Harper names Tannas to fill Alberta Senate vacancy

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has named Scott Tannas to fill the Senate seat vacated by Bert Brown, who retired last Friday.

Tannas, who is president and CEO of Western Financial Group, finished second in Alberta's senate elections conducted during last April's provincial election.

A statement from the Prime Minister's Office Monday announcing the appointment said Tannas supports the Conservative government's reform plans for the Senate, including legislation to limit term lengths for senators and encouraging provinces to hold elections to nominate future appointees.

A bill to accomplish those goals is stalled at second reading and hasn't been debated in the House of Commons since February 2012.

In the statement from the PMO, Harper called Tannas a "remarkable Canadian."

"His strong business background and deep knowledge of Alberta are sure to benefit the Senate," Harper said.

"Our government welcomes the fact that Mr. Tannas was selected by the people of Alberta to represent them in the Upper House."

Harper added his thanks to Brown, who was appointed in 2007, for his work on Senate reform and on behalf of Albertans.

Doug Black, a Calgary lawyer and the chairman of the University of Calgary's board of governors, received the most votes for nominees to be senators in waiting and was appointed to the Senate in January to replace Liberal Joyce Fairbairn, who retired early for health reasons.