Prime Minister announces the appointment of a senator

Mary Robinson appointed as an independent senator (image source: Canadian Centre for Food Integrity)

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on Monday announced that the Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, appointed Mary Robinson as an independent senator to fill a vacancy in the Senate for Prince Edward Island.

Mary Robinson is a globally recognized leader in the agricultural sector. A proud Atlantic Canadian, she currently serves as the Vice-President of the World Farmers’ Organisation and is a managing partner of the Robinson Group of Companies, a 6th-generation farm and agribusiness in Prince Edward Island. She is the past President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the first woman to hold that position. She serves as an inspirational leader for women in agriculture throughout Canada.


“Ms. Robinson’s experience in agriculture and business will bring an important perspective to the Senate, where she will be a strong voice for Atlantic Canada. I look forward to working with her to make life better for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

— 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.
  • 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.
  • With today’s announcement, there have been 79 independent appointments to the Senate made on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. All of them were recommended by the Board.
  • Under the Canadian Constitution, the Governor General appoints individuals to the Senate. By convention, senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  • 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.


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