Former cabinet secretary Ian Shugart named to Canada’s Senate

By on 03/10/2022 | Updated on 03/10/2022
Senator Ian Shugart (centre) outside the Senate Chamber before he is sworn in as a senator on September 29, 2022. Also pictured are senators Tony Dean (left) and Marc Gold, the Representative of the Government in the Senate. Photo: Senate of Canada
Ian Shugart (centre) outside the Senate chamber before he was sworn in as a senator on 29 September 2022. Also pictured are senators Tony Dean (left) and Marc Gold (right), the representative of the government in the Senate. Photo: Senate of Canada

Ian Shugart, Canada’s former clerk of the Privy Council and secretary to the cabinet, has been named a senator by prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau made the announcement last week, alongside the appointment of Dr. Gigi Osler, who is an internationally renowned surgeon operating in Winnipeg.

Shugart’s career in government spanned over 40 years and included a host of deputy minister positions – including in the environment, employment and social development, and global affairs departments – before he was named clerk of the Privy Council in 2019. In 2021, Shugart stepped aside as secretary to the cabinet to receive cancer treatment, and Janice Charette, then Canada’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom and former secretary to the cabinet, assumed the role, initially on an interim basis. Shugart retired from the public service on 27 May this year.

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Shugart was praised for his work in leading the federal public service’s response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, providing direct support to Canadians and businesses when they needed it most. He also provided leadership on international climate change negotiations and the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and, when deputy minister of foreign affairs, he shaped Canada’s relations with its international partners, and managed sensitive national security issues and key bilateral relationships.

Trudeau also named Shugart to Canada’s privy council at the same time as his appointment to the upper house.

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The prime minister said: “For over 40 years, Ian Shugart’s advice and leadership in service of Canadians have been invaluable. I am pleased to appoint him as Canada’s newest privy councillor to recognise his contributions and dedication to making Canada a better place for everyone.”

Shugart and Osler were recommended by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, and chosen using a merit-based process open to all Canadians. This process is intended to ensure senators are independent, reflect Canada’s diversity, and are able to tackle the broad range of challenges and opportunities facing the country. Once appointed by Canada’s governor general, new senators join their peers to examine and revise legislation, investigate national issues, and represent regional, provincial, and minority interests – important functions in a modern democracy.

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About Richard Johnstone

Richard Johnstone is the executive editor of Global Government Forum, where he helps to produce editorial analysis and insight for the title’s audience of public servants around the world. Before joining GGF, he spent nearly five years at UK-based title Civil Service World, latterly as acting editor, and has worked in public policy journalism throughout his career.

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