Lawyer franco-ontarian and a chief of the mi’kmaq of Pei.-P.-É. appointed to the Senate

Une avocate franco-ontarienne et un chef mi’kmaq de l’Î.-P.-É. nommés au Sénat

The prime minister Justin Trudeau has appointed Thursday, the Senate lawyer, franco-ontarian, Josée Forest-Niesing, and be a leader for the mi’kmaq people of Ile-du-Prince-Édouard, Brian Francis.

Mrs. Forest-Niesing lives in Sudbury, where she practices law; she has also been a judge in the small claims Court. According to the biographical notes of the office of the prime minister, she was a founder and first president of the Centre canadien de français juridique, and chair of the official languages Committee of the Association of the Bar of Ontario.

Mr. Francis, as to him, was for 12 years chief of the First Nation Abegweit, on the northern coast of the Île-du-Prince-Édouard; he is also co-chair of the board of directors of the Confederation of the Mi’kmaq people of this province. Coming from a family of fishermen, Mr. Francis has previously occupied various positions, including from the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Une avocate franco-ontarienne et un chef mi’kmaq de l’Î.-P.-É. nommés au Sénat

Brian Francis is for 12 years chief of the First Nation Abegweit, on the northern coast of the Île-du-Prince-Édouard

Patricia Bourque, The canadian Press

This is the most recent appointments made in the framework of the “open process” created by Mr. Trudeau, who has so far appointed to the upper chamber 45 senators “independent” or “non-affiliated”, as recommended by an external advisory committee. Mrs. Forest-Niesing and Mr. Francis should, therefore, sit within the Group of senators independent or as “senators not affiliated”.

The Group of senators independent currently represents the most important bloc in the Senate, with 47 members, out of 105. The upper chamber also 31 senators, conservatives, 10 “liberal independent” and 11 “non-affiliated”. Four seats are still vacant – for representatives of the Nova Scotia, Ontario, the northwest Territories and the Yukon.

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