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Chapter Fifteen: Attendance, Leaves of Absence, Suspensions and Declarations

   

Attendance

     

Duty to attend the Senate

 

15-1. (1) Except as provided in subsection (3) and elsewhere in these Rules, every Senator shall comply with the command of the Sovereign to attend to the Senate when it is in session for the purposes of advising and assisting in the affairs of Canada, laying aside all difficulties and excuses to do so.

EXCEPTION
Rule 15-2(3): Absence obligatory

     
Failure to attend two sessions  

15-1. (2) If any Senator fails to attend the Senate for two consecutive sessions of Parliament, the Clerk shall report this to the Senate. The Senate shall consider and determine as soon as possible whether the Senator’s seat should be declared vacant because of the failure to attend.

REFERENCE
Constitution Act, 1867, sections 31 and 33

     

Deductions from sessional allowance

 

15-1. (3) Subject to any terms and conditions set out in law or provided by the Senate, the deduction made from a Senator’s sessional allowance under subsection 57(1) of the Parliament of Canada Act is increased to $250 for each sitting day that the Senator does not attend, unless the absence was:

(a) for public or official business;
(b) due to illness; or
(c) one of the twenty-one personal leave days per session.

REFERENCES
Parliament of Canada Act, sections 57 and 59
Senators Attendance Policy
Senate Sessional Allowance (Deductions for Non-attendance) Regulations

     
   

Leaves of Absence and Suspensions

     

Authorized leaves and suspensions

 

15-2. (1) The Senate may order a leave of absence for or the suspension of a Senator where, in its judgment, there is sufficient cause.

     

Leaves of absence – preventive measure

 

15-2. (2) When a leave of absence is granted, it is solely to protect the dignity and reputation of the Senate and public trust and confidence in Parliament.

     

Absence obligatory

 

15-2. (3) Except as provided in subsection (4), a Senator on leave of absence or under suspension shall not attend any sitting of the Senate or its committees.

     

Avoiding disqualification

 

15-2. (4) To avoid disqualification, a Senator who is on leave of absence or under suspension for more than a full session may attend the Senate once every session, provided that:

(a) the Senator shall send to the Clerk a signed notice indicating an intention to attend;
(b) the Clerk shall table the notice; and
(c) the Senator may then attend, but only on the sixth day the Senate sits after the notice was tabled by the Clerk.

REFERENCE 
Constitution Act, 1867, section 31

     

Deduction if suspended

 

15-3. (1) While a Senator is under suspension:

(a) the sessional allowance otherwise payable to the Senator shall be reduced by the amount remaining after any deductions required by any Act of Parliament; and
(b) the Senator shall not be entitled, except as provided in subsection (2), to the use of any Senate resources allocated for the purpose of carrying out the Senator’s parliamentary functions, including funds, goods, services and premises as well as any entitlements for moving, transportation, travel and telecommunications.

REFERENCE
Senate Sessional Allowance (Suspension) Regulations

     

Access to resources

 

15-3. (2) Upon application of the suspended Senator, the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration may make Senate resources available for use by the suspended Senator. For greater certainty, this provision does not include the suspended Senator’s sessional allowance.

     

Deductions restored

 

15-3. (3) A Senator who is under suspension because of a conviction for a criminal offence in proceedings by indictment that is subsequently overturned shall be paid the amount of any deduction made under paragraph (1)(a), without interest and without regard to any duty of the member to mitigate.

REFERENCE
Senate Sessional Allowance (Suspension) Regulations

     
Suspension of Allowances  

15-3. (4) Where a finding of guilt is made against a Senator who has been charged with a criminal offence that was prosecuted by indictment, the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration may order the withholding of the payable portion of the sessional allowance of the Senator in accordance with paragraph (1)(a) as if the Senator were suspended.

     

Notice of charge

 

15-4. (1) At the first opportunity after a Senator is charged with a criminal offence for which the Senator may be prosecuted by indictment, either:

(a) the Senator shall notify the Senate by a signed written notice that is delivered to the Clerk of the Senate, who shall table it; or
(b) the Speaker shall table such proof of the charge as the court may provide.

     

Leave of absence for accused Senator

 

15-4. (2) When notice is given under subsection (1), the Senator charged is granted a leave of absence from the time the notice is tabled and is considered to be on public business during this leave of absence.

     

Duration of leave of absence

 

15-4. (3) The leave of absence remains in force until the earlier of the following:

(a) the charge of the criminal offence is withdrawn;
(b) the proceedings related to it are stayed;
(c) the charge is proceeded with in summary conviction proceedings; or
(d) the Senator is acquitted, convicted or discharged.

     

Leave of absence reinstated

 

15-4. (4) The leave of absence is reinstated if stayed proceedings are reinstituted.

     

Presumption of innocence

 

15-4. (5) For greater certainty, the Senate affirms the right of a Senator charged with a criminal offence to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal. No intent to comment on or pass judgment with respect to a Senator shall be imputed to the Senate because of the operation of this rule.

     

Senate resources in case of leave of absence

 

15-4. (6) If a Senator is granted a leave of absence under subsection (2), the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration may, as it considers appropriate in the circumstances, suspend that Senator's right to the use of some or all of the Senate resources otherwise made available for the carrying out of the Senator's parliamentary functions, including funds, goods, services, premises, moving, transportation, travel and telecommunications expenses.

     

Suspension of Senator

 

15-5. (1) A Senator who has been found guilty of a criminal offence in proceedings by indictment and who is given a sentence other than a discharge is suspended from the Senate as of the time of the sentence.

     
Duration of suspension  

15-5. (2) The suspension continues in force until the earlier of the following:

(a) the finding of guilt is overturned on appeal;
(b) the sentence is replaced by a discharge on appeal; or
(c) the Senate determines whether or not the place of the Senator shall become vacant by reason of that conviction.

REFERENCE
Constitution Act 1867, sections 31 and 33

     

Report of conviction

 

15-5. (3) Upon being informed that a Senator has been convicted while in office of a criminal offence in proceedings by indictment, the Clerk of the Senate shall obtain and lay upon the table a certificate or such other proof of the conviction as the court makes available.

     
   

Declarations

     

Renewal of Declaration of Qualification

 

15-6. (1) Every Senator shall file with the Clerk a renewed Declaration of Qualification within the first 20 sitting days of the first session of each Parliament. The declaration shall be in the form prescribed in the fifth schedule of the Constitution Act, 1867.

REFERENCE
Constitution Act, 1867, fifth schedule

     

Tabling of declarations by Clerk

 

15-6. (2) After the expiry of the 20 days, the Clerk shall table a list of the Senators who have filed the renewed declaration.

     
Declaration of private interest  

15-7. (1) When a Senator makes a declaration of private interest pursuant to the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, or retracts such a declaration: 

(a) the Speaker shall cause the declaration or retraction, if made in the Senate, to be recorded in the Journals of the Senate; and
(b) the Clerk shall cause the declaration or retraction to be recorded in the Journals of the Senate if it is made in committee and the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators allows the declaration or retraction to be published in the minutes of proceedings of the committee.

REFERENCE
Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, section 12

     

Restrictions if declaration of interest

 

15-7. (2) Except as provided in subsection (3), when a Senator has made a declaration of private interest on a matter, the declaration, until retracted, shall be valid for all subsequent proceedings on the matter, whether in the Senate or in committee, and the Senator:

(a) shall not participate in debate or vote on that matter in the Senate, but may abstain; and
(b) shall withdraw from committee meetings during any proceedings on that matter.

REFERENCE
Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, sections 13 and 14

     

If declaration made in camera

 

15-7. (3) If a declaration of private interest, or a retraction of such a declaration, is made in committee, but cannot be published in the minutes of proceedings under the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, the declaration or retraction is valid only for the meeting at which it was made. Unless authorization under the code to publish the declaration or retraction is subsequently given, the Senator shall repeat the declaration or retraction at the first possible opportunity.

REFERENCE
Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, section 12

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