Canada Alberta votes to urge prime minister to save two vacant Senate seats for those nominated in October
The West Block — Episode 37, Season 10
Watch the full episode of The West Block with host Mercedes Stephenson – June 6, 2021Episode 37, Season 10
The Alberta legislature is calling for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to save the province’s two vacant Senate seats for the top two finishers in a non-binding October election.
Premier Jason Kenney said the UCP government motion to “urge the prime minister to respect the democratic voices of Albertans” and commit to appointing the province’s nominees is not a symbolic political move.
“This is real,” said Kenney, who added that there is nothing keeping Trudeau from appointing those whose names have been put forward with a democratic mandate. The motion passed Tuesday afternoon in the legislature with a vote split along party lines.
Corbella: October referendum might just stop Canada's cash cow (Alberta) from getting kicked
Here’s a riddle: What’s unpopular but is expected to garner the most amount of votes during the Alberta-wide Oct. 18 civic elections? If you said equalization, you’re right. As promised in the lead-up to the 2019 provincial election, Albertans will be given an opportunity to let Ottawa know that we want a better deal in Confederation. On Monday, Premier Jason Kenney reminded Albertans of the litany of federal government and central Canadian attacks directed at Alberta — the country’s cash cow that’s milked but rarely fed, and never treated with the least bit of affection. Kenney made sure Albertans remembered some of our most recent grievances.
“How insulting would it be to this province if the prime minister, on the eve of a Senate election, were to by fiat impose senators on this province that never bothered to put their name on the ballot?” said Kenney , who has hand-picked by voters are more likely to defend Alberta’s interests.
The province has pledged $10 million to help municipalities deal with the added cost of referendum questions and the Senate election on the ballot in the fall.
NDP Opposition finance critic Shannon Phillips called the proposal and debate an “academic exercise,” and a “constitutional book club” that distracted from issues like the future of coal mining, protecting water, education, rural health care, and creating jobs.
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Stars including John Legend, Common and Mariah Carey are urging fans to #calloutyoursenator in a viral campaign to save the vital anti-voter suppression For the People Act. The stars have joined a Twitter campaign urging a bipartisan group of four U.S. senators to vote in favor of the bill that has already passed in the House and is pending, but imperiled, in the Senate. “No matter our color, party, or zip code, our voices and our votes count.
“(The motion) is not what Albertans are worried about right now,” said Phillips. The Alberta NDP formally supports abolishing the Senate, and Leader Rachel Notley has questioned the point of legitimizing an unelected body in which Albertans are underrepresented.
The debate comes after former United Conservative Party president Erika Barootes announced Monday she’s running in the Alberta Senate election.
“I profoundly disagree with the voices that want to concede our constitutional representation in the upper house to someone handpicked by Ottawa. We can’t be complacent and settle for the status quo. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done — that’s not the Alberta way,” Barootes said in a news release.
Barootes joined progressive political advocate and Senate abolitionist Duncan Kinney in the race, who has already announced his campaign and.
While senators are selected by the prime minister and Alberta cannot compel Trudeau to appoint preferred candidates, this fall will be the fifth such Senate nominee election held in the province. Between 1989 and 2012, 10 Alberta nominees were elected in the vote, with half of those ultimately appointed to the Senate.
In 2019, Kenney’s UCP revived the provincial nomination process with Bill 13, the Alberta Senate Election Act, after previous legislation lapsed in 2016.
MPs scramble to pass priority bills before summer but they could stall in Senate .
OTTAWA — The House of Commons is poised to break today for the summer — and possibly for an election — after giving eleventh-hour approval to what the minority Liberal government considers its priority legislation. But it's far from certain the Senate will be as accommodating. Three priority bills have landed in the Senate over the past couple of days and a fourth is expected to arrive later today in the upper house, where some senators are balking at the prospect of rushing them through at lightning speed.