Among the reforms I discuss in my book Reviving Canadian Democracy are decreasing the use of omnibus bills and strengthening the position of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO). With the election of the Liberal Party in late 2015, which had been quite critical of the Conservative Government’s use of omnibus legislation and its efforts to thwart the work of the PBO, rospects for these reforms seemed promising. How disappointing then to see the limited and at times contradictory steps that the new Liberal Government has taken with regard to both of these matters.
Pity the poor Canadian Senate. Just when its image had begun to recover from the prolonged negative coverage of Conservative Senator Mike Duffy’s trial, it now finds that image dragged through the mud again thanks to controversies surrounding the behaviour of two other Senators, also Conservative (which might seem to suggest a pattern here).
C. Richard Tindal, Ph.D is a retired Professor of Government. He taught for 30 years at St. Lawrence College, Kingston and was an occasional Visiting Professor at Queen's University. He has also written and consulted extensively about government.