Forewords

Forewords

Canada has a well-deserved reputation around the world as a land of prosperity and opportunity. The resilience of our economy during the global recession and subsequent strong performance has positioned Canada as a global leader. Good governance has been the foundation of Canada's success, both economically and as a modern parliamentary democracy.

The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella

The Senate plays a number of important roles in maintaining good governance. Often seen primarily as a parliamentary mechanism for 'sober second thought', a phrase coined by our first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, the Senate augments the electoral representation of the House of Commons. Among those who have found support in the upper chamber are regional and cultural communities and interests, ethnic and linguistic minorities, our Aboriginal people, women, seniors and youth.

Serving also as a standard-bearer of our national heritage, traditions and values, the Senate is richly representative of Canada's people. A wide variety of experience and expertise comes together to interact and to provide in-depth consideration of our nation's key policies and aspirations. It is an important component of our modern democracy and is both a reflection and an agent of change, identifying and advocating improvements in government for the benefit of all Canadians.

In addition, the Senate plays an important role in receiving foreign dignitaries and officials by promoting international dialogue and by encouraging positive relationships with other nations. During the last 12 months, I was pleased to host 52 visits by dignitaries from 32 countries. Senators also represent Canada at diplomatic events and activities and participate in many international fora, including those dealing with the subject of governance.

Good governance requires accountability, sharing information and providing access to our institutions and democratic processes. This report is an overview of what the Senate has accomplished during the past year and provides some perspective on what the Senate does to contribute to our country's good governance and to the well-being of our citizens.

The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella
Speaker of the Senate

Speaker Kinsella Signature