The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that he will recommend, to the Governor General, the appointment of nine new, independent Senators to fill vacancies in the Senate for British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
In doing so, the Government is today taking further concrete steps to follow through on its commitment to improve the appointments process, and to restore public trust in a reformed Senate.
The individuals being recommended today for appointment to the Senate were chosen using the Government of Canada’s new merit-based process – which is designed to help ensure that the Senate is independent, reflective of Canada’s diversity, and best able to tackle the broad range of challenges and opportunities facing the country.
Under the new process, the following people are being recommended for appointment to the Senate:
- Yuen Pau Woo (British Columbia)
- Patricia Bovey (Manitoba)
- Harvey Max Chochinov (Manitoba)
- Marilou McPhedran (Manitoba)
- René Cormier (New Brunswick)
- Nancy Hartling (New Brunswick)
- Wanda Thomas Bernard (Nova Scotia)
- Daniel Christmas (Nova Scotia)
- Diane Griffin (Prince Edward Island)
Announcements about further appointments to the Senate will be made in the near future. Additional information on the first cycle of the permanent process will be made public when the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments completes its report to the Prime Minister later this year.
“It is a privilege to be putting forward the names of nine new senators to the Governor General who have been selected using a new merit-based and open process. It is part of our ongoing efforts to make the Senate more modern and independent and ensure that its members have the depth of knowledge and experience to best serve Canadians.”
– Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
- Under the Canadian Constitution, the Governor General appoints people to the Senate. By convention, Senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister.
- For the first time ever, the process was opened up to allow Canadians to apply. Following a four-week application period, which generated over 2,700 applications from Canadians across the country, the candidate submissions were reviewed by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, which then provided the Prime Minister with non-binding recommendations. From that pool of candidates, the Prime Minister selected the nine people he will recommend to the Governor General for appointment to the Senate.
- In making their recommendations, the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments was guided by public, transparent, non-partisan and merit-based criteria to identify highly-qualified people.
- Once appointed by the Governor General and summoned to the Senate, the new Senators will join their peers in examining and revising legislation, investigating national issues, and representing regional, provincial and minority interests – all important functions in a modern democracy.
- Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments
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- Minister of Democratic Institutions Announces Launch of the Permanent Phase of the Independent Senate Appointments Process
- Minister of Democratic Institutions Announces Establishment of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments
- Government Announces Immediate Senate Reform