REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says a Supreme Court ruling on Senate reform makes it clear to him Canadians are stuck with the upper house.
Wall says in a statement that he doesn’t see a way to reform or abolish it, short of successive prime ministers refusing to appoint senators until the chamber is empty.
Wall had previously backed reforming the Senate and his government passed a law in 2009 that would have allowed for Senate candidates from Saskatchewan to be elected.
But after the Senate expense scandal last year, Wall changed his position.
His government, with support from the Opposition NDP, repealed the election law and passed a motion calling for abolition.
The high court ruled that Parliament alone cannot change the terms of senators or institute consultative elections for Senate nominees.
Below is Premier Brad Wall’s complete statement on the Senate:
Supreme Court of Canada decision makes it very clear that Canadians are stuck indefinitely with an unelected, unaccountable, upper house, a principle feature of which is a representational bias against western Canada.
This is obviously very disappointing to the Province of Saskatchewan and so many Canadians who find it unacceptable and even embarrassing that in 2014 Canada is the only western bicameral democracy that has an unelected and unaccountable institution with real power over its citizens.
I do not see how even a national referendum would affect change. The Court’s pronouncement that every province has de-facto veto over meaningful change or abolition renders the prospects for a national question moot and the exercise a probable waste of time and taxpayers money.
Short of successive Prime Ministers refusing to appoint Senators until the chamber is empty it would appear that Canada is indeed stuck with an anachronistic, unelected, unaccountable Senate.
© The Canadian Press, 2014