Canadian Senators Group

Last updated

Canadian Senators Group
Groupe des sénateurs canadiens
Leader Scott Tannas
Deputy Leader Dennis Patterson
FoundedNovember 4, 2019
Split from Independent Senators Group, Conservative Party of Canada
Ideology Non-partisan
Technical group
14 / 105
Party flag
Logo of the Canadian Senators Group.png

The Canadian Senators Group (French : Groupe des sénateurs canadiens) is a parliamentary group of senators in the Senate of Canada founded on November 4, 2019, by eight senators from the Independent Senators Group, two from the Conservative Party of Canada's Senate caucus, and one non-affiliated senator. [1] The group named Scott Tannas as its interim leader and Josée Verner as interim deputy leader, though the actual caucus leadership roles and role titles have yet to be announced. [2]



The caucus was formed on November 4, 2019.

In an interview with CTV News' Don Martin, Tannas said that the motivation for him and at least several other senators to depart the ISG was a perceived lack of independence in the contentious spring 2019 legislation related to west coast oil tanker moratoriums and other oil and gas-related legislation. [2] Additionally, Tannas cited the concern that the Independent Senators Group, then numbering 58 Senators, had become too large, and that a "wider range of views and approaches" was needed. [2] In addition, in an effort to avoid "groupthink", CSG interim leader Senator Scott Tannas announced that the initial founding members of the group had agreed to cap membership in the group to no more than 25 members. [3] [4] Also included among the reasons for the founding of a second, non-partisan, and independent Senate caucus was a perennially renewed effort to focus on regional issues, despite this notionally being the constitutionally-enshrined purpose of the Senate as a whole. [4] [3]

Included among those decamping to the Canadian Senators Group was Elaine McCoy, who previously served as the ISG's founding facilitator from 2016 to 2017. [5]

On November 18, 2019, two more senators joined the CSG: Percy Downe, formerly of the Progressive Senate Group and Senate Liberal Caucus; and Jean-Guy Dagenais, a Conservative. Downe said he still supported the Liberal Party but liked the "diversity of views" in the CSG; while Dagenais cited disagreements with the leadership of Andrew Scheer, particularly Scheer's social views and the "low importance" he placed on Quebec, as the reasons for his defection. [6] [7] [8]

On February 4, 2022, Dennis Patterson joined the CSG, departing the Conservative caucus. The "last straw" was disappointment that members of the party weren't condemning the Freedom Convoy. [9] [10]

On August 4, 2022, Larry Smith left the Conservative caucus to join the CSG. Smith clarified that he would remain a member of the Conservative Party. [11]


Former leadership


Name [1] Province (Division) [12] Former political affiliationMandatory retirement date [5]
Robert Black OntarioIndependent Senators Group27 March 2037
Sharon Burey OntarioNon-affiliated4 December 2032
Jean-Guy Dagenais Quebec (Victoria)Conservative2 February 2025
Percy Downe Prince Edward IslandProgressive Senate Group8 July 2029
Stephen Greene Nova Scotia (Halifax - The Citadel)Independent Senators Group8 December 2024
Gigi Osler ManitobaNon-affiliated9 September 2043
Dennis Patterson NunavutConservative30 December 2023
Rebecca Patterson OntarioNon-affiliated15 June 2040
Jim Quinn New BrunswickNon-affiliated25 January 2032
David Richards New BrunswickNon-affiliated17 October 2025
Larry Smith Quebec (Saurel)Conservative28 April 2026
Scott Tannas AlbertaConservative25 February 2037
Josée Verner Quebec (Montarville)Independent Senators Group30 December 2034
Pamela Wallin SaskatchewanIndependent Senators Group10 April 2028

Former members

NameProvince (Division)Former political affiliationLeft caucusReason
Elaine McCoy AlbertaIndependent Senators Group29 December 2020Died in office
Doug Black AlbertaIndependent Senators Group31 October 2021Resigned from Senate
Diane Griffin Prince Edward IslandIndependent Senators Group18 March 2022Mandatory retirement from the Senate
Vernon White OntarioIndependent Senators Group2 October 2022Resigned from Senate
Larry Campbell British ColumbiaIndependent Senators Group24 October 2022Changed affiliation to non-affiliated

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Larry Campbell</span> Canadian politician

Larry W. Campbell is a Canadian politician who was the 37th mayor of Vancouver, Canada, from 2002 until 2005, and a member of the Senate of Canada from 2005 until his retirement in 2023.

The Conservative Party of Canada, colloquially known as the Tories, is a federal political party in Canada. It was formed in 2003 by the merger of the two main right-leaning parties, the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance, the latter being the successor of the Western Canadian-based Reform Party. The party sits at the centre-right to the right of the Canadian political spectrum, with their federal rival, the Liberal Party of Canada, positioned to their left. The Conservatives are defined as a "big tent" party, practising "brokerage politics" and welcoming a broad variety of members, including "Red Tories" and "Blue Tories".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dennis Dawson</span> Canadian politician

Dennis Dawson is a Canadian politician and administrator. Dawson is a retired Canadian Senator and former Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons. He was first elected as an MP in 1977 at the age 27, and was appointed to the Upper Chamber by Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2005.

Joseph A. Day is a retired Canadian politician. He was a Canadian Senator from October 4, 2001 until January 24, 2020, and was the leader of the Senate Liberal Caucus from June 15, 2016, to November 14, 2019. He became the interim leader of the Progressive Senate Group on November 14, 2019, and served for slightly less than one month in the role. On the eve of his pending retirement from the Senate, Day tweeted his farewell remarks. He mentioned that it was an honour to serve his fellow New Brunswickers and all Canadians. Furthermore, he also gave a farewell speech. He retired from the Senate on January 24, 2020, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrew Scheer</span> Canadian politician

Andrew James Scheer is a Canadian politician who has served as the member of Parliament (MP) for Regina—Qu'Appelle since 2004. Scheer served as the 35th speaker of the House of Commons from 2011 to 2015, and was the leader of the Conservative Party and leader of the Official Opposition from 2017 to 2020.

Terry M. Mercer is a former Canadian Senator.

Josée Verner, is a Canadian politician. She represented the electoral district of Louis-Saint-Laurent in the House of Commons of Canada from 2006 to 2011 as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. She also served as a minister in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper serving as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie. On May 18, 2011, it was announced that she would be appointed to the Senate of Canada following the loss of her Commons seat in the 2011 federal election. She was formally appointed on June 13, 2011.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elaine McCoy</span> Canadian politician (1946–2020)

Elaine Jean McCoy was a Canadian politician from Alberta. She was a member of the Senate of Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Percy Downe</span> Canadian politician

Percy E. Downe is a Canadian Senator and former political aide.

Dennis Glen Patterson is a Canadian politician and lawyer who has been the senator from Nunavut since 2009. He was the fifth premier of the Northwest Territories from 1987 to 1991. Patterson played a key role in the settlement of the Inuvialuit final agreement and the Nunavut final land claim agreement. Patterson was named to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, sitting as a Conservative until 2022, when he joined the Canadian Senators Group (CSG).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">40th Canadian Parliament</span> 2008–2011 term of the Canadian federal legislative body

The 40th Canadian Parliament was in session from November 18, 2008 to March 26, 2011. It was the last Parliament of the longest-running minority government in Canadian history that began with the previous Parliament. The membership of its House of Commons was determined by the results of the 2008 federal election held on October 14, 2008. Its first session was then prorogued by the Governor General on December 4, 2008, at the request of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was facing a likely no-confidence motion and a coalition agreement between the Liberal party and the New Democratic Party with the support of the Bloc Québécois. Of the 308 MPs elected at the October 14, 2008 general election, 64 were new to Parliament and three sat in Parliaments previous to the 39th: John Duncan, Jack Harris and Roger Pomerleau.

This article covers the history of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Scott Tannas is a Canadian senator and, since November 5, 2019, leader of the Canadian Senators Group, a parliamentary caucus.

Jean-Guy Dagenais is a Canadian politician from Quebec. He was appointed to the Senate of Canada on January 17, 2012, by Stephen Harper after losing in the 2011 Canadian federal election running as a Conservative candidate in Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot. He represents the Senate division of Victoria (Quebec). In 2019, he left the Conservative Senate caucus to sit with the Canadian Senators Group, and left the Conservative party in 2022 shortly after Pierre Poilievre was elected as leader.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2017 Conservative Party of Canada leadership election</span>

The 2017 Conservative Party of Canada leadership election was held on May 27, 2017. Party members chose Andrew Scheer as leader, replacing Stephen Harper, who led the Conservative Party of Canada as its leader from 2004 following the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties. Harper led the party through five federal elections: the party increased its seat count in the House of Commons in 2004, formed two minority governments in 2006, and 2008, and then a majority government in 2011. Following the defeat of the party in the 2015 federal election on October 19, Harper tendered his resignation as party leader. In a statement, Conservative Party President John Walsh said he had spoken to Harper, "and he has instructed me to reach out to the newly elected parliamentary caucus to appoint an interim Leader and to implement the leadership selection process."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Cooper (politician)</span> Canadian politician

Michael J. Cooper is a Canadian politician who was first elected to represent the riding of St. Albert—Edmonton in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 federal election. Cooper was re-elected in both the 2019 and 2021 federal elections and currently serves as the Conservative Shadow Minister for Democratic Reform. Prior to entering politics, Cooper worked as a civil litigator at a law firm in Edmonton. He is a lector at St. Albert Parish and a member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Albert Rotary Club and St. Albert District Chamber of Commerce.

The Independent Senators Group is a parliamentary group in the Senate of Canada. Established on March 10, 2016, the Independent Senators Group (ISG) is committed to a non-partisan Senate and the modernization of the Upper House of Canada's Parliament. The Independent Senators Group is the largest parliamentary group in the Senate. Composed of independents not affiliated with any political caucus, members of the group work cooperatively but act independently.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">43rd Canadian Parliament</span> Parliamentary term of the Parliament of Canada

The 43rd Canadian Parliament was in session from December 5, 2019, to August 15, 2021, with the membership of its Lower House, the House of Commons of Canada, having been determined by the results of the 2019 federal election held on October 21, 2019. Parliament officially resumed on December 5, 2019, with the election of a new Speaker, Anthony Rota, followed by a Speech from the Throne the following day. On August 15, 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau advised Governor General Mary Simon to dissolve Parliament and issue the writ of election, leading to a 5-week election campaign period for the 2021 federal election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Progressive Senate Group</span> Parliamentary group in the Senate of Canada

The Progressive Senate Group is a parliamentary group in the Senate of Canada. It was formed on November 14, 2019, out of the now-defunct Senate Liberal Caucus, which had been expected to lose official party status in January 2020, when Senator Joseph Day was due to leave the Senate due to mandatory retirement. The caucus lost official status on November 18, 2019, when Percy Downe switched to the Canadian Senators Group, but regained it in May 2020 after several senators joined the caucus.


  1. 1 2 Flanagan, Ryan (November 4, 2019). "11 senators break away to form new Canadian Senators Group". CTV News. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 Martin, Don (November 4, 2019). "Tannas on Wexit and Western Alienation". Power Play with Don Martin. CTV News. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  3. 1 2 "New Senate group forms to push regional interests in a fractured Parliament". Red Deer Advocate. The Canadian Press. November 4, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  4. 1 2 Jesse Snyder; Brian Platt (November 4, 2019). "New Senate bloc looking to protect 'regional interests' could hamper Trudeau's efforts to pass legislation". National Post. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  5. 1 2 "Senators List". Senate of Canada. August 25, 2019. Archived from the original on August 1, 2019. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  6. Tasker, John Paul (November 18, 2019). "Two more senators defect to upstart group, one citing Scheer's leadership". CBC News . Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  7. Gilmore, Rachel (November 18, 2019). "Senator leaves Conservative caucus citing Scheer's socially conservative views". CTVNews.
  8. "Tory Senator Ditches Caucus Over Scheer's Views On Abortion, Gay Marriage". HuffPost. November 18, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  9. Al-Hakim, Aya (February 4, 2022). "Nunavut senator Dennis Patterson quits Conservative caucus: 'This country is divided'". Global News. Toronto ON. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  10. Pelletier, Jeff (February 4, 2022). "Patterson quits Conservatives over Freedom Convoy ties". Nunatsiaq News. Iqaluit NU: Nortext Publishing Corporation (Iqaluit). Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  11. Major, Darren (August 4, 2022). "Quebec senator leaving Conservative caucus but says he will remain a member of party". CBC News .
  12. Juric, Sam (November 4, 2019). "P.E.I.'s Diane Griffin named to Canadian Senators Group". CBC News. Retrieved November 4, 2019.