Vacant Island Senate seat expected to be filled this year

Teresa Wright
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Catherine Callbeck's seat remains empty

The Senate chamber on Parliament Hill. The vacant P.E.I. seat is expected to be filled this year.

The prime minister has appointed seven new senators to fill vacancies in Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario.

But, Justin Trudeau did not name a replacement for retired P.E.I. senator Catherine Callbeck.

The roster includes Justice Murray Sinclair, who led the Truth and Reconciliation commission, Paralympian Chantal Petitclerc and the long-time civil servant who headed Justin Trudeau’s transition team when the Liberals took power last November.

That man, Peter Harder, will also become the government’s representative in the Senate.

The names were recommended by an advisory board set up by the government in January.

The seven appointments bring the number of vacancies in the Senate down to 17, and the government has said they will all be filled this year.

Former prime minister Stephen Harper had not appointed a new senator since 2013, the year the upper chamber found itself mired in a spending scandal.

Callbeck retired from the Senate in July 2014. Mike Duffy, a second P.E.I. senator, has not been sitting in the Senate.Duffy is facing charges of fraud, breach of trust, bribery, frauds on the government related to inappropriate Senate expenses.

That leaves two P.E.I. senators representing the province, Libbe Hubley and Percy Downe.

P.E.I.’s vacant Senate seat was not expected to be filled in this opening round of Senate appointments, but it is expected to be filled this year.

“The government is today taking further concrete steps to follow through on its commitment to reform the senate, restore public trust, and bring an end to partisanship in the appointments process,” said Trudeau.

Organizations: Reconciliation commission

Geographic location: P.E.I., Manitoba, Quebec Ontario

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Recent comments

  • Jim
    March 19, 2016 - 08:00

    Maybe Duffy has a buddy looking for a Trough

  • martin
    March 18, 2016 - 23:23

    Buddy;no Robert wanted the summer off so he has the PM not to appoint him til the fall.

  • Joe Doe
    March 18, 2016 - 23:21


  • "OH MY"
    March 18, 2016 - 22:13


    March 18, 2016 - 19:01

    All I can say is it better not be Robert Ghiz !!

    • Sammy
      March 18, 2016 - 19:41

      Well if he is appointed he can live close to his sister Joanne Ghiz Senior Communications Advisor to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Ottawa, Ontario, Canada