Sen. George Furey has been named the new Speaker of the Senate.
The longtime senator for Newfoundland and Labrador will replace Conservative Leo Housakos.
Government House Leader Dominic LeBlanc made the announcement in Ottawa Thursday.
The new Senate Speaker George Furey is seen after being sworn in during a ceremony in the Senate chamber. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)
Furey, 67, was appointed to the upper chamber by former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement lauding Furey as someone who can lead the Senate to become more independent and less partisan.
"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," Trudeau said.
Trudeau's full statement:
I am pleased to announce that the Honourable George Furey has been appointed to the role of Speaker of the Senate of Canada.
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.
Canadians must have confidence that their democratic institutions will respond to their needs. I believe that Senator Furey will promote respectful, productive deliberations among Senators and ensure strong accountability to Canadians.
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.
"I congratulate Senator Furey on this appointment and look forward to working with him and all Senators to build a more open and accountable government and an even stronger Canada.
LeBlanc says they won't name a whip to the Senate.— Althia Raj (@althiaraj) December 3, 2015
LeBlanc defends Furey, who doesn't speak French, saying his integrity is unmatched and he plans to continue to learn French.— Althia Raj (@althiaraj) December 3, 2015
LeBlanc describes Furey as a whistleblower in the Senate. Suggests region (no Speaker from Nfld) trumped gender consideration in Senate.— Althia Raj (@althiaraj) December 3, 2015
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