Annex: Qualifications and Merit-Based Assessment Criteria


A nominee must be a minimum of 30 years of age and be less than 75 years of age.


A nominee must be a citizen of Canada.

Net Worth in Real and Personal Property

A nominee must own property with a net value of $4,000 in the province for which he or she is appointed, and have an overall net worth of $4,000 in real and personal property.

In the case of Quebec, a nominee must have his or her real property qualification in the electoral division for which he or she is appointed, or be resident in that electoral division.

  • Senators from Quebec must represent one of 24 electoral divisions.


A nominee must be a resident of the province for which he or she is appointed.

  • A nominee must have his or her place of permanent residence in the province or territory of vacancy at the time of application and appointment. The permanent residence of a nominee is where the person is ordinarily present and has made his or her home for a minimum period of two years leading up to the application. The nominee must provide documentation of residence in the province or territory.

  • Despite rule 1, an exception to the two-year requirement may be made in a case where a nominee is temporarily absent from the province or territory of vacancy for reasons of employment or education but can provide satisfactory proof he or she intends to return to his or her permanent residence in the province or territory of vacancy.

Gender, Aboriginal and Minority Balance

Nominees will be considered with a view to achieving gender balance in the Senate. Priority consideration will be given to nominees who represent Aboriginal peoples and linguistic, minority and ethnic communities, with a view to ensuring representation of those communities in the Senate consistent with the Senate’s role in minority representation.


Nominees will be asked to demonstrate to the Advisory Board that they have the ability to bring a perspective and contribution to the work of the Senate that is independent and non-partisan. They will also have to disclose any political involvement and activities. Past political activities would not disqualify a nominee.

Knowledge Requirement

Nominees must demonstrate a solid knowledge of the legislative process and Canada’s Constitution, including the role of the Senate as an independent and complementary body of sober, second thought, regional representation and minority representation.

Personal Qualities

Nominees must demonstrate outstanding personal qualities, including adhering to the principles and standards of public life, ethics, and integrity.

Nominees must demonstrate an ability to make an effective and significant contribution to the work of the Senate, not only in their chosen profession or area of expertise, but the wide range of other issues that come before the Senate.

Qualifications Related to the Role of the Senate

A nominee must demonstrate one of the following criteria:

  • a high level of experience, developed over many years, in the legislative process and public service at the federal or provincial/territorial level; and/or,

  • a lengthy and recognized record of service to one’s community, which could include one’s Aboriginal, ethnic or linguistic community; and/or,

  • recognized leadership and an outstanding record of achievement in the nominee’s profession or chosen field of expertise.

Asset Qualifications

Bilingualism: fluency in both official languages will be considered an asset.