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About the Senate

The Senate is the Upper House in Canada’s bicameral parliamentary democracy. It unites a diverse group of accomplished Canadians in service of their country.

Parliament’s 105 senators shape Canada’s future. Senators scrutinize legislation, suggest improvements and fix mistakes. When the Senate speaks, the House of Commons listens — a bill must pass the Senate before it can become law.

Senators also propose their own bills and generate debate about issues of national importance in the collegial environment of the Senate Chamber, where ideas are debated on their merit.

Created to counterbalance representation by population in the House of Commons, the Senate has evolved from defending regional interests to giving voice to underrepresented groups like Indigenous peoples, visible minorities and women.

 

SENATE OF CANADA BUILDING

Welcome to the Senate of Canada Building, the Senate’s temporary home. Originally Ottawa’s central train station, this building served until recently as the Government Conference Centre. Extensive renovations have given this historic structure a new lease on life, thanks to the Senate.

The Senate’s permanent home, Parliament’s Centre Block, is undergoing its first complete overhaul since the building’s opening in 1920.

There had been a proposal to build an interim Senate Chamber in the courtyard of the East Block building. Instead, senators saw an opportunity to make their home in the neglected Government Conference Centre. That decision accelerated the building’s restoration while saving taxpayers approximately $200 million.

We invite you to watch this video tour in which we show you some highlights of Canada's New Senate Building: https://twitter.com/SenateCA/status/1097547938748919811 

For more information on the move to the Senate of Canada Building, the Senate’s temporary home, the following publication is available: