Independent Liberal Senator George Furey has been named the new Speaker of the Senate.
Dominic LeBlanc, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, announced it at a press conference Thursday morning.
Furey was appointed as senator for Newfoundland and Labrador by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien in 1999. Before entering politics, Furey was a lawyer who worked as Queen’s Counsel. He also worked in education, as president of the Newfoundland and Labrador High School Athletic Federation and forming a school band and coaching a high school basketball team in St. Stephen’s, Newfoundland.
He was also very involved in the Liberal Party, co-chairing campaigns for Chretien in the province. Since joining the Senate, he has worked on several committees, including Fisheries, Banking, Trade and Commerce, Anti-Terrorism and as deputy chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy.
“Senator Furey brings a wealth of experience to the Upper Chamber that will help to restore this proud Canadian institution, allowing it to focus more effectively on the priorities Canadians are facing today,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement.
“Senator Furey will also preside over the Senate as it undergoes an important change to become a more independent, less partisan chamber. As announced today, we are standing by our commitment and creating a new, non-partisan, merit-based process that will advise me on Senate appointments. Today we begin restoring the trust of Canadians in this public institution.”
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The Speaker of the Senate presides over votes taken in the Senate and facilitates debates in the Chamber, among other duties.