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The Speakers of the Senate of Canada


Hon. Maurice Bourget
P.C., B.Sc.A. (1963–1966)

After a short time as a semi-professional baseball player in Lévis, Quebec, Maurice Bourget established himself as a civil engineer. As a teenager he had volunteered to be a Liberal campaign worker, and when he was elected as a member of the House of Commons at 33, he started a parliamentary career that spanned more than 38 years.

After his first electoral win in 1940, Bourget was re-elected five more times until his defeat in 1962. For much of the 1950s, he was the chief Liberal Party organizer for 28 federal ridings in eastern Quebec. He was a parliamentary secretary for four years, as well as a Canadian delegate to the United Nations in 1951 and to the 1961 conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. After more than two decades in the House, it was reported that he had “made few enemies and few headlines.”

Ten months after Bourget’s defeat, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson nominated him for appointment to the Senate and simultaneously appointed him as Speaker. He was active in the Canada–United States Inter-Parliamentary Group, established in 1959, and was joint chairman of the 54th Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in 1965, the largest parliamentary conference that had ever been held in Ottawa at the time. He was known to his Senate colleagues for his scrupulous review of legislation, his instinctive understanding of the rules and decorum necessary in the chamber, and his deep concern for the future of Canada.

Bourget was appointed to both the Senate and the Speakership at the same time, a rare occurrence.

Next Speaker: Hon. Sydney John Smith

Previous Speaker: Hon. George Stanley White

Portrait of the Honourable Maurice Bourget

Born: Lauzon, Quebec, 1907

Died: Lévis, Quebec, 1979

Professional Background: Engineering

Political Affiliation: Liberal

Political Record:

Prime Minister During Speakership: