Browse "Senators"

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Gérald-A. Beaudoin

Gérald-A. Beaudoin, professor of law, lawyer, senator (b at Montréal 15 Apr 1929). A leading expert on the Canadian CONSTITUTION and human rights, Beaudoin was educated at the Universities of Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto and did graduate work at several European universities.

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Willie Adams

Willie Adams, Inuk, Liberal senator, businessman, electrician (born 22 June 1934 in Kuujjuaq [then Fort Chimo] in Nunavik, Quebec). As Canada’s first Inuit senator, Adams frequently sought greater federal government support for his people in education, health care, infrastructure, land claims, fishery allocations and affordable food, housing and fuel. He was actively involved in the creation of Nunavut and supported Inuit language rights, art and culture, and traditional hunting methods such as sealing.

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John Black Aird

John Black Aird, lawyer, senator, corporate director and lieutenant governor (b at Toronto 5 May 1923; d there 6 May 1995). Following graduation from Osgoode Hall Law School, Aird joined a Toronto law firm which currently bears his name.

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Florence Bird

Florence Bayard Bird (née Rhein, pseudonym Anne Francis), CC, senator, journalist, broadcaster and author (born 15 January 1908 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; died 18 July 1998 in Ottawa, Ontario). Chair of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada from 1967 to 1970, Florence Bird made her name as a broadcast journalist for CBC/Radio-Canada, reporting news and producing documentaries on women’s working conditions and on conditions for women in Canada’s prisons.

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Hewitt Bostock

Hewitt Bostock, newspaperman, MP, Senator (b at Walton Heath, Surrey, Eng 31 May 1864; d at Monte Creek, BC 28 Apr 1930). Graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge, he was called to the bar in 1888, but in 1893 left for Canada, becoming a rancher and fruit farmer at Monte Creek, British Columbia.

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Cairine Wilson

Cairine Reay Wilson (née Mackay), senator, diplomat, philanthropist (born 4 February 1885 in Montreal, QC; died 3 March 1962 in Ottawa, ON). In 1930, the year after the success of the Persons Case, Wilson was the first woman appointed to the Senate of Canada. She helped found and run political organizations that encouraged women and youth to get involved in politics. From the 1930s onwards, Wilson advocated for the admission of European refugees to Canada.

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Calvin Ruck

Calvin Woodrow Ruck, CM, senator, social workerhuman rights activist, author (born 4 September 1925 in Sydney, NS; died 19 October 2004 in Ottawa, ON). Ruck took leading roles in the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, the NS Association of Social Workers, and the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia. He was the third Black Canadian appointed to the Senate.

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Claude Castonguay

Claude Castonguay, businessman, senator (b at Québec City 8 May 1929). Educated at Laval U (1948-50) and U of Manitoba (1950-51), Castonguay taught at Laval 1950-57 while working as an actuary at several Québec insurance companies. In 1962 he formed his own consulting firm.

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Thelma Chalifoux

Thelma Julia Chalifoux, Métis, senator, entrepreneur, activist (born 8 February 1929 in Calgary, AB; died 22 September 2017 in St. Albert, AB). Chalifoux was the first Métis woman appointed to the Senate of Canada. As a senator, she was concerned with a range of issues, including Métis housing, drug company relations with the federal government, and environmental legislation. An ardent advocate for women’s and Indigenous rights, Chalifoux was involved in organizations such as the Aboriginal Women’s Business Development Corporation and the Métis Women’s Council. She was also known for her work in the protection of Métis culture, having served in the Alberta Métis Senate and Michif Cultural and Métis Resource Institute (now Michif Cultural Connections).

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Charlie Watt

Charlie Watt, Inuk leader (born 29 June 1944 in Fort Chimo [now Kuujjuaq], Québec). Watt founded the Northern Québec Inuit Association in 1972 and was a negotiator for the James Bay Agreement, signed in 1975. He has served as a senator since 1984.

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Jean-Léon Côté

Jean-Léon Côté, surveyor, legislator (b at Les Éboulements, Qué 26 May 1867; d there 24 Sept 1924). After studies at Montmagny and Ottawa, Côté became a land surveyor with the Department of the Interior in 1890; he settled in Edmonton in 1903.

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Jean-Pierre Côté

Jean-Pierre Côté, MP, minister, senator and lieutenant-governor of Québec (b at Montréal 9 Jan 1926). He studied at the School of Dental Technology, and was first elected to the House of Commons for Longueuil riding in 1963.

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Roméo Dallaire

Roméo Dallaire, soldier, advocate, senator 2005-2014 (born 25 June 1946 in Denekamp, the Netherlands). Roméo Dallaire served with distinction in the Canadian Forces and was so affected by his experiences that he became an advocate for the world's victims of genocide, particularly in Africa.

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Eugene Forsey

After his father died, Forsey's mother moved with him to Canada (Newfoundland had not yet joined Confederation). Forsey was raised in Ottawa in the home of his Quebec-born maternal grandfather, William Cochrane Bowles, a high official in the House of Commons.

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Hector Fabre

Louis-Roch-Hector Fabre, journalist, newspaper publisher, senator and diplomat (born 9 August 1834 in Montreal, Lower Canada; died 2 September 1910 in Paris, France). Hector Fabre’s appointment to serve as the Agent General of Quebec in Paris in winter 1882 marked one of the first milestones in the history of Quebec representation abroad. Fabre, who also represented the government of Canada starting in July 1882, helped to establish diplomatic and economic relations with France and other European countries and also marked the beginning of permanent Canadian representation abroad.

Macleans

Fall From Grace

Inside the high-flying life of Sen. Pamela Wallin—and how it all came crashing down in a frenzy of backstabbing and bitterness. In Maclean’s second major profile of a senator caught in scandal, Anne Kingston reports.