Parliament has the ability to modernize aspects of the Senate without needing to resort to constitutional amendment. In this article, the author highlights some archaic provisions of the Constitution Act, 1867that could be updated without altering the Senate’s fundamental nature. These changes would arguably allow the Senate to better reflect contemporary Canada.
The Liberal government, elected in 2015, has chosen to renew the Senate by means of a one-step non-statutory reform. The change is limited to making only non-partisan, merit-based appointments and accompanying adaptations. All other features of the Upper House’s antiquated constitutional foundations continue, even though many of them serve no public purpose.