Will Stephen McNeil support abolishing the Senate?

June 11, 2015

If the constitution is reopened to abolish the Senate, will Stephen McNeil say yes or no? That is the question being asked by NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald in the wake of the Auditor General’s report into Senate spending. 

Earlier this week Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall repeated his call to abolish the Senate, a position the government of Manitoba also shares. Previously Stephen McNeil has said he does not support abolishing the Senate, only reform. But Thomas Mulcair has stated he will seek the support of all provincial premiers to abolish the Senate if the NDP forms government in the upcoming federal election.

MacDonald says Nova Scotians deserve to know if Stephen McNeil and his government will block future efforts to scrap the Senate.

“Essentially the Senate has become a place where loyal Liberals and Conservatives go to retire so they can travel around fundraising on behalf of their political parties,” said MacDonald. “The entire system is outdated and has become a mess. If Stephen McNeil thinks tinkering with the rules will make things better he is mistaken. At this point the only way to clean up the Senate is to abolish it.”

Earlier this week the Auditor General released a report which outlined almost $1 million worth of questionable spending by 30 current and former Senators. Two current Nova Scotia Liberal Senators, James Cowan and Terry Mercer, have been asked to repay questionable claims totaling approximately $40,000.