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Elected Alberta Senator Doug Black to retire from Senate

Almost a decade of public service
Alberta Senator Doug Black was in Red Deer in April 2019. He stopped at the luncheon hosted by the Rotary Club of Red Deer where he gave a speech. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Elected Alberta Senator Doug Black has decided to retire from the Senate effective Oct. 31.

Senator Black was elected by Albertans as a senator-in-waiting on April 23, 2012. He was subsequently appointed to the Senate on January 25, 2013.

“I have always supported term limits for senators’ service. After almost a decade of public service, I believe it is timely to make room for a new voice for Alberta,” said Black.

Black has been an active and engaged senator throughout his tenure. He strongly championed Alberta’s interests in Ottawa including leading the charge against Bills C-69 (No More Pipelines Bill) and C-48 (Tanker Ban) as well as the punitive 2017 small business tax changes.

Alberta will hold elections in October to elect senators-in-waiting. Black encourages Albertans to show their support for an elected senator and to cast their vote.

Black will continue his representation in the Senate and has a busy schedule planned up to the end of October. He intends to continue to contribute to his province and country in private life after retirement while spending more time with his family.

“Senator Black has been an integral voice for Albertans,” said Premier Jason Kenney. “He helped lead the charge in the Senate against attacks on our shared prosperity by opposing anti-Alberta legislation like Bills C-69 and C-48. His dedication to our province has been evident during his time as a senator, and his public service is an example to all in the upper chamber.”

“Senator Black has served Albertans with honesty and integrity,” said senator and former Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen. “He worked hard to bring local issues from every part of Alberta to the Senate of Canada and make a difference. I have big shoes to fill as an incoming Alberta senator.”

Black also authored and shepherded Bill S-245 – An Act to declare the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project and related works to be for the general advantage of Canada – through all three readings in the Senate.

Black worked collaboratively with governments of all stripes – federal and provincial – to secure important investments in areas like mental health, rural broadband, and Alberta innovation, among others.

His key focus has been building Alberta 2.0 and Canadian prosperity.

“Serving in the Senate has been the highlight of my professional career,” Black said.

“I am proud to have represented Albertans. I ran to be Alberta’s voice and I am so grateful for the trust placed in me by Albertans in the 2012 Senate election. I am departing the Senate knowing that I have done everything I could to advance Alberta’s interests and build Canada.”

Black was the first Albertan to chair the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. He also served as Deputy Chair of the Senate Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, and as a member of the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee.

The senator led, or contributed, to several consequential Senate reports such as:

l Canada: Still Open for Business?

l Open Banking: What it Means for You.

l National Corridor: Enhancing and Facilitating Commerce and Internal Trade.

At the outset of his term, Black outlined a seven-point plan for Senate reform aimed at increasing Senate transparency and functioning. Since then, he has helped drive progress.

Black was the first Senator to publish expenses online.

He advocated for key reforms like public broadcasting of Senate proceedings and the creation of an audit and oversight committee with external members – both of which have now been accomplished.

The senator has also continually maintained a two-way dialogue with Albertans and all Canadians about issues of relevance, visiting Albertans in every corner of the province regularly.

“The senator is no stranger to our community,” said Barry Morishita, Brooks Mayor and Alberta Urban Municipalities Association president.

“He regularly visited and stayed in touch with us and many other municipalities. His desire to seek views and opinions and help solve local problems is impressive.”

“Senator Black’s contributions to building a diverse Alberta economy through his work on Alberta 2.0 deserves recognition,” said Joseph Doucet, University of Alberta dean and Alberta 2.0 co-chair. “Working closely with him these past several years, I have seen first-hand his commitment to diversifying our economy, enhancing our post-secondary education system, and ensuring Alberta attracts, retains, and develops the talent required for a robust economic future.”

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About the Author: Red Deer Advocate Staff

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