Calgary

Albertans will be able to vote for Senate candidates during election this fall

Elections Alberta has issued the writ for Senate nominee elections in the province, meaning Albertans will be allowed to complete a senate election ballot as part of this fall's municipal elections.

But nominees unlikely to fill vacancies as prime minister has independent selection process for senators

The Senate of Canada building and Senate Chamber are pictured in Ottawa in 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Elections Alberta has issued the writ for Senate nominee elections in the province, meaning Albertans will be allowed to complete a Senate election ballot as part of this fall's municipal elections.

However, any resulting nominations are expected to be largely symbolic.

An independent advisory board for Senate appointments was created in 2016, with a mandate to provide "non-binding, merit-based recommendations" to the prime minister on potential appointments. 

Under the constitution, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then provides a list of names to Canada's governor general, who appoints nominees to the Senate.

Alberta was the only Canadian province that elected nominees to the Senate between the years 1989 and 2012. Ten senators were elected, half of which were appointed, and all by conservative prime ministers.

Nominations for Alberta's Senate elections open today and end on Sept. 20. Candidates must complete nomination papers, which require they be nominated by 500 eligible electors and that they provide a $4,000 deposit.

Currently there are only two candidates registered with Elections Alberta: Erika Barootes, former president of the United Conservative Party and current western vice-president of Enterprise Canada, and Duncan Kinney, the executive director of Progress Alberta.

The Senate election will take place on Oct. 18, the same day as the 2021 Alberta municipal elections.

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