The Canadian Senate and parliamentary reform have been hot topics over the last few years and rightfully so, considering the important role the Senate plays in Canadian democracy. Responsible for the review of government legislation, private members’ bills and parliamentary committees on a variety of important topics, the Senate and its Senators require a strong sense of confidence and independence in order to effectively perform their role. Following the last Federal Election in 2015, changes to the rules governing the Senate were made and ideas about full Senate reform were floated as well.
After 20 years in the Canadian Senate, Joan Fraser, former Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, will be at Concordia on October 26th to explore parliamentary reform. She will ask and seek to answer several important questions including whether we need parliamentary reform at all, what the Senate looks like now after proposed changes from the last Federal Election, and whether or not further institutional reforms of this kind should be on the electoral agenda at all.