Sask. Senator Lillian Dyck likes move to independent status

Saskatchewan Senator Lillian Dyck, who was most recently a Liberal, is supporting leader Justin Trudeau's decision to have all Liberal members of the Senate sit as independents.
Saskatchewan Senator Lillian Dyck says she supports Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's move to have independent Senators. (CBC News)

Saskatchewan Senator Lillian Dyck, who was most recently a Liberal, is supporting leader Justin Trudeau's decision to have all Liberal members of the Senate sit as independents.

Dyck agreed with Trudeau that sitting as independents would make the Senators more responsive to their regions.

"Who's voice are we listening to when we vote?" Dyck said. "Are we listening to the party [and] what the party wants? Are we listening to the people in Saskatchewan?  Are we listening to our own conscience? What are we listening to, how are we making those decisions when it comes to voting."

She added it is a good way to reduce unnecessary partisanship in the Senate.

"In my mind it may be seen as focusing on one of the big problems - partisanship, excessive partisanship - within the Senate," she said.

Dyck was originally appointed to the Senate to sit as an NDP member but later joined the Liberal caucus.

Another Saskatchewan Senator, Dave Tkachuk, a Conservative, said Wednesday he is not impressed with Trudeau's move.

"I don't think that Mr. Trudeau thought this through," Tkachuk said. "Nothing much has changed. They're not independent Senators. They're still keeping all their rights and privileges of being head of the opposition party and members of the opposition party."

Tkachuk said he also questions removing 32 people from the Liberal's parliamentary fold.

"I'm a proud member of the National Conservative Caucus and they, I'm sure, were proud members of the National Liberal Caucus," he said. "I think it's a sad day for them that they're no longer there. I don't think it means much as far as them being independent."

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