FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
Senator Claude Carignan leaves his position as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Ottawa, February 28, 2017 – Senator Claude Carignan announced today during a meeting of the Senate Conservative Caucus that he will be leaving his position as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate effective March 31st. Conservative Senators will pick a new Leader during a vote, the details of which remain to be finalized.
His colleagues elected Senator Carignan as their Leader in November 2015. He was Leader of the Government in the Senate in 2013-2015, and Deputy Leader of the Government in 2011-2013.
Senator Carignan believes that this is a good time to turn over the reins to the new person who will become Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. “The Party will soon have a new leader, and changes will continue in the Senate. In this perspective, I think that it is a good thing for the Caucus to renew its leadership.”
The Senate has changed a lot over the past few years, and Senator Carignan was closely involved with several of these changes. “I think that I contributed, with my Conservative Caucus colleagues, to help the Senate move forward and make it more responsible, more transparent and more modern. I am very pleased with the outcome, and confident with regard to the next steps,” said Senator Carignan.
Key changes implemented while Conservatives held the majority in the Senate include:
Passing the most stringent ethics code in all the Commonwealth’s parliaments;
Major changes to Senators’ spending rules and contracting;
A complete expense audit by the Auditor General at the request of the Senators;
Implementing an independent dispute arbitration process;
The proactive disclosure of Senators’ expenses;
Adopting communication tools and processes to allow Canadians better understand what Senators do, including access to debates through Internet and to deliberations of the Internal Economy Committee;
Inviting Ministers to attend Senate Question Period; and
Creating the Senate Modernization Committee.
In addition, everything is in place to enable the Senate to televise its debates in the coming months. As initiated in 2015 by the Conservative Caucus, the independent process to monitor expenses should be implemented soon, a subcommittee currently working on the last details. said Senator Carignan. he added.
While these changes were being made to Senate operations, Senators debated a number of important bills and led several studies, and often brought a different and complementary point of view to the House of Commons’. said Senator Carignan.
Finally, Senator Carignan wanted to thank former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and current CPC leader Rona Ambrose for their trust, as well as his Senate colleagues for their ongoing support in helping him fulfill his mandate.
Source: Office of Senator Claude Carignan
Information: Jacques Hébert, Political Advisor