Liberals announce advisory board to appoint new senators

No constitutional amendments will be necessary, says minister

(Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

(Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

OTTAWA – The Trudeau government is setting up a five-member advisory board to fill the empty seats in the Senate with independent senators.

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef says the five board members — three from the federal level and two ad-hoc members from the provinces — will pick candidates based on public criteria.

She says no constitutional amendments will be necessary.

The candidates will need to have a record of achievement and public service, show integrity, be non-partisan and understand the role of the Senate.

Monsef says a transition advisory board will move to pick five senators right away: two from Ontario, two from Manitoba and one from Quebec, in order to restore a better regional balance in the standings.

House Leader Dominic LeBlanc says one of the new independent senators will be named the government representative in the Senate.

And he says Sen. George Furey will be the new speaker, replacing Conservative Leo Housakos.

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