OTTAWA, March 8, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Senator Diane Bellemare has announced that she is leaving the Conservative caucus to sit as an independent.
"I respect the leadership of the Conservative Party and the work of my colleagues in the Senate Conservative caucus. However, I believe that I will be better able to accomplish my role of providing sober second thought and representing the interests of my province by sitting as an independent senator. I have been considering this decision for some time and I believe it will allow me contribute to the much-needed modernization of the Senate," said Senator Diane Bellemare.
Senator Bellemare believes that the new Senate appointment process is a step in the right direction, but that it must be backed up by structural changes so that the Senate becomes the non-partisan institution that Canadians have long been expecting. As she explained, partisanship is different from political affiliation or heritage and it limits the role of the Upper Chamber in the Canadian democracy.
"The Canadian Senate must be open to the possibility that some independent senators may organize in a third group that has the same recognition as the Liberal and Conservative caucuses. I would like to participate in this third organized group come into being, and I hope to maintain the close relationships that I have developed with my colleagues over nearly four years," she said.
The speech today at the Senate by Senator Bellemare is available in French at: http://dianebellemaresen.ca/?page_id=581.
SOURCE Diane Bellemare
For further information: Information and interview requests: Véronique Valenti, Tel.: 613 943-1555, Email: [email protected]