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Under Canada's constitution, Canada's Parliament consists of two houses: the House of Commons, and the Senate.  Members (MPs) are elected to the House of Commons.  In contrast, Senators are appointed by the Governor General.  Senators are appointed to represent one of four regions: Ontario, Quebec, the Maritime provinces, or the Western provinces.  One main purpose of the Senate - a house of "sober second thought" - is to help ensure that the legislative aims or concerns of some regions of Canada do not ignore the aims or concerns of other regions.

Twenty-four (24) of the Senate's 105 seats are constitutionally allocated to the Province of Ontario.  When one of those 24 seats becomes vacant, another Canadian resident of Ontario is appointed to fill the vacancy.  Pursuant to constitutional convention, the federal cabinet (in practice, the Prime Minister) chooses a person to fill the vacancy, and advises the Governor General to appoint that person to the Senate.  The Governor General then appoints the person chosen by the Prime Minister.

The constitution does not tell the Prime Minister how to choose a person for appointment to the Senate.  The Prime Minister is, in practice, free to ignore anyone else's opinions on the matter.  However, the Prime Minister is also free to exercise his discretion in accordance with the opinions or desires of others.

Given that Prime Ministerial discretion, the Province of Alberta has passed a Senatorial Selection Act.  Pursuant to that Act, Alberta voters vote to nominate Albertans to replace vacancies among the 6 Senate seats allocated to Alberta.  Alberta voters ultimately have chosen two of their Senators to date: Stan Waters, and Bert Brown.

Freedom Party believes that if Canada is going to have a Senate, Ontario's Senators likewise should be nominated by Ontario voters.  Accordingly, a Freedom government will introduce legislation that will give you the power to nominate Ontario individuals for appointment to the Senate in Ottawa.

Watch Freedom Party's pre-election ad on Electing Ontario's Senate Nominees:

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