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Wilbert Keon

Assumed office 
September 27, 1990
Appointed by Brian Mulroney

Born May 17, 1935 (1935-05-17) (age 74)
Sheenboro, Quebec
Political party Conservative
Occupation heart surgeon, researcher

Wilbert Joseph Keon, OC (born May 17, 1935) is a heart surgeon, researcher and Canadian Senator.

Born in Sheenboro, Quebec, he received a Bachelor of Science from St. Patrick's College, Carleton University and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Ottawa.

After a period of studying and teaching at Harvard University in Boston, he returned to Ottawa in the early 1970s, Dr. Keon founded the University of Ottawa Heart Institute at the Ottawa Civic Hospital and acted as its CEO for more than thirty years until his retirement in 2004. In 1986, he was the first Canadian to implant an artificial heart into a human as a bridge to transplant. He still performs over 300 surgeries annually.

In 1990 he was appointed to the Senate by Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn on the advice of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, where he sits as a Conservative.

In 1999 Keon was caught in an undercover prostitution sweep when he pulled over his car and began talking to a woman at the side of the road. The woman turned out to be an undercover police officer. Referring to it as "an error of judgement," it caused him to step down from his position as the head of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Though he was not ultimately charged he did have to complete a "john school" sensitivity program. He did not resign his post in the Senate.[1]

In 1960 he married Anne Jennings. They have three children: Claudia, Ryan (who has recently announced his intention to seek the Liberal Party of Canada nomination in the Ontario riding of Nepean-Carleton) and Neil.



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