I am tempted to post something a little more indepth, but I simply don't have the energy.
I don't want to see any form of Proportional Represention in the House of Commons. Even a mixed form, which has both representatives and members elected proportionally, creates a two-tiered system that still strengthens party politics. The representatives of the ridings have to ensure they have the confidence of a plurality of their riding, or they will lose their seats. Not so for PR elected members, who have to keep in the good graces of their respective party machinery. Who decides how the PR elected senators are appointed? Depart from the democratic vote to party infighting for higher spots on the list?
I think you are quite right on a better solution being in the form of Senate Reform. I firmly believe in a Triple E senate; Equal, Effective, and Elected. What is the point of leaving senate seat distribution the way it is (Ontario 24, Quebec 24, NS 10, NB 10, PEI 4, Manitoba 6, Sask 6, Alberta 6, BC 6, NF 6, Yuk 1, NWT 1, and Nun 1), this only leads to Ottawa and Quebec having to much clout in a federal system. Australia has a Senate in which each of the six states send 12 Senators and each of the three territories sends 2.
I propose Canada's ailing federation be served by two House's of Parliament. The upper house, the Senate, is the bedrock for support for regional issues. Like the US Senate, each province of Canada would be alotted the same amount of Senators, regardless of population. Some sort of inclusion of the territories is important as well. The Senate would be elected for 6 year set terms, and would have independant legislative duties, acting as a check on the Commons. I could see PR fitting a little better into provincial senatorial votes, but I still oppose it for the reasons highlighted earlier. A mixed form of PR could be better, perhaps a preferrential ballot throughout the Province would insure a better mix and allow for independents.
Canada's lower House, the Commons, will remain as it is today as a representative of population groups. We complain of the undue influence of Ontario and Quebec in elections, but we must remember that half the population lives here; they are the Majority. With an effective senate we can remove rules prohibiting reduction of Commons seats; we can find a reasonable number that can define a riding a set the number of seats according to that. I would advocate that the House of Commons would be elected on fixed 4 or 5 year terms (5 year terms could ensure that Senate elections and Commons election never fall on the same year, pros and cons?). The Prime Minister would be from the leading Party in the Commons and select his Cabinet, on approval by the Senate, from other members of Commons. As well, any appointments made by the Prime Minister (Supreme Court, Governor General, Auditor General) would have to be approved by the Senate. As well, non-confidence votes (not even law, just convention) would be abolished, allowing for more free debate and free voting on the floor of both Houses
This Senatorial power of approval can do much to reduce the power that is highly concentrated in the office of the Prime Minister (our head of government has the most power out of any industrialized democracy, look what happens when assholes like Trudeau or Cretin get in). I think a layout like this could place the proper checks and balances upon Majority governments and maintain the principles of Peace, Order, and Good Government that our Founding Lawyers...err Fathers built Confederation upon.