The Prime Minister announces the appointment of two senators

May 3, 2023
Ottawa, Ontario

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the Governor General appointed Jane MacAdam and Iris Petten as independent senators to fill vacancies for Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, respectively.

Jane MacAdam is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 40 years of experience in legislative auditing, including serving as Auditor General of Prince Edward Island. Throughout her career, Ms. MacAdam has been a member of various professional organizations and committees, including the Canadian Council of Legislative Auditors. In 2019, Ms. MacAdam received a Fellow designation from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Prince Edward Island, in recognition of her exceptional leadership and service to the profession.

Iris Petten is an entrepreneur, community volunteer, and senior executive with over 35 years of experience in the fishing industry. Ms. Petten has maintained a close connection with coastal communities, having served on several boards and volunteered with numerous organizations in the province. Ms. Petten is the proud recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she served three terms as the chair of the Board of Regents from 2013 to 2022.

Ms. MacAdam and Ms. Petten were recommended by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, and chosen using a 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.

“Today, I welcome Jane MacAdam and Iris Petten as Parliament’s newest independent senators. I know that their unique perspectives, wealth of knowledge, and passion for people will help them be strong voices for Atlantic Canadians. I look forward to working with them, and with all senators, as we continue to make life better for all Canadians.”
The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
  • 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 space for the voices of historically underrepresented groups like Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities, and women.
  • With today’s announcement, there have been 68 independent appointments to the Senate made on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • Under the Canadian Constitution, the Governor General appoints individuals to the Senate. By convention, senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  • 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.
  • 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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