Hugh Segal on the State of the Senate and Canadian Conservatism

Hugh Segal has been at the centre of Canadian conservatism for 40 years. He plans to retire on July 1st, 2014. (CBC)


Hugh Segal has been offside on the Senate scandal, willing to support issues his conservative colleagues might avoid and reject ideas they might champion. But after working with - and for - a long list of Conservative leaders, Hugh Segal is politely unapologetic. And now he's leaving.


Hugh Segal, federal Progressive Conservative candidate in Ottawa Centre, settled down in an Ottawa shoe store
May 17th, 1972, for a re-shoeing after canvassing 2500 homes in his riding since early March. (CP/ Peter Bregg)

Senator Hugh Segal on politics, conservatives and Conservative Politics

"My Canada is the kind of country where trade unions and free collective bargaining makes our economy stronger and Canada a better place. The right of working men and women to unionize was at the root of Tory policy less then 5 years after Confederation. This is not some new thing that came rolling in with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This has been part of who we are as Canadians from the very beginning".

Senator Hugh Segal

Though his version doesn't always mesh with the prevailing wisdom, Hugh Segal knows the history of Canadian conservatism better than almost anyone. Over the course of his career, Senator Segal championed labour rights, a guaranteed income supplement and a strong social safety net ... all part of what he sees as Canada's unique 150-year-old Tory tradition.

Senator Segal helped shaped that history as an advisor to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Conservative Party Leader Robert Stanfield and Ontario Premier Bill Davis ... and he has written about it in numerous books.

Late last week, Hugh Segal announced his retirement from the Senate next summer to become the next Master at Massey College at the University of Toronto.

Conservative Senator Hugh Segal was our Toronto studio.

Have thoughts you want to share on what Senator Hugh Segal had to say in our discussion?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Gord Westmacott.

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