If elected as an Alberta nominee for the Canadian Senate

Black eyes more democratic Senate

If elected as an Alberta nominee for the Canadian Senate, Doug Black vows to reform the Senate, advance a Canadian energy strategy and advocate for Canada’s post-secondary system.

If elected as an Alberta nominee for the Canadian Senate, Doug Black vows to reform the Senate, advance a Canadian energy strategy and advocate for Canada’s post-secondary system.

On Monday, voters will not only be handed a ballot for the provincial election, but they will also be asked to vote for three out of 13 “senators-in-waiting” who will represent Alberta’s interests in the Canadian Senate.

Progressive Conservative Senate nominee Doug Black was in Red Deer Wednesday speaking with business owners on Ross Street. The vice-chairman of one of Alberta’s largest law firms, Fraser Milner Casgrain, the University of Calgary board chairman and experienced working with the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, Black believes he has the skills to make the Senate more transparent.

“I want to have a real effect on trying to create a more democratic Senate,” he said.

“My view is that the Senate is not working for Albertans or Canadians, it is not democratic, it is not transparent and it is not performing what I believe to be as a meaningful role.”

Black says the first step for Albertans is to elect the strongest candidates so the Senate becomes “fully-elected.”

“If Albertans elect strong senators, other provinces are going to say, ‘We want strong elected senators, too’ and I think there is going to be a momentum developed towards that, that is if Albertans get it right on Monday.”

Black said that Alberta is underrepresented in Ottawa’s Senate, which has similar powers to the House of Commons with the exception that it cannot originate money bills.

“So it is a very powerful organization,” Black said. “And it is currently not using its influence appropriately.

“We have to ensure that our voice is heard and have intelligent representation to make up our weight that we don’t have in numbers.”

On Monday, Black says Albertans have a “historic opportunity” and hopes they seriously consider the Senate nominees who will appear on the ballot.

“Read up, who would you hire?

“And if people ask that question I think I will at least get a second interview,” he said with a smile.

Alberta is the only Canadian province the elects senators-in-waiting in the hope that they are appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to fill Senate vacancies as they arise.

Running under the Evergreen Party of Alberta is Elizabeth Johannson.

Ian Urquhart, Len Bracko, Paul Frank, William Exelby, David Fletcher and Perry Chahal are running as independents.

In addition to Black, the Progressive Conservatives have nominated Mike Shaikh and Scott Tannas.

The Wildrose Party has nominated Vitor Marciano, Raymond Germain and Rob Gregory.

jjones@bprda.wpengine.com

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