On the Job with a Senator

When Parliament is in session, Senators spend a lot of time in Ottawa. During the week, they debate and vote on bills in the Senate Chamber. Much of their work is done outside the Chamber, however. Senators often sit on at least two different committees, as well as subcommittees. In committee, Senators work hard to understand all details of a proposed bill: they hear evidence from groups and individuals who will be affected by the proposed legislation and recommend changes. Members of the committees also review budgets and investigate issues that are important to Canadians, such as health care, children’s rights and official languages. Committees also report on those issues. In addition, Senators take part in caucus meetings. All these meetings mean serious research and preparation.

Senators also like to meet the people they represent in their regions. Between Chamber debates, committee work, meetings and travel, they try to find time to make public speeches and attend important national and international events.

Senators have many years of experience in the working world. They may have had prominent careers in politics, medicine, the military, law, sports, journalism, education or business. Their rich backgrounds make them experts in their fields. This helps them make decisions about bills that the Government wants to pass, or to advise the Government on new or better policies.