Saskatchewan Human Rights commissioner David Arnot appointed to Canadian Senate

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission’s chief commissioner, David Arnot, has been appointed as an independent Senator in an announcement made on Thursday. Credit / Saskatchewan Human Rights Commision

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission’s chief commissioner David Arnot has been appointed as an independent Canadian senator.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Thursday.

“This is a great honour and I am truly humbled. The Prime Minister was clear when he spoke to me that he expects me to make a significant contribution to the work of the Senate, and to help tackle the broad range of challenges and opportunities facing our country,” Arnot said.

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“He also underlined the fact that I will be able to contribute to the work of the Senate in an independent and non-partisan fashion to ensure integrity and collaboration in service to Parliament and all Canadians.”

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Arnot has held his position with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission since 2009 and has also worked as Saskatchewan’s federal treaty commissioner, a provincial court judge, a Crown prosecutor, and as director-general of Aboriginal Justice in the Department of Justice Canada.

As a provincial court judge, Arnot worked closely the Poundmaker First Nation in 1993 to pioneer the use of sentencing circles and restorative justice measures to promote healing in legal proceedings and to give a voice to victims, community members and families in the pursuit of constructive resolutions.

His work on the “Teaching Treaties in the Classroom” project in 2004 was recognized by the United Nations special rapporteur on racism.

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Arnot is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Bar Association’s Saskatchewan Branch, the Miklos Kanitz Holocaust & Human Rights Award, and the University of Saskatchewan’s Canada 150 Nation Builders alumnus award.

In 2018, he was recognized as one of Canada’s top 150 Leaders and Innovators by the Transformation Institute for Leadership and Innovation.

“I am proud to be among the persons selected for a Senate appointment through an open process, led by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments,” Arnot said. “I look forward to serving my province and my country in this capacity.”

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There have now been 60 independent appointments to the Senate under the advice of Trudeau.

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