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1st Session, 41st Parliament,
60 Elizabeth II, 2011
house of commons of canada
An Act respecting the selection of senators and amending the Constitution Act, 1867 in respect of Senate term limits
Whereas it is important that Canada’s representative institutions, including the Senate, continue to evolve in accordance with the principles of modern democracy and the expectations of Canadians;
Whereas the Government of Canada has undertaken to explore means to enable the Senate better to reflect the democratic values of Canadians and respond to the needs of Canada’s regions;
Whereas in 1987 the First Ministers of Canada agreed, as an interim measure until Senate reform is achieved, that any person summoned to fill a vacancy in the Senate is to be chosen from among persons whose names have been submitted by the government of the province or territory to which the vacancy relates;
Whereas it is appropriate that those whose names are submitted to the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada for summons to the Senate be determined by democratic election by the people of the province or territory that a senator is to represent;
Whereas it is appropriate that a framework be established to provide guidance to provinces and territories for the text of legislation governing such elections;
Whereas the tenure of senators should be consistent with modern democratic principles;
Whereas the Constitution Act, 1965, enacted by Parliament, reduced the tenure of senators from life to the attainment of seventy-five years of age;
Whereas Parliament, by virtue of section 44 of the Constitution Act, 1982, may make laws to amend the Constitution of Canada in relation to the Senate;
And whereas Parliament wishes to maintain the essential characteristics of the Senate within Canada’s parliamentary democracy as a chamber of independent, sober second thought;
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the Senate Reform Act.
2. The framework in the schedule sets out a basis for the selection of Senate nominees.
3. If a province or territory has enacted legislation that is substantially in accordance with the framework set out in the schedule, the Prime Minister, in recommending Senate nominees to the Governor General, must consider names from the most current list of Senate nominees selected for that province or territory.
SENATE TERM LIMITS
Tenure of certain senators
4. (1) Subject to sections 29A to 31 of the Constitution Act, 1867, a person who was summoned to the Senate after October 14, 2008 but before the coming into force of this section remains a senator for one term, which expires nine years after the coming into force of this section.
Interruption of term
(2) Notwithstanding section 29 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and subject to sections 29A to 31 of that Act, a person referred to in subsection (1) whose term is interrupted may be summoned again for a period equivalent to nine years less the portion of the term served after the coming into force of this section.
30-31 Vict., c. 3 (U.K.); 1982, c. 11 (U.K.); 1965, c. 4, s. 1
5. Section 29 of the Constitution Act, 1867 is replaced by the following:
Tenure of senators
29. (1) Subject to sections 29A to 31, a person who is summoned to the Senate after the coming into force of the Constitution Act, 2011 (Senate term limits) shall hold a place in that House for one term of nine years.
Interruption of term
(2) Subject to sections 29A to 31, a person referred to in subsection (1) whose term is interrupted may be summoned again to fill the remainder of the term.
Retirement at age seventy-five
29A. A person who is a senator on attaining the age of seventy-five years ceases to be a senator at that time, regardless of when summoned to the Senate.
6. This Part may be cited as the Constitution Act, 2011 (Senate term limits) and a reference to the Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982 is deemed to include a reference to the Constitution Act, 2011 (Senate term limits).
Constitution Act, 1867
Clause 5: Existing text of section 29:
29. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a Senator shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, hold his place in the Senate for life.
(2) A Senator who is summoned to the Senate after the coming into force of this subsection shall, subject to this Act, hold his place in the Senate until he attains the age of seventy-five years.