Trudeau boots senators from Liberal caucus in bid to restore Senate independence
Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 07:45 am
OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau is sweeping Liberal senators out of his party's caucus in a bid to show he's serious about cleaning up the scandal-plagued upper house.
The dramatic move — to be announced this morning after informing the 32 Liberal senators — is aimed at reducing partisanship in the Senate and restoring its intended role as an independent chamber of sober second thought.
A text of the Liberal leader's announcement has been obtained by The Canadian Press.
In it, Trudeau says extreme patronage and partisanship are at the root of the Senate expenses scandal, which has engulfed the red chamber for more than a year.
He says removing senators from the Liberal caucus is a first, concrete step towards reforming the upper house; indeed, he calls it the most significant reform in the Senate's history.
If elected prime minister, Trudeau says he'd go further, appointing only independent senators, using an open, transparent process, with public input, for nominating worthy candidates — much the way recipients of the Order of Canada are chosen.