Last week, McMaster University hosted a guest class talk with Art Eggleton. Besides currently serving as a Canadian senator representing Ontario, Art Eggleton was the longest serving mayor of Toronto, leading the city from 1980 to 1991. He has also held several distinguished federal government posts, notably as president of the treasury board and Minister of Infrastructure from 1993-1996, Minister for International Trade from 1996-1997, and Minister of National Defense from 1997-2002.

Senator Eggleton was invited to give a class talk for Prof. Todd Alway’s first-year Canadian Politics course on Nov. 8.

“I think it is in some respects more valuable to have an actual practitioner to come in and talk about his or her experiences,” Prof. Alway explained.

Eggleton stressed the big changes in restructuring the Senate with the new liberal government.

“[The Senate] is transforming itself from the kind of partisan institution that it has existed for a long time into one that is less partisan and more independent and more reflective of Canada,” he said.

“The Senate is a part of the constitution of the country—it is part of the architecture of governance, and it should get more attention because I think it can do some very useful things and better reflect the needs of the population than perhaps it has in the past with new changes that are coming about with new independence.”

This guest talk with Senator Art Eggleton serves as a means of extending beyond textbook material. Having students hearing about the experiences of an actual politician is a good complement to the course content. After all, who better to ask about the Canadian Senate than a Senator himself?

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