The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that Canada’s new Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, appointed the following individuals as independent Senators to fill vacancies across Canada:
- David Arnot, for Saskatchewan
- Michèle Audette, for Québec
- Amina Gerba, for Québec
- Clément Gignac, for Québec
- Karen Sorensen, for Alberta
All new Senators were recommended by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, and chosen using the merit-based process open to all Canadians. This process ensures Senators are independent, reflect Canada’s diversity, and are able to tackle the broad range of challenges and opportunities facing the country.
“I am pleased to welcome Parliament’s newest independent Senators. Their combined experience, perspectives, and dedication to serving Canadians will further strengthen the Senate and help shape our country’s future. I look forward to working with them, and all Senators, as we take steps toward our recovery and to building back a more resilient and inclusive Canada for everyone.”
- The Senate is the Upper House in Canada’s parliamentary democracy. It unites a diverse group of accomplished Canadians in service of their country. Created to counterbalance representation by population in the House of Commons, the Senate has evolved from defending regional interests to creating space for the voices of historically underrepresented groups like Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, and women.
- With today’s announcement, there have been 60 independent appointments to the Senate made on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
- Under the Canadian Constitution, the Governor General appoints individuals to the Senate. By convention, Senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister.
- In 2016, the selection process for Senators was opened to all Canadians. Candidate submissions are reviewed by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, which provides recommendations to the Prime Minister.
- The Board is guided by public, transparent, non-partisan, and merit-based criteria to identify highly qualified candidates.
- Once appointed by the Governor General, new Senators join their peers to examine and revise legislation, investigate national issues, and represent regional, provincial, and minority interests – important functions in a modern democracy.