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Foreword
   
01 THE SENATE AND
CURRENT AFFAIRS

A READER'S GUIDE


  In the Chamber
  In Committees
  Outside the Senate
   
09 BRINGING PERSPECTIVE
FIVE CASE STUDIES


  1 Aboriginal Affairs
  2 The Environment
  3 Aging In Canada
  4 Federal Reform
  5 Canada and the World
   
31 THE SPEAKER OF THE SENATE

  The Speaker as
Diplomat
  The Speaker as Presiding Officer
   
37 CANADA'S SENATORS
SENATE MEMBERSHIP
ON MARCH 31, 2008
   
43 STRUCTURE
THE SENATE'S ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCES


  The Senate Administration
  Advancing the Clerk's Strategic Priorities
  Financial Report
   
53 LEARN MORE ABOUT
THE SENATE
   
54 APPENDIXES

  A Senate Membership 2007-08
  B Holders of Key
Roles in the Senate
2007-08
  C Bills Considered by the Senate
2007-08
  D Senate Committee Special
Study Reports
2007-08
  E Committee Membership
2007-08

 

 
 
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   BRINGING PERSPECTIVE

 
 

More and more, we live our lives in a complex crush of current affairs. Continuous streams of news items, a connectedness that spans the globe, information from a new wealth of sources - all feed a near-constant public policy debate that touches almost everyone, ranging in focus from the regulation of toothpaste to Canada's role in achieving world peace.

As a house of Parliament, the Senate stands at the nexus of the policy debate in Canada. Senators find themselves in a position to nourish and fortify this dialogue with the opinions of their communities, with the expertise of years in Parliament, and with solid research. Through Senate committees, avenues of Chamber debate and community leadership, they work to understand and expand important issues that could otherwise get lost in the bustle of our daily lives.

 



 
 



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On the environment, trade, financial institutions, aboriginal affairs, poverty and other issues, the first recognition that problems are brewing is often from the Senate, as are the first attempts at proposing solutions.

National Post, November 8, 2007

 

 
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The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella
The Honourable
Noël A. Kinsella

Speaker of the Senate

 


Canada continues to be admired through most of the world as a strong democracy that protects the rights of every citizen and works to maintain the peace and freedom which we all enjoy. The Senate has proven itself as an indispensable component of our parliamentary system which upholds and defends these deeply-held Canadian values.

The magnificent architecture of the Parliament Buildings in which we serve is a daily reminder of the vision and forethought of those who came before us. As Sir John A. Macdonald intended at Confederation, Canada's upper house was and continues to be a place where regional, provincial and minority interests are advocated, where laws are proposed and examined, and where national and international issues are investigated.

Senators are women and men from all walks of life who actively participate in the ongoing process of shaping our country's future and in fostering international relations. Parliamentary diplomacy is just one aspect of senators' work, but its importance comes to the forefront when we see the major impact that events beyond our borders can have on all Canadians.

We hope this report on our activities provides you with a better sense of the Senate as a pillar in our democratic parliamentary system and of the commitment of senators to continue to improve the quality of life of every Canadian.


 
   
 
 


The Honourable George J. Furey

The Honourable
George J. Furey, Q.C..

Chair, Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

 


October 16, 2007 - mid-way through the fiscal year - marked the start of the second session of the 39th Parliament. Two bills aiming for some measure of Senate reform, unsuccessful in the first session, were re-introduced in the second. Debate about Senate reform has been a constant theme of this Parliament.

This climate of institutional introspection has further heightened our awareness that the Senate is here to serve and protect the rights and interests of all Canadians. This remains unchanged since Confederation. We remain equally aware that we must exercise careful stewardship of the funds you entrust to us as taxpayers. As Chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (COIEBA), which oversees the Senate's finances and administration, my objective is to balance the judicious use of funds with Canadians' need and right to be well served by their chamber of sober second thought.

This year, COIEBA's 15 members increased the accountability of Senate committees with the appointment of the Subcommittee on the Review of Committee Budgets. This subcommittee reviews, in detail, each Senate committee draft budget and post-activity report. We are also pleased to report that the Senate Administration continues to enhance its ability to ensure the best use of Senate resources, a permanent objective. I encourage you to examine the section of this report entitled "Structure" (pp. 43-51) for concrete examples of these achievements.

Debate about the future of Canada's second chamber may persist, perhaps for years to come. But regardless of the outcome, senators will continue to take their role as legislators as a profound privilege and responsibility, applying their vast experience to the work before them.


 
   
 
 


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

 


Like the senators we serve, the Senate Administration takes immense pride in the accomplishments of our institution. Canadians are the ultimate stakeholders of the Senate's legislative and policy work. Our culture is thus one of professionalism, integrity and - perhaps above all - a profound respect for the Canadian system of government.

In supporting the role of senators and of the legislative process, it is our constant objective to improve our methods and to increase the positive impact of our work. Fiscal year 2007-08 was a hallmark for making such improvements, because the Administration developed its first performance measurement and monitoring framework. We believe that this framework, as it is perfected, will provide us with information that will take the Administration of our institution to the leading edge of management practices, allowing us to find new efficiencies and to set ambitious goals that will take Canada's upper legislative house into the future.

We are already seeing the results of our efforts. With the Senate Administration now boasting 11 per cent representation of visible minorities, we rank as one of the most diverse workforces at the federal level. This is in keeping with the Senate itself, whose members include high representations of women and visible minorities. The Senate reflects Canada's multicultural identity, as it should. Other progress included the promotion among all staff of the Statement of Values and Ethics of the Senate Administration and the related implementation guide. Our values, which are already well engrained, are now clearly articulated in this statement.

I wish to thank both senators and staff whose dedication and hard work contribute to making this institution productive and vibrant.


 
   
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