Nancy Greene Named To The Senate
Monday morning saw Prime Minister Harper appoint 18 new conservative senators to the Liberal dominated chamber filling all of the available vacancies.
With Liberal-affiliated senators currently occupying 58 of the 105 available seats to the Conservatives 20, this move brings a measure of balance to the senate increasing the Conservatives presence to 38. Other seats are held by Independents and senators of other party affiliations.
Among the new faces named to the senate is Rossland native and Canada’s female athlete of the 20th century Nancy Greene Raine. Greene who helped break the European strong hold on the alpine skiing World Cup dominating the women’s circuit picking up a gold medal during the 1968 winter Olympics. Known for being a tough as nails fighter on the slopes “The Tiger” as she was known was not just winning on the world cup but dominating, holding the record for largest margin of victory in a world cup race for many years.
Her new post in Ottawa is one of the most sought after patronage posts in the Canadian Government. Appointees will receive a $134,000 annual salary indexed to inflation until they retire or reach age 75, followed by a very comfortable pension also indexed to inflation.
Among other well known names appointed among the 18 were long time Canadian TV icons Pamela Walling and Peter Duffy. The other newly appointed senators included largely well connected Conservative partisans.
• Former MP Fabian Manning (N.L.).
• Lawyer Fred Dickson (N.S.).
• Stephen Greene, former deputy chief of staff to N.S. Premier Rodney MacDonald (N.S.).
• N.S. businessman Michael L. MacDonald (N.S.).
• Long-time New Brunswick MLA and cabinet minister Percy Mockler (N.B.).
• Lawyer John D. Wallace (N.B.).
• National chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples Patrick Brazeau (Que.).
• Former MP and teacher Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis (Que.).
• Director of Via Rail Canada Leo Housakos (Que.).
• Former Quebec MNA Michel Rivard (Que.).
• Nicole Eaton, member of the prominent Eaton family (Ont.).
• Businessman Irving Gerstein (Ont.).
• Co-founder of the Corean Canadian Coactive (C3) society Yonah Martin (B.C.).
• Provincial cabinet minister Richard Neufeld (B.C.).
• Former Yukon MLA Hector Daniel Lang (Yukon).
In what appears to be yet another politically motivated strategic move to outplay the potential Liberal NDP coalition Harper filled the seats now to avoid any potential change in government having the right to fill the positions.
Said Harper in a press release: “If Senate vacancies are to be filled … they should be filled by the government that Canadians elected rather than by a coalition that no one voted for,”
In what amounted to an about face on his own personal policy, Harper’s long held position on senate reform that all Senate members should be elected seemed to fade momentarily into the background.
Harper who has been pushing for reform for a number of years appeared to be giving in at least temporarily of his elected senate goals.
“I’ve waited for three years,” he noted in a recent TV interview.
“We’ve invited the provinces to hold elections. We’ve put an electoral bill before the House of Commons. But for the most part, neither in Parliament nor in the provinces has there been any willingness to move forward on reform.”
For now at least, until or if any senate election reform comes into being, Rossland can now claim representation by its native daughter in Ottawa bringing her championship ways to the senate.