March 29, 2018

Conservatives call on Trudeau to appoint elected senate candidate: PM must respect democracy

United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to respect the wishes of Albertans by appointing democratically-elected Senator-in-Waiting Mike Shaikh to the Senate of Canada to fill the current vacancy for Alberta.

“There is no excuse for this Prime Minister to ignore the democratic will of Albertans. In recent years, the Prime Minister has called for the Senate appointment process to be open and transparent, but nothing is more open and transparent than a free and fair election,” said United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney.

In a letter sent to the Liberal Prime Minister earlier today, the Alberta Opposition Leader reminded the Prime Minister that on April 23, 2012, Alberta held its most recent Senate election, in which successful Calgary businessman and philanthropist Mike Shaikh was nominated to represent the province in the upper chamber.

The two other Albertans nominees elected, Senators Doug Black and Scott Tannas, were already appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to fill previous vacancies. A Senate vacancy for Alberta was created with the resignation of Senator Claudette Tardif on February 2nd, 2018.

Alberta was once a leader in Senate reform as the only Canadian jurisdiction to undertake democratic elections for Senate nominees. Kenney also renewed a call on Alberta’s NDP government to renew Alberta’s Senatorial Selection Act, which lapsed on December 31, 2016.

“The vast majority of Albertans support elected Senators who have greater credibility to fight for our province. It’s time for the NDP to show respect for the will of the people by bringing the Senatorial Selection Act back into force,” concluded Kenney.

Backgrounder: 2012 Senate election results

1,287,080 Albertans cast ballots in the Senate nominee election on April 23rd, 2012. Under Alberta’s Senatorial Selection Act, Albertans could vote for up to three candidates on their ballot out of thirteen possible candidates. The three with the most votes were elected Senate Nominees, awaiting appointment as vacancies arose. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper previously appointed Doug Black and Scott Tannas to the Senate to fill previous vacancies for Alberta.

Candidate Votes Appointment
Doug Black 427,745 January 25th, 2013
Scott Tannas 351,761 March 25th, 2013
Mike Shaikh 309,587 Awaiting appointment

Mike Shaikh

An Albertan for over 40 years, Mike Shaikh is a successful businessman and community volunteer. He served as Chair of the Calgary Police Commission, and served on the boards of many organizations including the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, the University of Calgary, and the Kiwanis Club of Calgary. He has received numerous awards including the Integrity Award by Rotary International, and the Centennial Medal for Outstanding Service.