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Joyce Fairbairn

Assumed office 
June 29, 1984
Appointed by Pierre Trudeau

Born November 6, 1939 (1939-11-06) (age 70)
Lethbridge, Alberta
Political party Liberal

Joyce Fairbairn, PC (born November 6, 1939) is a Canadian Senator and was the first woman to serve as Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Fairbairn worked as a journalist in the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Ottawa before hired as legislative assistant to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1970. In 1981, she became Communications Co-ordinator in the Prime Minister's Office. On June 29, 1984, just prior to leaving office, Trudeau recommended her for appointment as a Liberal Senator for Alberta, her home province.

She has also had various positions in the Liberal Party, including Vice-Chair of the National and Western Liberal Caucus from 1984 to 1990, and Co-Chair of the Liberal Party of Canada Election Readiness Committee in 1991.

When the Liberals returned to power after the 1993 election, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed Fairbairn to the Canadian Cabinet as Government Leader in the Senate and Minister with special responsibility for Literacy. She served in Cabinet until 1997, but remains active in the Senate. She is presently Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, and the Special Senate Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act.

External links

26th Ministry - Government of Jean Chrétien
Cabinet Posts (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Lowell Murray Leader of the Government in the Senate
Alasdair Graham
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Harry Hays
Ernest Manning
Senator Alberta
Succeeded by


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