With the 2014 Supreme Court of Canada reference making transformative reform or abolition of the Senate unlikely in the near future, the author asks if informal or incremental reforms have occurred in the past 30 years. Using quantitative data, he finds that the upper chamber has become more representative of aspects of Canadian diversity in the sociological sense. Women, Aboriginal people and official-language minorities are represented in greater numbers in the Senate than in the House of Commons. The data concerning the Senate’s effect on legislative business in Parliament reveals a somewhat uneven record.
Despite the absence of major constitutional amendments in recent decades, the Senate of Canada has changed in certain respects; however, these changes have not improved Canadians’ generally negative view of the Senate.