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Prime Minister announces the appointment of senators

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, appointed the following individuals as independent senators to fill vacancies in the Senate:

  • Joan Kingston, for New Brunswick
  • John McNair, for New Brunswick
  • Krista Ross, for New Brunswick
  • Réjean Aucoin, for Nova Scotia
  • Rodger Cuzner, for Nova Scotia

Joan Kingston is a registered nurse and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. During her career in health care and provincial politics, she has been an active advocate for nurses and for community and women’s health. She was most recently a consultant with the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Nursing.

John McNair is a lawyer who believes in giving back to his community. He has served on the boards of several non-profits and charitable organizations in the province. He worked until recently as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary to Service New Brunswick and its predecessor corporation, a role he had held since 2009.

Krista Ross is an established business and community leader. She is a former business owner who has worked with the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce for 20 years and has supported New Brunswick business and community development as a board member of several local and provincial non-profit organizations.

Réjean Aucoin, a lawyer of over thirty years, is a member of the Acadian community of Chéticamp and has been deeply involved in community development across Nova Scotia. He is a proud francophone leader and the founder and past president of the Association des juristes d’expression française de la Nouvelle-Écosse.

Rodger Cuzner is a former parliamentarian. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 2000, and represented his home province of Nova Scotia for 19 years while serving in various roles, including Parliamentary Secretary to former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Most recently, he served as Consul General of Canada in Boston, United States of America, from 2020 to 2023.


“I am pleased to welcome Joan Kingston, John McNair, Krista Ross, Réjean Aucoin, and Rodger Cuzner as Parliament’s newest independent senators. I am confident that, with diverse leadership experience and impressive track records serving their communities, they will be strong voices for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Upper House. I look forward to working with them and with all senators as we continue to build a better future for all Canadians.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

  • The Senate is the Upper House in Canada’s parliamentary democracy. It unites a diverse group of accomplished Canadians in service of their country. Created to counterbalance representation by population in the House of Commons, the Senate not only defends regional interests, it also creates a space for the voices of historically underrepresented groups like Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities, and women.
  • With today’s announcement, there have been 75 independent appointments to the Senate made on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • Under the Canadian Constitution, the Governor General appoints individuals to the Senate. By convention, senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  • In 2016, the selection process for senators was opened to all Canadians. Candidate submissions are reviewed by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, which provides recommendations to the Prime Minister. The Board is guided by public, transparent, non-partisan, and merit-based criteria to identify highly qualified candidates.
  • Once appointed by the Governor General, new senators join their peers to examine and revise legislation, investigate national issues, and represent regional, provincial and territorial, and minority interests – important functions in a modern democracy.

Biographical Notes

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