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What is the Senate?

The Senate is the Upper House in Canada’s Parliament. Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, famously called it a chamber of sober second thought but it is much more than that. It is a source of ideas, inspiration and legislation in its own right.

Parliament’s 105 senators scrutinize legislation, suggest improvements and fix mistakes. In a two-chamber Parliament, the Senate acts as a check on the power of the prime minister and cabinet. Any bill must pass both houses — the Senate and the House of Commons — before it can become law.


Senate committees scrutinize proposed legislation, examine government spending plans and investigate matters of importance to Canadians. Senators do this work through regular meetings where they hear directly from Canadians, who appear before the committee as witnesses to share their expertise and experiences.

I am on the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (SOCI), as well as on the Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (CIBA).
For more information about SOCI and CIBA, see below.



SOCI’s mandate is to examine legislation and to study issues related to cultural affairs and the arts, social and labour matters, health and welfare, pensions and housing.  It is also responsible for considering fitness and amateur sport, employment and immigration, consumer affairs and youth affairs.


CIBA’S mandate is to consider all matters of a financial or administrative nature relating to the internal management of the Senate. It reviews and authorizes the budget applications of committees and sets guidelines and policies on items such as senators’ office management and financial matters.



Interventions in the Chamber

(interventions listed below)

QUESTION PERIOD — Early Learning and Child Care Agreements

Hon. Rosemary Moodie My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate. Senator Gold, today, Ontario is the only province that has not reached a bilateral agreement with the federal government on child care. A few weeks ago, in response to Senator Omidvar’s question, you clarified for us that there was no deadline for the province to sign such a deal. However, Senator Gold, despite there being no deadline, the end of the fiscal year, March 31, is rapidly approach…
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SENATORS’ STATEMENTS — Black History Month

Honourable senators, I rise today in recognition of Black History Month. In Nova Scotia, it is also known as African Heritage Month. I ask you to join me in celebrating all Black Canadians. For the past two challenging years, Black Canadians have kept our communities safe and healthy through hard work and caring for each other. Today, I recognize and thank our doctors, nurses, personal support workers, teachers and all front-line workers. The Black Scientists’ Task Force on Vac…
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SPEECH - Emergencies Act

Honourable senators, I do not think that any of us could have imagined that we would be here discussing the historic, grim moments of the past 23 days. I know that we all feel an exceedingly heavy burden and some sadness for the events that have today brought us here that we must acknowledge, the actions that today we are tasked to take, actions that will be remembered by future generations. On Monday, February 14, 2022, the Governor-in-Council on the advice of the Minister of…
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SPEECH - Bill S-201 (lowering voting age to 16)

Honourable senators, I rise today to lend my support to Bill S-201, which would lower the federal voting age in Canada from 18 to 16. Colleagues, Bill S- 201 reflects a growing movement to include the voices of young people in our democracy, and I thank my colleague Senator McPhedran for her championship of this bill in the Senate. In reflecting on Canada’s democracy and institutions, a foundational point has been that every citizen should have a voice. As such, one of the more…
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QUESTION PERIOD — Long-term Care System

Hon. Rosemary Moodie Minister Duclos, welcome. Recently, the Health Standards Organization released their first draft of the National Long-Term Care Services Standard. This is highly anticipated because long-term care, as you just pointed out, has been a long-standing issue in this country, one made worse by the pandemic, and was the scene of some of the most disheartening instances of neglect and death during the pandemic. You have acknowledged that these issues require a br…
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