Acting Minister of Democratic Institutions announces appointments to the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments
Ottawa, Ontario, April 13, 2018 – The Government of Canada believes a strong democracy includes a Senate that represents the broadest possible cross-section of Canadians.
Today, the Honourable Scott Brison, Acting Minister of Democratic Institutions, announced the appointment of 10 individuals to the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments (Independent Advisory Board), an independent and non-partisan body mandated to provide the Prime Minister with merit-based, non-binding recommendations on Senate nominations.
The Independent Advisory Board will continue to be chaired by Ms. Huguette Labelle, Emeritus Governor of the University of Ottawa, a Companion of the Order of Canada, and a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada.
The following members appointed to the Independent Advisory Board include:
- Ms. Melissa Blake as federal member – former mayor of Wood Buffalo, Alberta.
- The Honourable François Rolland as federal member – former Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Quebec.
- Dr. Ramona Lumpkin as provincial member for Nova Scotia (re-appointment) – former President and Vice-Chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University.
- Ms. Jennifer Gillivan as provincial member for Nova Scotia (re-appointment) – President and CEO of the IWK Foundation.
- Mr. Murray Segal as provincial member for Ontario (re-appointment) – Independent Legal Counsel and Consultant and former Deputy Attorney General of Ontario.
- Dr. Dawn Lavell Harvard as provincial member for Ontario (re-appointment) – Director of First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University.
- Dr. Susan Dyer Knight as provincial member for Newfoundland and Labrador – Chancellor of Memorial University and Visiting Researcher at the University of London.
- Mr. James Igloliorte as provincial member for Newfoundland and Labrador – former provincial court judge.
- Ms. Diane Strand as territorial member for Yukon – Director, Community Wellness of Champagne & Aishihik First Nations.
- Mr. Carl Friesen as territorial member for Yukon – Businessman and senior partner and Vice President of Underhill Geomatics Ltd.
The Independent Advisory Board will follow established assessment criteria to identify Canadians who reflect Canada’s diversity, will make a significant contribution to the work of Parliament, and will ensure a high standard of integrity, collaboration, and non-partisanship in the Senate.
The most recent appointments cycle is targeting 10 provinces and territories with current or anticipated vacancies. Appointments to the Independent Advisory Board positions for Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan will be made in the near future.
“I would like to thank these distinguished Canadians for accepting to serve on the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments. The Government is committed to making the Senate more independent and the Prime Minister looks forward to receiving your recommendations to fill Senate vacancies.”
‑ The Honourable Scott Brison, Acting Minister of Democratic Institutions
- There are currently 12 vacancies in the Senate: Alberta (1), Newfoundland and Labrador (1), Northwest Territories (1), Nova Scotia (2), Ontario (2), Prince Edward Island (1), Quebec (2), Saskatchewan (1) and Yukon (1). Four more vacancies are anticipated later in 2018.
- Under the Canadian Constitution, the power to appoint Senators rests with the Governor General and, by constitutional convention, this power is exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister.
- Federal members are appointed to the Independent Advisory Board for terms of two years. Provincial and territorial members are appointed for one-year terms. Terms can be renewed.
For further information (media only):
Office of the Minister of Democratic Institutions
Privy Council Office