More on the Senate

Conservative senator David Tkachuk began the Joyce Fairbairn attack last week: While on a radio program, Tkatchuk took rabidly partisan shots at a highly respected Liberal senator and revealed her personal health information with, well, a nation.

I’ve known Senator Fairbairn for a good decade now. Back when Chretien was Prime Minister I was EA to the Western Caucus chair and had the pleasure of sitting in on their meetings. She was then, and still is, unfailingly kind and polite. ┬áMadam Fairbairn never expected special treatment, a somewhat unique trait on the Hill. Passionate about the issues, charming and very likeable, the Senate is worse off in her absence.

The attack on this senator surprised me, being that the Senate is now Conservative dominated. That’s right, without any NDP members in the Red Chamber, the Liberals and the Conservatives only battle between themselves (and a couple of Independents) – a battle that heavily leans in the Tories favour. Tkachuk took a cheap shot and with it, did tremendous damage to the Senate itself. Having now opened this discussion, let’s talk about Senate cronyism. Let’s talk about Senators who lounge on sandy beaches on the our dime. Let’s talk about the 43 senators Stephen Harper has appointed since becoming Prime Minister. 43! Close to half of the chamber Harper swore he would abolish has now been appointed by him – some of whom get to lounge in the Upper Chamber for four decades (that would be the one who called a journalist a bitch on Twitter recently).

So, yes, let’s talk about the Senate – you don’t need to knock around Fairbairn to do it.



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