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The Senate of Canada Annual Report 2004-2005

  Foreword  

1.

Working For Canadians  

2.

The Senate and Legislation  

3.

Senate Committees - The Heart of the Senate's Work  

4.

Senate Activities  

5.

Administering the Senate  

6.

Senate Finances to March 31st, 2005  

7.

How to Reach Us  
  Appendices  
Dan Hays

Foreword by the Speaker

I am pleased to submit the 2004-2005 Senate of Canada Annual Report, which covers the period bridging the 37th and 38th Parliaments. This is the fourth such report the Senate has submitted, and the document has proven to be an invaluable tool for all those interested in the work of our institution.

Whether bills originate in the House of Commons or in the Senate, it is the duty of parliamentarians to provide Canadians with legislation that expresses the values we cherish as a nation.

Our senators are men and women from all walks of Canadian life. Their ranks include Aboriginal leaders, business people, journalists, artists, farmers, lawyers, social activists, doctors and teachers, who offer expertise in countless disciplines.

Given the nature of their mandate, senators are able to study public policy issues in great depth, less constrained by partisan thinking. They bring considerable experience, expertise and energy to their constitutionally-mandated role as legislators and are passionately engaged in issues that matter to Canadians.

Senate committees were very active, hearing 1,249 witnesses in 730.2 hours of meetings, producing 113 reports on issues such as the development and marketing of value-added agricultural, agri-food and forest products on the domestic and international markets; the present state of the domestic and international financial system; climate change and the One Tonne Challenge; quota allocations and benefits to Nunavut and Nunavik fishermen; and issues relating to human rights.

The Senate welcomed the appointment of Jean T. Fournier as the Senate Ethics Officer. The Office of the Senate Ethics Officer was created in 2004 as a result of Bill C-4, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Senate Ethics Officer and Ethics Commissioner) and other Acts in consequence.

The senators also participated in interparliamentary and international associations, representing Canada's interests abroad.

My colleagues and I hope this report provides you with an understanding of the important issues senators analyze and discuss on behalf of Canadians, contributing to Canada's continuing evolution as an open, forward-looking, peaceful society.

The Honourable Dan Hays
Speaker of the Senate

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George Furey

Foreword by the Chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

Consistent with 'best practices', the Senate of Canada is determined to ensure that the taxpayers' dollars are well spent. The Senate Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration acts as the watchdog to make certain public monies are spent in a responsible manner.

Senate management worked with the Committee over the past year to undertake a thorough review of many of its business processes. This review was in preparation for the approval of the 2005-2006 Senate expenditures. As a result, our team identified areas for improvement and creative ways to save money.

The Internal Economy Committee created the Strategic Planning Directorate to conduct a management modernization project. This directorate developed performance measures and indicators in various sectors and they will continue this project in the upcoming year.

In 2004-2005, the Senate Administration, working with the Internal Economy Committee, achieved results on many fronts. We are proud of the staff and Senate Administration employees who offer us solid support and we are proud to contribute to efforts to increase Canadians' confidence in their parliamentary and governmental institutions through greater transparency and accountability.

Senator George J. Furey, Q.C.
Chair, Standing Committee on Internal Economy,
Budgets and Administration

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Paul C. Bélisle

Foreword by the Clerk

The Senate Administration supports the work of Canada's 105 senators, helping the institution run smoothly and providing the services and corporate memory to enable senators to carry out the Senate's constitutionally mandated role. The Senate Administration provides senators with services in legislation, parliamentary law and procedure, human resources, financial management, communications, information management, infrastructure and security.

While there is a rich history to the institution and tradition is a strong influence on the corporate culture, the Senate Administration is working hard at implementing modern, accountable and effective management practices.

In 2004-2005, the Senate Administration continued refining performance indicators for activities to ensure that they were directly linked to corporate goals of building a robust accountability and reporting framework; investing in principled people management; providing effective communications-within the Senate and with Canadians; using technology efficiently; and improving legislative support.

On May 6, 2004, the Senate adopted the Senate Administrative Rules, which complement and are equal to the authority of the Rules of the Senate governing procedure. The administrative rules codify the fundamental principles and rules prevailing over the internal administration of the Senate and its allocation and use of resources.

Advice and support on a broad range of matters was provided in order to facilitate the work of senators and of staff. Consultation with other legislatures in Canada and abroad and with the public service took place regularly, and communicating the work of the Senate to the public and to stakeholders continued to remain a priority.

A new collective agreement was reached in March 2005 with the Senate Legislative Clerks and was ratified on April 4, 2005. This was the first negotiated settlement since the freeze on negotiations was lifted in 1998. Previous bargaining had been resolved through arbitration.

A classification conversion exercise was completed, reviewing and updating all Administration job descriptions and establishing a common classification standard and salary structure.

There were also many other initiatives which you can read about in the following pages. We are proud to work at the Senate and we invite you to learn more about us and about our accomplishments in 2004-2005.

Paul C. Bélisle
Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments

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