Mr. Speaker, the hon. member mentioned the age limit of 75. In 1867, senators were appointed for life, which truly meant “for life”. A multitude of caricatures in various newspapers ensued over the years. It was only relatively recently that the age limit was set at 75. This is a perfect example of something that did not require the Constitution to be reopened. Nonetheless, if the Constitution were to be reopened, it would be for more reasons than just limiting Senate terms to eight years.
What exactly is the government hoping to achieve by limiting the terms to eight years and what does that have to do with the age limit of 75? Does the government want to appoint older senators with more experience?
Something does not add up. We know full well, and many agree, that this would take a constitutional change and that the government does not have the right to go over the head of Quebec and provinces.
The hon. member also referred to polls in Quebec. In fact, the majority of Quebeckers think that the Senate has no worth in its current form and even more Quebeckers are in favour of abolishing the Senate. If they were asked specifically whether they prefer an eight-year term over an age limit of 75, they would definitely say yes. However, the best move would be to abolish the Senate.