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VIDEO. Senate created to keep “the people” in check: retired senator

Why does Canada have an appointed Senate? According to retired Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, “it’s because at the beginning of the country, the Fathers of Confederation (I use the term advisedly) weren’t prepared to actually trust the people with all the democratic decision-making they deserved.” “It’s a Canadian thing,” Segal adds. Indeed, here’s what Sir […]

Why does Canada have an appointed Senate?

According to retired Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, “it’s because at the beginning of the country, the Fathers of Confederation (I use the term advisedly) weren’t prepared to actually trust the people with all the democratic decision-making they deserved.”

“It’s a Canadian thing,” Segal adds.

Indeed, here’s what Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first prime minister, had to say about why Canada needs an appointed Senate way back when in 1864:

“We must protect the rights of minorities, and the rich are always fewer in number than the poor.”

But if the Fathers of Confederation believed Senate oversight would best protect the people from themselves, the chamber of sober second thought did a poor job of it Tuesday in the rushed passing of the error-laden anti-labour Bill C-525
 

Watch Segal’s entertaining exchange about our Senate with former U.S. secretary of labor Robert Reich at the 2014 Broadbent Institute Progress Gala:

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