The Progressive Senate Group (The Progressives) is comprised of senators committed to the following:
- Progressive Values – We are a group of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences who share a common set of progressive views and a philosophy grounded in the values of liberty and equality. We share the view that all persons possess certain fundamental rights as individuals, but as members of society we also share a responsibility to advance the public good, including advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, so that each and every Canadian has an opportunity to lead a full and productive life. We also believe that government has a positive role to play in advancing the public interest.
- Free Votes – The Progressives will not “whip” votes. Every vote, whether on a private member’s bill or a government bill, will be a free vote for each member of our group. Discussions are meant to inform and to expand our perspectives, but senators will not be pressured or expected to vote in any particular way. As such, the leadership role of the Liaison is to perform administrative functions to keep members well informed and not to “whip” votes.
- Independence – We share an understanding of the Senate’s role as a foundational political institution that is independent of both the House of Commons and the Government. We believe that independence is about choice, particularly the freedom to choose to work collaboratively with other like-minded senators in furtherance of common goals. Members are not precluded from engaging in other political activities outside the Senate, including being members of political parties of their choice.
- Working Together – While individual senators are free to work as they see fit, our members recognize the value of working together towards a shared goal. Each is free to champion policies and initiatives, while working together to fulfill their legislative responsibilities. Our members may hold strong convictions or even differing opinions on issues, but we benefit from dialogue and each other’s insight, thereby improving the quality of work in the Senate. Our members will work together in the Senate to advance progressive views and will walk together with Indigenous peoples in advancing reconciliation. We acknowledge the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin peoples where the Senate of Canada is located, and are inspired by the Algonquin word, “Mamidosewin,” which means meeting place and walking together. Mamidosewin will guide how our members work.
- Experience, Structure & Discipline – Each senator brings individual experience, knowledge and accumulated expertise to matters before the Senate. Our members understand the value of organizational discipline, Parliamentary experience, structured caucusing, collaborative staff support, and the importance of cooperating and negotiating with the other parties and groups in the Senate.
- Our Guiding Principle – Our group is committed to the principle of ‘sober second thought’ while undertaking legislative review and when considering changes to the Senate’s own rules and procedures. In assessing legislation and the Senate’s procedures, our senators will give primary consideration to Charter of Rights and Freedoms implications, the rights of Indigenous Peoples, equality of the two Official Languages, and the Senate’s central tenets of regional representation and minority rights.