On the heels of the scandal over alleged abuses of expenses by four members of Canada’s Senate, one of whom resigned shortly after the scandal broke, comes a new development.
The three remaining senators under scrutiny, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau, were recently suspended after a divisive vote in the Senate.
The senators are alleged to have improperly claimed housing and other expenses, totalling a few hundred thousand dollars,
The controversial issue has divided the Senate, the ruling federal Conservative Party, and resulted in emotional debate in the media and public about the future of the Senate.
In the latest chapter of this on-going saga, comes a move by the provincial Parliament in the western province of Saskatchewan.
The provincial government of Premier Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party introduced a short motion which called for the complete abolition of the upper house of Canada’s parliamentary system
Premier Wall had long been advocating for reform of the Senate but his position evolved into calling for its abolition.
In a news release Wednesday, Premier Wall said, “As it has become clear that reform is not possible, abolition has become the preference of Saskatchewan people.”
The opposition provincial New Democratic Party has also long supported abolition of the Senate. Thus, when the brief motion was tabled-“That this Assembly supports the abolition of the Senate of Canada.”- it was quickly passed.
The move is largely symbolic, as a province cannot abolish the Senate on its own and would require a lengthy Constitutional debate and change, something unlikely to happen.
Premier Wall also said, the move was not a proposed Constitutional Amendment, rather merely a statement of the province’s official position.