Cross-party senatorial group takes Senate back to its roots, representing Canada’s regions

Cross-party senatorial group takes Senate back to its roots, representing Canada’s regions

The State
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[National Post] OTTAWA — The formation of a new Senate bloc could further complicate efforts by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to pass legislation this winter, adding a new layer of unpredictability to the upper chamber.

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A group of 11 senators on Monday announced they would be forming the Canadian Senators Group (CSG), part of an effort to ensure that various “regional interests” are properly represented in the Senate.

“Members of the CSG want to see this founding principle maintained and respected so that the will of the majority does not always trump regional interests,” the group said in a press release. “CSG Senators are free to take positions and vote on legislation independently of personal political affiliations and each other.”

It is another step in the evolution of the Senate under Trudeau’s effort to make it a less partisan chamber. Previously, the Senate was divided between a government caucus and an official opposition caucus. Now, with the appointment of independent senators, the Senate is splintering into smaller groups.

The newly-formed CSG includes three senators from Alberta, two from Ontario, and one each from B.C., Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Former Conservative Sen. Scott Tannas, who represents Alberta, will serve as interim leader. Quebec Sen. Josée Verner, also a former Conservative, will be deputy leader. Overall, it is made up of centrist or slightly conservative-leaning senators.

This article continues at [National Post] New Canadian Senators Group is an effort to ensure various ‘regional interests’ are properly represented

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