Meet the 21 new Trudeau-appointed senators

This Fall Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of 21 new independent senators, further bolstering the number of non-affiliated members in the upper chamber to 44.

The prime minister's Fall Senate appointments bring number of non-affiliated senators to 44

A view shows the Senate chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. (Chris Wattie/Reuters )

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed 21 new independent senators, further bolstering the number of non-affiliated members in the upper chamber to 44.

These appointments fill existing vacancies in B.C., Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.

The current count of non-affiliated (or Independent) senators stands at 44, with 21 independent Senate Liberals and 40 Conservatives.

In January 2014, at the height of the Mike Duffy expenses fiasco, Trudeau expelled all senators from the national Liberal caucus and vowed to appoint Independent members to the Senate if elected as prime minister.

Thus, all of the new senators were selected using the government's new application, merit-based process.

Here's a look at Canada's newest senators.


Yuen Pau Woo

Malaysian-born Yuen Pau Woo is a former president of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and currently senior fellow in public policy at the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia.


Patricia Bovey

Manitoba art historian Patricia Bovey is an adjunct professor at the University of Winnipeg and a former director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She also sat on the board of trustees of the National Gallery of Canada and the board of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Marilou McPhedran

Lawyer and human rights activist Marilou McPhedran is co-leader of the Ad Hoc Committee of Canadian Women on the Constitution, a grassroots movement in the early 1980s that successfully campaigned for stronger equality rights provisions in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

She is also currently a professor at the University of Winnipeg's Global College.

Harvey Chochinov

Winnipeg psychiatrist Harvey Chochinov is an internationally recognized expert in palliative care.

The previous Harper government appointed Chochinov to chair an external panel that consulted Canadians on possible legislative options following the Supreme Court's landmark ruling striking down the ban on medically-assisted dying.

His appointment to that panel was controversial because Chochinov had argued in court against legalizing assisted dying.

New Brunswick

René Cormier

New Brunswick francophone René Cormier is president of the Société Nationale de l'Acadie, the lead organization for the international promotion of Acadian artists.

He was formerly president of Commission internationale du théâtre francophone, director of the Théâtre populaire d'Acadie, president of the Fédération culturelle Canadienne-française and a board member of the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

Nancy Hartling

Nancy Hartling was executive director of Support to Single Parents Inc., an organization she founded 34 years ago in Moncton, N.B. to offer resources, workshops and referrals for single parents and their children. Hartling announced in April the agency would close its doors with her retirement in June.

Nova Scotia

Wanda Thomas Bernard

Nova Scotia social worker and educator Wanda Thomas Bernard is the first African-Canadian to hold a tenure-track position — and to be promoted to full professor — at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

She is also a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers and the current chair of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

"I was absolutely shocked to get a call from the prime minister's office," Bernard told CBC Nova Scotia. "I know hundreds of people applied and so to have been selected amongst, I'm sure, (what) were a very qualified group of people — it's very humbling. I also feel very grateful. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve our country."

Daniel Christmas

Daniel Christmas has served in various leadership positions in the Mi'kmaw Nation of Nova Scotia.

Christmas was recently appointed a member of the Premier's Council on the Economy. He is also a member of the Board of Directors with Nova Scotia Business Inc.

He is credited with playing a key role in transforming his home community from a First Nation on the brink of bankruptcy to one of the most successful in Canada. He is also the former director of advisory services for the Union of Nova Scotia Indians.


Diane Griffin

Diane Griffin is the former provincial deputy minister of environmental resources and a recipient of the Governor General's Conservation award. She is currently a councilor on Stratford, P.E.I.'s town council.


Gwen Boniface

Gwen Boniface is the first woman appointed as commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police and the first female president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

Boniface is a longtime member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, where she currently serves as deputy executive director. In addition, she was the founding president of the Canadian Police Chiefs International Service Agency, a non-profit organization created to address sexual exploitation of children.

According to her biography supplied by the Prime Minister's Office, Boniface has "worked tirelessly to repair relationships with First Nations communities, initiating many reforms to promote Aboriginal policing."

She was given the Order of Ontario in 2001 in recognition of her service to the province and her work with First Nations communities.

Tony Dean

Tony Dean is an internationally recognized professor at the University of Toronto's School of Public Policy since 2009.

A native of the United Kingdom, Dean worked for nearly two decades as a public policy professional in the government of Ontario, becoming secretary of the Cabinet and head of Ontario Public Service.

One of his accomplishments was the development of the Service Ontario government service centres. He was also tasked with repairing the relationships between the government, teachers' federations and school boards after former premier Dalton McGuinty introduced highly contentious legislation in 2012.

Sarabjit S. Marwah

Sarabjit Marwah is the retired vice-chairman and chief operating officer of Scotiabank. While at Scotiabank, he was a member of numerous industry committees, including the Canadian Bankers Association.

Marwah has served on the boards of private organizations in Canada, as well as non-profit organizations such as the C.D. Howe Institute, the Royal Ontario Museum, the United Way Campaign, the Toronto International Film Festival, Humber River Regional Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children.

He is also a founding member of the Sikh Foundation of Canada.

Lucie Moncion

Lucie Moncion is the chief executive officer of the Alliance des caisses populaires de l'OntarioL'Alliance is a network of 12 credit unions that serves 23 Francophone municipalities in northeastern Ontario, an organization that plays a key role in the economic development of Francophone communities.

Assets have almost tripled — to $1.4 billion — since she took over as CEO in May 2001.

Moncion has served on various boards, including as vice-president on the board of directors at Nipissing University, treasurer on the board of directors of Direction Ontario and member of the board of directors at Collège Boréal.

Kim Pate

Kim Pate is the executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies and part-time professor in the University of Ottawa's faculty of law.

Since 1992, she has worked with and on behalf of women in prison and provided support toward their reintegration into society as part of her work at Elizabeth Fry.

She has also shed light on the special needs of Indigenous women, who are overrepresented in Canadian federal prisons, and those with mental health issues. Prior to joining the CAEFS, she worked for several years with the John Howard Societies.

Howard Wetston

Howard Wetston is counsel with Goodmans LLP and adjunct professor of law at the University of Toronto.

Wetston has led the Ontario Securities Commission, the Ontario Energy Board and the Competition Bureau.

He also served as a vice-chair of the board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, an international policy forum for securities regulators and a global standard setter for securities regulation. He is a former Federal Court judge.


Renée Dupuis

A lawyer and writer, Renée Dupuis specializes in the fields of administrative law, human rights, and Indigenous law, according to the biography sent out by the prime minister's office.

She has been a legal adviser and consultant for First Nations and their regional and national organizations in negotiating tripartite comprehensive land claims and in constitutional negotiations.

She chaired the Indian Specific Claims Commission, a federal commission of inquiry, and the Barreau du Québec's committee on the rights of Aboriginal peoples.

She received the 2001 Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction for her book Justice for Canada's Aboriginal Peoples.

Raymonde Saint Germain

Longtime senior public servant and ombudsperson for Quebec.

Saint Germain has served as the assistant deputy minister of International Relations, deputy minister of government services, deputy minister of citizenship and immigration, and Éditrice officielle du Québec.

Saint-Germain was unanimously reappointed as ombudsperson by the members of Quebec's National Assembly in June 2011, for a second consecutive five-year term of office.

As ombudsperson, she has commented on over 125 bills and draft regulations, from the perspective of respect for human rights and freedoms, with particular attention paid to mental health, the rights of incarcerated persons, independent investigations of police incidents resulting in serious injury or death of civilians

She served as vice-chair (2009-2013) and chair (2013-2015) of the Association des ombudsmans et médiateurs de la francophonie.

Éric Forest

Mayor of Rimouski​, former chair of the Union of Quebec Municipalities.

After spending some time in the business community, as the co-owner and vice-president of a car dealership, Éric Forest returned to politics in 1994, as a councillor with the City of Rimouski, before becoming mayor. From 1995 to 2005, he was vice-president and director general of the Océanic hockey club.

He became mayor of Rimouski in 2005 and chaired the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) for almost four years, from 2010 to 2014, at a time when scandals rocked the confidence of Quebecers in their municipal elected officials — including allegations of corruptionsexual misconduct and fraud.

In 2014, he received the Jean-Paul L'Allier Award, which honours a Quebec elected official for outstanding vision, leadership and achievements in urban planning and land use planning.

Marc Gold

Marc Gold is a constitutional law expert who has held major leadership roles in the Jewish community at the local, national and international levels, including being Chair of Jewish Federations of Canada.

He also served for ten years as the chair of Ensemble pour le respect de la diversité (formerly the Tolerance Foundation), a not-for-profit organization that works with young people to build a more open and inclusive society and currently reaches more than 25,000 young people annually in schools throughout Quebec and Canada.

Gold served on the board of directors and was chair of the tenure and promotions committee of the Université de Montréal for sixteen years, and upon the end of his mandate in June 2016, was named administrateur émérite in recognition of his service to the university.

He currently serves as a part-time member of the Parole Board of Canada and is an adjunct professor of law at McGill University.

Marie-Françoise Mégie

Dr. Marie-Françoise Mégie arrived in Quebec in 1976, from Haiti, and rose through the ranks of the medical profession and university teaching, becoming a clinical associate professor in the department of family medicine at the Université de Montréal.

Her medical practice includes providing home health care services for seniors, persons with severe disabilities and end-of-life patients.

She is a member of a number of professional associations, has chaired the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad, and currently chairs the Association Médecins Francophones du Canada.

Rosa Galvez

Originally from Peru, Rosa Galvez has spent more than 32 years in Canada and has become a leading expert in the field of environmental pollution and pollution control.

Her expertise carries across many environmental problems affecting human health, including water pollution, waste and residues, contaminated lands, and the impact of economic activities such as mining or petroleum transport.

As an expert she has offered opinions to international government bodies such as the Commission for Environmental Co-operation (supporting the North American Agreement on Environmental Co-operation), and Canada-U.S. and Quebec-Vermont agreements for protecting the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence River.

She has been a professor at Laval University since 1994 in the civil and water engineering department and has been head of this department since 2010.

Before that, she was research associate at the Geotechnical Research Centre at McGill.