Kenney calls out Trudeau on new Alberta senator appointments

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced the appointment of five new members of the Senate, who were selected on the advice of the PM but will be formally appointed by the Governor General.

Michèle Audette, Amina Gerba and Clément Gignac will represent Quebec in the Red Chamber. David Arnot will represent Saskatchewan and Karen Sorensen will represent Alberta.

"All new Senators were recommended by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, and chosen using the merit-based process open to all Canadians," the release says. "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."

Audette, who is from the Innu community in Quebec, was president of the Native Women's Association of Canada from 2012-15. Audette said she's looking forward to bringing her passion for politics and Indigenous affairs to the role.

"It's dear for me, being a woman, being an Indigenous woman ... This is where I was born and it's something I do every day — the justice, the equity, what can we do more to improve," she said. "I'm a fighter — in a good way. I don't give up easily."

Gignac was a Liberal member of Quebec's National Assembly from 2009-12 and served in the provincial cabinet as minister of economic development, innovation and export trade, as well as minister of natural resources and wildlife.

Gerba, an entrepreneur born in Cameroon, founded a number of businesses and is a member of the Canadian Council on Africa and the African Business Roundtable.

Arnot is the chief commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, a position he's held since 2009. He's also worked as a senior Crown prosecutor in Saskatchewan and as a judge on the provincial court.

Lastly, Sorensen was the mayor of Banff beginning in 2010 and a former municipal councillor and school board trustee.

"I am humbled and incredibly honoured to be appointed to the Canadian Senate. After 17 years being privileged to serve the people of Banff, I am exhilarated to have this amazing opportunity in service to Canada," Sorensen said.

Kenney voiced his ire with Sorensen's appointment. "I personally informed [Trudeau] of our forthcoming Senate elections at our July 7 meeting in Calgary, and told him that the Alberta legislature had adopted a motion calling on the Prime Minister not to fill the two current Senate vacancies but to wait for Albertans to choose their own preferred Senate candidates," he said in a media statement.

"Sadly, the Prime Minister's decision to snub his nose at Alberta's democratic tradition is part of a pattern of flippantly disregarding our province's demands for a fair deal in the Canadian federation and the desire of Albertans for democratic accountability."

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