Liberal promise achieved: Senate appointments process


FiveParadox
Liberal
#1
Liberals introduce new Senate appointments advisory process


An order-in-council was passed last week creating a new advisory process for Senate appointments.

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau P.C., M.P., the Prime Minister, has achieved another one of the Liberals' campaign promises through the introduction of a process that is going to see the Senate become a more independent and effective body of sober second thought to complement the work of our elected representatives. On January 19, Order-in-Council 2016-0011 was signed, which created the mandate of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments.

The Liberals had promised, during the election campaign, to create a non-partisan, merit-based, broad, and diverse process to advise on the appointment of future senators. Reading through the terms of reference that the Government has enacted, it looks like they are doing exactly that.

Composition of the Advisory Board

The advisory board is going to consist of three federal members, one of whom shall chair the board; the federal members serve for two-year terms. There are also two provincial members for each province with Senate vacancies, who serve for one-year terms. The federal members participate in all deliberations, whereas the provincial members participate in discussions respecting that province.

Advisory board members are appointed under the Public Service Employment Act as special advisors to the prime minister, and appointments to the advisory board are renewable. The advisory board meets at the request of the prime minister. The advisory board is assisted in its work by the Deputy Secretary to Cabinet (Senior Personnel, Business Transformation and Renewal), or their designate.

The remuneration for members of the advisory board was set on January 19, 2016, through Order-in-Council 2016-0021. The chairperson of the advisory board receives a per diem of $550 to $650, and other members of the advisory board receive per diems of $375 to $450. All members of the advisory board are eligible for travel reimbursement when traveling on advisory board business, and for other reasonable incidental expenses.

Recommendations to the Prime Minister

The process for the advisory board sets out that they must "observe the highest standards of impartiality, integrity and objectivity in their consideration of all potential candidates" (s. 6(a)). The advisory board must vet candidates fairly and consistently against the qualifications for senators provided provided by the prime minister and pursuant to the Constitution Act, 1867. They are responsible for interviewing potential candidates and conducting reference checks.

Notably, the advisory board also has a mandate to assist the Government in its pursuit of "gender balance and to ensure representation of Indigenous peoples and linguistic, minority and ethnic communities in the Senate" (s. 6(e)). The advisory board must also ensure that, throughout its processes, it is in compliance with the Privacy Act, the Conflict of Interest Act, and the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders.

The advisory board terms of reference also set out conflict of interest rules, which appear to be fairly standard. Advisory board members must declare if they have any direct or indirect personal interest or professional or business relationship with a potential candidate; if the advisory board feels that the relationship is such that they should be excluded for deliberations, then they are excluded.

The advisory board must present five (5) nominees for each Senate vacancy, from which the prime minister may then make an appointment. Within three months of when the advisory board advises the prime minister, a report must be made public, in both official languages, which reviews the process, the execution of the advisory board's terms of reference, and any costs incurred.

Transitional Process

While the advisory board is going to be responsible for creating an open application process for Canadians to apply for consideration for Senate appointments, the fact of the matter is that the refusal of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper P.C., M.P. (Calgary Heritage) to advise the Governor General on Senate appointments has resulted in a crisis of vacancy in the Upper House.

While the open application process is being developed, the advisory board has a mandate, during early 2016, to conduct an extensive consultation to inform the urgent appointment of five senators (two for Ontario, one for Manitoba, and two for Québec). The advisory board has a mandate to consult groups "which represent Indigenous people and linguistic, minority and ethnic communities, provincial, territorial, and municipal organizations, labour organizations, community-based service groups, arts councils, and provincial or territorial chambers of commerce" (s. 8(2)).

Who's on the Advisory Board?


Huguette Labelle C.C., O.Ont., Chair of the Advisory Board

The chairperson of the advisory board is Huguette Labelle C.C., O.Ont., a retired and very accomplished civil servant. Labelle has served as head of several government departments, and has served as one of the deputy clerks of the Privy Council. Since her retirement from the civil service, Labelle has also served as chancellor of the University of Ottawa, and currently serves as the board chair of Transparency International (and has for over a decade). Labelle is a companion of the Order of Canada (the highest level in the Canadian honours system), and is a member of the Order of Ontario (the highest civilian honour in that province).

The federal members of the advisory board are Indira Samarasekera O.C., and Daniel Jutras. Samarasekera has a long history of working in public post-secondary education, culminating in a decade as the president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta — the first female president of any Alberta university. Samarasekera has nearly a half-dozen honorary degrees, and is an officer of the Order of Canada. Jutras is the dean of law at McGill University.

The provincial members of the advisory board are:
  • Sylvie Bernier C.M., Q.C. (Québec)
  • Heather Bishop C.M., O.M. (Manitoba)
  • Dawn Lavell Harvard (Ontario)
  • Yves Lamontagne C.M., Q.C. (Québec)
  • Susan Lewis C.M., O.M. (Manitoba)
  • Murray Segal (Ontario)

Source:
  • Order-in-Council 2016-0011 (Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada) (mandate)
  • Order-in-Council 2016-0012 (Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada) (Labelle)
  • Order-in-Council 2016-0013 (Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada) (Samarasekara)
  • Order-in-Council 2016-0014 (Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada) (Jutras)
  • Order-in-Council 2016-0021 (Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada) (remuneration)
 
CDNBear
+3
#2
Ya, what a great mixed bag there. I noticed you and the liberal media didn't pay much attention to broadcasting Bishops skill set, lol.

I can understand why.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+2
#3
Quote:

gender balance and to ensure representation of Indigenous peoples and linguistic, minority and ethnic communities

Social engineering is so grand. Basically, we don't want qualified people, we just want to look like we are sensitive.

Abolish the f_cking thing, it's a drain on taxpayers wallets.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Ya, what a great mixed bag there. I noticed you and the liberal media didn't pay much attention to broadcasting Bishops skill set, lol.

I can understand why.

I think that Bishop is a pretty fantastic speaker, and also has a perspective on social justice, and rights and freedoms, that should very appropriately be taken into account when considering appointments to the Senate. Bishop was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2005, for her work as a champion of LGBT rights, animal rights, and the safety of children, and is also a member of the Order of Manitoba. She is recognized, nationally and provincially, as an eminent Canadian.

Given that the Senate is one of the last defences against a government that might one day seek to run roughshod over the rights and freedoms of Canadians (such as through the invocation of the notwithstanding clause), I think that seeing Senate appointments through a lens of constitutional guardianship is a smart move. I look forward to the search for Canada's newest Manitoba senator.

Here is an example of one of Bishop's inspiring public speaking engagements:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvsfLdYeAyQ
 
CDNBear
+1
#5
Ya, I get it. You and your messiah like people with poor judgement.

I can't see why you wouldn't, it how your messiah got elected.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_Soldier View Post

Social engineering is so grand. Basically, we don't want qualified people, we just want to look like we are sensitive.

Nonsense. The primary function of the advisory board is to provide advice on candidates who meet the qualifications set out in the Constitution Act, 1867, and the additional qualifications communicated by the prime minister (s. 5, PC 2016-0011). Seeking to ensure a broad and diverse membership in the Senate is an additional (and laudable) mission.
 
gerryh
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadox View Post

Nonsense. The primary function of the advisory board is to provide advice on candidates who meet the qualifications set out in the Constitution Act, 1867, and the additional qualifications communicated by the prime minister (s. 5, PC 2016-0011). Seeking to ensure a broad and diverse membership in the Senate is an additional (and laudable) mission.


and I see that only Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba are represented on the "advisory" board. A snub by Trudeau of anything not "central"?
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryh View Post

and I see that only Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba are represented on the "advisory" board. A snub by Trudeau of anything not "central"?

Not at all!

The only reason that they only appointed provincial members for those three provinces is because those three provinces need to have senators appointed more urgently, before the open application process has started (as Ontario is short seven of 24 seats, Québec is short six of 24 seats, and Manitoba is down three out of six seats). The provincial members appointed to the advisory board only participate in deliberations on senators for their respective province.

For example, the advisory board for the Manitoba senator would be made up of:
  • Huguette Labelle C.C., O.Ont. (federal, chairperson)
  • Indira Samarasekera O.C. (federal)
  • Daniel Jutras (federal)
  • Heather Bishop C.M., O.M. (Manitoba)
  • Susan Lewis C.M., O.M. (Manitoba)

...whereas the advisory board for the Québec senators would be:
  • Huguette Labelle C.C., O.Ont. (federal, chairperson)
  • Indira Samarasekera O.C. (federal)
  • Daniel Jutras (federal)
  • Sylvie Bernier C.M., C.Q. (Québec)
  • Yves Lamontagne C.M., C.Q. (Québec)

Once the open application process has started, provincial members are going to need to be appointed for the rest of the provinces to prepare advice for the prime minister on Senate nominees for those other provinces.
 
gerryh
+1
#9
PEI, NB, BC, and NS also have open senate seats. So is it just a snub against those provinces? Or is it a matter of Trudeau wants to reward those that got him a majority, first?
 
B00Mer
Republican
+1
#10
It's funny how the Liberals don't take into consideration merit, education, and experience.. it's all about your sex or colour.

It reminds me of the Oscars.. This award goes to the best Actor replaced with, sorry we have to award this one because he's black, or she's a women. It's 2016 don't cha know.

Just call it what it is, Affirmative Action Trudeau style..
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryh View Post

PEI, NB, BC, and NS also have open senate seats. So is it just a snub against those provinces? Or is it a matter of Trudeau wants to reward those that got him a majority, first?

I strongly doubt it. As I mentioned above, the provinces that are being expedited have enough vacancies so as to more substantially disturb the balance of provincial representation in the Upper House. Ontario is missing seven out of 24 seats; Québec is missing six out of 24 seats; and Manitoba is missing three of its six seats. These provinces are each missing at least one-quarter of their representation in the Senate (and in the case of Manitoba, it is only half-represented).

The advisory board is going to be expediting nominations for five senators (two for Ontario, one for Manitoba, and two for Québec) so as to reduce the representative imbalance in the Senate until such time as the open application process can bring enough nominations to more properly replenish each province's Senate representation. The vacancies for the other provinces are far less urgent:

  • British Columbia is short one out of six seats
  • New Brunswick is short two out of ten seats
  • Nova Scotia is short two out of ten seats
  • Prince Edward Island is short one out of four seats
 
mentalfloss
+1
#12
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+4
#13  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadox View Post

Nonsense. The primary function of the advisory board is to provide advice on candidates who meet the qualifications set out in the Constitution Act, 1867, and the additional qualifications communicated by the prime minister (s. 5, PC 2016-0011). Seeking to ensure a broad and diverse membership in the Senate is an additional (and laudable) mission.


The primary function of the senate is to be stacked by the party in power so that they ram their agenda down the throats of the Canadian people without a voice of opposition. The Conservatives did it the Liberals did it and the waste of taxpayers money continues. The only thing this worthless council serves is to make sure that special interest groups from all stripes get paid lip service while adding another layer of cost to the already overtaxed Canadian citizen.

The senate is pointless. Abolish it.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_Soldier View Post

The primary function of the senate is to be stacked by the party in power so that they ram their agenda down the throats of the Canadian people without a voice of opposition. The Conservatives did it the Liberals did it and the waste of taxpayers money continues. The only thing this worthless council serves is to make sure that special interest groups from all stripes get paid lip service while adding another layer of cost to the already overtaxed Canadian citizen.

The senate is pointless. Abolish it.

I believe that the intention is that the senators appointed under this new advisory board system are expected to sit as independent senators. The Liberals are attempting to end the history of a politically-stacked Senate.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+4
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadox View Post

I believe that the intention is that the senators appointed under this new advisory board system are expected to sit as independent senators. The Liberals are attempting to end the history of a politically-stacked Senate.

By stacking it with a bunch of special interest Liberal friendly senators?
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
+2
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadox View Post

Liberals introduce new Senate appointments advisory process


An order-in-council was passed last week creating a new advisory process for Senate appointments.

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau P.C., M.P., the Prime Minister, has achieved another one of the Liberals' campaign promises through the introduction of a process that is going to see the Senate become a more independent and effective body of sober second thought to complement the work of our elected representatives. On January 19, Order-in-Council 2016-0011 was signed, which created the mandate of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments.

The Liberals had promised, during the election campaign, to create a non-partisan, merit-based, broad, and diverse process to advise on the appointment of future senators. Reading through the terms of reference that the Government has enacted, it looks like they are doing exactly that.

Composition of the Advisory Board

The advisory board is going to consist of three federal members, one of whom shall chair the board; the federal members serve for two-year terms. There are also two provincial members for each province with Senate vacancies, who serve for one-year terms. The federal members participate in all deliberations, whereas the provincial members participate in discussions respecting that province.

Advisory board members are appointed under the Public Service Employment Act as special advisors to the prime minister, and appointments to the advisory board are renewable. The advisory board meets at the request of the prime minister. The advisory board is assisted in its work by the Deputy Secretary to Cabinet (Senior Personnel, Business Transformation and Renewal), or their designate.

The remuneration for members of the advisory board was set on January 19, 2016, through Order-in-Council 2016-0021. The chairperson of the advisory board receives a per diem of $550 to $650, and other members of the advisory board receive per diems of $375 to $450. All members of the advisory board are eligible for travel reimbursement when traveling on advisory board business, and for other reasonable incidental expenses.

Recommendations to the Prime Minister

The process for the advisory board sets out that they must "observe the highest standards of impartiality, integrity and objectivity in their consideration of all potential candidates" (s. 6(a)). The advisory board must vet candidates fairly and consistently against the qualifications for senators provided provided by the prime minister and pursuant to the Constitution Act, 1867. They are responsible for interviewing potential candidates and conducting reference checks.

Notably, the advisory board also has a mandate to assist the Government in its pursuit of "gender balance and to ensure representation of Indigenous peoples and linguistic, minority and ethnic communities in the Senate" (s. 6(e)). The advisory board must also ensure that, throughout its processes, it is in compliance with the Privacy Act, the Conflict of Interest Act, and the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders.

The advisory board terms of reference also set out conflict of interest rules, which appear to be fairly standard. Advisory board members must declare if they have any direct or indirect personal interest or professional or business relationship with a potential candidate; if the advisory board feels that the relationship is such that they should be excluded for deliberations, then they are excluded.

The advisory board must present five (5) nominees for each Senate vacancy, from which the prime minister may then make an appointment. Within three months of when the advisory board advises the prime minister, a report must be made public, in both official languages, which reviews the process, the execution of the advisory board's terms of reference, and any costs incurred.

Transitional Process

While the advisory board is going to be responsible for creating an open application process for Canadians to apply for consideration for Senate appointments, the fact of the matter is that the refusal of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper P.C., M.P. (Calgary Heritage) to advise the Governor General on Senate appointments has resulted in a crisis of vacancy in the Upper House.

While the open application process is being developed, the advisory board has a mandate, during early 2016, to conduct an extensive consultation to inform the urgent appointment of five senators (two for Ontario, one for Manitoba, and two for Québec). The advisory board has a mandate to consult groups "which represent Indigenous people and linguistic, minority and ethnic communities, provincial, territorial, and municipal organizations, labour organizations, community-based service groups, arts councils, and provincial or territorial chambers of commerce" (s. 8(2)).

Who's on the Advisory Board?


Huguette Labelle C.C., O.Ont., Chair of the Advisory Board

The chairperson of the advisory board is Huguette Labelle C.C., O.Ont., a retired and very accomplished civil servant. Labelle has served as head of several government departments, and has served as one of the deputy clerks of the Privy Council. Since her retirement from the civil service, Labelle has also served as chancellor of the University of Ottawa, and currently serves as the board chair of Transparency International (and has for over a decade). Labelle is a companion of the Order of Canada (the highest level in the Canadian honours system), and is a member of the Order of Ontario (the highest civilian honour in that province).

The federal members of the advisory board are Indira Samarasekera O.C., and Daniel Jutras. Samarasekera has a long history of working in public post-secondary education, culminating in a decade as the president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta — the first female president of any Alberta university. Samarasekera has nearly a half-dozen honorary degrees, and is an officer of the Order of Canada. Jutras is the dean of law at McGill University.

The provincial members of the advisory board are:
  • Sylvie Bernier C.M., Q.C. (Québec)
  • Heather Bishop C.M., O.M. (Manitoba)
  • Dawn Lavell Harvard (Ontario)
  • Yves Lamontagne C.M., Q.C. (Québec)
  • Susan Lewis C.M., O.M. (Manitoba)
  • Murray Segal (Ontario)

Source:
  • Order-in-Council 2016-0011 (Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada) (mandate)
  • Order-in-Council 2016-0012 (Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada) (Labelle)
  • Order-in-Council 2016-0013 (Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada) (Samarasekara)
  • Order-in-Council 2016-0014 (Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada) (Jutras)
  • Order-in-Council 2016-0021 (Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada) (remuneration)

So other than a liberal party membership what is the criteria?

Until all provinces are equally represented the senate will continue to be a pork barrel for the party in power.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

So other than a liberal party membership what is the criteria?

Until all provinces are equally represented the senate will continue to be a pork barrel for the party in power.

I think that having an independent advisory board providing nominees to the prime minister — the successful appointments therefrom being expected to sit as independent senators — would do a lot more than equal representation for provinces in the Senate. Changing the distribution of senators would do nothing to address current concerns about partisanship.