Yukon's Conservative Senator Dan Lang on the change in Ottawa
'It's going to be a learning experience for all of us,' Lang said
Yukon Senator Dan Lang admits he's about to enter a whole new political scene in Ottawa, very different from the one he'd gotten used to over six years in the Red Chamber.
"It's going to be a learning experience for all of us," Lang told Sandi Coleman on CBC's A New Day. "Within a very short period of time, we will not be the majority."
The Conservative Senator, appointed by Stephen Harper in 2009, has seen his party hold majorities in the House of Commons and the Senate over most of those years. With prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau expected to fill vacant senate seats with new appointees, those days will soon be over.
Lang has also served most of his senate term with a fellow Conservative representing Yukon in the House of Commons, but that too is at an end. Liberal Larry Bagnell will replace former MP Ryan Leef when parliament re-convenes.
"I've worked with Larry Bagnell in the past," Lang said, referring to Bagnell's previous term as MP, which ended in 2011. "I have no doubt that Larry's objectives for the territory are very similar to mine."
Still, Lang defended some Conservative legislation that Bagnell's party has promised to amend, or scrap.
He says he was "taken aback" by some of the campaign rhetoric around Bill C-51, the controversial anti-terrorism bill, saying "a lot of it was misinformation," but he stopped short of accusing the Liberals specifically.
"The Liberal Party voted for the bill," Lang said, though Trudeau has said that his government would remove some of the more problematic elements. The NDP would have scrapped it entirely.
"That would have been totally irresponsible for the country," Lang said.
The Senator also re-stated his support for Bill S-6, which amended Yukon's environmental assessment process, against the objections of First Nations. Bagnell and the Liberal Party promised to repeal the legislation, something Lang thinks would be a big mistake.
"Well, we'll have to deal with that if it does come forward, and at this stage it's speculation because it's not before the Senate." Lang said.