Two persons of colour to sit in the Canadian senate

Hassan Yussuff

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, last Tuesday announced that the Administrator of the Government of Canada appointed Bernadette Clement, Hassan Yussuff, and James Quinn as independent Senators to fill vacancies for Ontario and New Brunswick.

Mr. Yussuff is one of Canada’s most experienced labour leaders, and the first person of colour to lead Canada’s union movement. He recently concluded his second term as the President of the Canadian Labour Congress. He is also the past President of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, an international organization that represents more than 55 million workers in 21 countries. Mr. Yussuff has received numerous leadership awards, as well as honorary doctorates from two universities.

Bernadette Clement

Ms. Clement is a lawyer, the Executive Director of the Roy McMurtry Legal Clinic, and current Mayor of Cornwall, who has devoted much of her life to the betterment of the city. Through various professional and volunteer leadership roles, she has served many members of her community, including newcomers, women fleeing violence, and people with developmental disabilities. She is also a tireless advocate for injured workers, and the first Black woman to serve as mayor in Ontario.

Mr. Quinn is a certified public and management accountant, and the current President and Chief Executive Officer of the Saint John Port Authority. He previously led an extensive and distinguished career in the public service, including as the Chief Financial Officer at the Canadian International Development Agency. He is the Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel for the 3rd Field Artillery Regiment (The Loyal Company), 5th Canadian Division. Mr. Quinn has received several awards for his financial leadership – most notably the inaugural Award of Excellence for Comptrollership in the Public Sector.

These individuals were recommended by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, and chosen using the merit-based process open to all Canadians. This process ensures Senators are independent, reflect Canada’s diversity, and are able to tackle the broad range of challenges and opportunities facing the country.