This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: The sooner we abolish the Senate, the better.

LailablogWho wins this week? Columnists Laila Yuile and Kathryn Marshall battle over the issues of the day.

This week’s topic:

Is modern politics served by the Canadian Senate?

The news last week that Senator Pamela Wallin had joined the ranks of three other senators facing expense audits is a not-so-subtle reminder of why the Canadian Senate needs to be abolished.

Senators Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb are each undergoing housing expense claim audits following questions on the legitimacy of where their primary residences are actually located.  You see, senators who live more than 100 kilometres from Ottawa are allowed up to $21,000 a year for housing and meals. But Brazeau is known to live in Gatineau, Que., which is close to Parliament Hill, and Harb is known to live in Ottawa. Duffy has even been trying to get a Prince Edward Island medical card to show his primary residence is actually in the Maritimes, but he voted in Ontario last year.

I won’t even get into the idiocy of Brazeau’s Senate appointment in the first place, which speaks to the flaws and cronyism inherent to the selection process…

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9 thoughts on “This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: The sooner we abolish the Senate, the better.

  1. The people in the senate have shown a complete disregard for the fact that they are living high on tax payer money. The senate can go and a company hired in their place to be the watchdog. A company that is under contract so that if they mess up or waste money they lose the contract. Or some other way of monitoring what goes on to keep everyone accountable. For example, how can Pamela Wallin think we would accept $300.000.00 in travel expenses between Saskatchewan and Ottawa over just a couple of years?

    They need to have a very clear salary and not some pie in the sky expense account. Then of course there was Harper actually defending her. Unless there are drastic changes we are doomed. We can’t afford their lifestyles. Heck..I can barely afford to go visit my mother.


  2. Abolish the Senate. Clawback the monies these sponges waste.
    One look at Gerry St. Germains property in the Valley will explain it all. Mostly Harperite shills, too.


  3. I doubt that a company would be any better than elected officials.
    Whatever we do, we must have a second house to act as a “checks and balances” to prevent obvious abuse that can and does occur. Preferably these officials be independent to try and stop the senate being stacked with political party supporters and other greedy entities.
    A pipe dream maybe, but it works in other countries and there is no reason why it cannot work here. Of course we need to get some sort of integrity, honesty and ethics going as the way things are now, we will be just another dictatorship and democracy would be a thing of the past.


  4. The Canadian Senate has been and , increasingly, always will be a “retirement home” for those govt party faithful that are willing to rubber stamp what ever govt bill is placed in front of them.
    The last till the Senate sent a govt bill “back down” to the elected Parliament was during Mulroneys’ reign.
    The end result of the embarrassment of having a (Conservative) govt bill “refused” by the (majority Liberal) Senate?
    More Conservative Senators were appointed to get the Conservative bill passed.
    The Senate is an anachronism that should have been abolished when Mackenzie King was PM.
    It is an absolute waste of taxpayers money and the contempt that “trough swilling swine” such as Mike “The Puffster” Duffy show for the average Canadian is beyond revolting.

    I would vote for Satan if it meant the Canadian Senate’s robes , patronage, and expense accounts would finally be bbq’ed on the front lawn of Parliament Hill while children of deserving welfare recipients danced around the flames.

    The senate deserves nothing but contempt from the average Canadian taxpayer


  5. How are ‘Senator Saint Germain’s” assault charges proceeding?
    Has the “tough guy” Senator showed his face in public after “allegedly” beating his girlfriend up?


    1. you’ve got the wrong senator – It is Patrick Brazeau who is facing charges back east, not St.Germain. St. Germain is local senator who is quite happily married!


  6. Definitely corrupt, the senate is a puppet group that will do what they are “told” by the current “in-power” party.
    Workforfun has a good suggestion, anything would be better than allowing the senators to keep milking the taxpayers for molly-coddling bratty and irresponsible party(s) like the harpercons or lieberals.
    There is no “check and balance” with a party who owns the senators. So why have the senate in the first place?
    Unless there is an honest entity willing to over-look all the juicy tid-bits the govt tends to dangle when threatened, one that’s unable to be swayed by threats of funding cuts or being muzzled by govt when senate is actually keeping accountability on the table… preventing the govt of the moment from just simply firing (or moving to different posts) a couple people who don’t see the view you want them too, and replace them with your personal patsy’s, the government runs with impunity. It hears our voices, then drowns us out with a cranked up version of “we can’t hear you, fingers in my ears, la la la la la la”.

    No reason to keep this senate at all, but we DO need a body that will hold ACCOUNTABLE the government in all aspects, not one that capitulates to the government on every turn, even when backed with a large majority of Canadians.


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