Conservative, Liberal Senators hold secret meetings off Hill to try to reform Senate, bypass Upper Chamber leaders
Facing its toughest expense probe, misspending scandal, and identity crisis in the Senate’s history, some Conservative and Liberal Senators—who believe the Senate leadership is not doing enough to properly handle the crisis and that Canadians have “largely written off the Senate as being irrelevant, irresponsible, and without credibility”—have been holding secret meetings off Parliament Hill in an effort to come up with concrete plans to modernize the Senate and make it more relevant.
“There’s a group of Senators who meet on a regular basis to plan motions to the Senate to try to change it. They meet to plan strategy and it covers a pretty good group of Senators. These are the senior ones, mostly. It’s a closed circle and they don’t notify the Speaker [or their respective leaderships],” a Senate source told The Hill Times.
Auditor General Michael Ferguson, who is reviewing all Senators’ expenses, including travel and office expenses, is expected to release his blockbuster report by next March.
In an effort to regain relevance and public trust, the 15 Conservative and Liberal Senators, who are feeling jittery about the Senate’s unprecedented scandal, have held four meetings since early March in meeting rooms at the Westin Hotel in downtown Ottawa, a stone’s throw from Parliament Hill, the source said.