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Status: Bill 27 came into force July 23, 2020. Bill 13 came into force July 18, 2019.
Ministry responsible: Justice and Solicitor General
Alberta has reinstated Senate nominee elections to allow Albertans to choose who would best represent them in the Senate.
- Bill 13: the Alberta Senate Election Act came into effect on July 18, 2019 to bring back Senate nominee elections so voters can decide who will best represent them in the Senate and fight for Alberta’s interests in Ottawa.
- Bill 27: the Alberta Senate Election Amendment Act, 2020 came into effect on July 23, 2020 to amend the Alberta Senate Election Act, which allows Senate elections to be held during municipal elections, during provincial elections or stand alone.
Under the previous law, which expired in 2016, Alberta held Senate nominee elections from 1989 until 2012. During this time, 10 nominees were elected and 5 were appointed to the Senate. Alberta currently has 6 representatives in the Senate.
The Senate Election Amendment Act, 2020
Bill 27 took effect in July 2020 to:
- allow the Minister of Municipal Affair to make directives during a senate election when held in conjunction with a municipal election
- make minor housekeeping and wording changes to the Alberta Senate Election Act
The Alberta Senate Election Act, 2019 (previously known as Bill 13)
The Alberta Senate Election Act took effect in July 2019 to:
- allow voters to elect a Senate nominee:
- as part of provincial or municipal elections
- as a stand alone process
- revise procedures and rules to align with the Election Act, the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act and the Local Authorities Election Act
- name the registered federal political party that a candidate is aligned with on the ballot
- limit the number of candidates elected to 3, unless otherwise set out in the election order
- reduce the number of signatures required for an election nomination from 1,500 to 500
- limit campaign spending to $500,000 per candidate
- allow provincial political parties to support candidates, but the party’s spending cannot exceed 20% of the candidate’s spending limit
- apply third-party advertising rules to Senate nominee elections
Bill 27 came into effect upon receiving royal assent on July 23, 2020.
Bill 13 took effect on July 18, 2019.
The next Alberta Senate vacancy is scheduled for March 2021. Once a Senate nominee is elected, the Government of Alberta will provide the name of the Senate nominees to the prime minister for consideration when filling Senate vacancies.
- Letter to Prime Minister of Canada from Premier of Alberta (June 17, 2021)
- Giving Albertans their say with Senate nominee elections (June 23, 2021)
- Strengthening democracy in Alberta (June 23, 2020)
- Returning accountability to the Senate (June 26, 2019)
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