April 4, 2013 11:00 am
Updated: April 4, 2013 12:33 pm

Reform Senate, don’t abolish it: Trudeau


TORONTO – Justin Trudeau said Thursday there needs to be transparency and accountability in the way appointments to the Senate are made.

“We have to improve the kind of senators we get rather than scrap the institution,” Trudeau said during an appearance on Global’s The Morning Show.

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“The problem with the Senate is, over the past years, it’s been a repository for patronage appointments and friends and people who are ‘yes’ men and women for the prime minister and not people who are thinking independently about what’s in the best interests of their communities and their country.”

Trudeau, who is expected to be crowned leader of the federal Liberal party on April 14, defended the need for the Senate in the wake of questions about spending, residencies and off-shore accounts.

“We need it for historical reasons and regional representation reasons. The big reason is there is a lot of good work that comes out of the Senate — strong reports [and] really important investigations that are outside of the partisan divide usually,” he explained. “They provide a way of reflecting on bills and laws that sometimes the House of Commons doesn’t get to do.”

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