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NEWS RELEASE: Independent Senator calls for Review of Senate Social Media Guidelines


Independent Senator calls for Review of Senate Social Media Guidelines

OTTAWA, June 13, 2019 – Following a number of incidents involving social media prompting concerns in the Senate over the past several weeks, Independent Senator Tony Dean proposed today that the institution’s social media policies and guidelines be reviewed. This step was taken at a weekly meeting of the Senate’s Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration Committee (CIBA).

“There have been increasing concerns from members of all caucuses and groups in the Senate about the use and misuse of social media,” Dean said. “It is clear that in some cases, comments on twitter from Senators and their staff are being experienced as aggressive, harassing and, in some cases, bullying.”

During the committee hearing, Dean identified several policies and guidelines currently in place that could help guide senators and staff in their use of social media.

The call for a review of social media guidelines comes on the heels of several points or order and questions of privilege raised in the Senate Chamber and Senate committees over the past weeks.  It also follows questions raised by Independent Senators at CIBA regarding governance practices in the Senate.

Independent Senators have committed to reviewing Senate governance arrangements in order to restore Canadians’ confidence in the Upper Chamber. This includes advocating for a Senate Oversight and Audit Committee, including some external experts, in response to a recommendation made by the Auditor General of Canada in 2015.

CIBA members agreed to continue discussion of Dean’s proposal in coming meetings.

Senator Tony Dean was appointed to the Senate in November 2016 and sits as an Independent Senator.  Dean is a former head of the Ontario Public Service where he led a number of significant organizational reforms related to public policy development, the modernization of public service delivery and human resources management and policies.


Media inquiries:
Amanda McLaren
Director of Parliamentary Affairs, Office of Senator Tony Dean