Want to be a senator? Feds now accepting applications for 20 Senate seats

The Senate chamber sits empty on September 12, 2014 in Ottawa.
The Senate chamber sits empty on September 12, 2014 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

If you want to be a senator and live in Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, B.C. or Atlantic Canada applications are now open.

The Trudeau government announced at the end of last year a new process for appointing senators to the Red Chamber with the intention of restoring the Upper House

The Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments is now looking to fill 20 current and upcoming vacancies in seven provinces: British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

READ MORE: How independent will Canada’s new senators be?

Potential senators have to meet some basic criteria: they must be between 30 and 75 years old, they must be Canadian citizens, must reside in the province they wish to represent and have to own real property with a net value of at least $4,000 in their province. Their overall net worth must also be at least $4,000.

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Additionally, Senate hopefuls should have good knowledge of the Constitution and “demonstrate outstanding personal qualities.” Experience with working in a legislative body or serving the community helps too – as does being bilingual.

This spring, nearly 300 Canadians were nominated to become the first senators appointed under Prime Minister Trudeau.

WATCH: Trudeau appointing 7 new senators 
Click to play video 'Trudeau appoints new senators' Trudeau appoints new senators
Trudeau appoints new senators – Mar 18, 2016

In March, Trudeau named seven new senators chosen from a short list of 25 recommended by a newly created, arm’s length advisory board.

The new senators included:

  • Raymonde Gagné (Manitoba)
  • Justice Murray Sinclair (Manitoba)
  • Peter Harder (Ontario)
  • Frances Lankin (Ontario)
  • Ratna Omidvar (Ontario)
  • Chantal Petitclerc (Quebec)
  • André Pratte (Quebec)

The first group of recommendations were for vacancies in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

READ MORE: Want to be appointed to the Senate? 5 things you need to know

The deadline for applications is August 4, 2016 at 23:59 p.m. PT. According to the government website, preparing an application will take some time and applicants are encouraged to get an early start.

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For more information on how to apply click here.