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Politics Insider Who has Harper appointed to the Senate? Celebrities, Tory staffers and law-and-order advocates

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This is Stephen Harper's Senate.

Out of 102 sitting senators, the Prime Minister has appointed 52, or more than half. Mr. Harper will leave a stamp on the Senate for decades to come, as 10 of his younger appointees will only have to retire in the 2030s, at the age of 75, and four of them in the 2040s.

* Three current Senators who were appointed by Mr. Harper - Patrick Brazeau, Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy - are now registered as independents.

The latest Senate spending scandal has been sticking to Mr. Harper in large part because many of the Senators who have had a series of problems, including illegitimate expense claims, were his own appointees.

The issue of expenses has also thrust the Senate – an institution that rarely makes news except when it is hit by controversies and scandals – into the spotlight, raising questions about the value of the institution, including calls for both reform and abolition.

This is not how things were supposed to happen. When he was in opposition, the leader of the Conservative Party said he did not want to appoint any unelected senators. But as he unveiled his first cabinet in 2006, Mr. Harper surprised Ottawa by sending businessman Michael Fortier to the Red Chamber in order to have a minister with roots in Montreal, where his party has been shut out for years.

Note: Fabian Manning and Larry Smith, appointed in the years 2009 and 2010 respectively, resigned to run for a seat in the House of Commons in 2011. They were defeated in the election and Mr. Harper re-appointed them to the Senate weeks later.

His nomination was highly controversial in that it appeared to contradict Conservative policy on appointing senators – something the party strongly opposed in opposition. It was the start of a controversy that has plagued Mr. Harper throughout his years in power. Mr. Fortier promised to run in the next election and ultimately did in 2008 but was roundly defeated by the Bloc Québécois incumbent.

After winning a second minority in 2008, Mr. Harper began to fill more Senate vacancies in a bid to slowly put an end to the Liberal hegemony in the Chamber. That round of appointment was massive: 18 new Conservative legislators, including former MPs and party organizers.

List of many of Mr. Harper's Senate appointments since 2006

Celebrities

NHL coach Jacques Demers

TV host Mike Duffy

Former columnist Linda Frum

Skier Nancy Greene Raine

TV host Pamela Wallin

CFL team owner David Braley

Conservative organizers, staffers and fundraisers

 

Fundraiser Nicole Eaton

Former campaign chair Doug Finley (deceased on May 11)

Co-chair of the 2008 Conservative campaign in Quebec Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis

Former chair of the Conservative Fund Canada Irving Gerstein

Fundraiser Leo Housakos

Organizer Ghislain Maltais

Former Harper spokeswoman Carolyn Stewart Olsen

Elected Alberta senators

 

Douglas Black, won the 2012 Alberta Senate Nominee Election

Scott Tannas, who finished second in the 2012 Alberta election

Failed Conservative candidates

 

Claude Carignan (ran and lost in the 2008 election)

Jean-Guy Dagenais (ran and lost in the 2011 election)

Fabian Manning (former MP, lost in the 2008 and 2011 election)

Josée Verner (former MP and minister, defeated in the 2011 election)

Larry Smith (defeated in the 2011 election)

Law and order advocates

 

Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, whose daughter was killed by a recidivist

Former Ontario solicitor-general Bob Runciman

Former Ottawa police chief Vern White

Leaders of ethnic groups

 

Former president of the Canadian Pashtun Cultural Association Salma Ataullahjan

Former president of the Philippine Independence Day Council Tobias Enverga Jr.

First Korean-Canadian Parliamentarian in Canada, Yonah Martin

Former president of the Vietnamese Community Association of Ottawa Thanh Hai Ngo

Founding chairman of the Canada-China Business Communication Council Victor Oh

Former national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples Patrick Brazeau

When he appoints people to the job that pays more than $130,000 a year, the Prime Minister puts in a personal call for a brief discussion ahead of the announcement. Mr. Harper's main message is that the new legislators must support the Conservative push to reform the institution by having future appointees chosen by the electorate and serving a fixed term.

Still, the senators who have already been appointed by Mr. Harper will be able to serve until they reach the mandatory retirement age.

"There is no written agreement to run in an election or resign after X number of years," a Conservative senator said, speaking on background.

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