Can Anyone Tell Me Exactly What Canada’s Senate Does?


A simple Google search “what does Canada’s Senate do?” unfolds the academic version of an answer to today’s blog title, but really what do these 105 people, paid by tax payer dollars (never mind the lavish and many times unlawful expenses that they build up)!

I though it best to include the formal definition as it reads following my search:   “The Senate carefully examines bills, which are proposed laws, to make certain that they are the best they can be. The bills are studied to find out how they might affect the daily lives of Canadians. Changes are suggested to improve them; some bills may even be rejected. The Senate may also introduce bills of its own, even though most bills are introduced in the House of Commons.   No bill can become law in Canada without Senate approval.
The Senate is responsible for protecting the rights and interests of Canadians in all regions, especially minority groups or people who do not often get a chance to present their opinions to Parliament.
Before a bill can become law, it goes through three stages, called “readings,” in both Houses. The bill is debated, fine-tuned and then voted on by each House. Once approved, the bill is presented to the Governor General for royal assent and is made law.

As usual, the academic say very little to explain what all those 105 people actually do the earn those hefty pay cheques.

So I decided to look a little deeper and find out just what makes up a “qualified Senator” and discovered that there really are any educational or academic prerequisites as long as they are Canadian citizens of at least 30 years of age who allegedly live in and own property in the Province or Territory that they are being paid to represent.

Apparently there are no educational or academic prerequisites (hockey players for example, artists, nurses, television celebrities, have all benefited the senate with their presence).

The disturbing punch line for me is that every Senator is paid $132,30o per year.  Now basic math shows that it costs us $13,891,500.00 a year, not counting support staff and operating costs, and let’s not forget about those lavish expense accounts that have been making headlines for the past couple of years (a la Pamila Whallen, Mike Duffy et al).

So, again, I will ask, “What Does this conglomerate of ‘no-qualification/appointed people Do“?

The only apparent answer that I conger up is  .  .  .  .  .  well, enjoy lavish lifestyles while taking money from hard working Canadian’s taxes!  I think the closest definition of what they do it “rip us off”!  And we are not even touching on their “pensions”!

And then, on top of it all we find that 21 Senators are presently under RCMP investigations for unlawfully expensing costs for everything from social outings with friends to expensive vacations!

When you add all of this outflow of tax payer dollars onto the top of what we pay our Members of Parliament ($163,000.00+ per year, plus expenses, staff, entertainment, travel, etc.) it comes clear why we are presently facing a Trillion (yes that’s with a “T”) dollar deficit!

How does a $441-million House of Commons budge to fund our members of parliament sound to you?

How about the fact that a new law passed late last year that will expand the number of MPs in the House by 30 next year at an additional cost of $18 Million a year plus an additional $11.5 Million for each election (oh right I forgot the cost of elections which comes in at a reported $383,333.33 per MP)!

Now, I don’t know what your concept of “fiscal management” is but this surely does not equate to anything close to that to me.

Yet, we little guy (meaning unconnected or non-MP types) tax payers are required to account for every deduction that we claim for venturing out to earn a living.

I’ve always been offended to watch our governments (with 3 parties we have 3 governments) eating away at our tax payer dollars as compensation for holding to contrarian perspectives on everything to do with running this country.

Imagine having three boards of directors in your company and paying them all to challenge the leadership of the one party that garnered more votes.  Do you really think that this type of company would survive very long.  Does the word “bankruptcy” ring a bell?

Recent headlines about the entire world governments being like the “Titanic without life boats”, doesn’t seem to bother many other people but it sure does me.  I don’t want to be locked on the lower decks like Leonardo Decaprio!

I can’t conger up why lay people would be paid millions a year to “carefully examines bills, which are proposed laws, to make certain that they are the best they can be” as the academic definition states before they are presented to the House (which is full of lawyers).

It is time that we abolish this wasteful and, quite frankly offensive body!

I’m Charles


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