Alberta Senate Nominee Elections

Brief History of Senate Nominee Elections in Alberta

  • Alberta is the only province in the country to select Senate nominees through voting and is currently represented by three Senators with direct mandates from Albertans: Betty Unger, Doug Black and Scott Tannas.
  • Alberta's Senatorial Selection Act was originally proclaimed into law in 1989, allowing voters to select nominees to fill vacant seats in the Senate.
  • Senate nominee elections were held in Alberta in 1989, 1998, 2004 and 2012, resulting in the appointment of a number of democratically-selected Senate nominees.
    • Stan Waters, selected by Albertans in the first Senate nominee election in 1989, was appointed in 1990 by former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
    • Albertans selected Bert Brown and Betty Unger in the 2004 Senate nominee election. Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Senator Brown in 2007 and Senator Unger in 2012.
    • Albertans selected Doug Black and Scott Tannas in the 2012 Senate nominee election. Prime Minister Harper appointed both to the Senate in 2013.
  • Mike Shaikh is the remaining nominee from the 2012 election.
  • The next Alberta Senate vacancies are expected to be in August 2018 and March 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Alberta hold elections for Senate Nominees?

  • Albertans continue to support a Triple-E Senate – one that is elected, equal and effective. Electing nominees to fill our province's vacant Senate seats is a meaningful first step by the province towards addressing Albertans' concerns about their role in the federal decision-making process.

Who can run as a Senate Nominee?

  • The Canadian Constitution states that Senators must be 30 years old, residents of the province they represent, and own real property worth $4,000 (above their debts).
  • To qualify as a candidate under the Alberta Senatorial Selection Act, a nomination form with 1,500 supporting signatures is required and a $4,000 deposit must be posted.

For more information, contact Elections Alberta at 780-427-7191, toll free at 310-0000 or at

How much do Senate nominee elections cost?

Related Links
Senate of Canada 
Elections Alberta