Alberta Senate Elections
Brief History of Senate Nominee Elections in Alberta
- Alberta is currently the only province in the country to select nominees through voting.
- Alberta's Senatorial Selection Act was originally proclaimed into law in 1987, 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.
- Senate election nominees in 2012 were Doug Black, Scott Tannas and Mike Shaikh in order of votes received.
- The next anticipated Alberta Senate vacancies are expected to be March 2013 and November 2014.
- A number of Alberta’s elected Senate nominees have already been appointed to the Senate.
- Stan Waters, winner of the first Alberta Senate nominee election in 1989, who was appointed in 1990 by former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
- Bert Brown, elected in 2004, was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2007.
- Betty Unger, also selected in the 2004 election, was appointed by Prime Minister Harper in 2012.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Alberta hold elections for Senate Nominees?
- Albertans continue to indicate their support for 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 says that a Senator must be thirty years old, be a resident of the province they represent, and own 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 are 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 http://www.electionsalberta.ab.ca/Public%20Website/index.htm.
How much do Senate nominee elections cost?
- In 2004, the Senate nominee election held in conjunction with a provincial election cost $1.6 million.
- The costs of the 2012 Senate nominee election will be available in the Chief Electoral Officer’s 2012 Election Report.
- The costs are to pay for such expenses as additional guides and supplies, printing of additional forms such as ballots, additional staffing and additional advertising requirements.
- For more information, see the Chief Electoral Officer's 2004 Provincial Senate Nominee Election Report.