Prime Minister welcomes the appointment of the 46th Speaker of the Senate

2023 May 12

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today welcomed the appointment of the Honourable Raymonde Gagné, Senator for Manitoba, as the 46th Speaker of the Senate of Canada.

Senator Gagné has represented Manitoba as a senator since 2016 and, as a longstanding member of the Senate Committee on Official Languages, she has been a strong advocate for minority language rights. Before being appointed to the Senate, she worked in education for over 35 years, including as President of the Université de Saint-Boniface between 2003 and 2014. She is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Manitoba, and a recipient of the Prix Riel.

The Speaker of the Senate is one of the most important officials in Canada’s Parliament. As the public face of the Senate, the Speaker presides over the Upper Chamber, enforces the rules, and makes sure proceedings run smoothly, while also retaining the ability to participate in debates with fellow senators. With this appointment, Senator Gagné will be the first female Speaker of the Senate of Canada in 44 years, and the third female Speaker since the creation of the Senate in 1867.

Senator Gagné replaces the Honourable George Furey, who is retiring from the Senate after serving as a Senator for Newfoundland and Labrador since 1999. As the 45th Speaker of the Senate from 2015 to 2023, Senator Furey presided over the Senate as it underwent important changes to become a more independent, transparent, and non-partisan chamber, with the selection process for senators becoming open to all Canadians in 2016. In recognition of his many years of service to Canadians, Senator Furey was appointed to the King’s Privy Council for Canada earlier today.