Tuesday January 19, 2016 | Privy Council Office
Mandate of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments
The Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments ("Advisory Board") is an independent and non-partisan body whose mandate is to provide non-binding merit-based recommendations to the Prime Minister on Senate nominations.
This promise is achieved insofar as its original wording is concerned. An important caveat to mention is that the Senate appointment shortlist created by this new committee remains non-binding, meaning the Prime Minister can still ultimately decide who gets appointed to the Senate. That still fulfills the original promise, which talks about a process to "advise" the PM on nominations, yet even though this promise is achieved, in essence one could argue this is not a huge change to the way Senate appointments are made. That being said, let us remind ourselves that a thorough reform of the Senate would require reopening the Constitution along with the consent of all the provinces. As a reminder, both the Conservatives and the NDP were in favour of abolishing the Senate outright during the 2015 election, but not the Liberals.