NDP's Mulcair kicks off anti-Senate campaign
Published Monday, August 26, 2013 11:30AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 26, 2013 11:45AM EDT
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is kicking off his party's so-called "Roll Up the Red Carpet" tour, aimed at abolishing the Senate.
Mulcair delivered a speech on Parliament Hill Monday morning in which he promised that his party would be the one to dissolve the parliamentary chamber, which he called an “undemocratic relic.”
“You know and I know that the Senate is a vestigial organ that can safely be removed with no harm to the body,” Mulcair told supporters.
“The unelected bagmen, defeated candidates, and party hacks that fill the senate have so little useful impact on the way this country is run, we won’t even notice it’s gone.”
Mulcair said he would consult with Canadians, and work with the provinces and territories to find a way to have the upper chamber abolished. He said doing so would Save Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars and that each senator cost about $1 million a year.
Mulcair said the Senate expense scandal had shaken Canadians' faith in the upper chamber and that it was time to offer the Senate its last rites. He added he was confident that his tour would help gather support for the idea.
"We're determined to get this done and we will get this done," he said, before heading to Halifax to kick off the tour.
The Conservatives have said they would prefer to reform the Senate rather than seek to abolish it so as to avoid the need to reopen the Constitution.
The federal government has asked the Supreme Court to clarify the government's powers to reform the Senate; the court is expected to hear arguments this fall.