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Independent Senators Group (ISG) Welcomes Senators Mary Coyle and Mary Jane McCallum

OTTAWA, February 7, 2018 – Senator Mary Coyle (Nova Scotia) and Senator Mary Jane McCallum (Manitoba) were officially welcomed into the Independent Senators Group (ISG) today by Senator Yuen Pau Woo, ISG Facilitator, and Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain, ISG Deputy Facilitator.

Senator Mary Coyle is highly respected for her work, which focuses on women and leadership, gender equality, the rights of Indigenous Peoples, post-secondary education and both local and international development via the not-for-profit sector.

Senator Mary Jane McCallum is an advocate for social justice, and is Canada’s first female Aboriginal dentists. In her very distinguished career, Senator McCallum has provided dental health services to Indigenous, northern as well as First Nations communities.

“Senator Coyle and Senator McCallum are outstanding individuals and we welcome them to the ISG. They will add to the depth and diversity of expertise that is already in our ranks,” said Senator Woo. “Senators Coyle and McCallum’s values align perfectly with ISG values, amongst others, the roles of public advocacy and of protecting minorities.”

“As a Nova Scotian Senator, I am deeply honoured to serve the people of Canada and to play a role in forging positive global relationships. I am keen to work with all of my Senate colleagues to bring about positive change for Canadians with special attention to inclusion, promotion of shared prosperity and guarding the health of our planet,” said Senator Coyle. “I am pleased to join the Independent Senators Group as I appreciate the group’s diversity and its commitment to non-partisan, freedom of opinion. I am impressed with the sincerity of my new colleagues and the atmosphere of mutual respect which is encouraged within the ISG. I believe this will serve us well as we work with all Senate colleagues to bring about the modernization of the Senate and carry out our roles as legislators.”

“It is a great honour to have been appointed to represent both Manitobans and all Canadians as a member of the Upper Chamber. Coming into my new role, the tenet most important to me is the notion of independent, non-partisan sober second thought. The right to maintain my Voice, which is both a historical and ongoing struggle for Indigenous people, will always be of great importance,” said Senator McCallum. “After much discussion and observation, it became clear that the tenets to which I ascribe are similarly entrenched in the very framework of the Independent Senators Group. Sharing similar values, I believe it is best to work alongside like-minded colleagues in advancing Senate modernization.”

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 41 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. ISG Senators believe that a strong, coherent and unified group will enhance the ability of the Senate as a whole to better serve Canadians.

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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