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The Speakers of the Senate of Canada


Hon. Noël A. Kinsella
K.St.J., B.A., L.Ph., Ph.D., S.T.B., S.T.L., S.T.D., D.Phil. (Hon), LL.D. (Hon), D.Lit. (Hon) (2006– 2014)

Noël Kinsella had a distinguished career as an academic, public servant, author and senator prior to his appointment to the Speakership in 2006.

He was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, and served as a member of the 112th Company of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. He attended three universities, earning six degrees, and taught psychology, philosophy and human rights at St. Thomas University for 41 years. Kinsella has published four books and numerous monographs, booklets and articles.

Kinsella became a Knight of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem in 2010 and is also a Knight of the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta.

He served for 22 years as Chairperson of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission and completed a term as President of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation. He was instrumental in Canada’s signing and ratifying several UN human rights instruments and participated in drafting the Canadian Charter of Human Rights.

Appointed to the Senate in 1990, Kinsella held a number of leadership roles in the Opposition in the Senate, including Whip in 1994, acting Deputy Leader in 1997, Deputy Leader in 1999 and Leader in 2004.

As Speaker, Kinsella delivered important rulings on issues such as questions of privilege and the Royal Recommendation. Kinsella’s rulings were rarely challenged, despite the fact that the Opposition formed the largest party in the Senate for much of his tenure. He promoted an appreciation for the history of the Senate and Parliament and the importance of parliamentary diplomacy.

Due to his long-standing ties with the Navy, Kinsella was named an Honorary Captain of the Naval Reserve in 2008.

Next Speaker: Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin

Previous Speaker: Hon. Daniel Hays

Photo of the Hon. Noël A. Kinsella

Born: Saint John, New Brunswick, 1939

Professional Background:
Academia, Public Service

Political Affiliation: Conservative

Political Record:

Prime Minister During Speakership:

Speaker Kinsella Website (2006.02.08 – 2014.11.26)