STATEMENT by Senator Larry Smith: Minister of Democratic Institutions Appears before Senate Question Period
October 23rd, 2018 – This week, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions, appeared before the Senate Question Period where Senator Larry W. Smith, Leader of the Opposition, raised critical questions about Senate reform.
Senator Smith led with a question concerning the Minister’s involvement in the Senate appointment process, including naming members to the Advisory Board. Despite the mandate letter from the Prime Minister stating that the Minister will lead on Senate reform, the only mention on the department’s website relates to the Senate appointment process.
Minister Gould is responsible for naming members to the Advisory Board, however the Board has not reported to Canadians on its work since August 2017. The lack of transparency on this file is concerning. In particular, the selection and vetting process of Senate candidates remains a mystery to all Canadians.
Since becoming Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has appointed 45 new Senators.
Amongst other questions, Minister Gould was also asked by the Conservative Caucus about her Director of Policy, the re-appointment of a partisan Liberal supporter to the allegedly non-partisan Senate appointments board, electoral reform promises, cash-for-access fundraising, and Senate representation for Canada’s North and Nova Scotia’s Acadian community.
Information (media only):
Office of the Honourable Larry W. Smith
Leader of the Conservative Senate Caucus