The Liberal Senate Forum


facebook Ideas Forum youtube flickr

Meet Senator

Wilfred Moore

The Hon. Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., LL.D. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Wilfred P. Moore represents the province of Nova Scotia and the Senatorial Division of Stanhope St./South Shore. He has served in the Senate of Canada since September 26, 1996.

Statements & Hansard

Fourth report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, entitled: Restructuring of Senate Standing Committees

More on...



Read the comments left on this page or add yours.
Statement made on 22 March 2011 by Senator David Smith

Hon. David P. Smith:

Honourable senators, I rise to speak on the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, entitled: Restructuring of Senate Standing Committees.

The structure of Senate committees and their mandates were issues that had not been reviewed in a significant way since 1968, which was 43 years ago. The time had come to undertake a study on the way we organize committees and to consider their mandates and their size.

The Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament has considered these issues since March 2009; in other words, we have been working on this for two years.

Honourable senators, our primary objective was to consider ways to streamline and improve the efficiencies of all committees. We wanted to create a system that continues to look critically at the key issues that face the country while at the same time ensuring relevance, fairness and effectiveness. We wanted to strengthen the role of the Senate as a reviewing chamber.

Over the last two sessions, the Rules Committee looked at these matters in depth. We reviewed the reform of the committee system in other selected upper chambers. We sent each senator a survey seeking opinions on issues such as size, number and membership options, and over one half of the members of the Senate replied. We solicited the views of as many senators as possible and held hearings on the issue, providing senators with the opportunity to appear before the committee.

During this session, the Rules Committee looked carefully at 10 years of committee statistics. We calculated how many times each committee met, how many reports each committee produced, and how many bills had been referred to each committee. We also invited all committee chairs to provide their views on some of our ideas and proposals. A number of them accepted the invitation and appeared before the committee, graciously offering their comments on the study. We consider their valuable.

Honourable senators, we took this task very seriously. We believe that the proposed revised committee structure is balanced and will provide greater efficiency and flexibility. We also believe the revised structure is thematically sound.

Senate committees conduct important work. They are a key asset to the work of the Senate. The Rules Committee wanted to ensure that the committee structure continues to optimize committee contribution to the legislative process and Parliament.

We are asking the Senate to agree in principle to this restructuring. The report may not be perfect and not everyone will be totally happy, but what we have now is less than perfect. There are some problems. Senators are spread too thin, and it is clear that the current structure lacks a balance in the allocation of work and resources.

These current proposals seek to provide a solution and are just the first step. The next phase will be to develop specific mandates for the new committee structure, as well as to establish the form and number of senators to be appointed to these committees. These current proposals will take effect in the next session of Parliament and not this one, although that may not be that far off. The committee recommends a review every three years.

Honourable senators, in closing, I might say that we reached a consensus on these recommendations. I think that is important. There really was no partisanship on some of these tricky issues, and it is nice when Parliament functions that way. It does not always happen, but it is nice when it does.

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

Business of the Senate

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I'm rising to speak on behalf of my leader, the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Cowan, who had to be in Halifax tonight on public business. I must tell you that when I called him to say we were going to be adjourning for the summer tonight, he was, I could tell, quite irritated, not because he wanted us all to go on working like galley slaves but because he had already written a speech that he wanted to give tomorrow morning.

Lighthouses as Irreplaceable Symbols of Maritime Heritage—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Thank you, Your Honour, and my apologies to Senator Champagne.

Unequal Access to Justice—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I know that Senator Jaffer was preparing to close this debate but, before she did that, I just had to say how terribly important the subject she has raised is.

The Senate—Promoting and Defending Causes that Concern the Public Interest—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Honourable senators, I am looking for a bit of love and empathy at this late hour because I do have a speech, but you have to understand that, in the interest of having dignified departures for our five senators this week, I gave up my time to make sure that we were able to celebrate the departures of Senator Buth, Senator Segal, Senator Callbeck, Senator Dallaire and Senator Champagne.

Study on Status of Canada's International Security and Defence Relations

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchell | So, you thought you weren't going to hear from me? Well, I fooled you! So there! I rise in support of this report by the Defence Committee recommending that Canada become involved in ballistic missile defence with NORAD. I congratulate Senator Lang and other members of the committee for what I think was great collaborative work, completely non-partisan, very extensive and detailed with intense research.
« 1 2 3 4 5  ... » 

You can retrieve this page at:
Please recycle this document.