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Chief Commissioner Arnot appointed to Senate

July 29, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission’s Chief Commissioner, David Arnot, has been appointed as an independent Senator.

“This is a great honour and I am truly humbled,” said Arnot. “The Prime Minister was clear when he spoke to me that he expects me to make a significant contribution to the work of the Senate, and to help tackle the broad range of challenges and opportunities facing our country. He also underlined the fact that I will be able to contribute to the work of the Senate in an independent and non-partisan fashion to ensure integrity and collaboration in service to Parliament and all Canadians.”

Arnot was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission in 2009. Prior to that, he worked as the federal Treaty Commissioner for the Province of Saskatchewan, a provincial court judge, a Crown prosecutor, and as Director General of Aboriginal Justice in the Department of Justice Canada.

In 1993, as a judge with the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan, Arnot worked closely with the Poundmaker First Nation to pioneer the use of sentencing circles and restorative justice measures to promote healing in legal proceedings and to give a voice to victims, community members, and families in the pursuit of constructive resolutions. In 2004, Arnot’s work on the “Teaching Treaties in the Classroom” project was recognized by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Racism.

Arnot is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Bar Association’s Saskatchewan Branch, the Miklos Kanitz Holocaust & Human Rights Award, and the University of Saskatchewan’s Canada 150 Nation Builders alumnus award. He was named CTV’s 2016 Saskatoon Citizen of the Year and was recognized as one of Canada’s top 150 Leaders and Innovators by the Transformation Institute for Leadership and Innovation in 2018.

With today’s announcement, there have now been 60 independent appointments to the Senate made on the advice of Prime Minister Trudeau.

“I am proud to be among the persons selected for a Senate appointment through an open process, led by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments,” said Arnot. “I look forward to serving my province and my country in this capacity.”