PM acts to fill Senate vacancies

Ottawa, Ontario
27 August 2009

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the appointments of nine distinguished Canadians to serve in Canada’s Senate.

“Our government will continue to push for a more democratic, accountable and effective Senate,” said the Prime Minister.  “If Senate vacancies are to be filled, they should be filled with individuals who support the legislative agenda of our democratically-elected government, including Senate reform and real action against gang- and drug-related crime.”

The new Senators will all support the urgently-needed anti-crime legislation currently being held up in the Senate.  They have all pledged to support the Government in its efforts for Senate reform, including the legislation to limit Senate terms to eight years which was introduced in May 2009.

The new Senators fill three vacancies in Quebec and two vacancies in Ontario.  Single vacancies are being filled in each of Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Nunavut.

“While I look forward to welcoming elected Senators to the Upper Chamber in the future, vacancies that arise in the interim must be filled in order for the Senate to carry out legitimate Government business,” said the Prime Minister.  “It is utterly unacceptable that some Senators have actively blocked our government’s anti-crime agenda.  By rebalancing the Senate, we are acting to ensure that our government is able to fulfill its mandate and keep Canadians safe.  It is my hope that all Senators, both current and incoming, will use the next sitting of Parliament to ensure swift and effective passage of the legislation currently before it, including our government’s anti-crime and democratic reform bills.”