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The Independent Senators Group Welcomes Five Members

Today, the Independent Senators Group (ISG) gives a warm welcome to five new members. The addition of Senators Josée Forest-Niesing (ON), Beverley Busson (BC), Paula Simons (AB), Brian Francis (PEI) and Peter Boehm (ON) officially gives the ISG a majority of seats within the Upper Chamber (52 ISG Senators).

Senator Josée Forest-Niesing joins the ISG as a lawyer and proud Franco-Ontarian of Métis decent with a passion for arts and culture. Senator Beverley Busson brings with her a long career as an RCMP officer, serving as its first female commissioner. Senator Paula Simons joins the ISG after a noble career as a journalist and writer from Edmonton. Senator Brian Francis widens the ISG’s Indigenous perspective, with twelve years of experience as Chief of the Abegweit First Nation. Finally, Senator Peter Boehm joins the ISG after spending a great deal of his life representing Canada and Canadians abroad as a diplomat with Global Affairs.

“These noteworthy Canadians have helped shape our country and will continue to do so in their new roles as ISG Senators,” said Senator Yuen Pau Woo, ISG Facilitator. “Today, the vision of a non-partisan Senate becomes further embedded within the Upper Chamber. Their decision—and the decision of all the ISG members before them—to join the ISG has brought us to this moment. Welcome to the ISG and welcome to an evolving Upper Chamber.”

With the addition of these five Senators, the ISG holds 52 of the 101 occupied seats in the Senate (four are vacant). The ISG now has 29 women and 23 men among its membership.

Established in 2016, The Independent Senators Group (ISG) is committed to a non-partisan Senate and the modernization of the Upper House of Canada’s Parliament. With 52 members, the ISG is the largest parliamentary group in the Senate. Composed of independents not affiliated with any political caucus, ISG Senators work cooperatively but act independently.

The ISG’s Facilitator is Senator Yuen Pau Woo (BC) and the Deputy Facilitator is Raymonde Saint-Germain (QC), each elected by members on a two-year term (until 2019). ISG senators were appointed over the years by five different Prime Ministers, with most of the current membership selected through The Independent Advisory Board for Senate appointments process.

For more information, please contact:

Aline Lafrenière

Director of Communications

Independent Senators Group (ISG) Secretariat


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