EDITORIAL: A step toward reform

There is some irony that as Liberal MLA John Les introduced a Bill that might lead to the election of Senators in B.C., Prime Minister Stephen Harper was appointing new members to the upper house.

Ironic because it was the Reform Party – precursor to the  current Conservatives – that brought the idea of substantial Senate reform closer to reality than ever before.

It was, in fact, a key part of the Reform platform: A Senate that was equal, elected, and effective.

Although that concept of the “Triple E” Senate has since been tempered by political realities (like reopening the constitutional debate), reform remains a goal for many politicians.

Of course, what to do with the Senate has been a Canadian pastime for decades. Many, including the opposition NDP see little use for this “house of sober, second thought” and would rather see it abolished.

Other see it as a chance to improve the democratic process in Canada.

John Les is one of those.

For too long the Canadian Senate has had all the appearance of a private club, where its promise of lifetime membership was seen as the ultimate reward for party fidelity.

It has been political tradition for the Prime Minister of the day to stock the Senate with selections who were sympathetic to the governing party’s views.

Prime Minster Harper faced that same accusation when he recently appointed three new members to Senate – all Conservative candidates who were defeated in the recent federal election.

Still, there is hope. It is expected that the Conservatives will introduce changes that will give provinces greater say over how candidates for the Senate are chosen.

The Private Member’s Bill serves as a step toward reform.

 

– Black Press

Just Posted

Yale man arrested after fleeing police in downtown Hope

Man arrested on three outstanding warrants after being caught in stolen van

Tractor exhaust pipe causes fire on Agassiz field

Agassiz fire crews were on scene around 1 p.m. Tuesday

Waterworks situation on table at Hope District meeting

Council to make decision on 753 Waterworks transfer tonight

Still no decision on cannabis stores in Kent following public hearing

Staff will be bringing the bylaws back to council to include new amendments for location

Rail group to bring plan to Abbotsford council

Group is calling for plans to run trains on rail line between Chilliwack and Surrey

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Most Read