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The Speakers of the Senate of Canada


Hon. Daniel Hays
P.C., B.A., LL.B. (2001–2006)

Daniel Hays came from an intensely political family in Alberta. His father, Harry, was Mayor of Calgary, a Liberal member of the House of Commons, a Cabinet minister, and a senator. Hays was a lawyer, while also carrying on his father’s farming, ranching and cattle-breeding business, which had resulted in the Hays Converter, the only Canadian-developed pure breed of cattle.

Hays first visited Japan in 1970, and later became very active in promoting Canada–Japan relations. His interest may have been sparked by playing with Japanese children on his family’s farm during the Second World War: their parents were among the thousands of Japanese Canadians forcibly removed from coastal British Columbia and relocated into internment camps or used as farm labour.

Hays was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1984, two years after his father died in office. He sat on numerous special and standing committees, and held several senior offices in the Liberal Party, including president. After a term as Deputy Leader of the Government, he was appointed to the Speakership in 2001 by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

Hays was respected by his colleagues as Speaker for his fair and open approach, his personal warmth, and the international reach of his parliamentary diplomacy. Shortly before retiring early from the Senate, Hays tabled a set of proposals for modernizing the Senate.

Hays was awarded Japan’s highest civilian honour for his work in strengthening the Canada−Japan relationship, including his chairing of the Canada−Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group.

Next Speaker: Hon. Noël A. Kinsella

Previous Speaker: Hon. Gildas L. Molgat

Portrait of the Hon. Daniel Hays

Born: Calgary, Alberta, 1939

Professional Background:
Law, Agriculture

Political Affiliation: Liberal

Political Record:

Prime Ministers During Speakership: