Justice Murray Sinclair, Raymonde Gagné sworn into Senate
Senate appointees were selected by a new non-partisan advisory board in March
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.
"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.