Callbeck calls Trudeau’s move on Senate ‘courageous’

Mike Carson
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SUMMERSIDE  - P.E.I. Senator Catherine Callbeck agrees with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s plan for the Senate.

Senator Catherine Callbeck.

 

Trudeau, announced Wednesday that he is removing Liberal senators from his party’s caucus in order to clean up the Senate.

Trudeau’s plan is aimed at reducing partisanship in the Senate and restoring its intended role as an independent chamber of sober second thought.

“It’s an historic moment,” Callbeck said. “I think the leader took a very courageous move. He’s coming back to the idea that the Fathers of Confederation had for the senate when they conceived it to be independent.”

She said that is not the role the Senate has taken under the Harper government.

“I don’t think there’s any question that under this prime minister the Senate has become more partisan,” Callbeck said. “I’m still Liberal and am going to work hard for the people of Prince Edward Island until my retirement in July. It’s really not going to change in the work I’m doing.”

Callbeck said she would be questioning the government, Wednesday afternoon when she entered the Senate sitting, on what it plans to do to create jobs for Canadians along with the closing of the district offices of Veteran’s Affairs. She also planned on  speaking on the health system and why the federal government should be entering into a new health accord.

“The big change (under Trudeau’s plan) is that I’m not a member of the national Liberal caucus which meets every morning,” she said. “That means when the senators meet with the MPs. I still will be going to the Senate Liberal caucus, which is held every Tuesday morning. I’m comfortable with his decision.”

The P.E.I. senator said she concurs with Trudeau’s remarks on openness.

“I certainly agree with what he said about open, transparent and non-partisan process for senators. I’ve mentioned that several times in speeches that I have given that I thought we should be that way. The heart and soul of the Senate is in the committee meetings where you do an awful lot of preparation, reading briefs and copies of presentations that people are making on different issues.”

mcarson@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: National Liberal Caucus, MPs, Senate Liberal Caucus

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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  • Karen
    January 30, 2014 - 08:35

    After all those years as a Liberal what a way to retire, as an independent.. Trudeau has stated there are no liberals in the senate..