OTTAWA (CCN) — The chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Justice Murray Sinclair is among seven people Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recommended be appointed to the Senate March 18.
“I approach this appointment with hope for the future, and remain committed to reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people, something I believe in my heart is possible,” said Sinclair in a statement. “In the time following the release of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and in the wake of the TRC’s Calls to Action, it is my belief that we are entering a new era of relations with indigenous people in Canada.”
“It is my wish to work toward repairing this relationship and doing what I can to make reconciliation a reality in Canada,” he said, promising to represent as well the people of Manitoba.
Sinclair and the others represent the first senators recommended by the non-partisan advisory board the Trudeau government set up to advise on Senate appointments.
The other new senator from Manitoba is Raymonde Gagné, who was president of Université Saint-Boniface from 2003-2014 and served in the educational field for more than 35 years. Like Sinclair, she will fill a Manitoba vacancy.
V. Peter Harder, a 29-year federal public servant including 16 years as Deputy Minister heading departments of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Solicitor General, Public Security and the Treasury Board Secretariat, will fill one of two vacancies for Ontario. Harder chaired the United Church of Canada Foundation as well as the Commonwealth Games Foundation in addition to work with the National Arts Centre and a range of other organizations.
Also filling a vacancy in Ontario is Frances Larkin, who served 10 years as CEO of United Way Toronto, and as an Ontario MPP and cabinet minister from 1990-2001.
Ratna Omidvar fills the third Ontario vacancy, bringing extensive experience in immigration, diversity and minority rights. She is the founding director and adjunct professor of Ryerson University’s Global Diversity and Migration Exchange at the Ted Rogers School of Management.
Gold medal Paralympic athlete Chantal Petticlerc, an international speaker and spokesperson championing the rights of the disabled, will fill one of two vacancies for Quebec.
Also filling a Quebec vacancy is André Pratte, who spent 14 years as editor-in-chief of La Presse.