Prime Minister Stephen Harper names five outstanding Canadians to senate
January 29, 2021
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper today filled five vacancies in the Senate.  The appointments are another step toward implementing the Government’s tackling-crime agenda and respecting the will of the democratically-elected House of Commons.
Appointed are Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu (QC), Bob Runciman (ON), Vim Kochhar (ON), Elizabeth (Beth) Marshall (NL) and Rose-May Poirier (NB).  These appointments give the Government a plurality of seats in the Upper House.
“Our government is serious about getting tough on crime.  Since we were first elected, we have made it one of our highest priorities,” said the Prime Minister.  “The Liberals have abused their Senate majority by obstructing and eviscerating law and order measures that are urgently needed and strongly supported by Canadians.”
“These new Senators are committed to community safety and justice for the victims of crime,” said the Prime Minister.  “I look forward to working with each towards making our communities safer and protecting families from crime.”
The incoming Senators fill single vacancies in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick, as well as two vacancies in Ontario.  They have also pledged to support the Government in its efforts to make the Senate more democratic and accountable, including legislation to limit Senate terms to eight years.
“Our government will continue to push for a more democratic, accountable and effective Senate,” said the Prime Minister.
The appointments are effective immediately, with the exception of Rose-May Poirier’s appointment, which is effective February 28, 2010.
Biographies of the incoming Senators are attached.


Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu is the founding President of the Murdered or Missing Persons' Families' Association (MMPFA).  He founded the association after the murder of his daughter Julie in 2002.  Mr. Boisvenu is a champion of the rights of crime victims.  He is the co-founder of the Le Nid centre, which helps abused women in Val d’Or, and of a school camp for underprivileged youth in Estrie.  He pursued a career in Quebec’s Public Service, holding several senior positions, including Regional Director for the Department of Recreation, Game and Fisheries and for the Department of the Environment.  He was later appointed Deputy Minister for the Department of Regions.  Mr. Boisvenu has a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology from the Université de Montréal and a master’s degree in administration from l’ENAP-Québec.  He is married to Diane Carlos and they live in Sherbrooke.

Bob Runciman has been the Member of Provincial Parliament representing Leeds – Grenville in Eastern Ontario since 1981.  In addition to representing his constituents for almost three decades, Mr. Runciman served in a number of other capacities at Queen’s Park, including most recently as Opposition House Leader.  In previous years Mr. Runciman served as a cabinet minister for three premiers, including Minister of Public Safety and Security, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Solicitor General and Minister of Correctional Services.  Mr. Runciman was also chosen by his caucus to serve as leader of the party following the resignation of two leaders.  Prior to his time in the provincial politics, Mr. Runciman began his political career as a municipal councillor in the City of Brockville.  Mr. Runciman was previously employed in production management in the chemical industry and also worked as a reporter for two Eastern Ontario daily newspapers, eventually owning a weekly newspaper and commercial printing business.  Mr. Runciman lives in Brockville with his wife, Jeanette.
Vim Kochhar is the President and founder of the Vimal Group of Companies in Toronto.  Working for InterContinental Hotels and Howard Johnson Hotels, he was responsible for project management of major hotels around the world.  For the past 30 years, Mr. Kochhar has played an active role in the community by creating the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons.  Through this foundation, Mr. Kochhar has created the annual Great Valentine Galas, the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, Rolling Rampage for elite wheelchair athletes, the Canadian Helen Keller Centre, Rotary Cheshire Homes for the Deaf-Blind, and the WhyNot Marathon for the Paralympics.  He is currently serving as Board Member for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and as Chair of the Canadian Paralympic Foundation.  Among many other distinctions, Mr. Kochhar was chosen by India Abroad as one of the 30 most influential Canadians of Indian origin.  Born in India, Mr. Kochhar received his engineering degree at the University of Texas and immigrated to Canada in 1967, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1974.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Elizabeth (Beth) Marshall was the Auditor General of Newfoundland and Labrador for 10 years prior to her election as a Member of the House Assembly in 2003.  She represents the riding of Topsail.  Ms. Marshall has had 23 years of experience in the provincial public service, holding several senior positions, including Deputy Minister of Social Services and Deputy Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.  Ms. Marshall holds a bachelor of science (math) degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and has been a Chartered Accountant since 1979.  She is married to Stan and they reside in Topsail.

New Brunswick
Rose-May Poirier is a Member of Legislative Assembly in New Brunswick representing the people of Rogersville-Kouchibouguac.  First elected in 1999, Ms Poirier has served as Minister of the Office of Human Resources, Minister of Local Government and Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs.  Currently she is the Opposition Critic for issues relating to the Office of the Premier, the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation and the Secretariat for Community Non-Profit Organizations.  Prior to her election to the provincial legislature, Ms. Poirier was a successful businessperson working as an insurance representative and as an executive VIP manager for Tupperware Canada.  She also served on the Saint-Louis de Kent town council.  Ms. Poirier is married to Donald and they reside in Saint-Louis de Kent.

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