Politics

Trudeau names Halifax businessman Colin Deacon to the Senate

The prime minister's push to reconstitute the Senate and stack its benches with Independent senators continues apace with the appointment of Halifax businessman Colin Deacon to the upper house Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now named 37 senators to the Red Chamber

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Colin Deacon to represent Nova Scotia in the Red Chamber. (Supplied by the Prime Minister's Office)

The prime minister's push to reconstitute the Senate and stack its benches with Independent senators continues apace with the appointment of Halifax businessman Colin Deacon to the upper house Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has named 37 senators to the Red Chamber. The Independent senators now constitute the largest bloc in the Senate.

Like the other Trudeau appointees, Deacon is expected to sit as an Independent or non-affiliated senator — part of the prime minister's stated campaign to eliminate partisanship from the chamber over time.

Deacon is the founder of BlueLight Analytics, a Halifax-based tech start-up that specializes in products for dentists. 

According to a biography supplied by the Prime Minister's Office, Deacon is a board member and vice-chair of the Kids Brain Health Network — an organization billed as the world's largest network of researchers dedicated to understanding brain development disorders and to delivering benefits to children, families and others. He also serves on the board of the Halifax Assistance Fund, which helps those in need in his community.

He currently serves as the "entrepreneur in residence" at Startup Zone P.E.I., a Charlottetown organization that helps entrepreneurs to "explore and test their idea as quickly and inexpensively as is possible."

"It is my pleasure to welcome Colin Deacon as Parliament's newest independent Senator. His experience as an entrepreneur and his commitment to serving those in need make him a great choice to represent the people of Nova Scotia. I look forward to working with him to make a difference in the lives of Canadians," Trudeau said in a statement.

Deacon was recommended to the PM by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments — a body created after Trudeau's election in 2015 with the goal of pursuing a "merit-based" appointments process.

The Independent Senators Group (ISG) has a plurality in the Senate with 46 seats, followed by 32 Conservative senators and 11 Liberals. As of today, there are still nine vacancies to be filled in the 105-member body.

Two more senators — Independent Ontario Sen. Anne Cools and Conservative Alberta Sen. Betty Unger — will retire in September before Parliament is expected to return from its summer recess.

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