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Independent senators seek compromise to partisan impasse


For immediate release

Independent senators seek compromise to partisan impasse

OTTAWA, April 3, 2019 – Yuen Pau Woo, facilitator of the Independent Senators Group, says that he is disappointed that a failure in negotiations has resulted in the Government resorting to a motion that seeks to bundle and expedite several bills in the Senate.

“Independent senators want an orderly process for the review of Government bills, including timelines and end-dates for the passage of bills through the Senate” said Woo. “That’s why I have reached out today to the leaders of all recognized groups in the Senate for one more attempt at a negotiated outcome.”

Today’s effort by the Independent Senators Groups comes on the heels of over two months of discussions that failed to produce a work plan for the Government bills that the Senate must consider in this session.

Woo argued that the Senate now finds itself in this position in part because the Opposition in the Senate does not recognize the Independent Senators Group as a legitimate group on par with partisan caucuses in the Upper Chamber and has refused to include the facilitator of the Independent Senators Group in its discussions with the Government. He added that a negotiated agreement might have been possible by now if the Independent Senators Group, which makes up a majority in the Senate, were part of those discussions.

“In reaching out to all the leaders in the Senate, we are hoping to arrive, in short order, at a written agreement that lays out timelines for the completion of work on all government bills,” said Woo.


For more information:

Grégoire Carrière

Director of Communications Independent Senators Group (ISG)

Ro Izzetpanah Communications Coordinator Independent Senators Group (ISG)

Established in 2016, The Independent Senators Group (ISG) is committed to a non-partisan Senate and the modernization of the Upper House of Canada’s Parliament. With 58 members, the ISG is the largest parliamentary group in the Senate. Composed of independents not affiliated with any political caucus, ISG Senators work cooperatively but act independently.

The ISG’s Facilitator is Senator Yuen Pau Woo (BC) and the Deputy Facilitator is Raymonde Saint-Germain (QC), each elected by members on a two-year term (until 2019). ISG senators have been appointed over the years by five different Prime Ministers, with most of the current membership selected through The Independent Advisory Board for Senate appointments process.

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