May 14, 2003
Government of Alberta
News Release: Alberta resolution on Senate reform to be introduced in Legislature.
Edmonton … A resolution to be introduced in the Alberta Legislature proposes a constitutional amendment that would create a Triple E Senate: elected, equal and effective. Notice of motion was issued today. International and Intergovernmental Relations Minister Halvar Jonson will formally introduce the resolution on Thursday May 15, 2003.
“The resolution will form the basis of our consultations with Albertans, other provinces and the federal government,” said Premier Ralph Klein. “The federal government has dismissed our previous requests for more provincial input into Senate reform as ‘piecemeal’ proposals. This resolution provides the opportunity to seriously consider more comprehensive reform.”
Premier Klein will raise Senate reform with his counterparts at the upcoming Western Premiers’ Conference in June and the annual Premiers’ Conference in July. The timing of public consultations with Albertans will be determined at a later date.
“Provincial dissatisfaction with our federal institutions, and the state of federal provincial relations, seems to be growing,” added Premier Klein. “Provincial Premiers and the federal government have a responsibility to try and fix these problems. If that means opening up the Constitution, then we should do it.”
“We recognize the process to approve a constitutional amendment is long and involved. However, this is such an important issue that this consultation is worthwhile,” said Jonson. “Most Canadians believe they, not the Prime Minister alone, should choose their representatives in the Senate.”
A March 2003 Environics poll showed 73 per cent of Canadians, and 77 per cent of Albertans identify Senate reform as very or somewhat important in future talks about the Constitution.
Attachments: Resolution proposing constitutional amendment to reform the Senate Backgrounder
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For further information, contact:
Office of the Premie