Harper names five new senators to the Red Chamber
The Senate Chamber sits empty shortly before the 2011 Throne Speech on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press)
Published Friday, September 7, 2012 8:17AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 7, 2012 9:53AM EDT
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment of five new senators on Friday to the Red Chamber.
In a statement, Harper announced that Diane Bellemare, Tobias C. Enverga Jr., Thanh Hai Ngo, Thomas Johnson McInnis and Paul E. McIntyre were appointed to the Senate.
"It is a pleasure to announce the appointment of these five distinguished Canadians to the Senate of Canada," Harper said in the statement.
"Their broad range of experience and dedication to community will further strengthen the institution and benefit the entire country."
Bellemare, an economist an author who ran unsuccessfully three times as a candidate for the Action Democratique du Quebec, will fill a vacant Senate seat in that province.
Enverga and Ngo will both fill vacancies in Ontario.
Enverga is a project manager at the Bank of Montreal and a well-known figure in the Filipino-Canadian community.
Ngo was born in Vietnam, and now works as a teacher and has served as a citizenship judge, in addition to having held various roles in the Vietnamese-Canadian community.
McInnis is a Halifax lawyer and businessman who sat as a provincial Conservative MLA for 15 years in Nova Scotia, then ran unsuccessfully for the federal Conservatives in 2000. He will fill a vacant Senate seat in Nova Scotia.
McIntyre is a lawyer, community activist and poet hobbyist, and will fill a seat in New Brunswick.
Harper has long advocated for an elected Senate. The Friday statement said the new appointees have pledged to support the government's efforts to make the Senate "more democratic and accountable, including legislation to limit the term lengths of senators and encouraging the provinces and territories to establish a democratic process to select nominees."
With Friday's announcement, the Conservatives will now have an even stronger presence in the Senate, with 62 of the 105 seats in the Red Chamber.
The Liberals hold 40 seats, there is one Progressive Conservative senator and two independents.