committee are members of the International Trade Committee.

Torture ‘by another name’: Canada still keeps some prisoners in solitary confinement, ‘disturbing’ new data shows

Federal prison authorities say the Liberal law requires the agency to give prisoner’s the ‘opportunity’ for time out of cell, and often prisoners refuse.

MPs, advocates urge more government action to combat ‘pandemic of anti-Asian racism’

News|By Alice Chen
Most MPs and advocates who spoke to The Hill Times connected this resurgence in hate to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Liberal MP Han Dong noting that communities have come together in response.

Statistics Canada ‘almost ready’ to launch consultations on effort to collect race-based data on crime

News|By Palak Mangat
It will ultimately be up to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and other policing partners to get buy-in from their colleagues to implement the initiative on the ground.
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