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I am disappointed and frustrated with Senate - Lauzon

Guy Lauzon
Media Release

I am disappointed and frustrated with Senate - Lauzon
Much has been spoken and written about the Senate in recent weeks. As a matter of fact, much has been said and written to me about this topic by the constituents in Stormont, Dundas, and South Glengarry. My experience as an MP over the past 9 years convinces me that the vast number of constituents in SD&SG are honest, hardworking and very politically informed. That is why many of you are so disappointed with recent developments in Canada's Senate.
PHOTO CREDIT - GuyLauzon.ca

Cornwall - June 17, 2013 - Much has been spoken and written about the Senate in recent weeks. As a matter of fact, much has been said and written to me about this topic by the constituents in Stormont, Dundas, and South Glengarry. My experience as an MP over the past 9 years convinces me that the vast number of constituents in SD&SG are honest, hardworking and very politically informed. That is why many of you are so disappointed with recent developments in Canada's Senate. Let me tell you I am as disappointed and frustrated as you are about these happenings, so is our Prime Minister, and the rest of our Caucus Members.

The reason these inappropriate actions are being revealed is a result of measures our Government has taken since being elected to improve accountability and transparency. The very first piece of legislation our Government introduced was the Accountability Act to prevent events like the Sponsorship Scandal from ever happening again. The Prime Minister made history by being the first Prime Minister to appear at the Standing Committee on Democratic Reform to seek agreement to reform the Senate. His proposal included term limits and the election of Senators. Unfortunately, his proposal was defeated by the Liberal dominated Senate.

Operating with a minority Government, we were unable to get opposition support for Senate reform up until May 2011. Since forming a majority Government we have been slowly introducing reforms to increase accountability both in the Senate and in the House of Commons. That has resulted in uncovering the recent alleged abuses in the Senate.

We are trying to strengthen democracy by seeking guidance from the Supreme Court on what is required to reform the Senate with respect to term limits, democratic selection of Senate nominees, net worth and property qualifications for Senators, as well as requirements to abolish the Senate.

We are also strengthening the rules on Senate expenses by removing the principle from the Senate Administrative Rules that states a Senator is presumed to act honorably with respect to expenses, and making the terminology surrounding residency for the purposes of expense claims consistent. Further, Senators will now be required to provide a specific purpose for travel, maintain mileage logs and require taxi receipts when claiming these types of expenses.

Prime Minister Harper is quoted as saying that anyone found abusing the privileges of our positions should be dealt with to the full extent of the law. I agree.







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