Premier Jason Kenney reacted to Justin Trudeau’s Senate appointments, calling it another slap in the face to Alberta.
“Today Prime Minister Trudeau showed contempt for democracy in Alberta by appointing a hand-picked representative of Alberta to the Senate of Canada in advance of our province’s Senate elections,” Kenney said in a Statement on Thursday.
Kenney further added that the Prime Minister knows full well that Alberta will be holding elections for Senate nominees in October of this year. “I personally informed him of our forthcoming Senate elections at our July 7,2021 meeting in Calgary, and told him that Alberta Legislature had adopted a motion calling on the Prime Minister not to fill the two current Senate vacancies, but to wait for Albertans to choose their own preferred Senate candidates.”
Alberta’s tradition of electing Senate nominees goes back to the 1980’s, Kenney said, adding that we have had four Senate elections in the past, and five nominees to the Senate selected by Albertans in these elections went on to be appointed and to represent Albertans in Parliament democratically.
The Minister’s decision shows contempt for democratic decision making, and for Alberta voters in particular, Kenney said.
Kenney also added “As a forum for representation of regional interests, the Senate plays a vital role in our federation. It is essential that Senators have a mandate from Albertans to ensure that they actually defend our vital economic interests, as elected Senators Scott Tannas and Doug Black did in defending Alberta from federal intrusion into our exclusive constitutional juridiction to develop our resources by fighting the No More Pipeline’s law (Bill C-69) and the tanker bank (bill C-48).”
“Sadly, the Prime Minister’s decision to snub his nose at Alberta’s democratic tradition is part of a pattern of flippantly disregarding our province’s demands for a fair deal in the Canadian federation, and the desire of Albertans for democratic accountability,” Kenney concluded.
Prime Minister Trudeau on Thursday announced that Canada’s new Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, appointed Karen Sorensen for Alberta and four others as independent Senators to fill vacancies across Canada.
All new Senators were recommended by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, and chosen using the merit-based process open to all Canadians, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement, adding that this process ensures Senators are independent, reflect Canada’s diversity, and are able to tackle the broad range of challenges and opportunities facing the country.