The Conservative party is set to introduce legislation into the House of Commons in June that will significantly change Canada’s Senate. One new bill will impose term limits on all senators, including those already in the chamber; the other will allow provinces to hold elections for senators whenever seats become available. During previous debates about imposing term limits and electing senators, some constitutional experts have argued that the legislation would be found unconstitutional if challenged in the courts. But the Conservatives believe that the federal government has the constitutional authority to go this far in changing the rules of the Senate. Currently, senators are appointed by the prime minister, and can serve until the age of 75. It seems that Liberal leader Yvonne Jones wasn’t too far off of the mark last week when she suggested Newfoundland and Labrador take it upon itself to elect its next Senator.
This column introduces a series of commentaries that create space for positive futures by thinking against