Canadian novelist David Adams Richards will represent New Brunswick in the Upper House as he has been appointed to the Senate.
Richards has written a number of best-selling books and is one of only a handful of authors who have received a Governor General’s Award in both the non-fiction and fiction categories.
He was a co-winner of the 2000 Giller Prize for his novel Mercy Among the Children and has received a number of other awards, including two Geminis for script writing.
Richards has written extensively about his love of hunting and fly fishing on the Miramichi River. His 2010 national bestseller God Is is about his search for God and his sometimes rocky relationship with organized religion.
The Fredericton-based author was chosen by the prime minister’s new independent, merit-based appointments process, which was set up shortly after the Liberal government took office.
Like his predecessors, Richards is expected to sit as an Independent outside of the Senate Liberal caucus as Trudeau removed all Liberal senators from the national caucus at the height of the Senate expenses scandal in 2014.
The use of independent senators within Parliament have complicated matters. For example, new bizarre positions have been created such as “legislative deputy” and “government liaison.” to just manage the governments now separated position from their appointed senators.
Now it could be understandable that a government would require a representative in a truly independent assembly, but the current independent caucus is sadly nothing of the sort.
In the 105-member Senate, there are 38 Conservatives, 18 Liberals, six Independents, 35 Independent Senators who have formed an Independent Senators Group, and one Independent Reform Senator.
The Conservatives make up about 38 per cent of the current 98 Senators, the Independent Senators Group are about 35 per cent, and the Liberals are about 20 per cent. Interesting enough the independent senators maintain a caucus leader and are organized.
Interesting enough the independent senators maintain a caucus leader and are organized around Liberal values. They in effect are simply Liberals without the title, and by maintaining two groups, with two leaders, and two sets of staff the Liberal government is sucking even more out of the pockets of the Canadian taxpayer.