Senate picks

Newfoundland and Labrador (1 seat) – Fabian Manning

Price Edward Island (1 seat) – Mike Duffy

Nova Scotia (3 seats) – Dr. John Hamm, Michael MacDonald, Stewart McInnes

New Brunswick (2 seats) – Bernard Lord, Doug Finley

Quebec (4 seats) – Mario Dumont, William Shatner, Tasha Kheirridin

Ontario (2 seats) – Irving Gerstein, Sandra Buckler

Saskatchwan (1 seat) – Leave open

British Columbia (3 seats) – Michael Walker, John Weissenberger, Lorne Mayencourt

Yukon (1 seat) – Leslie Neilson

The appointment of Fabian Manning to the Senate from Newfoundland would send a signal to Premier Danny Williams that if he wants to deal with the federal government, he’ll do it through the man into whose fields he’s been plowing salt for the last few years.  Newfoundlanders would respect and admire the cheekiness of that move.

In PEI, Mike Duffy would be a good choice. Duffy’s been a veteran broadcaster and public figure for decades. He’s also the island’s favourite son and would be a good representative in the Red Chamber.

In Nova Scotia, former Premier John Hamm is a stateman for Nova Scotia and is respected by all no matter their partisan stripe. Michael McDonald has been Harper’s point man in Nova Scotia for years serving on National Council and running twice federally and thrice provincially. He also serves as a liason between federal and provincial parties. Stewart McInnes is a fixture in Nova Scotia PC politics. A former Mulroney cabinet minister, McInnes resigned as fundrasier for the PC Party of Nova Scotia just hours ago .  Does this mean he’s up for another job?

New Brunswick has an obvious choice in Bernard Lord. The former PC Premier has been integrated on the strategic side of federal politics for some time. Lord was the national co-chair of the 2008 federal campaign and provides a bridge to the Charest side of the conservative family.  Current director of CPC operations Doug Finley is a shoo-in for the Senate, in my opinion. Senator David Smith has run campaigns for the Liberals for some time from the Red Chamber so the appointment of Doug Finley would be seen as an acceptable move by the PM.

Quebec presents a challenge to Stephen Harper as the PM has toiled spending the last few years building a fledgling organization in that province. There aren’t too many Conservatives there who have been around for a generation of the modern Conservative movement. Mario Dumont made his exit from Quebec politics this week and may find his return as a senator from Quebec. Dumont has been an ally of the Prime Minister and this would satiate the smaller ADQ elements in Harper’s Quebec machine.  William Shatner is a conservative from Montreal and was the first Canadian in space (he did and did so boldly). Shatner would be a nod to Quebec’s arts community and would be noteworthy because in itself! Women will be on the PM’s shortlist for the senate and Quebec author and standard-bearer for the conservative movement in Quebec Tasha Kheiriddin would be a good choice.

In Ontario, senior Conservatives that I’ve spoken to would be surprised if Irving Gerstein was not named to the Senate.  Gerstein is the head of the Conservative fund, the fundraising organization for the Conservative Party.  Sandra Buckler’s name has also made the short list for Senate.  As Stephen Harper’s director of communications, Buckler is and remains a loyalist who fought for the PM in the trenches and pushed the Conservative agenda against the rough grain of the MSM.  I would be very happy to see Buckler return to the fold so that she can have the resources to fight even harder as a hard-nosed, no prisoners activist for Conservative cause.

Saskatchewan presents an interesting challenge. The province has committed to hold an election for the Senate next year. Let them. If Harper holds off on appointing a senator and a coalition government swoops in and does this anyway, the damage to those parties in the province would be irreperable. If the Prime Minister does appoint a senator from Saskatchewan, my choice would be Elwin Hermanson, the founder of the Saskatchewan Party.

In British Columbia there are a few people lobbying for a seat, among them is Gurmant Grewal (not gonna happen).  Another person’s name I’ve heard passed about has been that of John Reynolds.  Likely senators that the PM may appoint include Michael Walker (founder of the Fraser Institute), Lorne Mayencourt (party loyalist) and John Weissenberger (former ministerial chief of staff and founding member of the Reform Party).  Weissenberger is the type who would resign immediately to elect a senator if given the chance.  Longer shots are former MP Betty Hinton and Conservative national councillor Hamish Marshall.

Yukon territory also has a senate seat free. I’d pick Leslie Neilson because he’s a prominant conservative Canadian from the Yukon and his brother Erik was deputy Prime Minister. Neilson is most famous for the Naked Gun movies and has campaigned for charity for the March of Dimes.

I find it deeply unfortunate and immensely frustrating that the PM has been forced into this position of appointing senators. Ideally, as conservatives, we’d like to have them all elected.  The appointment of Senators is a defensive measure by the PM as a coalition government would appoint senators uninterested in senate reform or worse, with separatist sympathies. I would want the PM to secure a pledge from any appointed senator that they would resign and/or stand for election at the earliest opportunity. The appointment of Senators should only be a temporary measure as provinces commit to holding elections.

UPDATE: As some readers point out correctly, Shatner (77) and Neilson (82) are too old (in the constitutional sense) for the senate. The lower age limit is 30 and the upper limit is 75. Could Shatner launch a successful Charter challenge? Or could he slingshot himself around the sun and return to 1986?

So we have a couple of spots open in Quebec and one in the Yukon. Who would you name to the Senate?



73 thoughts on “Senate picks”

  1. Kate MacMillan of small dead animals fame is an EXCELLENT choice for the seat in Sask. She is brilliant and beautiful and gets more done in one day than most of us do in a month! Worn K. would be pea green with envy and ill with fear as Kate rattles his cage frequently and he always ends up in the dirt with a bloody nose.

    Who would be better than Mark Steyn?

    I live in the Yukon Territory and I am a long time Yukoner ; my picks would be Gordie Gee, Carl Shultz, Ken Gabb, Drew Dunn or the present sitting territorial MP, Brad Cathers. Brad has always supported the Prime Minister when other ‘red Torys’ did not – it was not expedient, not so long ago, for them to support the ‘perceived’ underdog, leader of the opposition, Stephen Harper. All of my choices are Conservative supporters of an EEE Senate and could be depended on to resign and run for election or quit. Premier Fentie is NOT an option since he was once a Dipper in a Dipper territorial government. If the PM wants a woman from the Yukon , Victoria Durrant would be a good choice. She has always supported the Prime Minister and she is a ‘triple E senate’ Conservative.

    I agree to Mr. Hearn, Mr. Reynolds, General Hillier, Louis Mackenzie. Pierre Lemieux (Libertarian journalist), Ezra Levant, Link Byfield…it is up to PMSH; I am 100% behind his choices because not one of these ‘appointees’ will be attached to the trough. I support a triple E senate or no senate; I hope most of the senate will be on their own very soon .

  2. I badly want to see Mario Dumont in the Senate and in the cabinet now. He could resign his seat in time for the next election like Fortier, only I suspect he would win somewhere in Quebec. Same thing for General Hillier in the Newfoundland seat. This is a good opportunity to secure some star candidates for the next election. I like Bernard Lord in NB. Some has suggested Kate from Small Dead Animals in the Saskatchewan seat. No doubt she would shake up that chamber of Retired Liberal cronies.

  3. Too bad Ontario only has 2 openings, or he could just appoint the trio from Rush. The chamber would rock for sure.

  4. I agree with all your picks but not Ontario. In Ontario I would like to see Harper bail out Tory by putting one of his MPPs in the senate so that we can properly take the fight to Dalton McGuinty as soon as possible. I also like the idea of Don Cherry. If not Cherry and a PC MPP; I think the next best rumour I have heard is Stephen Taylor!!!!

  5. Many good suggestions listed, some questionable because of age. Regardless of age William has a big role in Boston Legal at the present time.
    But, to really cause some shock and awe in the media, especially cbc, I go with Duffy, and also Brian. I love the way the media, on Newman and AT ISSUE are jokingly mocking these appointments by suggesting they are on the list.
    Craig just turned 70 and doesn't have much time left to get his payback for years of kissing buts. Sorry, not this time. Regardless, whoever is named the media will slag them, 24/7 and that will leave the PM freedom to govern Canada.
    How about that guy that would serve for 1.00 per year that the opposition opposed, expecting to be able to name one of their own.

  6. Stephen,

    This is a very creative post. I like some of your proposals – and I'm pretty sure that Duffy will get a kick out of it! : )

    One small point. Are you sure about William Shatner's conservative credentials? This is news to me. I don't think he has ever publicly declared his political ideology.

    On the one hand, he was photographed at a Democratic fundraiser held at a Star Trek convention (yes, I'm being serious –…). On the other hand, he claims to watch conservative talk show host Glenn Beck (…).

    Care to fill in the blanks?


  7. Ted Byfield for Alberta would be my first choice, but he's too old. So how about Link Byfield and Ted Morton?

  8. I really like all these comments here.
    For some reason, my comments aren’t showing up. Stephen, am I banned or something?

  9. It would be pitty rich of Harper to appoint Fabian Manning or any other Conservative defeated in the last election. Towing the line that what people voted for should be respected by the opposition only to turn around an put rejected candidates for MP from his own party directly into Parilament? You can all see the irony?

    It would also be nice for the Conservatives to acknowedge their own shortcommings in reforming the Senate. These appointments are a direct result of their failure to carry a suposidly popular argument. Harper has no credibility for Senate reform when Michael Fortier still sits in Cabinet after loosing in the past election. Don't be fooled; none of these 18 appointees will ever face an election.

  10. André Caillé would be a perfect senator from Quebec.
    He is the former CEO of Hydro Quebec, with great communication skills.
    He earned respect amoung quebecois from all political views.
    He should be top of the list!

  11. André Caillé is the perfect pick for senator from Quebec.
    He is the former CEO of Hydro Quebec, with great communication skills.
    He earned respect from all quebecois from all political views.
    He should be ont top of the list.

  12. Remember one issue with the Quebec senators is that they need to meet the property qualifications within their senate division, not just the province…

  13. What position does the defeated Fourtier have in Cabinet, please explain. And didn't he resign his Senate seat to run in the election.
    That stmt just shows how uniformed people from Quebec are, considering they think THEY send money to Alberta, not the other way around.

  14. Given that McInnes has twice turned down Senate appointments, and given that he's 71, I can't imagine he'd take an appointment now. But he would be one hell of a Senator. He's indefatigable

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *