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Bill to bring back Senate elections introduced in Alberta Legislature


The Alberta government has introduced legislation to bring Senate elections back to the province. 

Bill 13 revives the Senatorial Selection Act which the NDP government let expire in 2016.  

Senate elections were held in Alberta between 1989 and 2012. Ten senators were elected; half were named to the Senate. 

Premier Jason Kenney expressed his anger with appointed senators Friday, the day after the Senate passed federal bills C-48 and C-69 which he says go against Alberta’s interests. He said elected senators would be more accountable to Albertans. 

Although the introduction of Bill 13 coincides with Kenney’s frustration with the ban on tankers on B.C.’s north coast and the overhaul of the review process for major project, officials say the bill has been in the works for weeks and was part of the UCP election platform. 

Kenney said the next Senate elections will take place in October 2021 when Albertans go to the polls in province-wide municipal elections. 

Under the bill, Albertans would choose three Senate nominees in votes coinciding with provincial or municipal elections, a referendum or a stand-alone vote.

As in the past, the government submits the names of the top three choices to Ottawa to fill future Senate vacancies. However, the prime minister is under no obligation to choose from these senators-in-waiting. 

Bill 13 changes the previous bill by putting limits on donations to senatorial candidates and caps campaign spending to $500,000. 

Senate elections were held in Alberta between 1989 and 2012. Ten senators were elected; half were named to the Senate. 

Conservative Sen. Scott Tannas was elected as senator-in-waiting in 2012 and appointed to the Senate by former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2013. 





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