The Liberal Senate Forum


facebook Ideas Forum youtube flickr

Meet Senator

Nick Sibbeston

The Hon. Nick G. Sibbeston, B.A., LL.B. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Nick Sibbeston represents the Northwest Territories and the Senatorial Division of the Northwest Territories. He has served in the Senate of Canada since September 2, 1999.

Statements & Hansard

Senate Online — Inquiry

More on...



Read the comments left on this page or add yours.
Statement made on 23 March 2011 by Senator Maria Chaput

Hon. Maria Chaput:

Honourable senators, I rise today in support of the Honourable Senator Mitchell's inquiry to highlight the importance of ensuring that the Senate has a strong presence online. Internet, this virtual world, is without a doubt the city of the future, and the Senate must take its full place.

The World Wide Web is the place to quickly, and often freely, access an incredible wealth of information. Young Canadians automatically turn to the Web to find information, whether it is to find the showtimes for movies playing at the cinema, find out about the ice conditions of the Rideau Canal here in Ottawa, buy a birthday gift for a friend, learn about the customs of faraway countries, access documents posted by a professor, or find out about the work of the Parliament of Canada.

No matter what type of information they are looking for, young Canadians turn to the Web first. I might add that Canada's two official languages are among the three main languages of the Web — a wonderful advantage for Canada.

Several months ago in this chamber, Senator Mitchell said:

. . . we cannot, in any way, shape or form, search the Debates of the Senate [online]. . . . In the 21st century, in the Senate of the Government of Canada, we cannot find someone's name in Debates of the Senate.

I agree that access to the Debates of the Senate on the Web, this great information highway, is difficult and limited. Anyone who wants to read the Debates of the Senate online to find out about a particular subject faces a massive uphill battle.

Although the Debates of the Senate are available online from the second session of the 35th Parliament onward, it is extremely difficult to find what one is looking for. Since there is no internal search engine to make the job easier, one must comb through each day of the Debates, a painstaking task.

The Debates of the Senate found in libraries have an index. Why not the Debates online?

The debates, journals and evidence of parliamentary committees in the other place are organized so as to facilitate, indeed encourage, online research. Why not adopt that model?

An internal search engine, on the website of the other place, allows people to search by keyword or browse the index by subject, person, document, constituency or organization.

Young people doing school work can quickly find the information they need by searching the website of the other place, which encourages them to come back again and explore the parliamentary debates even further. Why can the Senate not do the same? This would contribute to promoting the work of the Senate.

To reach out directly to Canadians, particularly young Canadians, the Senate should have a strong presence on the Web and show off the great work accomplished by the honourable senators and committees of this chamber. Online access to the Debates of the Senate must be made easier to allow Canadians to be better informed and, as a result, to better understand their Senate.

The Senate's presence on the Web should reflect what it is in reality: a vital and dynamic institution. Would it therefore not be useful to post on the Senate website all the Debates, to allow the public to one day access, online, the entire work of the Senate of Canada since 1867?

Of course, this is a great undertaking, but a necessary undertaking to make the Senate more visible and more accessible. I respectfully submit that we must take the initiative to ensure the Senate has a strong presence on the Web, a presence that reflects this great institution and the vital role it plays.

Please click here to read the full text of this debate

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

First Nations Control of First Nations Education Bill

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Lillian Eva Dyck | Honourable senators, I would like to say a few words about this motion. I am definitely in support of it. The idea of a First Nations education act is critically important to the welfare of First Nations across Canada, and especially to our young people.

Income Inequality

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette | What does the government intend to do to learn from the financial crisis, reduce wealth inequality, and follow the lead of other jurisdictions that have started to rein in compensation that has nothing to do with the productivity of the people who earn the average salary of a Canadian in half a day?

Broadcast of Senate Proceedings

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchelll | What is the leader's personal opinion about televising the Senate?

National Pharmacare

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Art Eggleton | That was supported unanimously in the Senate, so I take it, senator, that you would be willing to now advance this idea to the government.

National Pharmacare

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator James Cowan | My question is: Will this government put National Pharmacare on the agenda?
« 1 2 3 4 5  ... » 

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