Farmers, fishermen, veterans need to be in Senate, says Downe

There are some crucial gaps in representation in the Canadian Senate, says P.E.I. Senator Percy Downe.

'Those who … live the life add so much more value'

Sen. Percy Downe is looking for broader representation in the Senate. (CBC)

There are some crucial gaps in representation in the Canadian Senate, says P.E.I. Sen. Percy Downe.

There are no full-time farmers or fishermen or regular-forces veterans, and he'd like to see that change.

There are 10 vacancies in the Senate, one of which represents P.E.I.

Downe said it benefits everyone to have people with experience in agriculture, fisheries and the Canadian Forces in the Senate.

"The rest of us can study an issue that we're not familiar with but those who've actually worked in the field, live the life, add so much more value to our debates," he said.

"It's very important, because when we're looking at legislation the laws will affect all Canadians, so we need input from farmers, fishermen and veterans and we're not having that now."

Downe has reached out to the independent advisory board that makes recommendations on appointments, the Prime Minister's Office and the P.E.I.'s Premier's Office on the issue.

He also asked a question in the Senate to Peter Harder, the government representative.

Sen. Harder said government is aware of the need to have balanced representation of disciplines and diversity in its fullest forms.