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Motion to abolish Senate approved by Saskatchewan legislature

Politicians in Saskatchewan have endorsed a motion calling for the Senate to be abolished.
Members of the Saskatchewan Legislature endorsed a motion to abolish the Senate of Canada, Adam Hunter reports. 1:44

Politicians in Saskatchewan have endorsed a motion calling for the Senate to be abolished.

The motion was introduced Wednesday and follows up on a commitment made by Premier Brad Wall several months ago. Wall had been advocating for Senate reform but his position evolved to wanting it scrapped altogether.

This past summer, rank and file members of Wall's Saskatchewan Party participated in a mail-in vote to see if they agreed — they did.

"As it has become clear that reform is not possible, abolition has become the preference of Saskatchewan people," Wall said in a news release Wednesday.

The Opposition NDP has always believed in abolishing the Senate, and the motion passed swiftly on the same day it was introduced.

"It's been our position for a long time," NDP leader Cam Broten said Wednesday. "So we are happy and I am happy that the government now supports this position and it's a good thing for Saskatchewan and I hope this is part of a bigger discussion that we'll have in the country on the right steps to take on abolishing the Senate."

The move is largely symbolic, of course, as Saskatchewan can't get rid of the Senate on its own. Wall said the motion is not a proposed Constitutional amendment; it's just a statement of Saskatchewan's official position.

The motion contains 11 words: "That this Assembly supports the abolition of the Senate of Canada."

One of the first laws Wall's government introduced was a bill to allow Saskatchewan people to elect a Senator. That legislation was also repealed on Wednesday.

"Most people in Saskatchewan would not believe that this would be even in the top 20 in terms of issues here," Wall said of the motion. "They'd like the highways fixed, they'd like to make sure health care is in the state it should be, that education is good and that we're continuing to grow and those are the government's priorities. But we did want to make this statement."

The move comes a day after the Senate voted to suspend three senators from the upper chamber, including Saskatchewan's Pamela Wallin.

She, Patrick Brazeau and Mike Duffy were sanctioned over alleged misspending.

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