Yukon senator’s position ‘fluid’ on eight year term

Yukon Senator Dan Lang says he may stay on for longer than eight years in the upper chamber. Lang was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008, and has now entered his eighth year as senator for Yukon.

Yukon Senator Dan Lang says he may stay on for longer than eight years in the upper chamber.

Lang was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008, and has now entered his eighth year as senator for Yukon.

Back in 2008, Lang was among a group of 18 Senate appointees who all promised to support eight-year term limits and other Senate reforms.

“I don’t think I would have wanted it to go on any longer,” Lang told the News at the time.

But in an interview last week, Lang had a different take on things.

“My initial commitment was eight years,” he said. “The question of my tenure is predicated on my ability to represent this area, which I feel I do and have done in the best interests of Yukon.”

Lang’s spokesperson, Naresh Raghubeer, later followed up to clarify.

“As long as he’s able to effectively represent Yukon, he’s got good health and can make a contribution for Yukon and Canada in the Senate, he’ll continue to serve,” he said.

Raghubeer suggested that Lang’s initial eight-year commitment hinged on Senate reforms that never came to pass.

Harper’s agreement with the 18 appointees in 2008 was unofficial. Earlier that year, Harper had tried to push through a bill limiting senators to eight-year terms, but was unable to get it passed.

The former prime minister introduced another bill in 2011 that would have limited senators to nine-year terms. It would also have seen the provinces and territories hold voluntary elections for Senate nominees.

But in 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the government could not introduce such changes unilaterally. Instead, the reforms would require the consent of seven provinces representing half the country’s population.

Subsequently, Harper shelved his plans for Senate reform. As it stands today, senators can serve until mandatory retirement at age 75. Lang is 67.

Of course, there’s nothing preventing senators from adopting self-imposed term limits. But Lang is not obliged to step down at the end of eight years.

Raghubeer said Lang’s past statements simply show that he would have adhered to any legislative changes.

“There are comments that said he’d respect the term limits imposed. But there were no term limits imposed,” he said. “His position back then was fluid as it pertained to the legislation being brought in.”

Contact Maura Forrest at

maura.forrest@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon’s Japanese association launches its first sake festival

Former president says the hope is to bring people together to learn

Yukon First Nations, AFN Yukon, CYFN sign climate change emergency declaration

The declaration was signed on the last day of the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Gathering

Yukon Fish and Game Association opposed to moose management proposals

Executive director Eric Schroff said he thinks Yukon government needs to be more transparent

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Casino taking more time with mine proposal

Statement not expected to be submitted to YESAB until Dec. 31, 2021

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to hold general election in April

On top of voting for chief, three councillors, citizens will vote for a deputy chief for first time

Yukon’s minimum wage set to increase by $1 to $13.71 in April

The increase will make the Yukon’s minimum wage the fourth-highest in the country

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Whitehorse council meeting on Feb 17

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Commentary: Highway plans will negatively impact safety

The proposed Alaska Highway work will impact our safety, our communities and our environment.

Olivia Webster is the final musher to finish the Yukon Quest

‘I guess I’ve always been a grandpa’s girl and he’s my best friend, so I kind of wanted to be like him and so I did it’

Yukon’s Rob Cooke and company finish 10th in the 2020 Yukon Quest

Cooke and his 14 Siberians crossed the finish line at 9:07 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Whitehorse

Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament bigger than ever in sixth year

“Honestly, it was the smoothest tournament I think we’ve run yet”

Most Read