End Senate: Saskatchewan lights a prairie fire to fix Canada

by Diane Francis

Saskatchewan rail train

Saskatchewan is one of the richest jurisdictions in Canada, second only to Alberta, and has once more lit a firestorm that may sweep the west and profoundly change Canada’s politics.

Like the launch of public health care and refusal to let foreigners buy Potash Corporation, Saskatchewan led the nation today with its initiative to abolish the Canadian Senate.

Pioneering Premier Brad Wall polled his citizens this summer and said they believe the Senate no longer serves a useful purpose and is not worth the nearly $100 million a year it costs.

I have crusaded against the Canadian Senate for several years and regard the institution as a pale and corrupting imitation of Britain’s useless House of Lords. Unelected institutions have no right to sit in judgment of laws and are illegitimate vestiges from Medieval institutions that Britain spread far and wide throughout its empire.

In my book “Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country” I have a chapter devoted to reforms that the two countries must undertake if a merger never happens. In Canada’s case, ridding itself of its patronage-addled Senate is the first and important step toward creating a more cohesive country. The next step is to replace it with a Senate similar to America’s or Australia’s — elected and designed to give unpopulated regions equal say in governing to counterbalance the domination of populated regions such as Ontario and Quebec in Canada.

Good for Saskatchewan and good for Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court of Canada as to whether he can abolish and/or reform the Canadian Senate.

Saskatchewan’s voice is now loud and clear and must be heeded by the rest of the country.
Canadians have only their corrupt and incompetent Senate — controlled by Ontario and Quebec — to lose.

The move comes a day after the Senate voted to suspend three of its senators from the upper chamber, including Saskatchewan’s Pamela Wallin; Quebec’s Patrick Brazeau and Mike Duffy of no fixed address. A fourth senator, Harb, resigned under a cloud involving expense account creativity as is the case with the three recently suspended people.

They are an embarrassment to the country and so is the Senate.