Trudeau names P.E.I. Mi'kmaq chief to Senate
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is appointing Mi'kmaq leader Brian Francis from Prince Edward Island to the Senate. Brian Francis is seen in an undated handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Office of the Prime Minister, Patricia Bourque)
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Thursday, October 11, 2018 3:36PM ADT
OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is appointing Ontario lawyer Josee Forest-Niesing and Mi'kmaq leader Brian Francis from Prince Edward Island to the Senate.
Forest-Niesing lives in Sudbury where she has specialized in family law, civil litigation and employment cases while serving as an active member of the local francophone community.
Francis is the high-profile chief of the Abegweit First Nation on PEI's northern coast and has served in a variety of positions, including with the federal fisheries department as a contact for local First Nations.
The two are the latest senators to be appointed through the open nomination process created by Trudeau, who has now appointed 45 independent members to the Red Chamber.
Forest-Niesing and Francis are expected to sit as either independent or non-affiliated members.
The Independent Senators Group currently represents the largest bloc in the chamber with 47 members; there are also 31 Conservatives, 10 independent Liberals, 11 who are not affiliated with any group and four vacancies.