Forum on Canada’s Senate: Where it came from, what it is and where it might be going! – September 18

Toronto Danforth Debates and Toronto Cente Debates are pleased to announce a Forum for the general public:

What: Forum on Canada’s Senate

When: Wednesday September 18 – 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Free doors open at 7:00 p.m.

Where: Don Mills United Church – 126 O’Connor, Toronto, Ontario

Sponsor or organizer: Reverend Edith-Ann Don Mills United Church

You are invited to evening of education, discussion and illumination with a number of speakers including:

The Honourable Senator Percy E. Downe – Senator Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

The Honourable Craig Scott – MP Toronto Danforth

The Honourable Sinclair Stevens – Former Member of the Parliament of Canada and current leader of the Progressive Canadian Party of Canada

Bring your thoughts! Bring your questions! Bring your concerns! Bring yourself to this interesting evening.

When it comes to Canada’s Senate: “It’s the best of times and the worst of times”. It is necessary? Is it relevant? What role does it play?

In a nutshell:

In the Senate Chamber, Canada’s 105 senators take part in formal debate on current affairs. Here, senators’ main job is to examine bills proposed by the Government. Bills in the Senate go through a similar process of debate as in the House of Commons, and a bill must pass the Senate before it can become law. Any senator may take part in the debate on a bill and propose amendments. In addition, senators may propose their own bills and initiate debates in the Chamber.

Canada’s 105 senators come from all walks of life, and from every province and territory. They reflect our rich mix of geographical, religious, ethnic and linguistic communities, gender and age, interests and political perspectives, expertise and experience.

Senators are usually affiliated with a political party. The Government caucus is formed by the senators affiliated with the governing party in the House of Commons. The Opposition caucus is formed by the non-government party with the most seats in the Senate. (This means that the Official Opposition in the House of Commons and the Senate may be different parties.) Senators may also choose to sit as independents.

Senators are appointed by the Governor General of Canada on the advice of the Prime Minister according to geographical divisions set out by the Constitution Act, 1867. They must own property and live in the geographical division for which they are appointed. Although originally named for life, senators now serve until the age of 75.

Hardly a day goes by without some news about the Senate.

Recent examples include:

and more.