By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 0 Comments
And so, inevitably, we reach the point in our grand democratic experiment at which the deputy leader of the government in the Senate feels compelled to take to Twitter to clarify that another senator is no longer in a romantic relationship with an employee—this much being an issue that had come to the fore shortly after questions were asked about the senator’s decision to claim housing expenses despite no longer living in the Sherbrooke condo where his estranged wife currently resides. All of which became an issue because Mike Duffy’s residency was found to be something of an existential riddle.
The senator now in question, Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, would seem to have both an impressive resume and a heartfelt cause, but here we apparently are.
Meanwhile, in no-less-silly but potentially more consequential news, the Senate is still thinking seriously about the possibility of challenging the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s actions and authority. Which would not only put senators in the odd position of questioning someone else’s mandate, but might also raise questions about the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches.
The Senate is best which is noticed least. It is most easily appreciated when it is merely being ponderous and double-checking bills and otherwise only existing. Presumably it will eventually get back to being so unremarkable. If only because it seems likely to be here for awhile yet. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM - 0 Comments
Last week, the NDP criticized Conservative Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu after Mr. Boisvenu suggested convicted murders be given rope and allowed to decide for themselves whether they wanted to live. Pat Martin referred to the Senator using a bad word.
On Monday, Conservative MP Greg Rickford rose before Question Period and reported those events to the House as follows.
The NDP wants to silence victims, urging a well-known victims’ advocate to stop speaking out about Canada’s justice system.
Mr. Martin has now apologized for his curse.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM - 0 Comments
Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu has some ideas on reducing prison expenses.
“Basically, every killer should (have) the right to his own rope in his cell. They can decide whether to live,” Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu told reporters Wednesday.
A victims’ rights advocate and now a senator, Boisvenu also says the death penalty should be considered in certain cases when there’s no hope of rehabilitation. He says limited use of capital punishment could save money. He cited the case of the Shafias — the Montrealers who were convicted this week of killing four female family members. Boisvenu estimates that it will cost Canadian taxpayers $10 million to keep them locked up.
In the case of the Shafias, Mr. Boisvenu apparently said “returning them to their country might be a tougher sentence than to keep them here, where our prisons are a lot more comfortable.”
Update 3:46pm. A statement (en francais) from Mr. Boisvenu. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, July 9, 2010 at 2:00 PM - 0 Comments
Two of Stephen Harper’s senators are now openly quibbling with the idea of a fully elected Senate—another three apparently reluctant to say where they stand.
Boisvenu told QMI Agency he believes Canadians are more in favour of an elected Senate but he believes the chamber should be mixed, with 50% appointed and 50% elected. “If you look currently at who is in office, I’m not sure we always elect the best people,” Boisvenu said. “The danger of going with a fully elected Senate is that you risk getting people who are more interested in politics than ideas.”
… While a handful, like staunch Ontario Conservatives Bob Runciman and Doug Finley pledged full support for an elected Senate, senators Mike Duffy, Irving Gerstein and Glen Patterson refused to say whether they still support the government’s legislation.