NEWS RELEASE: Let Albertans decide: legislature to debate senate motion

(Edmonton, AB): Today, Alberta’s legislature will debate a motion on giving Albertans the ability to select their own representation in the senate.

The motion reads: Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Prime Minister to respect the democratic voices of Albertans and refrain from filling Alberta’s two vacant Senate seats until Albertans have an opportunity to elect nominees for appointment to the Senate on October 18, 2021, and further urge the Prime Minister to commit to filling the two vacant Senate seats with those individuals who received the highest number of votes in that Senate election.

Alberta currently has two vacant senate seats. With senate elections scheduled for this upcoming fall, Alberta’s United Conservative government believes Albertans should have a say in who represents them in the senate and is asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to avoid appointing new senators this summer.

“The Prime Minister can uphold the democratic will of Albertans if he so chooses and that’s exactly what we’re asking him to do,” United Conservative Caucus Whip Mike Ellis said. “Alberta has a long tradition of democratically selecting its senators. We deserve to have our voices heard.”

Ellis said this motion is a strong opportunity for the Alberta legislature to show unity.

“We hope that the Alberta NDP will put partisanship and ideology aside, and vote with us to send a strong, unanimous signal to Ottawa: Albertans want and deserve to have a democratic say on their future senators,” he said.

Alberta has held senate nominee elections four times in its history: 1989, 1998, 2004 and 2014. Five democratically-elected senators have been appointed to the senate for Alberta. In contrast, Prime Minister Trudeau has so far appointed two non-elected senators for Alberta.

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