2014: A year of action in the Senate

Posted December 18th, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

As the Senate rose for the holiday break yesterday evening, I want to provide you with a brief update on what has been a year of action in the Senate.

We have accomplished much this year on behalf of Albertans and all Canadians.

In 2014, the Senate has been busy – we’ve passed over 42 pieces of legislation and our committees issued 16 studies.

Senators also work hard in 12 inter-parliamentary associations. I was honoured this year to be acclaimed to the position of Vice-Chair of the Canada-China Legislative Association. It will allow me to advance issues critical to Canada’s and Alberta’s prosperity as we build trade links with the Asia-Pacific region.

As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, I am working on a fascinating study on the impacts of digital currency and what role they might play in the Canadian economy. I also had the opportunity to ask the Governor about the impact of the falling price of oil on the Canadian dollar. You can see the statement here.

At Senate Energy committee, I have continued to advance Alberta’s energy agenda and we’ve discussed important studies in critical infrastructure and the use of renewable energy in Canada’s North.

Of course, Alberta issues are always at the top of my agenda.

I was fortunate to tour all parts of the province this summer and have ongoing meetings with municipal and provincial leaders across Alberta.

I have been forcefully advocating for solutions to the Temporary Foreign Worker program and the immigration system more broadly which works for Alberta’s labour needs. I will continue to advance these issues to ensure that Alberta businesses can meet their labour needs and support our growing economy.

Energy will be the top of my agenda for 2015. Market access, environmental performance and aboriginal engagement are key to the success of Alberta and Canada’s energy. I will continue to bring these important concerns to the forefront in the New Year.

Albertans are well served by their Senators. I want to specially recognize the efforts of Senators Scott Tannas and Betty Unger. They do great work on behalf of Albertans and deserve tremendous praise for their hard work.

It has been a wonderful year serving as your Alberta-elected Senator. I am confident in the promise of another productive year in 2015.

I wish you and your family all the best for the holidays.



Jeremy Rudin on his role as new Superintendent of OSFI

Posted November 10th, 2014 in blog, Committee by Doug Black

As the new Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada, Jeremy Rudin is responsible for overseeing the regulation and supervision of federally regulated deposit-taking institutions, insurance companies, and federally regulated private pension plans. I asked him what his primary concerns were for his new role. You can watch his response below. 

Senate Banking Committee set to study digital currencies, bitcoin

Posted March 25th, 2014 in blog, Committee by Doug Black

One of the key roles of Senate committees is to study issues that may affect Canada’s long-term national interests.

As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, I’m very excited as we prepare to launch a new study that will examine digital currencies. Today the Senate approved the following study mandate:

That the Committee be approved to examine and report on the use of digital currencies in Canada and report on their risks, threats, and advantages by June 30, 2015

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The Registered Disability Savings Plan: A valuable savings tool for individuals with disabilities and their families

Posted December 18th, 2013 in blog by Doug Black

UPDATE: Read the Senate’s report on the RDSP here

Introduced by the Government of Canada in 2008, the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) was the first of its kind in the world. It helps individuals with disabilities and their families plan and save for the future.

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Mark Carney responds to my question about market access for Alberta’s energy resources

Posted November 25th, 2013 in blog, Committee, Interview by Doug Black

Before leaving for his new post as the Governor for the Bank of England, Mark Carney appeared before the Senate Banking Committee. On April 24, 2013, I had the opportunity to ask Mr. Carney about the impact on Canada’s economy from the lack of market access for Alberta’s oil. You can view his response below.