OTTAWA — The way senators are selected is something, says current Senator Catherine Callbeck, that has to change going into the future.
“I’m on record as saying that I think that we should be looking at that method of selection,” said Callbeck. “One thing that I recommend quite a while ago may be there should be a group of honourable people, maybe some people that have had the Order of Canada, that would vet senators names and produce a list for the prime minister.”
Senator Elizabeth Hubley, when asked if there would be a move to an elected Senate, said it is something she can’t predict.
“I would say knowing the parliamentary system that we have that the role the Senate plays and should play within the legislative system would not be enhanced by being elected,” said Hubley.
Do they feel that their performance is being watched more carefully and Canadians now questioning their jobs?”
“I haven’t heard that. I am getting some emails from Islanders and getting emails from people from across Canada expressing their opinion of what’s going on in the Senate and I welcome that,” said Callbeck. “I am always happy to hear people’s point of view, especially in my own province.”
Senate Elizabeth Hubley said the Senate, as an institution, “gets a lot of poor publicity” but feels the reputation of the Island’s three Liberal senators remains intact.
“Individually… our reputations are fine, thankfully. What I hear from Islanders has been changing,” said Hubley. “There will be changes. We are all under audit now, which is a difference. I think that’s the proper thing to do, certainly given the circumstance it is very proper. There will be other things following. There will be a look at the rules. We do have committees for rules and procedures. All of that will be look at.”
She added, “It will change and maybe for the better.”
Despite the scandal, both are still very proud to be senators.
“I am just honoured to be in the senate. It is a privilege that doesn’t compare to anything else in my life,” said Hubley. “This is, for me, just a great honour, to be involved in studies that affect the rest of the country, to look after P.E.I. affairs.”
Callbeck noted, “I am always proud to be a senator. I think the senator does some outstanding work.
“It is just a very, very difficult time and I think all senators would agree with that.”