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Naheed Nenshi on Senate reform in 1992

The Story

"I don't see any chubby, brown, nearsighted guys in the Senate, and I don't think there needs to be, frankly," says Naheed Nenshi. He's a University of Calgary student who participated in citizen input sessions on the future of the Canadian Constitution, including Senate reform, in January 1992. Now, five months later, he says he's feeling frustrated, angry, and discouraged by how the process of constitutional reform has stalled. In this segment from CBC's Saturday Report, Nenshi and fellow student Krista Slade tell host Knowlton Nash they're not especially optimistic that the politicians in charge will put forth a constitutional proposal that Canadians will accept.

Medium: Television
Program: Saturday Report
Broadcast Date: June 13, 1992
Host: Knowlton Nash
Guests: Naheed Nenshi, Krista Slade
Duration: 6:29

Did You know?

• Nenshi went on to study at Harvard University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He become mayor of Calgary in 2010, winning 39 per cent of the vote after what the Globe and Mail described as a "grassroots campaign driven by volunteers," achieving "what many observers thought impossible - a wonkish, even dorky, academic and visible minority elected to the helm of what is often called Canada's most conservative city after a campaign driven by charisma and sheer determination." 

• The Calgary conference Nenshi and Slade took part in was one of five such sessions, each focusing on a different aspect of constitutional reform, held across the country in early 1992. At the Halifax meeting on division of powers the weekend before, Stephen Harper of the fledgling Reform Party predicted the debate would be "stirred up a lot more in Alberta" when Senate reform was on the table. The remaining three conferences were held in Montreal (economic union), Toronto (distinct society status and the Charter) and Ottawa (the wrap-up).



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