Digital Transition in the Senate of Canada: Opportunities, Challenges and Reflections
About the Senate of Canada. Written on September, 2022
This analytical essay scrutinises the compelling transformation of the Senate of Canada, a pivotal institution in the nation's parliamentary democracy, into a more digitally-oriented entity. It critically assesses the Senate's pre-pandemic operations, the adaptations necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the hurdles faced during this shift, and the profound questions being raised about the future of digitally equipped legislatures.
Before the Pandemic: The Hybrid Model
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate of Canada was making strides in the realm of technology, integrating digital elements into its operations. Senate committees were already conducting hybrid meetings where witnesses could participate remotely, albeit in a highly controlled environment. Witnesses were required to be physically present in rented studios where audio and video settings were closely monitored.