Manitoba

Justice Murray Sinclair, Raymonde Gagné sworn into Senate

Justice Murray Sinclair and Raymonde Gagné, a former president of Université de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg, were sworn into the Senate Tuesday in Ottawa.

Senate appointees were selected by a new non-partisan advisory board in March

RAW: Justice Murray Sinclair, Raymonde Gagné sworn into Senate

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

5 years ago
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Justice Murray Sinclair and Raymonde Gagné, a former president of Université de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg, were sworn into the Senate Tuesday in Ottawa. 0:57
Justice Murray Sinclair and Raymonde Gagné were sworn into Senate Tuesday in Ottawa.
Raymond Gagne was sworn in as a Senator in Ottawa Tuesday. (CBC)

The Liberal government named Gagné, a former president of Université de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg, and Sinclair, the jurist who led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to the Senate in mid-March.

Five other senators were also sworn in:

  • Peter Harder, a former bureaucrat who led Justin Trudeau's transition team.
  • Frances Lankin, a former Ontario NDP cabinet minister and a national security expert.
  • Ratna Omidvar, executive director at Ryerson University's Global Diversity Exchange.
  • André Pratte, editorial writer at La Presse.
  • ​Chantal Petitclerc, a 14-time Paralympic gold medallist and world-record-holding wheelchair racer.

Conservative Senator Claude Carignan welcomed the new senators.

"Senator Sinclair, former judge, you are now part of the jury of the Senate. Part of our mandate here is to ensure that we take a second look at legislation and ascertain whether it needs amendments to provide the best words for Canadians" he said.

Sinclair told reporters after the ceremony he welcomes the appointment, adding he thinks it's an important step forward for the indigenous community.

"The institutions of governance in this country need to begin to ask themselves whether they have been fulfilling their responsibilities to the indigenous part of Canada," he said.
Murray Sinclair was sworn in to the Senate Tuesday in Ottawa. (CBC)

"My ambition here is to educate the members of Parliament and members of the Senate, just as my ambition when I was doing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was to educate all of Canada about the history of indigenous people, and about [what] direction [the] solutions need to be."

Sinclair also said while he's happy to be a senator, it isn't going to stop him from remaining grounded and true to his roots.

"I'm not wowed by this place. I think this palace is a place I need to be at, but I am more wowed when I sit with mothers in a circle and listen to them talk about what it is that they need to help their children," he said.

The appointees were selected by a new non-partisan advisory board. Sinclair said in March he believes not being formally tied to a particular party is an important step in the right direction for the Senate.

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