The Senate is a Canadian Constitution mandated national institution that helps to review, amend and modify legislation created by the governing party to better meet the needs of Canadians.
The appointment of Canadian Senators is normally done by the Canadian Prime Minister as recommended by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments from applicants who meet the legislated requirements since 2016. Prior to that date Prime Ministers made patronage appointments to the senate, often along partisan lines. Alberta is the only Canadian province that holds an election to vote in “Senators in Waiting.” It is the provincial government’s hope that the Prime Minister fills Alberta’s senatorial seats (6 in total) from the Senators in Waiting. However, the Prime Minister is not mandated to do so and may choose from anyone that has applied through the established federal process. Currently, there are 2 vacant Alberta Senate seats. 3 nominees will be elected in Alberta on October 18, 2021 (2 to hopefully be appointed immediately and one will sit as a Senator in Waiting to fill the next vacant seat).
For full disclosure, Dr. Sunil Sookram applied for consideration by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments in 2020, hoping to fill a vacant seat in the Senate to represent Alberta. No Alberta seats have been filled since that time. Subsequently, Premier Jason Kenney discussed the filling of vacant seats with Prime Minister Trudeau on July 7, 2021, and identified on July 15, 2021, that the Prime Minister would consider selection of future Senators representing Alberta through the existing process and may consider the elected Alberta Senator in Waiting slate. As a result of this news, Dr. Sunil Sookram has decided to run in the upcoming Alberta senatorial election.