Senator George Furey Says Senate is Vital to System

Newfoundland and Labrador Senator George Furey recently held a press conference while his colleagues in Ottawa were debating on a motion aimed at suspending Senators Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Pamela Wallin without pay. Discussing the role of senate in a speech in St. John’s, Furey alleged that he believes term limits might be a beneficial reform, but they shall not obstruct the essence of what the Senate does. He explained that “I think they should be long enough that the senators that are appointed do not lose their independence.”

Furey openly mentioned in his statement that he believes in the current system, explaining that Senate is the only meaningful institution that keeps a check on the prime minister. He disregarded MPs, explaining that they are just “told when to vote and how to vote” and don’t challenge the central authority, adding that “if you see what’s happening over the last number of years, there’s been a horrific concentration of power in the Prime Minister’s Office.”

Furey explained that “what’s actually happening is the Conservative senators have introduced a motion to throw the three senators out without really due process.” He elucidated “they’ve already been referred to the RCMP for investigation, and our view on the Liberal side is that if you’re going to step up now, we should hold a special committee of the Senate and hold full-blown hearings and give those people ample opportunity to have due process and answer the charges.”

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