Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate
“Canada’s Senate. Renovation in Progress”
How can we make Canada’s Senate more independent, accountable and transparent, while reducing partisanship?
Senator Peter Harder, the Government Representative in the Senate, discusses the historic change taking place in the upper house and the challenge of renewing Canadians’ faith in the chamber of sober second thought.
Senator Harder was appointed to the position of Government Representative to the Senate in March of last year. In his role, he is a strong advocate for reforming the upper chamber and is responsible for bringing forward government legislation to a chamber whose members are appointed under a new merit-based based system.
Prior to his appointment, Senator Harder managed the transition to government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in the wake of its 2015 election victory.
Previously, Senator Harder spent 29 years in the federal public service, including 16 years as Deputy Minister, which included heading the departments of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Citizenship and Immigration, Industry, Solicitor General, Public Security, and the Treasury Board Secretariat.
From 2003-2007, he served as Personal Representative of the Prime Minister (Sherpa) to three G8 Summits. He is an expert on Canada-China relations and was elected President of the China-Canada Business Council in 2008.
He is active in his community and is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Public Service Outstanding Achievement Award and the United Way Community Builder Award.
He chaired the United Church of Canada Foundation and the Commonwealth Games Foundation. He has provided his time to several organizations and is currently involved with the National Arts Centre, the Glenn Gould Foundation, the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, the Institute for Research on Public Policy, and the Advisory Committee on the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter. He was also the Royal Bank visiting Chair on Women and Work at Carleton University.
Listen to the audio below: