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Paula Simons
Independent Senator from Alberta. (Live tweets of Senate proceedings are not to be confused with official Hansard.)
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Paula Simons 1h
Thank you to the Innisfail Town Council for inviting me to meet with them today. (The Pysanka had a good time too.)
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Paula Simons Jul 14
Just subscribed.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
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Paula Simons Jul 14
Replying to @StephanieCarvin
Excellent. I’d also be happy to speak to your students, if that were ever of interest to you or relevant to any of the classes you teach.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
Replying to @Paulatics
Thanks for your questions and your expertise . I think we need more discussions like this one.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
Replying to @Paulatics
As a new Senator, I’m on a steep learning curve. But I’m committed to working hard to get legislation right - and to helping Canadians understand more about the Senate, as I’m learning more about it myself!
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Paula Simons Jul 14
I would be delighted to meet you for lunch/coffee when I’m back in Ottawa. I’m not on the National Defence Committee, but I’d value the chance to talk with you and to hear your concerns about this issue and others.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
Ouch. Not so very old! Nor is the prime minister, who ultimately made this decision. I understand that you are frustrated. But I think you are blaming the wrong body. (Also? I, at least, am not on vacation. Working from home would be closer to the mark.)
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Paula Simons Jul 14
Which, to be fair, is more or less what happened with C-101, the emergency steel tariffs bill, which we also got near the end of session. But senators recognized the unique urgency of that one in today’s trade climate - and even it arrived with enough time for debate.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
But as Chris pointed out earlier - even if we had sat until June 28th, as originally scheduled, once the House rose, we had no way to make amendments, no way to send the amended bill back. We could only have rubber stamped it, without proper study and debate.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
For whatever reason, the Liberal govt made a decision to let this bill die on the order paper. That is the government’s prerogative. Whatever you think of that decision, it doesn’t exactly lie at the feet of the Independent Senators.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
And then people would have screamed that the Independent Senate was a terrible mistake because it defied the will of the govt and interfered with the pre writ unofficial election campaign period.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
Yes - in theory, the Independent Senators could have forced the issue, refused to adjourn, forced the others to work through the summer recess, forced to govt to recall the House. The expense - and the constitutional upheaval- would have been immense.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
The Senate isn’t supposed to rubber stamp bills. Especially an Independent Senate. In theory, We would have needed to debate it, send it to Committee, hold hearings, call witnesses, propose and debate amendments, write a report, vote on the amendments, send amended bill back.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
Also - the House rose early, in part because of the death of an MP. They sent us C-98 right as they adjourned. They sent us what you might call a dead letter.
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Paula Simons Jul 14
Professor Carvin - I believe the Independent Senators proved their mettle this session on many bills; but we are still in the very early days of this experiment.
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Paula Simons Jul 13
Have a great lunch.
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Paula Simons Jul 13
The rules of the Senate are still set up on a government & opposition paradigm - even though majority of Senators are neither. It’s still very much a work in progress.
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Paula Simons Jul 13
Two things that surprised me about the Senate? Everything is on the order paper every day. Everything. And second? Even though the ISG has the great number of Senate seats, the Independents have remarkably little control over the timing of things.
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Paula Simons Jul 13
....then we all knew that anything that didn’t come to us before the middle of June would die on the order paper. Could we have sat until June 28? As a naive rookie Independent, I’d assumed we would. But the govt and opposition set the timelines. And they chose to rise.
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