Minister of Democratic Institutions Announces Launch of the Permanent Phase of the Independent Senate Appointments Process

OTTAWA, July 7, 2016 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada remains committed to reforming the Senate, restoring public trust, and bringing an end to partisanship in the appointments process.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions, launched the permanent phase of the independent Senate appointments process – which features an application process that is open to all Canadians. The four-week period during which applications will be accepted is now open until August 4, 2016.

Minister Monsef also announced the appointment of eight additional provincial members of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments (Advisory Board). Two members have been appointed to represent each of the four provinces that are new to the process – British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island – and that will have one or more Senate vacancies filled in the coming months under the permanent phase. 

The following members are being appointed to the Advisory Board:

  • Ms. Anne Giardini as provincial member for British Columbia – Chancellor of Simon Fraser University.
  • Mr. Vikram Vij as provincial member for British Columbia – chef, entrepreneur, author and television personality.
  • Ms. Roxanne Tarjan as provincial member for New Brunswick – served in prominent positions with a number of nursing profession organizations.
  • Dr. Donald J. Savoie as provincial member for New Brunswick – leading Canadian expert on public policy, public administration and federalism. 
  • Ms. Jennifer Gillivan as provincial member for Nova Scotia – President and CEO of the IWK Health Centre Foundation.
  • Dr. Ramona Lumpkin as provincial member for Nova Scotia – President and Vice-Chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University.
  • Chief Brian Francis as provincial member for Prince Edward Island – Chief, and former Education Coordinator, of the Abegweit First Nation.
  • Ms. Jeannette Arsenault as provincial member for Prince Edward Island – entrepreneur and business owner, who was named as one of Canada's most powerful women by the Women's Executive Network.

The Advisory Board has been asked to provide the Prime Minister with non-binding recommendations on appointments to fill 19 current vacancies and one anticipated Senate vacancy.  

The Advisory Board will be guided by the same public, merit-based criteria it used during the transitional phase to identify Canadians who would reflect Canada's diversity, make a significant contribution to the work of Parliament, and ensure a high standard of integrity, collaboration, and non-partisanship in the Senate. 

For the seven provinces with Senate vacancies, the application period will be open from today, July 7, 2016, until August 4, 2016, at 23:59 PDT.

Quotes

"Today, our Government is taking another important step toward reforming the Senate.  I am very pleased to announce the appointment of the accomplished new provincial members who will be joining the Advisory Board.  I am also excited to announce the start of the application process that is open to all Canadians, an important innovation that not only better involves Canadians in our parliamentary democracy, but also enhances transparency."
Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions

"The new independent Senate appointments process is already contributing to the ultimate goal of ensuring a high standard of integrity, collaboration, and
non-partisanship in the Senate.  These advances are crucial to restoring the confidence of Canadians in the Senate and to reinvigorating an institution that performs vital functions in our parliamentary democracy."
Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions

Quick Facts

  • There are currently 19 vacancies in the Senate, in seven provinces:
    British Columbia (1), Manitoba (2), New Brunswick (2), Nova Scotia (2),
    Ontario (6), Prince Edward Island (1), and Quebec (5). One additional vacancy will arise in August 2016, through the mandatory retirement of a Quebec senator.
  • Under the Constitution, the power to appoint Senators rests with the Governor General and, by constitutional convention, this power is exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  • The Advisory Board, which is chaired by Ms. Huguette Labelle, is an independent and non-partisan body whose mandate is to provide the Prime Minister with merit-based recommendations on Senate nominations for his consideration.
  • Canadians may submit an application for consideration by the Advisory Board at http://www.canada.ca/senate-appointments.

Related Products

For further information on the new Senate appointments process and the Advisory Board, please refer to the news releases and related background materials released on January 19, 2016 and December 3, 2015 and available at www.democraticinstitutions.gc.ca.

For enquiries to the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, please visit http://www1.canada.ca/en/contact/questions_senate.html.

 

SOURCE Government of Canada

For further information: (media only): Jean-Bruno Villeneuve, Issues Manager and Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Democratic Institutions, 613-995-0238

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