“There are no more Liberal Senators” – Justin Trudeau
OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau has kicked all Liberal Senators out of the party caucus. The move taken this morning, Trudeau states is to move toward fixing the upper house. “Canadians want their leaders to be open and straight with them, to tell them the truth. They expect us to come forward with practical solutions that address problems directly,” stated Trudeau at a press conference in Ottawa today.
“The Senate has become one of those problems. That, I have heard clearly from Canadians. The Senate is broken, and needs to be fixed. At the same time, Canadians do not want to re-open the Constitution. They don’t want a long, rancorous, and likely pointless debate with the provinces that would distract us from focusing on more important problems”.
Trudeau states, “They want leaders who’ll help build an economy that works for all of us, in which everyone has a real and fair chance to succeed. They want us focused on their jobs, their pensions, and a good future for their kids”.
Initial reaction from the Conservative Party is mixed. The PMO says, “The Prime Minister has proposed that if provinces elect senators, we would take that”.
Jason MacDonald, PMO Director of Communications added, “Then you are making them accountable”.
The Green Party of Canada applauds the decision of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to remove formerly Liberal Senators from the party caucus, and today called on Prime Minister Harper to follow Trudeau’s lead.
“The poison in our political system is the hyper-partisanship that comes from overly controlling political parties,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands. “Justin Trudeau has found a novel way to reduce that partisanship in the Senate, and given Mr. Harper’s stated desire to reform the Senate, we urge him to follow suit.”
Added May: “The issue of Senate reform is intractable due to the requirement to open the constitution for most meaningful reforms. As Greens, we focus on where significant reforms can be achieved without opening the Constitution, such as with electoral reform and getting rid of the First Past the Post voting system, reducing the influence of the Prime Minister’s Office, and reducing the control of party leaders over their caucuses, as reflected in our support for Michael Chong’s Reform Act.”
“Justin Trudeau’s decision to have Liberal senators serve as independents is an important step in the right direction to reform the Senate,” said Bruce Hyer, Green Party Deputy Leader and MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “As a fiercely independent parliamentarian for many years, I know how liberating it can be to put the voices of Canadians ahead of mindless party politics and truly represent your constituents – I call on the Prime Minister to finally take action on Senate reform, and do the same.”