P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz is concerned about the suspension of Mike Duffy, seeing it as diminishing the province's representation in Ottawa in the short term, and he has a caution for the prime minister about Senate reform.


Premier Robert Ghiz says he would want to make sure P.E.I.'s influence within Canada would remain the same in any reform of the Senate. (CBC)

The Island has four representatives in the Senate, but during Duffy's suspension there will only be three, and all on the opposition side. Ghiz noted the province still has a representative in the federal cabinet in Fisheries Minister Gail Shea.

But Ghiz said his main worry is long-term plans for Senate reform.

"We know that we have different political parties calling for the Senate to be abolished. We know that there is a question before the Supreme Court today," said Ghiz.

"If the prime minister is interested in abolishing the Senate, I would be open to that idea. But you would have to open up the constitution, which would mean that there would have to be first ministers' meetings. And from that perspective, I would want to make sure Prince Edward Island's clout within the Canadian federation would be equal to that of when the country was formed."

As it stands, P.E.I. has a much larger representation in the Senate than in the House of Commons: with four of 105 seats, as opposed to four of 308 seats in the Commons.

Ghiz said it's a situation he'll be watching closely.

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