PM names five outstanding Canadians to Senate

Ottawa, Ontario
29 January 2010

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today filled five vacancies in the Senate.  The appointments are another step toward implementing the Government’s tackling-crime agenda and respecting the will of the democratically-elected House of Commons.

Appointed are Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu (QC), Bob Runciman (ON), Vim Kochhar (ON), Elizabeth (Beth) Marshall (NL) and Rose-May Poirier (NB).  These appointments give the Government a plurality of seats in the Upper House.

“Our government is serious about getting tough on crime.  Since we were first elected, we have made it one of our highest priorities,” said the Prime Minister.  “The opposition have abused their Senate majority by obstructing and eviscerating law and order measures that are urgently needed and strongly supported by Canadians.”

“These new Senators are committed to community safety and justice for the victims of crime,” said the Prime Minister.  “I look forward to working with each towards making our communities safer and protecting families from crime.”

The incoming Senators fill single vacancies in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, as well as two vacancies in Ontario.  They have also pledged to support the Government in its efforts to make the Senate more democratic and accountable, including legislation to limit Senate terms to eight years.

“Our government will continue to push for a more democratic, accountable and effective Senate,” said the Prime Minister.

The appointments are effective immediately, with the exception of Rose-May Poirier’s appointment, which is effective February 28, 2010.

Biographies of the incoming Senators are attached.