Trudeau appoints former Liberal MP, party donor as 'independent' senators

During the tenure of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former MP Rodger Cuzner worked as the Parliamentary Secretary for Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

Trudeau appoints former Liberal MP, party donor as 'independent' senators
The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick
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Among the five “independent” appointees to the Canadian Senate this week include a former Liberal MP and a long-time party donor.

The appointment announcement made no explicit reference to former Cape Breton–Canso MP Rodger Cuzner serving the Liberal caucus.

"Rodger Cuzner is a former parliamentarian," said the statement. "He was first elected to the House of Commons in 2000 and represented his home province of Nova Scotia for 19 years while serving in various roles."

During the tenure of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Cuzner worked as the Parliamentary Secretary for Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, as reported by True North.

"Most recently, he served as Consul General of Canada in Boston, United States of America, from 2020 to 2023," continued the statement.

The second appointee in question is former New Maryland MLA Joan Kingston who served the New Brunswick Liberal for a single term (1995 to 1999).

In addition, Kingston regularly donated to the federal Liberal Party including a $100 contribution to Trudeau’s 2013 leadership campaign.

According to Elections Canada records, the former MLA made $4,930 in partisan donations through mostly $20 denominations every month from 2012 to 2022. Her largest donation ($500) went to the Fredericton Federal Liberal Association on July 29, 2020.

Similar to Cuzner, Kingston’s appointment made no reference to her extensive Liberal ties.

"Joan Kingston is a registered nurse and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick," it read.

"During her career in health care and provincial politics, she has been an active advocate for nurses and community and women’s health. She was most recently a consultant with the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Nursing."

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