A Strong Voice for New Brunswick
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a significant announcement, unveiling the appointment of five new independent senators to the Senate, Canada’s esteemed Upper House. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, the Governor General, was instrumental in this appointment, which includes individuals with diverse backgrounds and a wealth of experience to fill vacancies in the Senate.
Joan Kingston, RN, Advocate for Health and Women
One of the prominent appointees is Joan Kingston, a registered nurse and former member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. During her illustrious career in healthcare and provincial politics, she has passionately advocated for nurses, community welfare, and women’s health. Most recently, she worked as a consultant with the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Nursing.
John McNair, Committed Community Servant
Joining Kingston is John McNair, a lawyer who has dedicated himself to giving back to his community. His remarkable service extends to numerous non-profits and charitable organizations in New Brunswick. McNair served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary to Service New Brunswick, making him a valuable addition to the Senate.
Krista Ross, Business and Community Leader
Krista Ross, an accomplished business leader, is another addition to the Senate. With a history of 20 years working with the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and supporting the growth of New Brunswick businesses and communities, Ross is poised to bring her expertise to the Upper House.
Nova Scotia’s Representation
The Senate appointment also includes two individuals from Nova Scotia: Réjean Aucoin and Rodger Cuzner.
Réjean Aucoin, Legal Veteran and Francophone Leader
Réjean Aucoin, with over three decades of legal experience, is a prominent member of the Acadian community of Chéticamp in Nova Scotia. His deep involvement in community development and his leadership in the Association des juristes d’expression française de la Nouvelle-Écosse make him a proud advocate for Nova Scotia’s francophone population.
Rodger Cuzner, Former Parliamentarian and Diplomat
Rodger Cuzner, a former parliamentarian, brings a wealth of political experience to the Senate. He served in various roles in the House of Commons for 19 years, representing Nova Scotia. Notably, he served as the Consul General of Canada in Boston from 2020 to 2023, adding a diplomatic touch to the Senate’s composition.
Understanding the Canadian Senate
The Canadian Senate serves as the Upper House in Canada’s parliamentary democracy, uniting a diverse group of accomplished Canadians in service of their country. Designed to balance representation by population in the House of Commons, the Senate not only safeguards regional interests but also provides a platform for historically underrepresented groups, including Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities, and women.
Independent Senate Appointments
With the latest appointments, the Prime Minister has made 75 independent appointments to the Senate. As per the Canadian Constitution, individuals are appointed to the Senate by the Governor General, guided by the Prime Minister’s advice.
The Selection Process
In 2016, the selection process for senators opened to all Canadians, and the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments actively reviewed candidates. This board recommends highly qualified candidates based on public, transparent, non-partisan, and merit-based criteria.
The Role of Senators
Once appointed by the Governor General, new senators join their peers to examine and revise legislation, investigate national issues, and represent regional, provincial, territorial, and minority interests, all of which are vital functions in a modern democracy.