MP Hughes joins call to scrap the Senate

Carol Hughes

OTTAWA—The best way to fix the Senate is to abolish it, according to MP Carol Hughes.

The MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing delivered a strong attack on the unaccountable, publicly funded, upper chamber during debate on a New Democrat motion to abolish the Senate earlier this week.

“When we speak about the Senate I think it is important to consider the incredible disconnect that most Canadians have with the institution,” said Ms. Hughes. “Most people couldn’t name the Senator that represents their region.”

Ms. Hughes spoke to the limited role of senators, who receive handsome public salaries with no assurance they are even representing the area they are supposed to champion.

“They are funded similarly to Members of Parliament, yet have none of the public responsibilities that elected officials do,” said Ms. Hughes. “Unlike MPs, who, if they are doing their jobs conscientiously, are a presence in their communities, senators are ghosts—mere notions of representatives at best.”

Ms. Hughes notes that the recent bad press some senators have received is deserved and not surprising given the climate of austerity that has seized the country. She feels that Canadians expect fair value from their politicians and the Senate is failing miserably on that account.

“It is no wonder the Senate is under the microscope,” said Ms. Hughes. “Across the country people are continually being told they will have to make do with less while these party lapdogs shower themselves in entitlements. How is that fair? How is that democratic?”