Report of the committee

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Special Senate Committee on Senate Modernization has the honour to present its


Your committee, which was authorized by the Senate on Friday, December 11, 2015, to consider methods to make the Senate more effective within the current constitutional framework, now reports as follows:

In its first report tabled on October 4, 2016, your committee examined the nature of a senator’s constitutional role and now recommends the following:

That the Senate develop a mission and purpose statement modeled on the following:

The Senate is the appointed Upper House in Canada’s bicameral Parliament. It plays an important complementary role to the elected House of Commons by:

(i) Providing independent “sober second thought” to legislation, with particular respect to Canada’s national interests, aboriginal peoples, regions, minorities and under-represented segments of Canada’s populations;

(ii) Undertaking policy studies, reports and inquiries on public policy issues relevant to Canadians; and

(iii) Understanding, sharing and representing the views and concerns of different groups, based on a senator’s unique perspective.

That the Senate direct the Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament and the Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration to review the totality of its administrative rules as embodied in the Senate Administrative Rules, its procedural rules as embodied in the Rules of the Senate, as well as the Senate administrative processes, and revise them such that they incorporate the multiple roles of the modern Senate.

That the Senate direct the Senate administration to develop appropriate guide books and manuals that reinforce and support senators in discharging their multiple roles.

Respectfully submitted,