Senate: Conservateur Broke Their Promise Says Rousseau
Brazeau affair reopens debate on relevance and mandate of this 19th century relic
After promising for years to reform the Senate to make it more transparent and democratic, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives went back on their word and we’re already seeing the consequences, said New Democrat MP Jean Rousseau (Compton-Stanstead). When he ran for Prime Minister of Canada for the first time in March 2004, Stephen Harper committed to reforming the Canadian Senate. “I will not appoint senators. People sitting in Parliament must be elected by the people they represent,” he said at the time. “Despite t he Conservatives’ repeated promises of reform, Harper has appointed more senators than Mulroney,” said Rousseau.
Appointed for life by Stephen Harper in 2009, Senator Brazeau, who is currently facing criminal charges, could cost Canadian taxpayers up to 7 million dollars if he sits until the age of 75. Other Conservative and Liberal senators are suspected of lying about their place of residence so they can claim living expenses. These events case even more doubt on the necessity of the Senate and shameful waste of public funds by this useless institution. “By continuing to make cuts to essential programs, Stephen Harper is complicit in the abuse of the senators’ waste of public funds. Furthermore, despite his promises to change things, he is appointing people who obey his every word instead of being accountable to citizens,” said Rousseau. Abolishing the Senate, like the NDP proposes, would save taxpayers 90 million per year.