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Mike Duffy on Senate reform

The Story

"This is a place where you're supposed to sip scotch quietly and make sure that you don't cause too much ruckus," says Ottawa journalist Mike Duffy. He's talking about the Liberal-dominated Senate, which is threatening to block a bill that would allow the government to borrow almost $20 billion. In return, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has threatened to abolish the Senate altogether. On the regular "Ottawa Zoo" segment of CBC Radio's Morningside, host Peter Gzowski talks with Duffy and Globe and Mail reporter Jeff Sallot about the Senate set-to.

Medium: Radio
Program: Morningside
Broadcast Date: Feb. 22, 1985
Host: Peter Gzowski
Panellists: Mike Duffy, Jeff Sallot
Duration: 5:47

Did You know?

• Born in Prince Edward Island, Mike Duffy has been a fixture in Canadian political journalism since the 1970s. He was with CBC until 1988, when he began working for CTV.

• In December 2008 Duffy was among 18 new appointees to the Senate. According to CTV, Duffy's first instinct was to turn down the honour, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper persuaded him to take the job by asking him to help reform the Senate from the inside.

• Despite Mulroney's threats in 1985, the Senate remained. However, he acted when another dispute in 1990 was poised to derail the Tories' proposed Goods and Services Tax. Using a little-known provision of Parliament, Mulroney increased the size of the Senate by eight seats and appointed sympathetic senators to ensure the passage of the GST.




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